Forever Homes for Abandoned Armenians

by Friends of Warm Hearth, Inc.
Forever Homes for Abandoned Armenians
Forever Homes for Abandoned Armenians
Forever Homes for Abandoned Armenians
Forever Homes for Abandoned Armenians
Forever Homes for Abandoned Armenians
Forever Homes for Abandoned Armenians
Forever Homes for Abandoned Armenians
Forever Homes for Abandoned Armenians
Forever Homes for Abandoned Armenians
Forever Homes for Abandoned Armenians
Forever Homes for Abandoned Armenians
Forever Homes for Abandoned Armenians
Forever Homes for Abandoned Armenians
Forever Homes for Abandoned Armenians
Forever Homes for Abandoned Armenians
Forever Homes for Abandoned Armenians
Forever Homes for Abandoned Armenians
Forever Homes for Abandoned Armenians
Forever Homes for Abandoned Armenians
Forever Homes for Abandoned Armenians
Forever Homes for Abandoned Armenians
Forever Homes for Abandoned Armenians
Forever Homes for Abandoned Armenians
Forever Homes for Abandoned Armenians
Forever Homes for Abandoned Armenians
Forever Homes for Abandoned Armenians
Forever Homes for Abandoned Armenians
Forever Homes for Abandoned Armenians
Forever Homes for Abandoned Armenians
Forever Homes for Abandoned Armenians

Dear friends,

As you know, we recently opened our second forever home in the village of Arinj.  Eight orphans with diverse abilities moved to their new home in May and are settling in and creating a new life together.  We invited local government officials, neighbors, representatives from local nonprofits and international aid organizations.  But mostly we simply celebrate the new residents.  We paid tribute to their beauty and to the beauty of Armenians for initiating this home.  We danced and sang and planted a tree.  

Here is a short little video of our opening ceremony and their homecoming.  Oh, the smiles of these beautiful people will open wide your heart, I imagine, as they do mine.

Thanks to each of you for your beautiful part in making this happen. We are all so grateful. 


-Natalie

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Dear friends,

When I was in Armenia this year, I traveled with the residents and staff to the town of Kapan, which is where some of our first group of residents were living before we opened.  We went to remember, to behold our beginnings in our hands, and to celebrate what has come to pass.  And there was so much to celebrate that we were not even on the lookout for anything else.  

But while we were there, we went to the orphanage where some of our residents had lived.  We thought it would be a simple visit, but while we were there, something happened. 

We gathered around to share chocolates, skits and songs with the orphans who live there.  We learned that they were destined for the institutions and had outgrown the orphanage.  We saw the need in their eyes, which has less to do with four walls and a roof over one’s head and more to do with love and peace and a forever home. 
And it happened.   

One of our staff members walked up to me and said, “We have to open another home.  Do you see these people?  We have so much to give them.”  

We have so much to give them, yes, and we have just as much to receive.  How profound it was to be invited by one of our staff into the next season of this work, to be the one who supports rather than initiates a second home.   This is what I have longed for—to see this movement take root in Armenian soil so that it lasts and lives beyond its humble beginnings.  

We have been planning and saving for the opening of our second home for some time, and when we saw these people face-to-face, we passed the point of no return.  You don’t plan for love.  You don't even plan for the possibility of love.  It just happens.  And then Love takes you by its hand and urges your forward surely and quickly.

(If you would like to read more, our annual report is attached.) 

Sincerely Yours,

Natalie Bryant-Rizzieri


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Sassoon's birthday celebration a few months ago
Sassoon's birthday celebration a few months ago

Dear Donors and Friends, 

As the year comes to a close, we look back with gratitude at all that has unfolded in the past few months.  Our residents are participating in a theater production for the first time.  It has been such a joyful endeavor for them.

Some of our neighbors have begun trusting the residents enough to allow them to help watch their children. This is a deep honor and joy for our residents.

