Little Sisters of Jesus in Armenia, from Achotzk

Our Lady of Nareg HospitalOur Lady of Nareg Hospital

I have lived in Armenia for fourteen years now thanks to the opening of the hospital of Our Lady of Nareg where I am still working. This hospital continues to serve a wide region including the Armenian villages of Georgia and all those who need care, above all the poorest. The presence of the hospital is a point of reference for everyone.

This presence wants to be a sign of the Love of God and the Church for the poorest. It is through the hospital that I have known a lot of families from all the villages. Families who do not have enough to live on, in fact who live in misery without hope for a better life. There is so little work. We have so many young mothers who are alone with their children because their husbands have left for Russia to work, some of whom never return, while others die of sickness or are killed. Many of the women do not have husbands and many are very young often less than twenty.

The economic situation of the country does not improve. On the contrary, it gets worse with the fall of the dollar every week. As a consequence the poor have more and more problems. The price of flour has doubled, and for the poor, bread is the essential food. With the new exchange rate, those who work in Russia find themselves with a little money when they return. We even know friends who went to work recently in Erevan and came back without being paid. This fall of the dollar effects everyone. It also makes it very difficult for us to balance the budget at the hospital.

Each of the families that I know has its story. That is why Father Mario, a Camillian priest, director of the hospital, tries to help the most deprived by finding sponsors for the children. These sponsors of course, help the whole family, often providing food like pasta and rice.

For many it is a fight to live but what joy to see some of these young mothers begin to smile again at life despite all that they suffer!

There would be so much to say about each one, but it is impossible. We do not see a lot of change in the lives of the poorest who just cannot manage. It is a vicious circle which we cannot break. The needs are immense and the means are insufficient. There is not enough work for each family to make a living. That is the biggest problem.

To try to help the families in need, at least the most deprived, Father Mario began finding Italian families to be sponsors. Father Pierre who works with the Church of Georgia has also found some sponsors in France. A Polish family is also helping.

Nearly all the children are now going to school, at least until they are 16 years old, even if they have difficulty in buying books and notebooks. For that too, the poorest need help. There are problems for all those who can no longer continue to study. You must pay, always pay, even to pass an exam.

I am happy to have this opportunity to share our news. Please do think of us and keep all our friends in your prayers.