Armenian Women’s Welfare Association (AWWA)
The Armenian Women’s Wellfare Association (AWWA) story begins in 1915 in Boston, Massachusetts. Ten first generation Armenian women came together to form a non-profit women’s service organization that would focus on aiding and promoting the moral, intellectual, physical and social well-being of the Armenian people. Initially named the Armenian Patriotic Society, the women began aiding Armenian orphans through Near East Relief and shipping clothing and supplies overseas. By 1930, the Depression demanded that the organization refocus its energies locally. Having renamed and incorporated itself as the Armenian Women’s Welfare Association, the group provided fuel, clothing, and other necessities to the Armenian community. Witnessing the growing needs of its own people, the A.W.W.A. set out to establish a Home for the Aged in 1934 and began various fundraising efforts to raise money for the purchase of property. In 1948, after 14 years in pursuit of its goal, the A.W.W.A. founded the first Home for the Aged in Plain. In 1960, the A.W.W.A. built the Armenian Nursing Home, a full-care nursing facility, on the same property. The home began providing rehabilitative care in response to the needs of the community.
Nowdays the former Armenian Nursing Home has been rebuilt and expanded. It was renamed the Armenian Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
The Armenian Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (ANRC) is an 83-bed non-profit skilled nursing facility located in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, and is sponsored by the Armenian Women’s Welfare Association, Inc. (AWWA). The Center serves elderly Armenians and non-Armenians alike by providing the highest quality long-term care as well as outstanding short-term care for residents requiring rehabilitation before returning to their homes.
Since December, 2004 the Armenian Women’s Welfare Association has been the primary sponsor of the Elderly Project in Stepanakert. It’s involvement with Hanganak NGO in Artsakh is an extension of the AWWA’s mission to benefit and support the Armenian community.
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Zaven Ken Darian
New York based Armenian philanthropist Zaven Ken Darian has made a great contribution to the founding and establishment of Hanganak NGO. He was one of the first to respond to the Social and Medical Support to the Elderly Living alone in Stepanakert project, responding immediately by handing over the first $ 1,000 donation that helped establishing the organization. Later, he made his annual donations, thanks to which, in late 2005, an Elderly Medical Center was established at the Hanganak NGO. The necessary equipment and furniture had been purchased for the center’s operation and it was constantly supplied with first aid medicines and medical supplies.
Zaven Ken Daryan was born in 1934 in Beirut. He graduated from Haigazian College in Beirut. In 1954, at the age of 20, he moved to the United States, where he graduated with a degree in engineering from Pratt University, later he earned a master’s degree from Columbia University. He has worked for more than 40 years in various US and international high-tech corporations as an engineer and retired at the age of 65. In recent years, he has opened his own business and worked in the field of real estate.
After the declaration of independence of Armenia and Karabakh, which, as he himself says, seemed incredible, ever witnessed, he began his charitable activities. There are more than 20 initiatives in his list of activities, including the Roger Hovhannisyan’s Light to Armenian Eyes project, the American University of Armenia, the Tree Project, the Space Laboratory of Armenia, and others.
In the late 90s, he gave great support to the music school in Shushi, and later acquired a cattle farm for the village of Kamir Ghyugh. He sought to create jobs for the peasants, and the farm’s profits to be used for the needs of the local school.
In 1999, Zaven Ken Daryan finally visited Karabakh, visited the farm he bought and the Stepanakert carpet factory, agreeing to finance it in order to create new jobs again.
Later not satisfying with the success of his investments, he began to cooperate with the New York branch of the All-Armenian Fund, periodically making donations to all the initiatives of the Fund. He made his donations to the Hanganak NGO also through the All-Armenian Fund.
In 2001 Zaven Ken Daryan lost his wife. He has two children who also reside in New York City.