The treatment of the two grandchildren affected by Infantile Cerebral Palsy and the problems of other children having disabilities made Melanya Yepremyan create the center “Astghavard” in Vardenis city in 2003. The center is an NGO for the parents of the children having disabilities, the mission of which is to help children with disabilities and provide the necessary conditions for their integration into the society.
Besides the services of physiotherapy, logopedist, children’s psychologist and other treatments the center also organizes daytime training classes free of charge for the children of the families with insufficient resources and for their parents. During the classes the children and their parents obtain skills, which will later help them not only in everyday life, but also in their sphere of work.
The operation of “Astghavard” depends on grands mostly, which are, unfortunately, not permanent and are directed to the temporary movement of the children, to the symbolic payment of the specialists and to the food of the children. The 500 square meter land given by the state many years ago was transformed from a dump place into a warm, welcoming home by the efforts of Ms. Melanya and the parents of the children. Unfortunately it is not possible to operate in winter months without heating. The heating system structured in the building works rarely, because one of the problems of the center is finding funds for the heating ($350 monthly). It is the most important thing to provide a warm environment in the center.
The work with the children with disabilities must be continuous, since it brings forth muscle system and mental development. But without permanent funding and own vehicle the trainings are sometimes stopped until finding a grant for the center. The specialists mostly work as a benevolence, and the parents do not have the opportunity to take their children to the center from the nearest regions.