By Emilio Luciano Cricchio
This year’s telethon conducted by the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund raised almost $10 million through multiple donations made during the annual fundraiser. The motto this year was: “To my beloved Armenia, water and sun for communities.” The funds will be used to facilitate projects aimed at supplying solar energy and clean water access for over 100 communities in Nagorno Karabakh and the Shirak, Lori and Tavush regions of Armenia.
The charity managed to raise $11 million in 2018, and $12.5 million in 2017, meaning that this is the third year in a row that the amount raised has decreased.
During this year’s telethon, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan made an appearance and celebrated the many successes of the All-Armenian Fund.
Pashinyan applauded the many projects of the All-Armenian Fund, stating that "since inception, the All-Armenian Fund has built 635 km roads, apartments for 970 families and 585 km of water pipelines.”
He further challenged Armenian celebrities in the US: Kim Kardashian, Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit and Serj Tankian, to get involved, increase awareness of the All-Armenian Fund and to challenge 3 other Armenians to do the same. Pashinyan also encouraged small donations of $23 (10,000 AMD) a month, stating that if more people donate small amounts then the charity can achieve more.
Alexis Ohanian and Serj Tankian responded quickly, with Alexis Ohanian tweeting: “You got it.” Serj Tankian too responded to the challenge, committing to a donation of 23 a month for the fund. Tankian also nominated producer Eric Esrailian, comedian Vahe Berberian, and actress Angela Safaryan.
The major donors of #telethon2019 are:
1. “Tashir group” / Samvel Karapetyan $1,500,000
2. Samvel Aleksanyan $200,000
3. Vardanyan family “Grand Holding” 60,000,000 AMD / $125,961
4. Commercial banks 57,000,000 AMD / 119,663$
5. Ararat bank 40.000.000 AMD / $83,974
6. The Police of the RA 19,500,000 AMD / $40,937
7. Apaven LTD 16,000,000 AMD / $33,589
8. ACBA-CREDIT AGRICOLE BANK 15,000,000 AMD / $31,490
9. “Petak” trade center/ Varujan Grigoryan 10,000,000 AMD / $20,993
The All-Armenian Fund has faced trouble in recent years. The former executive of the fund, Ara Vardanyan, is in custody for misappropriating the funds of the charity organization which he in turn used for personal reasons. Under new management led by Haykak Arshamyan, the fund is attempting to regain the public’s trust.
Founded in 1992, the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund is a unique organization working to create a panarmenian network to support Armenia and Armenians around the world to implement projects ensuring the proportional and sustainable development of Armenia and Artsakh. Since its inception in 1992, the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund has implemented over 1,300 major projects in Armenia and Artsakh in infrastructure, healthcare, social welfare, arts and sports. The work of the fund is implemented with the active participation and support of its 21 affiliates and partner organizations in 19 countries.