Thursday, December 9, 2010

Vanessa Kachadurian- Armenia Honors Consummate Volunteer Physician Louis Najarian

Armenia Honors Consummate Volunteer Physician

Posted By Tom Vartabedian On December 8, 2010
MANHASSET, N.Y.—On the day when a tumultuous earthquake rocked Armenia, Dr. Louis Najarian was back home in New York celebrating a birthday, unaware that buildings were being toppled in Spitak and Gyumri resulting in the loss of more than 25,000 lives.

Dr. Louis Najarian
The date—Dec. 7, 1988—continues to maintain an indelible imprint in the life of this prominent New York physician. Since then, he has made annual trips to the homeland, providing medical support to those in dire need and helping to rehabilitate the country both physically and mentally.

Once and twice a year, he puts his medical practice on hold, takes leave from his family and friends, negates his personal life, and heads to Armenia where he spends weeks providing crisis intervention to victims.

It’s his birthday gift to humanity—a volunteer role he’s played for the past 22 years at no cost to the country. Much of the expense has been absorbed out of his own pocket, except for an occasional stipend. At first, the project was under the auspices of the Armenian Relief Society’s (ARS) Western Region in California. They financed the expense and sent many clinicians to work with him at both cities. Unfortunately, the ARS decided to close the clinics in spite of the tremendous need.

That has not prevented Najarian from traveling and working on his own. He’s become more than enamored by his mission of faith and loyalty.

“The primary goal for a physician is to heal,” he said. “Many choose clinical practice, research or academia. Some aspire to chair departments. Others become administrators. It’s a rare opportunity to influence one’s discipline in an entire country. The earthquake, world political events, and my upbringing with immigrant grandparents [genocide survivors from Govdoon Sepastia] allowed me to give something on their behalf and impact the mental health delivery system of our homeland.”

Now, the country has reached out to Najarian. While presenting a research paper on resilience and an 18-year follow-up on earthquake victims, he was presented a coveted Mghitar Heratsi Gold Medal for contributions in the fields of education, science, and medicine.

The award came as a total surprise from the region’s Yerevan State Medical University and was presented before 150 international specialists attending a three-day conference in October. Also there to applaud him were Dr. Samvel Torossian, chief psychiatrist of Armenia; Dr. Armen Soghoyan, president of the Armenian Psychiatric Association; and Dr. Khachatur Gasparyan, chairman of the Medical University’s department of psychology.

The award followed several others Najarian has received in the past, but from America. His work in psychiatric care has remained pivotal and appreciated. The Gold Medal reflects his highest and proudest achievement.

Mghitar Heratsi was a 6th-century philosopher and physician in Armenia who contributed much toward medical care, research, and humanism at the time. He was often called the Armenian Hippocrates.

The medical institute was part of Yerevan State University until 10 years ago when it was established as a separate university and named Yerevan State Medical University after Mghitar Heratsi.

“A lot of the credit goes to Dean Gohar Kyalyan for doing a tremendous job in renovating the facility and enhancing the quality of medical education in Armenia,” said Najarian. “The curriculum now follows that of Boston University’s Medical School due to the efforts of Dr. Aram Chobanian.”

One week after presenting his paper and being given the medal, Najarian delivered the same research on resilience at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at its annual meeting in New York and received considerable attention.

“There are no specific reports of an 18-year follow-up on the functioning of adults who were traumatized as children,” he pointed out. “Our research on treatment of traumatized children has provided the foundation for intervention in other disasters such as the war in Bosnia, along with September 11 and Hurricane Katrina in this country.”

According to Najarian, all clinicians working in the area of trauma refer first to the “Armenian studies” in the scientific literature.

“Our goal was service, training, scientific inquiry, and the ability to put Armenia on the world psychiatric map,” he added. “Every opportunity I have to address organizations, I encourage people in all disciples that their expertise is needed in Armenia. Many medical specialists have spent time in Armenia as Fulbright Scholars. For me, it’s been an opportunity and privilege to do in Armenia what I have done in New York and I couldn’t let this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity pass.”

Najarian is well-known throughout the Armenian community of America as an activist, proud parent, organizational impresario, and sports aficionado. With a son like Berj, he has no choice at the athletic end. The younger Najarian happens to be the personal secretary to New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick and has three Super Bowl rings to show for it.

Louis and his wife Elenne are also parents to two other sons, Haig and Aram, both college-educated with fine jobs.

“While living in Gyumri for a year (1990-91), Najarian stayed with a family of seven in an attached trailer while working to establish mental health clinics there. He maintained his own sanity by visiting churches and playing his clarinet, also sailing on Lake Sevan and skiing at Dzagnadzor resort.

“I came home twice and Elenne visited me once,” he recalled. “It was a bigger sacrifice for my family but the timing was right for everyone. After I returned, it took me three months to resume a full-time private practice. My family has given me its full support and for that I’ve been thankful.”

Najarian received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Rhode Island and his MD from St. Louis University of Medicine. He continues to work as a clinical professor of psychiatry at New York University of Medicine. His private practice deals primarily with children.

He is a member of the Karaghuesian Corporation Board of Directors in New York, helping supervise the operation of six dental clinics in Armenia in addition to providing medical support to youngsters and families in Beirut and Aleppo. He also belongs to the Parish Council of Holy Martyrs Armenian Church in Bayside.

Where he finds the time to play clarinet with the theatrical group, “The Way We Were,” which staged “Hello Ellis Island,” is anyone’s guess, not to mention skiing with his grandchildren and sailing competitively in Rockport, Mass., where the family owns property.

“The future holds a lifetime of commitment—one person at a time,” he maintains. “I’ll continue to consult and provide continuing education for as long as the opportunity and need persist. It’s been my calling and I’ve answered it.”

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Vanessa Kachadurian-Armenian Telethon raises $20.8 Million

HOLLYWOOD– Armenia Fund concluded its 13th International Telethon on Thursday by raising $20.8 million in pledges. The live 12 hour show aired from KCET Hollywood Studios and reached millions of households globally.

The live program featured a rich presentation of Armenian music and entertainment, as well as celebrities, political and community leaders, and long time Armenia Fund supporters and donors.

