Arthur Abrahamyan. Credit: Oxfam
Arthur Abrahamyan, beneficiary of an Oxfam project for refugees

Armenia: A new life for the refugees

“Oxfam did so many good things for our village. Due to Oxfam we now have drinking water”
Arthur Abrahamyan

Arthur Abrahamyan, a resident of Shgharshik village (Syunik region), is a refugee. He left Baku 15 years ago, hardly escaping massacres leaving all his belongings and apartment behind.

Upon settling in the borderline village of Shgharshik, located in the mountains, Arthur was provided with an old abandoned house. He married Raisa Abrahamyan, another refugee from Baku. They started everything from zero. They were among the first beneficiaries who joined Oxfam Health Schemes in 1999. In addition, Oxfam provided basic construction materials to help them renovate the roof and the floor of the old house that they were provided.

Now they have 4 children, 10, 11, 13 and 15 years old. All children go to school. They have hardly enough money to provide the basic essential needs of their family. The only income is the state support, which is spent to pay the utility costs and to buy books. The fruits and vegetables that grow in their yard satisfy only the family needs and Arthur cannot sell these products due to insufficient quantity.

Several days ago, Arthur received a cow in the scope of Health project’s Livestock component.

“Oxfam did so many good things for our village. Due to Oxfam we now have drinking water. Before, we were carrying water from the well. Several years ago Oxfam provided trees, than sheep. Oxfam established Health Schemes, which have provided a primary health care to my family, and me, for already 8 years. The nurse is very supportive.

"Not only that, once per three months specialists from regional policlinic visit our village and screen people. This is a great support to people who otherwise cannot afford going to doctors, because they have to pay either for the transportation or to the doctors.

"And recently we received cows from Oxfam. This is another big support. Oxfam considered everything, even provision of fortified to feed the cows. Now, we will not only have milk, but also diary products. It is for peace of my mind not to think how to feed my children.”

Originally published by Oxfam GB, October 2007.