ARS Georgia has launched the “Dinner Day” Project in Javakhk. Despite its limited financial capabilities, ARS Georgia decided to go ahead with the project so that those in need, including the retired and homebound, feel– even if for just one day – wanted and cared for and to show them that they are not forgotten or ignored.
This project, which took shape on April 5, 2012, on the occasion of the Easter Holidays, involved 47 retirees, indigents and recluse persons from the town of Akhalkalak and surrounding villages of Olaverd, Samsar, Bavra, Diliska and others. The oldest participant was 94-year-old Granny Mariam, who really needed to socialize with her peers. The meals were served at the “Syuze” Restaurant in Akhalkalak, which welcomed the guests and treated them with a rich variety of dishes served in a gracious atmosphere.
To put the participants at ease, as they were overwhelmed by the unusually warm welcome and affable treatment by the hosts, the Chairperson of the ARS/Georgia Executive Board, Karine Tatevosian, explained to them that this kind of service to those in need is nothing unusual for the Diasporan ARS entities, and that they should feel at home and enjoy their meal. The Chairperson continued by describing the global structure, the wide scope of activities, and current programs of the ARS to the participants. Over the meal, ARS members conversed with the participants about the meaning and message of Easter and Resurrection, ending with pleasantries and good humor, affording them a few hours of enjoyment, away from daily concerns.
Sarkis, an inhabitant of the village of Samsar, expressed his best wishes, thanking the Armenian Relief Society not only for that evening’s hospitality – which was attended also by his wife and their grandchildren – but also for ARS Georgia’s continuous support of his family.
After a feast that lasted for almost 4 hours, the participants departed with assurances of meeting again, “thanking the Society for the happy hours made possible by this program, wishing the ARS success in all its endeavors”, as described by an ARS Georgia executive board member.
It is worth noting that the ARS Georgia executive also took care of the transportation expenses of the participants in its “Dinner Day” from and to the villages. Many of the participants also received donations of clothes and shoes.