The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative declared a new round of support for the projects in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) that help the people facing a grave humanitarian crisis in the aftermath of the 2020 war. Following the adjustment announced last year, 2021 Aurora Prize Laureate Julienne Lusenge has selected 13 projects that will receive the Prize funds and use them to alleviate the acute needs of the local population. Overall, with the Aurora Co-Founders’ matching contribution, Aurora will allocate $500,000 to the projects in Artsakh in this stage.
The sixth annual Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity was awarded to Julienne Lusenge, a human rights defender helping the victims of wartime sexual violence, on October 9, 2021, at the Ceremony organized on the San Lazzaro Island in Venice, Italy. Thanks to the funds she has decided to allocate and to the generous contribution from the Co-Founders, Aurora will be able to support thirteen projects in Artsakh focused on healthcare (6 projects), education, culture, and sports (3 projects), social development (2 projects), humanitarian aid (1 project), and restoration (1 project).
Below you can find the full list of projects to be supported by Julienne Lusenge and Aurora:
- Orthopedic surgeries in Artsakh (Travelling Doctors of Armenia NGO)
- Development of the only orthotic center in Artsakh (Ortholab LLC)
- Hand in Hand Dental Center (Hand in Hand Dental Charity Organization)
- Hanganak Elder Clinic. Support for the expansion of the program in Stepanakert (Armenian Women’s Welfare Association, Inc. (AWWA))
- New school for the displaced children in Dahrav, Askeran (Aprelu Artsakh (Artsakh to Live) Foundation)
- Development project for the rural communities of Artsakh (Revived Motherland NGO)
- Waste to Warmth. A Social Enterprise for Eco-Friendly Fuel Alternatives in Border Communities in Armenia (Near East Foundation)
- Renovation and Expansion of Machkalashen School (Tufenkian Charitable Foundation)
- Supporting the provision of healthcare services on breast, thyroid, and cervical cancer prevention for the population of border regions (Armenian-American Wellness Center)
- Give a Step, Give an Opportunity. Supporting the acquisition of a stand-bed and 10 "Qaylaber" digital devices to monitor the rehabilitation of people with disabilities (QaylTech LLC)
- Digital Artsakh. Supporting the empowerment of young people in village communities of Artsakh (“I” Educational Foundation)
- Knowledge-Based Agriculture Is the Future of Intensive Agriculture. Educational trainings on the cultivation of greenhouse crops (Education for Future NGO)
- Doctors for Artsakh. Supporting the organization of working trips of doctors to provide medical services to people in Artsakh (Fund for Armenian Relief)
“Where there is war, where there is conflict, there is always human suffering. But the Armenian people have proven that even in suffering, one can find inspiration to help others going through a similar experience. I’m very grateful for the honor of being named the 2021 Aurora Prize Laureate and excited about the opportunity to support the people of Artsakh who have suffered because of the war,” said Julienne Lusenge, co-founder of Women's Solidarity for Inclusive Peace and Development (SOFEPADI) and Fund for Congolese Women (FFC).
On December 12, 2021, the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative and UN Armenia organized a Christmas Market in Yerevan, Armenia. All proceeds from the event, around $25,000, are directed to the projects helping displaced people in Armenia, with Aurora using the money to ensure food security for displaced people from Nagorno-Karabakh. Socially vulnerable families will be provided with food (potatoes, cabbage, cheese, etc.) for consumption during the winter season. In addition, those interested in cultivating potatoes will be given seeds originating from the Gavar region, famous for its high-quality potato crops. This initiative is expected to benefit over 3,200 people and the project will be implemented by the Azhdahak Social and Environmental Center NGO.
Since the launch of the humanitarian program for Artsakh, Aurora has already allocated more than $1,740,000 to support 80 projects in Artsakh implemented by both local and international partners and helped 131,000 people in the region. Overall, the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative has benefitted over 2,600,000 people worldwide.
However, there is more work to be done, and for that, the movement must grow further in size, scope, and reach. In order to make a difference and join Aurora’s vision of a better future, created by our imagination and shared humanity, please support the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative by making a donation here.
Top photo: Armine Barkhudaryan, founder of Traveling Doctors of Armenia, examines a patient