Dental Care for 235 orphans in Armenia

by Society for Orphaned Armenian Relief (SOAR) Vetted since 2015 Top Ranked Effective Nonprofit
OLA
OLA's Dental Clinic

Update-Gyumri Dental Clinic on Our Lady of Armenia's (OLA) Grounds

By Kohar Mardirossian Pelter & George Yacoubian Jr. - Project leaders

 Happy New Year and Warmest Holiday Greetings to Our Supporters! 

On behalf of SOAR family, we wish to express our heartfelt gratitude for all your support and contributions in funding the construction of the first Dental Clinic in Gyumri on the grounds of Our Lady of Armenia (OLA) in 2015!

The dental clinic in OLA is being constructed to serve not only the orphaned children living at the orphanages, but also orphaned children throughout Gyumri, senior citizens, and the needy and poor children living within greater Gyumri community. The 1988 earthquake destroyed buildings and structures in Gyumri, killed more than 25,000 residents, injured 19,000, and displaced more than 500,000 residents. Since that earthquake, Gyumri has been beset by physical devastation, poverty, and economic struggles.  Dental care remains unattainable for the poverty stricken population, including the orphans and the disabled. There are no permanent facilities for dental care in Gyurmi. The majority of the population do not have routine health screening or check-ups, and statistics show that by the age of 18 years, 80% of children no longer have their natural teeth. Scientific studies have documented that complications from dental cavities would lead to gum disease, general health issues and diseases. In 2016, the poverty still has a strong hold on the population of Gyumri-which struggles in severe and destitute conditions.

 In June of 2015, SOAR endeavored to partner with Global Giving and bring forth our first of the dental care project to Armenia's most vulnerable population, a humanitarian endeavor that would help a distinct and underserved population. Most of the city of Gyumri depends on charitable organizations and volunteers to provide health and dental care clinics. We are aiming to have our sponsored dental clinic in OLA be a year round clinic, providing full preventative care, such as dental cleaning and teaching of the routine teeth care plus all the procedures and treatments for all ages!
The OLA dental clinic's construction is almost complete thanks to the immense generosity of donors like you. However, we still need funds to purchase equipment supplies as well as to hire dental professionals such as dentists and technicians. A dedicated team of SOAR dental experts in USA volunteer to oversee the construction and the selection of the equipment and supplies. We are grateful for their support and guidance in fulfilling the project! We also have created a dental care fund volunteer program to invite dental professionals who would want to volunteer in the clinic in Armenia, thus providing more manpower coverage for the clinic's operation in Gyumri. 

 On this Armenian Christmas day and a New Year, touch a life and give the children bright and healthy smiles. OLA's clinic is the first of many clinics that we hope to establish in different parts of remote areas of Armenia. We need your help to make this come true. There is no amount too little to make a difference. Please support us through Global Giving Campaign! Our heartfelt thanks to your continued support!

Wishing you all a Happy New Year!

Kohar Mardirossian Pelter & George Yacoubian Jr.

Sr. Arousiag and Construction Team
Sr. Arousiag and Construction Team
SOAR volunteer program flyer
SOAR volunteer program flyer
Initial phases of the dental clinic construction
Initial phases of the dental clinic construction

Gyumri Dental Clinic construction has begun in the OLA Center.

November 10, 2015

 The grounds of the Our Lady of Armenia (OLA) Center in Gyumri is noisy and bustling with construction workers. Yes, our dental clinic in OLA is being constructed to serve not only the orphaned children living at the orphanage, but also orphaned children throughout Gyumri, senior citizens, and the needy and poor children living within greater Gyumri community.

 The 1988 earthquake destroyed buildings and structures in Gyumri, killed more than 25,000 residents, injured 19,000, and displaced more than 500,000 residents. Since that earthquake, Gyumri has been beset by physical devastation, poverty, and economic struggles. In 2013, the National Statistical Service data reported that 32% of Armenia’s population lives below the poverty line. According to Armenia Poverty Snapshot 2014, child poverty is at 37.3%, and 3.2% of children in Armenia live in extreme poverty. High rates of child poverty contribute to children being unable to receive education, healthcare, and nutrition. Children with disabilities are among the most affected.

 Dental care remains unattainable for the poverty stricken population, including the orphans and the disabled. There are no permanent facilities for dental care in Gyurmi. The majority of the population do not have routine health screening or check-ups, and statistics show that by the age of 18 years, 80% of children no longer have their natural teeth. Scientific studies have documented that health care in childhood is essential for the overall health of a person and complications from dental cavities would lead to gum disease, general health issues and diseases.

