By Nune Harutyunyan
Photos by Armen Simonyan
Exclusive SMART Center opens in Lori Province
May 27th marked the opening of the Children of Armenia Fund’s COAF SMART Center in Debed village of Lori Province.

The Fund’s benefactors, supporters, partners, several state officials and other guests of honor honored the opening of the COAF SMART Center with their presence.

Construction of the COAF SMART Center was launched back in 2015, but due to certain essential changes in terms of design, it took longer than expected. Architect Paul Galustian managed to make the structure look like the relief of the territory with his interesting and out-of-the-box solutions and by making sure the structure does not have a great impact on the environment.

The Center is designed for the children, young people and adults of the adjacent villages. Through this Center, they will receive an education that will help them create sources of income and, why not, even stop considering emigration.

Rooms equipped with technologies characterizing the given field have been designed for each field of study. The Center will offer programming and computer courses, English language courses, robot construction courses, dance lessons and more. Alongside this, the Center also has agricultural projects that will promote the development of agriculture in communities.

An outstanding feature of the Center is the exclusive guest house, which is designed for guest specialists and tourists.

Operations Director of the SMART Center Krist Marukyan stated the following: “When you work with children and teachers, you realize that they are limited to the school curriculum and guidelines of the particular school and you feel the need to create an environment in which you can present other programs that will be in the interests of the given community and will help a person feel free. There are plans to have one SMART Center in every province in the course of the next 10 years.”

In his speech, founding Executive Director of the Children of Armenia Fund Garo Armen extended thanks to all those who had supported the creation of the Center and considered the Center one of the achievements of Armenia and the Armenian Diaspora.

Expressing his words of gratitude, RA Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan stated the following: “This generation now has what our generation didn’t, and the future generation will definitely have more. My dear teens, dream and be pretentious because your dreams and pretentions are the goals that must be presented to the government and to all future governments in general.”

The speeches were followed by a concert that marked the end of the event and featured performances by the National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia.