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Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh)

Karintak

From 1997 – 2000, LCO implemented one of its first projects in Artsakh.

The village of Karintak is located in the Shushi region of Artsakh just below of the city of Shushi on the left bank of the Karkar River. It is also very possible that the village existed as far back as medieval times. Armenians have always inhabited Karintak. 19th and 20th century documents testify that Karintak has a church called Sourp Astvadzadzin.

During Artsakh’s war of independence, Karintak was an important area of defense for the city of Shushi.  Because of the knowledge of the terrain and area, many villagers had assisted in the liberation and defense of Shushi.

Because of the great sacrifice to the Artsakh’s liberation, LCO wanted to give back to their village.  The villagers requested that renovation of their community center. The roof, windows, floors and interior and exterior were all renovated.  The center was completed in time for it to be used for political campaigns and debates during the Artsakh elections.  A few years later, from the LCO example of volunteerism, the villagers themselves renovated their own schoolhouse.

Shushi Central Regional Hospital

In 2001, led by Land and Culture Organization/Organisation Terre et Culture(OTC)-France, this was our second project in Artsakh.

The Shushi Central Regional Hospital was built in 1972 to provide the medical needs of the inhabitants of the Shushi region.  The hospital housed 110 beds, an emergency department, and a medical staff specializing in internal and infectious diseases, surgery obstetrics gynecology, gynecology, and pediatrics.

After the capture of Shushi by the Azeris during the war, the hospital was confiscated and the infrastructure (internal walls, operating rooms, kitchen, boiler), equipment, furniture, and medical instruments were stolen or destroyed.  After the cease-fire, the polyclinic had undergone renovation; however, the hospital was still in a miserable state of disrepair.  The medical needs of the communities in the Shushi region continue to grow, as the city and neighboring villages are experiencing a population growth.

LCO/OTC decided that this community development project was vital for the sustainability of Shushi and its regional inhabitants.  After several years, LCO volunteers helped in the completion the entire third floor of the hospital.  The organization with support from a grant from the Union of French Armenian Medical Professionals helped to renovate patient, delivery, and surgery rooms. In the summer of 2009, the Shushi Central Regional Hospital celebrated its’ opening, and the first surgeries were performed in the renovated rooms by guest physicians from Armenia and France.
  • "There are experiences you shape and then there are experiences that shape you. The LCO Campaign of 2007 in the village of Azat offered me invaluable perceptions into the realities of my fellow Armenian brothers and sisters in a way only a true immersion program can. I urge everyone and anyone who might feel an inkling of belonging to this fascinating country, people, and history to sign up with the campaign immediately. I smile just thinking about what you have yet to experience."
    Noushig K, Azat 2007, CA, USA

  • "Coming back from a 4-day trip to Kharabagh really felt like coming back home, with our family waiting to greet us outside our house. That's when I realised just how attached we'd grown to the place, to our family, to the other volunteers"
    Anoosh Gasparian, Azat 2009, London UK

  • "I went to this trip with no expectations, and came back with a great appreciation for our country.  Life in the village is surreal, the food is beyond delicious and the people are incredibly nice. It was a once in a lifetime experience I will never forget!"  Sam Tahmasian, 2009, CA, USA
  • "LCO is an amazing concept. It introduced the deprived Diasporan to their land and their people. It is a wonderful introduction to Armenia and something every young man or woman should experience."
    Madlene Minassian Ispirian, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, Yerevan, Armenia

  • "My most memprable experience was being so warmly taken care by an old village couple, receiving gifts from them, giving them gifts and establishing bonds."
    Naira Der-Kiureghian, Ayroum 2003, CA, USA

  • "...I know that when I reflect back on this experience I will feel ecstatic about the work we accomplished, the things we saw, and the bonds we forged."
    Hovig Saghdejian, Ayroum 2003, California, USA

  • "Dolma is made with mum's careful instructions, grandmothers eyes found on the faces of children, songs of Ararat are as familiar as the Khachkars dotting the landscape. If it smells like home, looks like home then it must be home."
    Datevig Simonian, Shadvan 2004, California, USA

  • "LCO experience was a revelation for me. It gave me the opportunity to expand my horizons both personally and professionally. One of the most important experiences of my life and an important factor in determining my future goals."
    Lara Aharonian, August 1999, August 2001, Montreal, Canada.

  • "I formed strong bonds with my volunteers, and the difference in backgrounds was refreshing. It was interesting to hear the points of view of different Armenians from other areas of the Diaspora."
    Aramazt Kalaydjian, Shoushi 2003, NY, USA

  • "I loved the simplicity of life in the village, the fresh homemade food is wonderful; that people are the friendliest and most hospitable... the children have the most beautiful faces..."
    Sophia Balakian, Shadvan 2004, New York, USA