 Most of the city of Gyumri depends on charitable organizations and volunteers to provide health and dental care clinics. We are aiming to have our sponsored dental clinic in OLA be a year round clinic, providing full preventative care, such as dental cleaning and teaching of the routine teeth care plus all the procedures and treatments for all ages!

 We appreciate your continued support of our dental care project. We hope to be able to raise more funds to supply and man the clinic soon. The walls are constructed and the roof is being built! There is a smile on the faces of the orphans, and we want the children to have bright and healthy smiles. We need your help to make this come true. Please support us through Global Giving Campaign! Our heartfelt thanks to your continued support!

OLA dental clinic cementation
OLA dental clinic cementation
Construction of the roof of the clinic
Construction of the roof of the clinic
Dental Clinic construction in progress
Dental Clinic construction in progress
Local construction workers constructing the clinic
Local construction workers constructing the clinic
SOAR dental Care campaign flyer to donors
SOAR dental Care campaign flyer to donors

Links:

Global Giving Partnership Informational Flyer
Global Giving Partnership Informational Flyer

Global Giving Progress Report – August 2015

The Our Lady of Armenia (OLA) Center Dental Clinic for Orphans and Gyumri Community at Large

Cavities are the most prevalent chronic disease among children in Armenia. Almost 90% of all 12-year-old children in Armenia have cavities, and only 20% of Armenian 18-year-olds still have all of their teeth. 

In June of 2015, SOAR initiated an application to enter the Global Giving June challenge and became a permanent partner, raising approximately $6,000 through Global Giving Dental Care campaign to support the construction of a dental clinic at the Our Lady of Armenia (OLA) Center in Gyumri, Armenia. Since then, SOAR has been upgraded from partner to leader status by Global Giving.

The OLA Center is a private orphanage in Gyumri, Armenia, housing approximately 45 girls between the ages of 6 and 18. The Center is operated by the Armenian Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, a religious order of nuns established in 1847. The Superior of the Center is Sister Arousiag Sajonian. "For nearly 25 years Gyumri has been burdened by an insufficient investment in dental care. Today, with the help of a joint effort by the Society for Orphaned Armenian Relief (SOAR), and Global Giving, we can soon offer sustained dental services to the most vulnerable citizens of Gyumri: orphaned children, senior citizens, and the poor," says Sister Arousiag.

SOAR is taking a comprehensive approach for the construction and maintenance of the Dental Clinic in Gyumri by:

  1. Developing an informational flyer to educate SOAR supporters and donors on Global Giving and our partnership.
  2. Identifying the location of the dental clinic on site at OLA. The Dental Clinic will be constructed on OLA Center grounds in Gyumri and will serve approximately 2,000 patients annually.
  • The orphaned children at the OLA center;
  • The orphaned and otherwise at-risk children from other institutions in Gyumri: Children’s Home of Gyumri; Gyumri Social Childcare Center; the orphanage of Fridtjof Nansen, and Terchoonian Home.
  • The elderly who receive services through the OLA Senior Center; and,
  • The greater Gyumri community. With a population of approximately 125,000, Gyumri is the second largest city in Armenia and the capital of the Shirak province in the northwestern part of the country. Once a thriving center of art and culture, the earthquake of 1988 had a disastrous impact on the city. To this day, Gyumri has not recovered, with a majority of residents living in relative poverty.

     3.  Forming an advisory group of dentists and dental professionals to oversee the project and advise the personnel

          at OLA. They will coordinate all volunteer professionals traveling to man the clinic.

     4.  Establishing a timeline for project completion:

  • August 2015: Beginning phases of construction
  • September-October 2015: Construction and renovation
  • October 2015: Dedication ceremony

      5.  Executing a contract for construction (see attached).

Attachments: Informational flyer for donors and SOAR supporters

                        Photos of the future clinic site

                        Photos of children

OLA Dental Clinic Location in Gyumri, Armenia
OLA Dental Clinic Location in Gyumri, Armenia
SOAR orphans
SOAR orphans

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Society for Orphaned Armenian Relief (SOAR)

Location: King of Prussia, PA - USA
Website: http:/​/​soar-us.org
Project Leader:
Kohar Pelter
King of Prussia, PA United States

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