Where my grandfather planted apricot trees

I was born in Yerevan in 1989, we left Armenia when I was 9 years old. I grew up in the Netherlands, studied, worked and lived all over the world. I was restless and curious until one day I decided to return to Armenia for the first time, at the age of 28. I booked a 3 week trip and ended up staying for 6 months, traveling, discovering, grounding. I fell in love with a country full of challenges.

Right after the revolution in 2018 I returned to Armenia, straight to Sarigyugh, this time I was determined to make a difference. I had seen the potential of this town, tasted the delicious fruits growing in sunny valleys and met with children dwelling on the streets everyday. I couldn't blame them, there was nothing to do. The cultural center had been demolished some 15 years ago. There were no resources for clean drinking water, let along any kind of community activity, sports, culture. I knew I could make a difference, even if it was minuscule.

I believe that all children, despite of their geographic location and economic resources, should have access to services that enhance their talents and provide a save space for creative expression, dialogue and learning. Project SARI aims to provide this platform for the community in general and the children in specific. We have been active for a year now and we achieved unimaginable results already. We keep learning, adjusting and expanding every day. You should come take a look!

- Lucine Ellarian