We were awarded some Armenian government funding for 2018 and while it seems like this will come to pass, we are still holding our breath. On a different note, thankfully, our five-year legal battle over our land and home has finally come to a close. Our property is safe and we have a new title in hand!

We also look forward with hope and joy. We plan to open a second home in 2018 for more orphans with disabilities from Kapan. That journey will allow all of us to experience, once again, the healing power of home, stability and love. In 2018, Lousine Stepanian (of the Armenian Mindfulness Project) and Bridget Brown (one of our founding board members) plan to visit Armenia in April.

Finally, we are blessed by so many friends and partners who are passionate about this next season of our work and have offered to walk with us in the formation, establishment and long-term sustenance of a second home. Our cup runs over. May you and yours be blessed with peace and joy this Christmas and holiday season. Thank you for keeping our home close to your heart. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of our residents. Thank you for sharing in our stories and songs.

Sincerely Yours,

Natalie Bryant-Rizzieri
Founder & Executive Director

Our residents out and about
Our residents out and about

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Alina (resident, on right) with a visitor
Alina (resident, on right) with a visitor

Dear friends,

In the summer, I wrote that we were looking for a new way forward and for a way to open in regard to providing a forever home to the orphans in Kapan who have more recently come into adulthood.

Shortly after writing, we received word from the Armenian government that we have been promised three years of partial funding beginning in 2018. I did not dare to imagine that government funding would be part of this new way forward.

After belaboring over government funding for nearly ten years, after persistent efforts and applications, after losing hope that this was any longer a possibility, the doors were flung open. The doors were flung open and there is promise in the air that our home and future homes will be sustained and even multiplied.

There is promise in the air that change is happening in Armenia and that our residents and others like them are valued by their people and government on some basic level. When you are entrenched in this work and tending to the daily needs and grit, sometimes it takes news like this to take a step back and to see the wide-reaching vision again, to see that small revolutions do occur, to see the beauty and the vastness of this work. I, for one, have been astonished at the beauty in the last few weeks. I, for one, have been grateful for the honor and privilege of working alongside of our residents and our staff and each of you in your true-hearted and committed efforts to create lasting change in the nation of Armenia.

You can access our complete newsletter here.  

Sincerely Yours,
Natalie Bryant-Rizzieri
Founder & Executive Director

Susanna
Susanna
Natalie (founder) with Davit (resident)
Natalie (founder) with Davit (resident)
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Dear donors and friends,

Ah, love, let us be true to one another! (M. Arnold)

I just returned from Warm Hearth—from long dusty walks along alleyways with the residents as we traipsed to roadside restaurants. We were on a four-day trip to Syunik Marz, the southernmost region. There we conducted a belated celebration of Warm Hearth’s anniversary, remembering where and how the seeds of Warm Hearth were first planted. It was glorious to just be together — to travel, to rest, to eat, to wander. I think it served to remind all of us — staff and resident alike — that first and foremost we are people living life together, trying to love one another well. And in that, it was like a cold drink of water, nourishing and cooling the places inside of us that had grown parched.

On our journey, we also visited old haunts where memories surfaced, both painful and cleansing. We played and sang and laughed with a group of 19 individuals from one of the orphanages where some of our residents once lived, who like our residents have outgrown the orphanage and are waiting for a transfer to a psychiatric institutions or for a home like Warm Hearth. It is heartbreaking to stare into the face of such need and then turn and drive away. We are still trembling.

So we are looking for a way forward, for a way to open. After an unsuccessful year of trying and trying again to hire a new Development & Advocacy Officer, we need to recalibrate and determine how we will walk forward to respond to all that we witness. This is the work of the world—not just ours, not just yours. But let us do it together.

If you would like to read our full newsletter, please see the attachment.  

Sincerely Yours,

 


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Organization Information

Friends of Warm Hearth, Inc.

Location: Flagstaff, AZ - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Warm Hearth Co-Director
Founder/Executive Director
Flagstaff, AZ United States

Funded Project!

Thanks to 432 donors like you, a total of $61,676 was raised for this project on GlobalGiving. Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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