They got shelter…
“Thank you, kind people!” This is the beginning of a letter addressed to the editorial office of “Novoe Vremya” periodical and Mission Armenia signed by Maria Aslanova, a 91-year-old refugee from Baku, Azerbaijan. You will ask the reason? The woman, which is an oil industry technologist by speciality, author of a textbook for higher educational schools, owner of many orders and medals, together with two sons was deprived of any corner to live in. When Mission Armenia employees first went to her, she was in a so-called bed consisted of a mouldering metal bedstead with lots of garbage around. How did it happen? Her story is as follows.
Mrs. Aslanova, who was a one-time famous leader of an Azerbaijani trade union, became one of the victims of the well-known events against the Armenians in Azerbaijan in 1990. Due to her acquaintances in Baku, together with her 97-year-old mother, she managed to leave the country on a terry-boat. Then they arrived in Krasnovodsk, Turkmenistan and later came to Armenia where they lived in various communal centers and sanatoriums before they could settle in their home in Yerevan. Seemed like everything would be ok, but they soon lost their house and had to wander from one place to another in search of a place to live. As a result, since June 2004 they – Maria and her two sons (the sons had come from various towns of the former Soviet Union where they spent several years in search of job) had to stay at a half-wrecked dangerous building without any doors and windows.
Mission Armenia heard about these unfortunate people from an article published in “Novoe Vremya” and hurried to extend a helping hand. Maria was taken to the organization’s Health Recovery Center. The old woman writes in her letter: “This was what I needed first of all. They accepted me warmly, affectionately, and laid me on a snow-white bed in a tidy room, and for the first time for a long period I felt like a human being. The only thing I needed for full happiness was a good book.”
This story has a happy end. Fortunately, soon the problem of the shelter of these people was resolved as well. The Department of Migration and Population under the Government of Armenia allocated a room in a Communal Center to them. And though the room was dirty, without window glasses and a sink, Mission Armenia quickly arranged everything for the family.
Mrs. Aslanova writes: “I want to mention that whoever I met at the charity organization, irrespective of their position and grade, were skillful and worthy of respect. It is a great plus for the organization and it is the achievement of its President, Hripsime Kirakosyan.”
“Thank you, kind people”, is the end of Maria’s letter.