A Century of Save the Children’s Assistance to Armenian Refugees

Thursday 25 June 2015

Armenian refugee children in Syria, having fled Turkey during World War II

On June 20, Save the Children in close partnership with the British Embassy in Armenia organized a photo exhibition on the occasion of the World Refugee Day.

The exhibition told the story of inclusiveness, humanitarian aid, spirit of volunteerism and tolerance.

The cornerstone of the exhibition was the archive photos of Save the Children support provided to Armenian refugees in Syria (who fled Turkey) after World War I, and the assistance that is currently provided to their fourth generation who has taken refuge from Syria to Armenia. The archive photos are courtesy of the British Embassy in Armenia and the London-based Centre for Armenian Information & Advice Hayashen, who kindly provided the archive photos.

“In May 1919 Save the Children was set up by two extraordinary British sisters, who felt that they could not stand by while refugee children were left destitute and starving after WW1.  Their determination and fundraising efforts saved the lives of thousands of children, including many Armenian children in Syria and the Soviet Union,” said Katherine Leach, the British Ambassador to Armenia. “I’m delighted we can tell this story today – and highlight the vital work Save the Children is still doing in Armenia and across the world as a global champion of children’s rights.”

The exhibition also shared the memories and results of Save the Children’s assistance to refugees in Armenia since 2004. Nine various projects were showcased, which helped refugees from Syria, Iraq and Azerbaijan get culturally and economically integrated, have improved shelter, get access to cultural, educational, health, child protection and participation activities.

“For me, this event is not only about the forced journey of the Armenian nation, but also about the evolution of Save the Children to become a helping hand for children in 120 countries of the world,” said Arsen Stepanyan, Save the Children Armenia Country Director.

Save the Children established its presence in Armenia in 1993. Since 2004, Save the Children Armenia Representative Office has been implementing refugee assistance programs through funding from the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, UNHCR and the European Union.

More photos of the event can be found here: