On April 9, 2016 ARS members from eleven chapters gathered for the Armenian Relief Society of Eastern USA Regional Seminar entitled “The ARS in the 21st Century, Opportunities and Challenges”. The seminar was held at the Aramian Auditorium, Providence, Rhode Island, hosted by ARS of Eastern USA Ani and Arax Chapters.
The seminar opened with the singing of ARS Anthem and a moment of silence to honor all Artsakh Soldiers who are defending our borders, and those martyrs who have lost their lives the past week due to Azerbaijani violent attack. U. Talin Daghlian, Chairwoman of the ARS of Eastern USA started her welcoming remarks with the statement “Since the outbreak of the Artsakh war at 2:30 AM on the second day of April, it was immediately clear the need for this chance to connect with our dedicated ARS members half way around the world, and we will modify today’s seminar agenda to connect via skype with the ARS Artsakh chapter at large members around noon”.
At 11:30 a.m. The ARS Artsakh members via skype joined the seminar updating participants about the ongoing ARS relief efforts in Artsakh. “The Unity of our People of Armenia and Diaspora touched us: said Ungh Artemis Gregoryan. We affirm you that our young 17 and 18 years old soldiers are brave, the unity of our soldiers from all over the world is courageous, and nothing fears or stops them to guard the borders, so we can sleep. We are much more organized and strong. We have all ARS entities worldwide supporting us, ARS Central Executive responded directly when we need money. We are the body and you are our wings, together the Diaspora, Armenia, and Artsakh is strong. The attendees listened the courageous ARS Artsakh Ungerouhiner and expressed readiness to support ARS Artsakh efforts.
The morning session titled “ARS at the UN -Connecting the Dots” was presented by Ungh. Nora Simonian and Ungh Nory Boiatchian, the ARS UN Committee members.
Ungh. Nora Simonian started the presentation by giving an overview of the current ARS worldwide projects and a brief history of the ARS at the United Nations. She then focused on the benefits of ARS active participation in the United Nations NGO CSW Committee. U. Nora eloquently talked about her personal experience when she participated on a panel organized by the ARS and the Permanent Mission of Armenia to the UN during CSW 59, and the ARS exhibit “Stitching to Survive”. This year’s panel” Uplifting Women From Poverty Through Partnerships” focused on the new project which will take place in the Tavush region of Armenia and is meant to uplift women from poverty by focusing on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG); SDG 1 (poverty eradication), SDG 2 (hunger), SDG 5 (gender equality), SDG 8 (employment) and SDG 17 (partnerships).
Ungh Nory Boiatchian, previous ARS intern, continued the presentation by explaining United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals which was adopted in 2015. She discussed in detail opportunities for ARS extending projects and funding as countries adopted a set of Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity to all part of the world.
The afternoon session “Grant Writing and Fundraising” was presented by Ungh Sarah Varadian-Vartanian, regional Executive Director of the Jefferson Awards Foundation, and Marie Kelly, Director of corporate and foundation relations at Stonehill College. The interactive session included analysis of ARS fundraising efforts. The participants highlighted ARS fundraising strength, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities and shared experiences. The presenters discussed how philanthropy and charitable giving ties to ARS fundraising culture and how ARS members can utilize charitable giving opportunities.
Last session was dedicated for ARS of Eastern USA projects in the United States and Worldwide. U. Talin Daghlian presentation highlighted Board’s recent fundraising efforts and educational programs such as ARS Youth Connect Program, ARS Art Exhibit and Armenian National Education Committee (ANEC). The ongoing ARS Relief Efforts in Syria and Artsakh as well as Javakhk and Armenia was detailed. The Seminar participants had the opportunity to ask their questions to the board about the programs.
The Armenian Relief Society was established in 1910 in New York City to provide educational and humanitarian assistance to Armenians throughout the world. For more information, contact the ARS of Eastern USA office by calling (617) 926-3801. The ARS Eastern USA a 501(c)(3) is charitable organization and all donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.