Knarik Simonyan has loved coming to the Little Prince Center, a CNEWA-funded project of Caritas Armenia in Artashat, Armenia, several times a week for the past three years.
“I love everything here – dancing, sewing, physical education and ethics classes,” she says. “I feel that by coming here my life becomes brighter.”
Knarik is one of nearly 100 children currently enrolled in the after-school program, offered to children from vulnerable communities and low-income families.
Gayane Hovhannisyan, a social worker, says the center tries to offer these children a safe, bright space where they can develop socially and intellectually and where some of their physical needs can be met through healthy meals and exercise.
The children are encouraged to join as many classes as they like, including dancing, sewing and computer science. The center also helps parents develop parenting skills.
“Our team consists of individuals with a range of different specializations,” says Gayane. “Within their capacity, each of them tries to bring positive changes to the children’s lives.”
Liana, Knarik’s mother, has seen a significant change in her daughter since starting at the center.
“My child wouldn’t communicate with anyone before, but now she is cheerful and happy,” she says.
As part of the parent program, Liana has learned sewing and other marketable and life skills.
“I come here with joy, because the mood is great here. We are treated with respect,” she says.
Catch a glimpse of the broad programming offered to vulnerable children and their families at the Little Prince Center in the video below.