Die Spenden aus dem Projekt Postcards for Peace werden schon diese Woche an Sose Women's Issues NGO weitergeleitet. Die gemeinnützige Organisation ist der Umsetzungspartner von OneArmenia bei Projekten für Geflüchtete und Vertriebene aus Bergkarabach. Letzte Woche habe ich ein Interview mit der Gründerin von Sose, Liana Sahakyan geführt und gefragt, was sie zu der Gründung der Organisation 2003 motiviert hat. Liana hat auch erzählt, wie Sose vertriebene Menschen aus Bergkarabach unterstützt und wie unsere Spenden dazu beitragen werden. Das Interview wurde auf Englisch durchgeführt.
- How did Sose Women’s Issues NGO emerge?
Our organisation emerged as a result of my personal experiences and experiences of other women in my surrounding. The social and economic crisis in Armenia in the 1990s was severe. These were the “cold and dark years” as Armenians describe the situation back then.
I was 22 when I got married and became pregnant. I was searching for an organisation to inform myself on my issues, to share my problems and ask the questions I had. The only place I could go to, was the hospital where they only had an X-ray and blood pressure equipment but no form of consultation services. All of this made me very sad. However I understood that I should not wait for external help but do something about it by myself.
I started organising meetings with young women like myself. In each of these meetings we discussed one topic that we were interested in: nutrition, domestic violence, gender equality etc. Then we decided to create an NGO that will take care of women’s issues in our region. We worked voluntarily for 6 years until 2009 and received an award for civil activism and volunteering from the US Embassy in Armenia.
- What are the goals of Sose?
Our goal is to strengthen women in Armenia and particularly in Goris in their political and personal lives. We named our organisation after Sose Mayrik, a woman who fought in the Armenian Liberation Movement of the late 19th beginning of the 20th century together with her husband. It is our message to the society on gender equality.
After the war in Artsakh started we enlarged the framework of our work to help refugees in Goris and ease their problems.
- How big is your team? What are your major activities?
Our staff consists of 8 members: the president, an accountant, two social workers, a social teacher, a psychologist, a PR specialist and a project assistant.
Our major activities are in the sphere of gender equality, social entrepreneurship, women’s political empowerment.
We are also a partner organisation of the Ministry of Labor and Social Issues of Armenia and the official contact point for people subjected to domestic violence in the Syunik Region of Armenia. We offer them psychological, judicial and social help.
- Why did you decide to take care of the displaced families during the war?
Our organisation is based in Goris, Southern Armenia. Our region was the closest to the front line thus the first point of contact for the refugees. We could not lean back seeing the great number of displaced people here and decided to help. We had all the required organisational structures and specialists and started our support activities on the second day of the war.
We have already helped over 4500 families and continue doing so. Their major needs included food, hygiene, medicine, bed supplies, clothes, electric heaters. This week we are opening a sewing workshop for women incl. refugees where they learn sewing professionally. There they will have the opportunity to earn money and socially connect with others in the same situation.
- Postcards for Peace raised around 2.700 Euro to support displaced people. What will these funds make possible?
We are going to use this funding to provide beddings, warm clothes, shoes and kitchen supplies.
P.S. Liebe Unterstützer*innen,
genau so wie Ihr, warte ich mit großer Ungeduld auf unsere Postkarten. Durch die Wetterlage letzte Woche kam es zu Verzögerungen bei dem Druck und Lieferung. Es dauert noch ein paar Tage bis sie Euch erreichen werden. Ich danke für Euer Verständnis.