“A Hot Plate”-a new initiative for villagers

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Nearly 400 residents of the Noramarg village of Ararat Province of Armenia received food as assistance through the “A Hot Plate” initiative launched in March 2017. Hayern Aysor’s correspondent talked about the program with initiator Gabriel Panosyan.

Hayern Aysor: Mr. Panosyan, how did you come up with the idea of undertaking this initiative? What is the purpose?

Gabriel Panosyan: I started thinking about the “A Hot Plate” initiative in the winter when I visited Noramarg village and saw people who were unemployed and had no income. When I asked them what they are waiting for, they said they were waiting for God’s mercy. I returned home and decided to do something to help those people. I thought to myself that those people needed hot food. I contacted three of my acquaintances, and they agreed to make donations. I informed the head of the village about the initiative, and he welcomed it and gave me a list of the people who needed the food the most. Since I have a plot of land in that village, I decided to open a cafeteria and serve hot food to hundreds of residents of the village every day. However, I realized that this would be a difficult and time-consuming task, and so I decided to prepare meals and tell the villagers to come and take them. Touring the village, I noticed that it wouldn’t be convenient for the villagers to travel about three kilometers a day and take the meals home on the dilapidated roads. I realized that the best way would be to distribute the food to the villagers. Last week, we distributed meals to the people who needed them the most, and on 15 March, we distributed meals to nearly 65 families.

Hayern Aysor: Who is engaged in this program? How is it financed?

Gabriel Panosyan: I am doing this with my friends. We provided the villagers with rice, flour, macaroni, vegetable oil and potatoes.  The members of the youth wing of Musaler Compatriotic Union generously helped us with packaging and distributing the assistance for five days. Taking the opportunity, I would like to thank them for coming and helping us carry out this program.

Hayern Aysor: Mr. Panosyan, will this initiative be ongoing? What other programs will you be carrying out in the future?

Gabriel Panosyan: This is a two-month program. If we find donators, it will definitely be ongoing. As far as the new programs are concerned, when were distributing the assistance, I thought we could provide the villagers with potato seeds so that they could sow the seeds and have potatoes all year long. We will also distribute the seeds to the villagers after they are registered.

Interview by Arpi Tilikyan