Gateway to the modern world: COAF SMART Rooms

If you made it here to read the blog, you most likely have electricity, Internet access, and a computer or a gadget. Hope you are also warm, safe and sound. Unfortunately, many rural communities in Armenia are devoid of such simple modern amenities, hence its members have to face challenges of connecting to the world,…

The backstage life of a front stage actor

“How often do you go to the theater?” asks Narek Duryan.  “There are no theaters for us to attend,” a response comes from the audience…  Unfortunately, rural communities in Armenia are mostly devoid of entertainment places such as movie theaters, theaters, museums, and cafes. People need to pass a long way to reach the “guilty…

Welcome to Aren’s mini handmade factory  

You hear the buzzing and clanging sounds filling the room as Aren, 15, turns on the machines one after the other. Welcome to the mini-factory of Aren Bulghadaryan, a COAF SMART Musical Instruments student from Vahagni village. Unlike most machine factories, here everything is handmade and “made of pure imagination”. Aren has been a longtime…

Grandpa Aghvan, Martin Luther King and Garo Armen

When many years ago little Aghvan Mnatsakanyan said he wanted to become a president, none of his family members laughed and none of them said it was impossible. And his grandpa, Aghvan Mnatsakanyan, Sr., encouraged him, stating that a child should get the best education in order to serve the homeland. Aghvan Mnatsakanyan, Sr, was…

Therapy Through Theater: A Five-Year Journey

How it started: My Theater in Karakert In 2012, COAF’s Child and Family Support Team launched a novel project called Psychological Theater. They were looking for a way to help rural children overcome shyness, low self-esteem and various other self-image obstacles. With the envisioning of Psychological Theater as an art therapy project, COAF designed the…