Hospital in YerevanSpendiaryan Music SchoolSarkis and Marie Izmirlian Library of YSUMilitary Institute of ArmeniaHelping children of soldiersDikran Izmirlian school in ArtsakhMarie Izmirlian оrphanageMeghri Community Development ProjectPsychological support to soldiersEconomics Class in YSU
In 2002, the Izmirlian Foundation built a school in the village Chldran of
Artsakh. School had a strategic importance for Artsakh in terms of demographic
and socio-economic development of the region, as well as a good example for
other philanthropic initiatives.
A small historical note as a reminder. The village of
Chldran suffered greatly during the years of the war. The situation here sharply
deteriorated in May 1992, when the Azeris began a large scale assault on
Artsakh. In June, most of the population of the village was moved to the
capital Stepanakert due to security concerns and only the men remained –
volunteers, who set to the task of defending the village.
In 1992, there was intense fighting in Chldran. The
Armenian volunteers waged a heroic battle against the superior numbers of the
Turk-Azeri forces. The village was conquered and reconquered a number of times
– the Azeris succeeded in occupying it, but a few days later it was retaken by
the Armenians. On 5 February 1993, the village was finally liberated from the
Azeris, but a majority of the young men of the village – its leaders - were
killed in the merciless war. There is no one in the village that has not lost a
relative or friend in the years of the war.
As a result of the war, the former school of Chldran, which
enjoyed a great reputation in its day and catered to the needs of 5 villages,
was destroyed completely. After the liberation of Chldran, that village was
effectively left without a school and the children attended class in the old
building of the village municipality, where even the most basic of conditions
were absent. Despite this, the children started going to class on September 1,
because there is a lot of love and interest towards education in the village.
The construction of a new school in Chldran was an
extremely important issue and that problem was solved through the support of
the Izmirlian Foundation – a new school was built, which was a major piece of assistance
for the village.
The most important result of this project is the fact
that the population of the village is growing. In 2012 the school had 65
pupils, but that number will reach 100 in 2014, because more children were born
in the village who will soon reach school age. This is a very important fact
indeed, because the opposite is true for many villages in Armenia today –
people are leaving the villages, their population is declining. But here, and
many other communities in Artsakh – in the city of Shushi, for example – defied
There are currently 28 teachers working at the Dikran
Izmirlian school, of whom 23 are from Chldran, one is from the city of Kapan in
the Republic of Armenia, and the remaining 4 are from neighboring villages. The
principal of the school is Mr. David Lalayan, who won an award for being the
best young teacher in Artsakh. He also manages the Chldran branch of the “Defender
of the Fatherland” patriotic youth organization. The academic vice-principal of
the school is also a young man, Samvel Ghukasyan. His father is one of the
heroes of Chldran, who died in the battles to defend the village.
Chldran has a population of 520 residents. The main
occupation of the people is agriculture and animal husbandry. The village has
307 hectares of cropland. The soil is good, it is mainly black soil. They sow
wheat, barley, rye and other crops. The village also has aged orchards of
apples and pears. Around 90 people from the village work in the Drmbon gold
mine. Around the Chldran village – as well as in almost all the communities of
Artsakh – there are historical and cultural monuments and wonderful natural
scenery. For example, there is a cave near Chldran which the villagers call a
refrigerator, because it is always cold there; there is even ice throughout the
The head of this village is Mr. David Ghulyan, who had
fought in the war and was one of the defenders of the village. Mr. Ghulyan was
injured during the war; he was operated upon and is now disabled.