Starting September 1, the second charity canteen will operate in Stepanakert

Starting September 1, the second charity canteen will operate in Stepanakert

On September 1, the second charity canteen will open next to St. Hakob Church in Stepanakert. It will operate on the premises of the “Malibu” children’s cafe, which closed due to the blockade.

The charity canteen program in Stepanakert was initiated by the “Artsakh Security and Development Front” public movement, the social sphere working group of the “We Are Our Mountains” territorial development agency, as well as with the blessing and involvement of the Diocese of Artsakh of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

The first canteen was opened on August 15, next to the Holy Mother of God Cathedral in Stepanakert. 300-350 people, mostly minors and elderly, are fed there daily. Additionally, volunteers deliver prepared meals to over 70 seniors and disabled individuals every day.

A purchase contract for the public catering service of both the first and second canteens was signed with a specialized private company.

 “The first restaurant has been operating for more than two weeks and, unfortunately, we see that it is in high demand. It was difficult for us to open the second canteen in the conditions of complete blockade, but we understood that this is the most important project to undertake in this situation, so we tried our best to open the second. We were able to find private companies that also procure from villages. Unfortunately, in this situation, we cannot say how long these restaurants will be open. They will remain in operation as long as they manage to receive food,” said Armen Mangasaryan, head of social programs for the “We Are Our Mountains” agency.

In addition to the main objective of providing food to the most affected population groups as a result of the blockade, social-charitable canteens also offer psychological support. They offer an environment of socialization, thereby combating isolation. The purpose of operating in the vicinity of churches is that from time to time, meetings of the clergy with the public can also be organized. Furthermore, the two churches are located in different parts of the city, so that children and elderly from one end of the city will not have to walk to the other in order to access this service.

The canteen will serve visitors from 13:00 to 15:00. Children under 16 and their companions, as well as pregnant women and senior citizens over 65 years of age, can become beneficiaries of the program.

Since December 12, 2022, Azerbaijan has kept Artsakh under blockade. Until June 15, 2023, it was possible to receive a small amount of humanitarian cargo through the Berdzor (Lachin) corridor with the support of the Russian peacekeeping troops and the International Committee of the Red Cross. On June 15, 2023, Azerbaijan completely banned the transport of cargo, trapping Artsakh under complete siege and creating a humanitarian crisis. In this situation, the “Artsakh Security and Development Front” public movement and the “We Are Our Mountains” agency had to stop a number of infrastructure projects and initiate urgent programs aimed at alleviating the difficulties Artsakh Armenians face in this dire situation.

 

“Artsakh Security and Development Front” public movement

 

“We Are Our Mountains” territorial development agency

COOPERATING ORGANIZATIONS