Armenian Frontier Villages Fundraiser

This event is no longer on sale.

Thursday March 14

6:30 PM  –  9:00 PM

About the Cause

Armenia is a small, landlocked nation of only 3 million people between Europe and Asia. The majority of Armenians—another 7 million people—live outside Armenia. 

Due to political and territorial disputes, two of Armenia’s four neighboring countries, Turkey and Azerbaijan, have closed their borders and blockaded access to Armenia, severely impeding economic development and opportunity. You can help support children living in the small villages near the border with Turkey: Yervandashat, Bagaran, and two other communities, each with a population fewer than 1,500 residents. These villages have very low standards of living and limited opportunities for children, particularly children with disabilities.

One of UC Davis’s Humphrey Fellows for this year, Irina Mkrtchyan, is the co-founder of a new non-governmental organization based in Yervandashat, Innovative Solutions for Sustainable Development of Communities (ISSD). ISSD’s mission is to ensure sustainable development in Armenia through innovative projects in waste management, agriculture, education, and business, and to promote a circular economy and women’s empowerment. The goal is to help raise the standard of living for these rural communities. 

ISSD is starting a new children’s club in the Bagaran community school that will provide after-school activities, including games and computer literacy development. ISSD plans to renovate a classroom to make it accessible for children with disabilities from all four communities, who currently have limited access to education. ISSD also intends to build a playground in each village, giving children opportunities to make friends and enjoy childhood while their caregivers have more free time to develop skills and work outside the home.

$6,000 will fund the classroom for students with disabilities, including:

  • Renovating the room for accessibility
  • Computer/projector
  • Whiteboards
  • Bean bag chairs, regular chairs, and tables
  • Books (including tactile/sensory and braille books), workbooks, and stationary
  • Educational posters

$4,000 will fund a playground, including:

  • Construction of playground equipment
  • Purchase of swings and slides
  • Sand play area and toys
  • Climbing wall
  • Open air mini exercise station

Any additional funds raised will be used by ISSD to help rural communities increase their living standards.

To donate without attending the event, click here

About the Event

This International Women’s Day-themed event will take place on Thursday, March 14 at 6:30 pm at International House Davis (10 College Park, Davis, CA 95616). You will have an opportunity to enjoy homemade dinner from Armenia, Estonia, Russia, Georgia, and other countries. The menu will offer choices of 3 soups, 2 salads, 2 main dishes, and 2 desserts. Water, tea, and lemonade will also be served. There will be vegetarian and gluten-free options available. Entertainment will include local music from a variety of countries, trivia, and a silent auction.

Donors can sign up to receive updates about the project, and information will be available on ISSD’s Facebook page and website. Event attendees who provide their full mailing address will also receive hand-made postcards from the kids who benefit from these projects.

This fundraiser is organized by 2018-2019 UC Davis Humphrey Fellows Irina Mkrtchyan (Armenia) and Kristel Noges (Estonia). To learn more about the project or this fundraiser, you may contact Irina Mkrtchyan at or (530) 760-8154. You may visit the website or Facebook page of ISSD to learn more about their other projects.

Can't attend but still want to support the cause? Donate here!