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2010 Campaign Village Fact Sheet

The Church of Sourp Astvatsatsin in the Village of Yeghvard in Armenia:

The village is located in the Syunik region of Armenia, 14 km South East from the city of Kapan, a small village of less than 300 inhabitants.  Most probably it is similar to the village of Aghahord in Muys Bagh or Qashuniq gavar mentioned in the list of settlements by the historian Stepanos Orbelyan.

Throughout its history Yeghvard was subject to a number of invasions including: the 8th century Arabs’ invasion, the 11th century Seljukids’ invasion and the 13th century Mongols’ invasion.  These resulted in the destruction of the village on a number of occasions.

Village_Fact_Building

Before OTC 2007 campaign

This three nave church is in the center of the village; on the front stone above its only southern entrance, the fate of its constructions is carved “1700”.  It was build with local multi-colored roughly worked limestone and sandstone and joined by lime mortar.  There are medieval Khatchkars and grave stones inserted in the walls.

A number of grave-tombs are located in the yard on the eastern and southern sides of the church, while 30 meters south is the grave of one of the most devoted and bravest comrade-in-arms of David Bek’s army general Toros Ishkan who fought for the liberation of Syunik.  Finally, on the Western part of the southern square of the church a monument to the martyrs of the World War II from Yeghvard has been built.

 

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Volunteers working on outside of the building

The first campaign started in 2007 by Organisasion Terre et Culture, where the volunteers, led by historical monuments and architect specialist Levon Vassilian, undertook the initial archaeological searches and excavations necessary to the planning of the Church renovation.  Despite the state of the Church, LCO initiated and organized a number of baptisms with the assistance of the priests coming from Kapan, the main city of the Syunik region.

Since 2007, LCO has completed the most urgent works such as the reconstruction of the windows and the roof of the Church.  In 2010, LCO and its volunteers will be working on the consolidation of the walls, the pillars and the vault of the Church.  LCO will also start rebuilding the pem of the choir and the altar inside the Church.

Building upon completion of the 2008 campaign.
  • "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