At the beginning of the Millennium, the Stepanagert retirement home had the good fortune of receiving the leftovers of a $1 million gift from Louise Simone Manoogian, via the AGBU, from the construction of Alex Manoogian Street. Due to the AGBU closely monitoring and reviewing of work that had been done, the Artsakh government informed the donor that the street cost considerably less than what they had estimated. They asked the donor if they could use the remainder (from what I member Louise telling me, it was $400k) for the renovation of the Stepanakert house for elderly people (see: http://www.agbu.am/index.php?p=agbuarm), to which the donor agreed.
Now we fast-forward to today where we find that once again, reconstruction work is being done to the Stepanakert retirement home. This time, it's a $400k gift via the All-Armenia Fund, from a Moscow-based industrialist and co-financing by the government of Artsakh.
My question is, why is there a need to once again reconstruct/renovate the Stepanakert retirement home? Clearly back in the day, $400k, which would equate to at least $1 million today was enough to replace the restrooms, plumbing system, and cafeteria. Was the work not done correctly 10 years ago by the Artsakh government that it is now in disrepair?
One other thing that caught my attention in the recent story is that they claim that two wings of the home were last upgraded in 1988. I have to ask, were these wings not worked on in 2001, when the AGBU gifted $400k for the renovation of the facility?
Anyway you look at it, someone needs to answer these questions and look into what was done then and what is being done now, since something does not seem to add up.
Reconstruction of Stepanakert Retirement Home Underway
12:14, June 20, 2011
The Hayastan All-Armenian Fund has launched extensive renovations of a landmark Artsakh institution, the Stepanakert Retirement Home. Currently the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund is carrying out the preliminary stage of renovations at the Stepanakert Retirement Home.
The large-scale project was initiated by a benefactor of the fund, Moscow-based industrialist, a vice-president of the National Olympic Committee of Armenia Armen Shakhazizyan, who has donated U.S. $400,000 for its realization, and is co-financed by the government of Artsakh.
The two wings of the Stepanakert Retirement Home were last upgraded in 1988. Commenting on the critical need for a total overhaul, Irina Sargsyan, the home's director, said: "The restrooms, plumbing system, and cafeteria are in a particularly bad shape. We do our best to compensate for the lack of creature comforts, providing our seniors with attentive care and treating them with utmost affection and respect. I am confident that, once the renovations are complete, the Stepanakert Retirement Home will become for our seniors not a so-called last stage, but a wonderful environment where they will enjoy a well-deserved retirement."
"In addition to contributing $300,000 toward Artsakh water-infrastructure initiatives at our Moscow Gala, Mr. Shakhazizyan, founder and CEO of the Luding group of companies, has gone on to make a project-specific donation, seeking to help elderly individuals in Artsakh live a more dignified life," said Ara Vardanyan, executive director of the fund.
The only one of its kind in Artsakh, the Stepanakert Retirement Home accommodates 100 seniors, many of whom have physical disabilities. In addition, it provides supportive services to some 150 seniors at their residences.