HELPING TO PRESERVE A NATION

Dikran Izmirlian school in Chldran village - Artsakh Dikran Izmirlian school in Chldran village - Artsakh Dikran Izmirlian school in Chldran village - Artsakh Dikran Izmirlian school in Chldran village - Artsakh Dikran Izmirlian school in Chldran village - Artsakh Dikran Izmirlian school in Chldran village - Artsakh Dikran Izmirlian school in Chldran village - Artsakh Dikran Izmirlian school in Chldran village - Artsakh Dikran Izmirlian school in Chldran village - Artsakh Dikran Izmirlian school in Chldran village - Artsakh Dikran Izmirlian school in Chldran village - Artsakh Dikran Izmirlian school in Chldran village - Artsakh Dikran Izmirlian school in Chldran village - Artsakh Dikran Izmirlian school in Chldran village - Artsakh Dikran Izmirlian school in Chldran village - Artsakh
Dikran Izmirlian school in Artsakh

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 this tendency.

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 year.

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.

The school is named after Dikran Izmirlian, in honor of Mr. Izmirlian's vast donations, support and continues dedication to Armenia.

The Izmirlian Foundation continues to help this school. In 2014 IF donated computers, printers and other equipment to the school.