National, International, Armenia, and Community News and Opinion

National, International, Armenia, and Community News and Opinion

12 The Armenian Reporter | April 11, 2009


Looking to the next generation in Armenia: agbu focus 2009

honors Hye Geen Pregnant Women’s Centers

Some of the hundreds of mothers and children in Armenia who have benefited

from the agbu Hye Geen Pregnant Women’s Centers.

CHICAGO – Since 2001, each

agbu focus weekend has paid

tribute to a specific agbu program

that has touched the lives of

young Armenians. Looking to the

next generation in Armenia, agbu

focus proudly honors agbu Hye

Geen by dedicating its 2009 fundraising

campaign to benefit the new

Pregnant Women’s Center in Talin,

Armenia. The Talin Center will be

the third of its kind in Armenia and

the first in that city. agbu focus is

a biennial weekend event designed

for young Armenian professionals

from all over the world to congregate

and share their international

perspectives, as well as provide a

venue to showcase notable contributions

and achievements made by

agbu’s diverse youth-oriented programs.

Building on the impressive

achievements experienced during

the premiere weekend in New York

in 2001, agbu focus has since united

more than 1,500 young Armenians

from cities around the globe,

with weekends hosted in New York

(2001, 2007), Montreal (2003), Miami

(2005), and now heading west

to Chicago. Additionally, well over

$125,000 has been raised for many

agbu programs, including Generation

Next, the Scholarship Program

and the New York Summer Intern


From July 16-19, 2009, focus will

welcome hundreds of Armenians

to Chicago for this unique celebration.

Rooms have been reserved at

the Westin Michigan Avenue Hotel

and a special discounted rate

is available for reservations made

only through agbu beginning in

mid-April. Plans have also been

set to host the Gala Evening, the

highlight of the focus weekend, at

the Art Institute of Chicago’s new

modern wing, which is set to open

this summer.

Established by the agbu Hye

Geen Committee of Los Angeles

in response to the country’s high

infant mortality, lack of nutrition

and the shortage of resources for

potential mothers, the first Hye

Geen Pregnant Women’s Center

opened its doors in Gyumri in

2002 with the encouragement of

the Republic of Armenia’s Minister

for the Protection of Women and


Two years later, a second center

in Vanadzor was opened. This year,

the Hye Geen Committee plans

to open its third center in Talin,

which is in desperate need of help,

as many villages in the region are

poor and practically abandoned.

These community-based health

resource centers provide critical

pre-natal care to pregnant women

who often suffer from malnutrition,

lack the funds for proper medical

care, and have little access to accurate

health information. Expectant

mothers who gather daily at the

centers benefit from vital medical

exams, a congenial social atmosphere,

individual meetings with

counselors, nutritious meals, and

vitamins provided by Hye Geen.

Center participants are recommended

by local clinics and spend

4-5 hours a day at the facilities.

Meals are prepared and served by

the women themselves in order to

encourage good nutrition habits

which are taught by the trained

center staff. Each center has three

local employees on staff, including

a social worker, who work with the

women to ensure that their babies

are born healthy.

Various medical personnel are

invited to the centers periodically,

or as required, to monitor each

woman’s progress and needs. The

superintendent of the centers,

Nara Sahakian, who is a lecturer in

psychology at Yerevan State University,

travels from Yerevan for

weekly visits to each center and ensures

that each facility is operating

at its utmost.

To date, hundreds of healthy babies

have been born to the mothers

who have participated in the programs

at the agbu Hye Geen Pregnant

Women’s Centers.

agbu focus believes that every

child born in Armenia deserves a

chance at a healthy life unfettered

by preventable medical issues.

Honoring agbu Hye Geen’s latest

project, focus has launched a largescale

pre-event fundraising effort

to ensure that the Talin Center will

open with all the resources it needs

to carry out its mission of serving

the pregnant women of Armenia.

Since 1994, agbu Hye Geen in

Southern California has worked to

preserve and honor achievements

of Armenian women, provide a

forum for them throughout the

world, promote their role in family

and society through research, education,

and advocacy, and provide

overall support to empower Armenian

women as carriers of the Armenian

cultural heritage.

Established in 1906, agbu is the

world’s largest non-profit Armenian

organization. Headquartered

in New York City, agbu preserves

and promotes the Armenian identity

and heritage through educational,

cultural and humanitarian

programs, annually serving some

400,000 Armenians on five continents.

connect: 1-212-319-6383 x128.

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