AGBU Detroit Raises over $130,000 for Armenia Projects

DetroitWorldBank For the past few years, the AGBU Detroit Chapter has quietly yet
effectively focused its efforts on raising funds for various renovation
projects in Armenia. Altogether, 13 projects have been supported, with a
total donation amount of $132,466.54.
The realization of these projects is made possible through the World
Bank/ASIF (Armenian Social Investment Fund) program. Accordingly, the
donor only contributes 10% of the total cost of the project, while the
World Bank furnishes the remaining 90%. Thus, the full cost of these 13
projects actually amounted to $1,325,000.
The projects financed through donations made by individuals and
organizations to AGBU Detroit serve to improve the quality of life,
chiefly in various towns and villages in the remote regions of Armenia.
Projects supported by the funds provided by the Detroit chapter include
the renovation of community centers and schools, the reconstruction of a
health center and a museum, and various rural infrastructure projects.
The backbone of this fundraising is Osep Sarafian, an architect by
profession, who is an Honor Member of AGBU and also serves on the Board
of Directors of the AGBU Alex and Marie Manoogian School in Southfield,
Michigan. Following his first visit to Armenia in 1986, he felt the
urgency to help Armenia through many organizations, of which he was a
member. Since then, he has made more than 30 trips there to oversee the
projects until their satisfactory conclusion.
Once Sarafian saw the efficacy of the ASIF program, he approached AGBU
Detroit, suggesting that support for renovation projects in Armenia
become one of its ongoing activities. After this chapter received
approval from AGBU Central Board of Directors, Sarafian then proceeded
to reach out to donors, members and friends, as well as other community
organizations, many of whom have generously responded with donations
ranging from $5,000 to $20,000.
Sarafian’s endeavors have been supported by his wife, Nadya, who was the
longtime principal of the AGBU Manoogian School before her retirement.
Currently, she serves as the co-chairman of AGBU Detroit and assists her
husband in marshalling donations for various Armenia projects.
The goal of both the Sarafians and AGBU Detroit is to promote the
principles of the AGBU organization by extending a helping hand to their
sisters and brothers living primarily in the rural areas of Armenia.
Established in 1906, AGBU ( is the world’s largest
non-profit Armenian organization. Headquartered in New York City with an
annual budget of $34 million, AGBU preserves and promotes the Armenian
identity and heritage through educational, cultural and humanitarian
programs, annually serving some 400,000 Armenians on six continents.
DetroitWorldBank.jpg: Views of a few of the renovation projects recently
completed in Armenia, thanks to donations made through AGBU Detroit.

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