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Volunteers against Poverty

HDP FOUNDATION is a volunteer-based organization and cherishes volunteerism in Armenia. We believe that "Charity begins at home".

Our beneficiaries include nursing homes, orphanages, street children programs, kindergartens, etc. We seek to not only feed people but more importantly, provide food for their minds and souls through education and respect...

In an economically volatile society people don’t always find the enthusiasm or incentive to volunteer, and it is important to educate people in volunteerism and encourage them do something they have not considered before. Volunteers can acquire lots of alternative learning opportunities through Internet, managing small projects, etc.

HDP principals are from US, Canada, and Armenia. HDP’s executive director is Nubar Goudsouzian from Canada, finance director is Dr. David L. Watt from the US. We also have several volunteers in the HDP office. Levon works on computers to make them compatible; Narine and Ruzan coordinate different programs(Volunteers, Computers to Rural areas, Gumri Pen-Pal, etc.).

Many individuals have volunteered their time and talents on shorter term basis. From 2002 until the present, volunteers have sold over 600 hand made cards from Zatik Orphanage, raising more than $1,000 for the children of the orphanage and its associated Rainbow House. In 2003 many individuals came to HDP to assemble bags of vegetable seeds for the rural vulnerable of Armenia. They assembled and delivered over 1600 bags to people in all regions. In particular, after the devastating hail in Hrazdan in May, volunteers assembled and delivered 750 bags to the 7 villages of Hrazdan. In the summer and fall of 2003, volunteers delivered hygiene kits, blankets, clothing, dried fruit and raisins to nursing homes, orphanages, kindergartens and refugees. In February and March 2004, a group of volunteers sorted more than 5 tons of vegetable sed packets from UMCOR’s supply of 18 tons of donated seeds. In April and May, HDP volunteers assembled bags and delivered them to over 2200 of Armenia’s neediest rural families, using just 1 ton of the sorted seeds. If all the seed was distributed similarly, almost 40,000 families received seed from the distribution this year.

Armenian Red Cross school children volunteers (in the picture Red Cross 004) helped us sort the seeds. We rewarded UMCOR – provided school and hygiene kits to our volunteers to recognize their care.

Jim Kennard, President of the “Food For Everyone” Foundation (FFE) in the US, volunteered to come to Armenia, with helping VOCA, to help Armenian families with small plots of land achieve food security by increasing their capacity to produce adequate healthy food to eat, and to ultimately provide a source of income from sales of excess garden produce. He also volunteered training a family in seedling production at an existing seedling greenhouse in the Shirak region, and provide seedlings for beneficiary families, and training 64 beneficiary families in 8 villages on how to most effectively grow high yields of vegetables using the world-renowned Mittleider Method of gardening.

Jim brought with him, donations of tools and materials for effective gardening and the growing of seedlings. He built a seedling house in Shirak Marz at his own expense and began working with two supervisor families in each village, demonstrating and teaching them the best techniques for building and growing their own gardens, and with them visiting all other participant families in their villages to do the same. Physical garden layouts were improved, watering problems solved and better procedures taught, and seedlings for training purpose were purchased from local sources and proper transplanting procedures were demonstrated and taught to all participants.

A highly respected Armenian agronomist was trained to continue the activity. A formalized plan of procedures was implemented to assure regular follow-up and assistance; In addition, several comparative test plots were established to measure the effectiveness of the Mittleider Methods being introduced as compared with participants’ traditional methods. The results of these comparatives tests will be finalized and available at the end of the growing season, or early November.

The short-term result of our efforts became apparent very quickly, as families began to see order, beauty, and productivity in their gardens, and non-participating neighbors began copying elements of the methods they saw.

One important element we addressed is growing vertically, which allows plants normally occupying 5-10 square feet to be grown in 1-2 square feet of space. To accomplish this requires the use of frames and string for the plants to climb. No provision had been made for demonstrating this important element to the participants.

A small quantity of “T-Frames” and heavy nylon or plastic string were purchased and used as educational material. Metal T-Frame materials were purchased and welded, and frames were delivered to 3 representative and strategically located participants’ gardens, where their benefits can best be demonstrated and proper procedures taught.

More support is needed to learn this technology, use it and teach it to others. In this, the volunteer would receive the benefit of learning, living better and having more nutritious food. If you want to learn about this program or help it grow and expand, contact HDP Foundation.

 

 

In-kind

Computer Support

Gardening

Education for All

Helping NGOs

Seeds for Needy





 

 


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