The Telethon culminated Armenia Fund’s global fundraising campaigns that included Phone-a-thons, gala dinners, and benefit concerts, as well as the annual benefit gala held in Moscow and the 11th Pan-European Phone-a-thon held in Paris.

Much of the money raised this year came as pledges during live the telethon, while $8 million was donated by Russian-Armenian businessmen at a fundraising gala in Moscow attended by President Serzh Sarkisian last week. According to Armenia Fund, another $1.8 million was contributed by thousands of Armenians in Europe who took part in a “phoneaton” held this month. The Yerevan-based fund, which has offices in major Armenian communities abroad, will continue accepting contributions from residents of Armenia until the end of this year.

The majority of donations from this year’s telethon will finance the building or refurbishing of drinking water and irrigation networks in villages across Karabakh. The rest of the money is to be spent on other infrastructure projects in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and border villages in Armenia proper.

Karabakh has been the main beneficiary of such assistance ever since the fund’s establishment in 1992. Some $15 million raised by it last year was mostly channeled into the reconstruction of the war-ravaged town of Shushi.

To date, Armenia Fund has implemented some 700 large and small infrastructure projects worth a total of more than $200 million. That includes the construction of hundreds of kilometers of roads, water pipes and gas transmission lines, as well as over 400 apartment buildings and houses. The fund has also built or repaired 218 schools and 34 healthcare facilities in Armenia and Karabakh.

Asbarez will provide extended coverage of the telethon and provide more information as it becomes available.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Vanessa Kachadurian - Armenian Prayer Hayr Mer (Our Father)

This is the Lord's Prayer as song for centuries by the Armenian Churches. This is my church in Fresno, California Holy Trinity Armenian Church which is on the California state Registry of Historical buildings.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

Vanessa Kachadurian- Famous Armenian Italians

Love to Italia!
Thank you for taking good care of our children.
Hope to see some of you soon, thanks for reaching out!!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Vanessa Kachadurian, interest from Italy

The late Pope John Paul II, was ill but made sure the Armenian patron Saint Gregory was placed in the Vatican.

24 hour to this traffic increased to Italy, for the obvious reasons the Italians are adopting most of our children in Armenia. Karine's friends were adopted by Italians as they are preferred because of our ancient ties, San Lazaro Island off of Venice houses an ancient Armenian Monastry. and Roman Empire influence. The Vatican has a section for the Armenians with a huge statue erected of St. Gregory the Illuminator. The Italians are family centered as the Armenians are, if we cannot find an Armenian home for our children the next best is the Italians!!!!
Please refer to your embassy they can negiotiate for you and take a trip to Armenia.
The funniest is watching Italian Armenians talk in Hayren, fast and throwing the hands around. Http://

Italy 7

United States 2

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Vanessa Kachadurian-Update on Narek

We just got back from Little Armenia, and I am happy to report that Narek has made a remarkable improvement since his last chemo treatment in September 2010. Here is a photo from December 2009, and the next was yesterday 11/12/2010.

I am so happy to see my baby Narek doing much better, his face was glowing with happiness and you could see his soul twinkling in his eyes. Narek's face was filled out and you could actually see his dimples when he smiled and laughed. We played catch, and talked about his dad who was just out here from Armenia on a Vistor's Visa. He misses his older brother who was not able to visit. But I have a special friend that will work on this by Christmas.

He was very happy, his cheeks had color and the weight is back on. Narek's prognosis is hopeful, much more than when he arrived from Armenia. 11 months - God works in mysterious ways. Thank you to everyone that helped out. Especially Horizon Armenian TV, in 30 days we had over 8,000 Facebook warriors for Narek.
Narek and I enjoyed playing on the key board I brought him and watching him on his quad.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Vanessa Kachadurian- What the Orphanages always need.

Those of you that ask "What do the orphanages need" lice is a continual problem. One child gets it - everyone gets it. They don't bath every day, and the eggs are on the bedding, couches and rugs. I found out that one home was using pesticides to spray on their heads, we cannot believe how toxic that is for the children. Rid or Nix is good, it is available in Armenia but more readly available in the USA. Thank you to the Asadourian family for purchasing a whole case. It will go to good use!!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Vanessa Kachadurian-Armenian Orphanage memorial for Antoura

Many of the children died at this Turkish ran orphanage after the genocide. These children were Turkified and given Islamic names. Some were adopted by Moslems.
Aintoura, Lebanon - It has been over five years since Maurice Missak Kelechian discovered the location of a Genocide-era Armenian orphanage at St. Joseph Aintoura French College in Lebanon.

On September 22, through support from KOHAR Symphony Orchestra & Choir and Harout Khatchadourian, a khachkar (Armenian Stone-Cross) and a bronze statue in memory of Armenian orphans was inaugurated at the Aintoura College cemetery.

Remarks by Mr. Kelechian at the inauguration he entitled as "My Journey of Love" are below:

"My journey of love started in 2005 with a single photo in Stanley Kerr's book, "Lions of Marach" that showed a group picture of Jemal Pasha with a footnote that read: "Jemal Pasha commander of the Turkish Fourth Army together with Halide Edib, on the steps of French College at Antoura, Lebanon."

My passion for the Armenian modern history had just started to take off and finding a piece of that history in my own backyard was surreal! Little did I know that I was embarking on an incredible untold story.

I jumped into my car eager to identify the location of the orphanage shown in the picture. Antoura, for many Lebanese families, is a beautiful place to take their kids for a drive and some fresh air. They had no idea that soon, it was going to take their breath away!

Apprehensive at first and then excited, I approached the French college. Careful not to disturb what I didn't know, I started taking pictures of the college from afar and as I came closer to the building, my story started to unfold.

The college was established by the Jesuits brotherhood in 1656. Lazarist priesthood took over the college in 1834 and when the WWI broke out, the Ottoman Turks confiscated the college, dismissed all the priests and converted the building into a Turkish orphanage. Between 1915-1918, 1200 young orphans were kept in Antoura of whom 1000 were Armenians and the remaining 200 consisted of Turks and Kurds.

In 1916, Jamal Pasha visited Antoura together with 40 elite Turkish teachers, headed by Halide Edib, the new director of the college; prepared to teach the orphans the "Ottoman Turkish culture"; hence the photo in Kerr's book.

I finally took the courage to enter the college. Pretty soon, I was guided to see the college's archivist, Mr. Sebastian Arhan, who welcomed my curiosity and very gracefully supported my pursuit.

As we started walking around the college trying to trace the location of the photo, an employee of the college, Mr. Doumit Hayfa, told us that in 1993, the remains (bones) of some of the young orphans were found and were collectively buried under an unmarked mass grave next to high ranking Lazarist priests.

In 2006, when my initial findings about the Antoura orphanage were published in Aztak, an Armenian newspaper in Lebanon, I found out that Mr. Karnig Panian, previously the deputy dean of Jemaran high school in Beirut, was one of the survivors of the Antoura orphanage. In 1992, he had published his experiences as an orphan in a two-volume memoir.

I stayed up all night reading the memoirs in owe and disbelief! While the Antoura building looked like an orphanage on the outside, on the inside, the young orphans were going through a systematic Turkification executed through most heinous tactics; changing the Armenian names of the orphans into Turkish names, luring the orphans into believing that the Turkish culture is a better culture than the Armenian, and, gradually, if the orphans spoke, prayed or sung in Armenian, punishing them by Falakha (Hitting of the soles of the feet with iron rods). "The sessions of Falakha usually ended up with bleeding kids sent to the infirmary to be treated for fractured bones."

In Halide Edib's own words: "One felt that these children, whatever happened, would carry something crippled, something mutilated in them."

I was appalled and revolted by the realization that the Genocide did not stop with the killings, the drowning, the burning and the rapes, it rather continued to crawl beyond the deserts, the rivers and the caves; the final frontier of the Genocide aimed at annihilating the memory of what constituted "Armenian culture."

Here, I would like to add that according to the UN definition of Genocide, the 5th point specifically stipulates that "Forcibly transferring children of a group to another group" is an act of Genocide (Article II of the 1951 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide).

From that day on, I was haunted by the souls of these orphans 300 of whom lost their lives between 1915-1918 as a result of abuse, famine and illness. In his memoires, Mr. Panian wrote: "The available hospitals were merely a sleeping hall. There were no skilled doctors to provide the proper medication. The dead orphans, who were buried in a hole and covered with dirt, were attacked, the same night, by the hungry jackals, ripping off the little bodies and scattering their bones all over the place." "The only thought on the orphans' minds was food. In desperation, they would often collect the bones of their dead friends, grind them and use them in soups as food to survive."

Later, when I returned to Antoura and I watched the college through the eyes of a 6 year old Karnig who experienced the pain of abandonment, famine and Turkification and who saw his friends lose their identity and vanish to be forever forgotten. As I sat on the mass grave bewildered, I promised to tell the story of the unsung heroes until they were truly laid in peace.

Towards the end of 1918, Halide Edib asked Dr. Bliss, then the dean of American University of Beirut, to take Antoura under the protection of the American Red Cross.

I expressed my gratitude to the Near East Relief and Red Cross organizations and several official representatives of foreign governments for actively taking part in saving Armenian lives and selflessly caring for over 130,000 Armenian orphans.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Vanessa Kachadurian-Armenia's other Children

Yerevan - They are three and four year olds who excitedly run over to me with ear-to-ear smiles as I arrive at the Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR) Children's Center in Yerevan. Their cherubic faces are aglow with the happiness that only children of this age can express unabashedly.

But their joyous greeting belies a darker history of the 38 children at the Center - aged 3 to 18 currently, of possible abuse, abandonment, homelessness, sexual trafficking, or simply parents so poor they cannot afford to raise them. Though the number of children at this Center is very small, it nonetheless exposes a condition that is on the rise due to the severe economic conditions in Armenia.

It was during my recent trip to Armenia that I had the privilege of visiting this amazing institution which is supported by the Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR). The buildings are nestled among trees, playground areas, and fragrant flower beds planted and cared for by the children. There is even a sandbox for the more aggressive youngsters to relieve their frustrations, anxieties and fears.

In one building live the younger children, and the teenagers are housed in the second one, both kept in immaculate condition. During my walk-through, a class was taking place with an instructor questioning the older ones about Armenian history. In another room, a therapist was counseling a weeping child. And in a nearby bedroom, two teenagers were quietly discussing personal issues. In the two art rooms, the drawing, painting, and sculpting talents of these youngsters were proudly displayed.

The usual stay for a child at the Center is 30 to 40 days, after which some return to their biological families (65 percent), go into foster care (with funds from FAR and UNICEF ended), or stay with relatives. The last option is either an orphanage, night care, or special educational schools. More than 400 youngsters go through this Center, and find a better life every year.

Change of concept
Started in 1937, the Center was run by the police as a refuge for lost children during the Soviet era. Before 1999, the idea behind this Center was isolation and punishment. In 1999, the Center was given to FAR which undertook a complete reconstruction and renovation. Through the vision of an American philanthropist, Barbara Lorinci, and the influence of FAR Board of Directors member Annette Choolfaian, the concept was changed, and in 2000, FAR hired social workers, psychologists, therapists, creating a new team where the police had a minimal role.

"Most of the children have come from poverty or family difficulties, and have found an organized, devoted family life here," said the energetic and dedicated Director of the FAR Children's Center, Dr. Mira Antonyan who has a PH.D. in Social Work, and has been with the Center since August 2005. "All children have the right to live safely, to enjoy life freely in secure environments."

Before independence, there were 600 children in institutions, Dr. Antonyan continued. By 2002, the figure had escalated to 12,000 due to extreme poverty (over 50 percent of the country), the Karabagh war, and the lack of services. The current era is much more child-focused, but it depends on each situation. Since 2000, more than 6000 traumatized children have been cared for at the Children's Center.

From 1999 to 2004, approximately 2000 children were found begging in the streets, along with their mothers, Dr. Antonyan revealed. The fathers had either been killed in the Karabagh war, were separated, or had gone to Russia seeking work. Some parents were drug users, or had mental illnesses.

And some of the traumatic conditions that these children have been subjected to include behavioral problems, drugs (including using petrol as drugs), child prostitution (a nine-year old boy), sex trafficking (two sisters 13 and 14 years of age), stealing (218 cases), children working in dangerous conditions (40 percent). This is in addition to the 8000 in orphanages, and 800 in day care.

Dedicated attention, support needed
Today, each child receives individual and caring attention, and the premises evoke a feeling of coziness, and warmth. The professional staff of the Center includes social workers, psychologists and nurses who give individual care and support to each child and family.

On an honor roll in the foyer of one of the buildings were listed the benefactors who are supporting the Center, including the names of several Armenian-Americans. Just recently, the Mardigian Family Foundation gave a generous donation to establish the FAR Child Protection Fund. Dr. Antonyan pointed out that the needs of the Center are much higher than the support that is given.

"This is the only such shelter for all of Armenia and Karabagh," continued Dr. Antonyan who pointed out that "there is no social support for these at risk children when they are living with their families. But in these institutions, the state, the diaspora, and charities will support them.

But it has been proven that children who have been in institutions, and therefore do not have a close bond with their families, retain many behavioral, developmental and personality problems, including a lack of social skills, and low self esteem when they reach adulthood.

The Children's Center is for many of these children their only home, and their hope for a more stable future. "Their past is the past and cannot be changed," said Dr. Antonyan. "We are doing our best to make their future as bright and secure as possible."

For more information on the Yerevan Children's Center, or to make a donation, readers can contact the FAR office in New York at (212) 889-5150, or at

Armenian Reporter:

Armenian Reporter:

Awesome work of FAR in Armenia

Armenian Reporter:

Armenian Reporter:

Awesome work of FAR in Armenia

Monday, September 20, 2010

Vanessa Kachadurian: Adoption Attorney duped 16 couples with empty prom...

Vanessa Kachadurian: Adoption Attorney duped 16 couples with empty prom...: "Alleged Adoption Ponzi Scam Broke the Hearts of Couples Desperate to Adopt The $60K Adoption Heartbreak: Babies Who Didn't Exist By ALICE..."

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Armenian Adoption Family Code- National Assembly of Armenia

Members of the National Assembly of Armenia at the meeting in June and August 2010 made the first reading of amendments to the Family Code of the country, tightened the procedure for granting permission to adopt children from the Armenian diaspora.

"Under the proposed government amendments to the Family Code, the condition for obtaining government approval for adoption applies to the Armenian citizens residing abroad", - said Deputy Justice Minister of Armenia Gevorg Malkhasyan.

He recalled that the adoption of Armenian children by foreigners agrees Government. In this adopted alien child, as recalled Malkhasyan, loses the citizenship of Armenia.

He added that the 30-35 year children in Armenia are adopted by foreigners who are taking those children who are not willing to take on education were Armenian citizens. Basically, as he explained, is the sick children, which foreigners are trafficked abroad for treatment.

The deputy minister also added that the amendments to the Family Code, children also are guaranteed the right to live and grow up in a family, to know their biological parents, the right to care and custody of their parents, live with them, except when it is contrary to the interests of the child.

The draft amendments governing the registration of births in the SRO.
In 2009. in Armenia, 44,999 children were born. During this period, there were 18,765 marriages and 3,013 divorces, 14,165 cases of recognition of paternity and 131 cases of adoption. The number of deaths was 27,268.

In 2008. RA was born in 41,406 children were registered 18,236 cases of marriage and 3,192 cases divorce. 13,257 people admitted his paternity, 180 children were adopted. The number of deaths was 27,281.

In 2007. in the republic was born 40,844 children were registered 18,144 marriages and 3,083 divorce. 13,158 people admitted paternity, 187 children were adopted. The number of deaths was 26,827.

Thus, the birth rate in Armenia has increased parallel reduction in mortality. This was reported in the Ministry of Justice of Armenia.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Vanessa Kachadurian-Children Support Centers by FAR

Donate to FAR- Fund for Armenian Relief, we can continue our Child Support Center and Foster Care Program. Understand, they WILL NOT be arrested as they were in the Republic of Georgia, foster parents in Armenia are protected by the local police.

According to director Mira Antonyan, very few children in Armenian orphanages are actually parentless, orphans. Rather, they are victims of abuse and abandonment. Until recently, the government’s approach has been to send these children to orphanages. The center for Child Support offers an alternative to this long withstanding practice. They offer a child-focused approach that aims to heal and rehabilitate children. They work with families, with the hope that many of the children in their temporary shelter can eventually return to their own homes. Antonyan said, “65% of its cases are reunited with their families.” In cases where family reunification is not possible, they place children with foster families. Another service that they offer is an abuse hotline. Anyone who has witnessed or suspects abuse, can report their concerns to the center. Its staff is ready to both reach out to and receive children in its facilities 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

There are quite a few obstacles that stand in its way; Armenia’s fledgling foster care system, for one. About “300 families are waiting to receive children,” said Antonyan, yet the government is unable to compensate them for child-care expenses. Armenia’s social safety nets like welfare, Medicaid, and non-profit social service agencies are in their most rudimentary stages, if they exist at all. Couple the virtual absence of such safety nets with widespread unemployment, and the root of the problem continues to fester. Many families cannot adequately support their children. These are the circumstances that produce the social orphans sitting in the child support center, asserts Antonyan. The solution she declares is “supporting vulnerable families,” which the current economy and government cannot adequately do.

Among the centers most immediate needs are mental health and social work professionals who can support the center’s staff and the children they serve. The ACYOA is currently forming a committee to support FAR’s Child Support Center. They will be spending the next few months creating and implementing a plan of action.

Vanessa Kachadurian- Lawrence Zarian, Larry Zarian and Gregory Zarian

On the Left is Lawrence, Larry, and Gregory ZARIAN (3 hunks)
After attending the West Coast Banquet for ANCA today, I sat at my friends home in Little Armenia and thought about the Guest of Honor and former Mayor of Glendale--Mr. Larry Zarian.
Mr. Zarian Sr. is very giving to our community and has contributed much along with his gorgeous sons (they are SO HANDSOME) In fact, Mr. Zarian Sr. is still a handsome man. His twin boys are Lawrence and Gregory, you may know Lawrence as "The Fashion Guy" on TV Guide station and guest appearances on MANY shows. Lawrence is a former male model and as well as his hunk twin Gregory. Thank you Zarian family for all that you have done for our community and all you will continue to do.
P.S. Lawrence, "K" has a crush on you too, she calls you "shad sirrun" then blushes.

Birth Name: Lawrence S. Zarian
Birth Place: Glendale, CA
Profession: Fashion consultant; reporter; model; actor
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Lawrence Zarian is the Host of TV Guide Network’s original series THE FASHION TEAM along with Host Daphne Brogdon. The one-hour weekly series gives viewers an inside look at the world of fashion and what the stars are wearing – from Red Carpet couture to on-set styles seen in Hollywood. THE FASHION TEAM offers a review of fashion “hits and misses” from the Red Carpet, and offers advice for viewers on how to dress just like the stars they love for less.
Whether touring the country to unveil the latest trends, or interviewing the top names in Hollywood, Lawrence Zarian is always in the mix and on the cutting edge. Zarian has exploded onto the scene and is taking the fashion, television, and celebrity world by storm. His energy, quick wit, and sharp insight on "what's hot" have made him one of the most sought after on-camera personalities in the fashion industry today.

“As a kid growing up in Southern California, with a Mayor for a father, a star athlete older brother, and an identical twin, it was clear I had to do something drastic in order to make a name for myself. My twin started modeling in High School, and then took off to New York and Milan. In my head, I thought that if he could do it, so could I, or so I thought.”

While modeling in New York for the collections during one of the shows, Zarian did the unspeakable: he spoke to the audience from the runway. What should have been a fashion disaster turned out to be a blessing. A photographer from the press area was trying to snap his photo, when his camera jammed. Trying to be a good guy, he waited, and waited, unaware of the fact that the other models were lining up behind him. After what seemed like an eternity, the show coordinator said over the sound system, “Thank you, Lawrence!” Looking behind him, he realized what he had caused, and quickly responded with, “I’m not finished yet!” Oh yes he was.

The good news is that the photographer got his photo and the bad news is that Lawrence was finished working for that designer. But in the audience that day was a representative from a major department store. Impressed and inspired with what she had just witnessed, she went backstage and handed Lawrence her card, saying, “If you can speak like that in front of the world’s most established editors in the fashion business, then we’d be honored to have you speak on behalf of our company.”

And thus, The Fashion Guy was born.

"The Fashion Guy" can be seen everywhere these days. On local and national TV, at in-store appearances and in seminars across the country. Lawrence shows his fans the hottest and coolest styles, how to wear them, and most of all, where to find them. From ABC’s Live at The Academy Awards, Extreme Makeover, Live with Regis and Kelly, Dr. Phil, TYRA, and EXTRA, Lawrence has found his niche making-over the USA.

With comfort and ease he can slip into any role -- rubbing elbows with the Hollywood elite or rolling up his sleeves and accessorizing the woman at home. Always informed and always prepared, Lawrence delivers what the audience needs in a style that's fresh, fun and guaranteed to leave them wanting more.

Lawrence Zarian Fast Facts:
Has an identical twin brother, Gregory, who is a model.
Father was mayor of Glendale, CA.
Early in his modeling career, he broke one of the first rules of modeling by speaking while on the runway.
Once waited tables with Sandra Bullock.
Lawrence Zarian Relationships:
Larry Zarian - Father
Gregory Zarian - Brother
Vincent Zarian - Brother
Attended Glendale Community College, Glendale, CA

Friday, September 10, 2010

Vanessa Kachadurian- Yerevan woman that adopts homeless children

I absolutely love this woman!!! Everyone try to help her as much as possible, where they live is not great conditions and Larissa tries very hard to get the children trained for a craft and educated. She is remarkable, I love her.

YEREVAN—Unlike the fairy tale about the old woman who lived in a shoe with so many children she didn’t know what to do, Larissa offers quite the contrary perspective.

Larissa discusses her role as a foster mom to 16 children in Yerevan while a son looks on. (Tom Vartabedian photo)
In her case, she’s picked up 16 children off the streets of Yerevan and given them a loving home.

It may not be the Ritz but it offers comfort and security. All have been adopted and regardless of her age (68), there’s always the urge to provide more.

What’s more, this is no fly-by-night operation or whimsy. She’s been a surrogate mom for 27 years and has no intentions of ever stopping.

“They are the children I never had and all are very near and dear to me,” she confessed. “Some of them came to me from birth. Others were a bit older. When I see a child who’s alone, I want to bring that youth home.”

Since 1983, Larissa (no last name given) has provided for 33 children. She’s touched the gamut in age from 10-38. At the moment, there are 10 inside her residence, including three grandchildren.

“They come from the streets of Yerevan and different orphanages,” she noted. “I live in a modest home. What little I have is passed on to others.”

I heard about Larissa from a couple different sources who make regular runs at the Artbridge Coffee Shop. People come here and exchange small talk. I was looking for “the ultimate story” and Larissa’s name came up.

“She’s the one who deserves some credit,” said Araz Artinian, a prize-winning videographer whose films “The Genocide in Me” and “Twenty Voices” have received universal acclaim.

“Larissa is one amazing woman,” added Artinian. “Everyone in Yerevan knows the good heart she has with children, but nobody else. She’s somewhat of a quiet heroine.”

We met at the Ani Hotel by Abovian Street and she was accompanied by a 12-year-old named Gourken. The child added further corroboration to the interview. He’s one of those who arrived very early in life.

Like Larissa, he has an aptitude for math and loves to draw.

“People think she’s my grandmother but that’s wrong,” said Gourken. “She’s my mother and will always be my mother, no matter how old she is. I don’t look at age. I look at love.”

Many children have a variety of issues, whether it’s poverty, illness, or abuse. Some of them are at wit’s end before they arrive at Larissa’s safe haven. Others came to her from the earthquake of 1988.

She adopted her fist child in 1982. A two-year-old arrived in 1984 and on and on it went. During the Soviet regime, she began receiving a subsidy from the government, which felt homeless children were better off inside a home than wandering the streets of Armenia.

Since independence in 1991, she’s gotten some assistance but more from concerned citizens around town. Once older, the children have provided a helping hand for their “brothers and sisters.” Also assisting her cause is Rev. Aram Stepanian of Whitinsville, Mass., whose congregation has made a habit of supporting indigent children in Armenia.

Larissa is hardly a nonentity, despite the absence of a surname. She’s attended two universities and holds degrees in physics and cinematography.

Her husband died at age 32 with a stomach disorder six months after their wedding, leaving her childless. She worked the factories of Russia for three years before returning to her native Yerevan and working 25 years inside the cinema studios for $10 a week.

“They were not easy years,” she admitted. “All along, I wanted to raise children of my own as a widow and decided the best way to fill that role was to reach out to the deprived. When I see a child who’s alone, I want to provide my home. I will care for the children of Armenia until the day I die.”

An outside group sat around the hotel bar enjoying a cocktail when Larissa turned to them and proudly proclaimed, “I have 16 children.”

They looked at the gray-haired woman in amazement and someone replied, “Sixteen children? You are a very rich person indeed.”

Vanessa Kachadurian- Children of Armenia Fund (COAF)

COAF is simply the best organization around for the children of Armenia, they raise over $1 million a year. COAF has many corporate sponsors along with support of every Armenian Organization not to mention famous and powerful people. Some of them are: Ken Davitian, Jane Fonda, Andrea Martin, Eric Boghosian and Martin Short.
Dr. Garo Armen the President is an amazing and honest human being who is respected by everyone.

I met Dr. Armen when he was the Chairman at Elan Pharmaceuticals, he now has his own Oncology company called Antgentics which distributes drugs in Russia, Turkey (where he was born) and the middle east.

Children of Armenia Fund (COAF) has accomplished much in the last five years by implementing programs to address the critical needs of children living in rural Armenia. Because the development challenges facing rural communities far outweigh the resources of any single donor organization, COAF has built partnerships with local and international organizations, including the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the World Bank and many others. These partnerships have allowed us to successfully implement our programs with optimal efficiency in one of the most economically disadvantaged regions of the world.

The Model Village project is the first such program ever to be undertaken and has been recognized by international aid agencies as an exemplary template of sustainable development. COAF aspires to form alliances with organizations operating in other regions to share our methodology in efforts to reverse poverty in less privileged areas of the world, paving the way for a more peaceful resolution of the conflicts that exist today.

In partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), COAF completed the capital rehabilitation (view photo gallery) of Karakert’s School #2, Kindergarten #1 and Kindergarten #2. All three projects included reconstruction, renovation, site development, and refurbishment. COAF provided the school and kindergartens with running water, local heating systems and indoor lavatories. Children have been enjoying their new classroom furniture, sports and play equipment, and modern playgrounds. These projects have resulted in a marked improvement in the quality of environment for about 700 school and over 100 preschool children.

UNDP and USAID have also partnered with COAF on a project involving the capital rehabilitation of the Karakert Community Center. The center will provide the village residents with the space and resources to engage in various community development activities, as well as participate in classes and workshops on an array of topics, including English as a second language, business and entrepreneurship, and others. Work on the center is currently in progress.

Within the framework of the Model Cluster project COAF partnered UNDP and USAID to start the Shenik school and Community Sports Complex rehabilitation and refurbishment project. Over 200 students will find their healthy and modern school environment in the new reconstructed building in September 2007. The sport hall of the school will serve the entire community as Community Sports Complex and will bring revenues for coverage of the maintenance of the school building to ensure self sustainability.

The World Bank, through its Supported Health Project Implementation Unit, partnered with COAF to renovate and refurbish Karakert’s ambulatory care facility. The project, currently underway, involves renovation and modernization of the facility, as well as provision of equipment, medical supplies and a vehicle for emergency cases. This project is part of COAF’s larger goal to raise the community’s awareness of health issues and provide the villagers with professional, modern medical care.

In partnership with Human Dignity and Peace (HDP), COAF implemented its Agricultural Development project, whereby 156 families in Lernagog, Dalarik, Karakert, Myasnikyan and Shenik received hands-on training and technical assistance in backyard gardening. COAF also organized training in innovative, profitable gardening methods for the select group of farmers from these villagers. Through these projects, COAF has realized the income of 156 families, as well as increased the agricultural capacity of the beneficiary villages.

The World Bank Supported Water Sector Development and Institutional Improvements Project Implementation Unit and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) are supporting COAF in the reconstruction and repair of the irrigation water network, an important component in the rehabilitation of the Model Cluster villages. The completed reconstruction of the 4.5-km pipeline and currently in progress of a 3.74 km of the irrigation water network project in Dalarik and 2.89 in Myasnikyan villages. These projects will significantly increase the agricultural capacity of all three communities and its neighboring villages, as well as immediately benefit over 2,130 families, who will gain access to running irrigation water.

COAF has partnered also local municipalities of Lernagog and Karakert to built a community park in Lernagog and repair Karakert community roads. Over 2000 lernagog residents in coming spring will cherish in a newly fenced and planted young park, which will be furbished with a modern playground, waste baskets and benches. The residents of Karakert mention with a smile that the last 20 years they had not seen Karakert roads to be repaired. Today more then 7000m of the community roads allow school and kindergarten kids to reach their institutions without jumping over the ponds/water holes.

A local NGO in Lernagog, Hay Mshak, has partnered with COAF to establish the inter-village transportation business. More then 16,000 people in the Model Cluster villages feel safe and secure as the van is running around its route 4 times per day.

And the last but not least achievement of partnerships is with the Mission East and Future Generation NGOs on a project of creating 5 Children’s Club and Community centers in various building of 5 different communities.

COAF’s Continuing Medical Education in Pediatrics project, which included a 20-day training program for 24 pediatricians and family physicians of Armavir District, and later, certification, supervision and monitoring of trainees, was made possible with the support and participation of the Arabkir Joint Medical Center - Institute of Child and Adolescent Health (ICAH).

The Armenian Eye Care Project (AECP) was COAF’s key partner in the implementation of the Eye Care Screening and Treatment project (view photo gallery), which involved screening 633 school children and 54 adults in Karakert, follow-up detailed screening and treatment of 52 children at a specialized ophthalmologic clinic in Yerevan, and follow-up eye surgery and prosthesis for one patient. In spring 2006 the same project continued in six cluster villages, involving 1143 child and 433 adult beneficiaries. Among them 280 cases were diagnosed with eye problems and 86 referred to specialized clinics for follow-up traetment and diagnosis.

The Armenian Dental Society of California (ADSC) and COAF jointly conducted the Mobile Dental Care project (view photo gallery), through which 710 children were screened and 294 children were diagnosed and treated for dental problems. In addition to receiving urgently needed treatment, the children and youth of Karakert learned about the importance of dental hygiene and preventive care. In summer 2006 the same project, targeted 233 schoolchildren from Dalarik, Myasnikyan, Lernagog and Shenik communities.

COAF partnered with the Children’s Health Care Association (CHCA) on the Integrated Child Health Initiative, which involved screening of 689 children, women and expecting mothers, as well as an educational program on child health care and prenatal care for parents and expecting mothers. In addition, more than 60 percent of all screened patients received follow-up treatment on-site, and 67 children received follow-up diagnostics, treatment and surgery at the regional hospital and specialized clinics in Yerevan. This was only one of many unprecedented programs through which COAF provided medical assistance and health education to the residents of Karakert.

COAF and CHCA also worked together on a project titled Community Health Education and Promoting Healthy Schools. Within the framework of this project, COAF established health rooms, appointed nurses and provided preventive care (including oral hygiene, vitamin supplementation, anti-lice and anti-helminthes drugs) in Karakert’s school and kindergartens. In addition, the project involved educational programs on healthy lifestyles, child health and prenatal care and HIV/AIDS prevention. COAF also organized a celebration of World Health Day, and an exhibition of children’s art works called “Health as Children See It.”

COAF and Future Generation NGO, worked together in organization of the health care through Mobile Medical Teams and implementation of the Community Health Education and Promoting Healthy Schools project in three cluster communities. Pilot project on Revolving Drug Fund (RDF) is implemented in Lernagog community.

Within the framework of Community Health Education COAF together with Fighting against Infectious Diseases in Emerging Countries (FIDEC) implements “Microbac” health educational program on hygiene and vaccination, targeting elementary school and preschool children.

Since February 2006 COAF partnered with the Mission East on “A Healthy Start - Promoting the Rights of Disabled Children in Armenia” project, addressed to changing social attitude and health care practices as well as creating healthy environment for disabled children. So far, more than 70 children from socially vulnerable families of cluster communities were screened and diagnosed. Among them 26 children were diagnosed as disabled. The joint project is continued. The construction part, including establishment of rehabilitation rooms in the schools and preschools of target villages, serving as Children’s Clubs for the disabled, will be completed on September 2007.

In summer 2006 COAF partnered with the Children First NGO on Early Detection and Prevention of Reproductive Health Issues in Women, targeting more than 130 women and expecting mothers from 3 cluster villages.

In partnership with Counterpart International, COAF provided humanitarian assistance to the residents of Karakert by distributing clothes and shoes to more than 600 families and donating 30,000 tablets of methotrexate, an anti-cancer drug, to the Institute of Hematology. This project aimed to assist families and patients in need of immediate attention.

With the generous support of the Diplomats’ Spouses Association (DSA), COAF provided furniture, equipment and decorations to Karakert’s Kindergarten #1. The 35 children attending the kindergarten received one- and two-story beds, individual closets, linen sets and closets, tables, chairs, bookcases, and shelves for toys. COAF also provided office furniture and a kitchen stove for the kindergarten staffroom.

Together with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), COAF trained health care staff by conducting a series of seminars on the use of GSK’s new medications.

The Jinishian Memorial Foundation (JMF) partnered with COAF to implement a component of our project on Community Health Education and Promoting Healthy Schools by distributing books to reproductive-age women, informing them about a wide range of prenatal and child health care issues.

COAF and International Relief and Development (IRD) worked together to organize the delivery of 25–30 types of essential drugs to Karakert and Lernagog ambulatory care facility, providing much needed treatment to both children and adults. IRD provided also 4 wheelchairs to Lernagog disabled.

The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and COAF jointly conducted an HIV/AIDS prevention seminar for local migrant workers within COAF’s Community Health Education project. UMCOR also provides essential drugs and supplies to Dalarik and Myasnikyan health facilities.

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and COAF together participated in Karakert’s inaugural ceremonies by donating T-shirts, school kits and educational materials to the school and kindergartens.

COAF in partnership with UNICEF is implementing Psycho-Social (PS) Project, dedicated to the protection of the children’s rights. The PS Center is established in Dalarik and serve to all six cluster communities. The project aims at raising public awareness on the child’s rights issues with emphasis on training parents and educators on the rights of disadvantaged or disabled children as well as providing psycho-social support to the communities. Currently the PS Center has 3-4 applicants per day. The local staff gets on-job training.

Through COAF/CARD partnership Youth Development program (establishment of youth clubs) is implemented in Lernagog and Argina communities. 20 youth from Lernagog and Argina received 2 sheep (total 40 sheep) and necessary supplies for care. The local Vet was elected as a Youth Club President. Each month youth are involved in training on animal anatomy, physiology and care.

In partnership with Heifer International COAF implements the project, the goal of which is to improve the social and economic conditions of target 20 families from Shenik through developed animal husbandry. The main objectives of the project are development of rural community, empowerment of community groups, knowledge and continuous and sustainable development of families in rural areas.

COAF has partnered with the Municipality of Lernagog in establishment of Cluster Press Club. The Cluster Press Club is training 13 local youth in mass media principles and legislation, the different genres of journalism, newspaper production, freedom of speech and responsibility, and computer literacy. The project will result in the establishment of a self-sustaining small business that will publish the Cluster Monthly.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Armenian Hospitals

It's moving along, not as fast as we want but nevertheless better than before. The educational classes for parents will be important, especially the pregnant mothers. They are learning that a child born with disabilities doesn't can be cared for, there is support and resources. The old way of abandoning their child in a hospital or orphanages is not the only option.

Vanessa Kachadurian-Time for sightseeing in between clinics

Here we are checking out the monastry near Shushi, N-K- no one should have any doubts this has been Armenian land for centuries after you view some of the centuries old monastaries and relics. Many were sadly destroyed by the Azerbaijani government in an attempt to rid the area of any trace of Armenian culture.

Here is a tour of some hospitals, checking on the repairs and where the money is being spent.

Vanessa Kachadurian - Everything from Pediatrics to Geriatrics

We saw it all in 5 days of jammed pack clinics from Pediatrics to Geriatrics. Many diagnosis was made and more importantly sample medication brought in. Armenia needs to get better with allowing more drug trade and dispensing of American drugs.
We didn't combine Dental check ups on this trip as the program is growing so fast we have opted to keep it seperate.
There is a special unit that treats the orphan children's dental needs and they learn of dental care. The problem is the old mind set of neglect, as a result most of the older people (those over 40) have multiple teeth missing. As you move away yerevan into the smaller villages and cities this becomes more apparent.
Education is the key, and knowing where and when to get help. Preventative medicine has never been taught in Armenia, it has always been a culture of go to the doctor/dentist when it is bad. Sometimes this is too late and the course of treatment is no longer available.

Vanessa Kachadurian- Medical Mission to Armenia

Here are some of the photos of the most recent Medical Mission to Armenia. It is growing every year, this year we had 2 physicians and 4 nurses with 13 medical students (19 total professionals) with 4 admin assistants.
Going to the remote areas of Armenia who don't have access to healthcare on a regular basis is rewarding, especially the Nargono-Karabagh (Artsakh) area.
We must keep this territory of Armenia strong, healthy and educated. It is important for it security and future.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Vanessa Kachadurian- When the family visits their child in an orphanage

Most of the parents and family visit their children in orphanages. It is hard, parents in Armenia need support of taking care of a child with special needs. They are stigmitized and isolated, in their care. It is socially and financially difficult.
Some families have abandoned their children at hospitals, they feel lost and alone. We are starting groups for these parents so they do not have to feel alone. There have been many successful stories of families that have kept their child, it is a struggle but they manage.
Reunion, when a family comes to visit the child in an is difficult for the child to process this. They don't understand forgiveness or abandonment, lets work to repair families and the social structure of Armenia.
Armenia will be stronger if they treat all their citizens with respect and dignity.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Vanessa Kachadurian- consultation on Adoption Issues at RA Foreign Ministry

The photo above is quite startling, it is from the Armenian orphanage in Lebanon that was run by the Turkish government. This was a Turkification camp where these dear little orphans were indoctrinated into Turkish culture and nationalism. Many were adopted out by Turkish citizens where they forever lost their identity. Today there is news out of Armenia on their latest discussions of what to do with foreign adoptions. As always, when all local efforts are exhausted to find permanant and loving homes for the children adoption should be in the best interest of the child, not the best interest of the adoption facilitator$
2010-08-27Consultation on Adoption Issues at RA Foreign Ministry
: RA Justice Ministry’s Agency of Civil Status Acts Registration and RA Foreign Ministry’s Consular Department held today a working consultation on issues of adoption of Armenian children by foreigners. An official from the press and information department of RA Foreign Affairs Ministry told Armenpress that Argam Petrosyan, deputy head of RA Justice Ministry’s Civil Status Acts Registration Agency, as well as a number of representatives of RA Foreign Ministry’s Consular Department and consular offices, accredited in Armenia, partook in the consultation.

The Republic of Armenia joined 2007 the Hague Convention of 29 May, 1993 on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-Country Adoption. The RA Government adopted the procedure of adoption and calculation of children – citizens of Armenia – adopted by foreign citizens and RA citizens, living abroad, at RA diplomatic representations and consular offices by the 269N decision of March 18, 2010. In the result of thorough discussion the participants came to an agreement to establish cooperation for the regulation of the procedure of adoption, for acting in the interests of children and following their future after the adoption.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Vanessa Kachadurian-Armenia preventing blindness in babies

L.A. doctors help prevent blindness in babies in Armenia
Southland physicians visit Yerevan to train local doctors to treat an illness that can strike premature infants.
By Bill Kisliuk, Los Angeles Times

August 19, 2010

Reaching from Los Angeles to Yerevan, local doctors are healing the eyes of Armenian infants who otherwise would go blind.

In June, the doctors performed surgeries at a neonatal clinic in the Armenian capital, delivered key equipment and trained about 200 Armenian doctors in how to treat retinopathy of prematurity.

The illness strikes premature infants whose eyes have not developed enough to be exposed to the outside environment, said Dr. Thomas Lee, director of the Retina Institute at the Vision Center at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, which partnered with the Armenia Eye Care Project on the mission.

Lee said the condition was unknown until recent medical advances helped save the lives of premature babies who in earlier times would not have survived. Serious cases are more likely to surface in developing countries, he said.

If the condition, which often corrects itself, becomes serious, doctors have only about two days to save a child's eyesight.

"It is a very time-sensitive disease, not like cataracts or glasses, when you have all the time in the world to take care of it," Lee said. "If you don't get to the kid in a brief, specific period of time, that kid will go blind."

Inspiration for the visit came from Dr. Roger Ohanesian, an Orange County ophthalmologist who founded the Armenia Eye Care Project in 1992. Ohanesian has spearheaded more than three dozen medical missions to Armenia and brought several Armenian eye specialists to the United States for training.

What started as a brief training sortie turned into a major effort in which the Armenia Eye Care Project provided two digital retinal cameras, each worth as much as $100,000, to the Malayan Ophthalmic Center in Yerevan.

The doctors offered lectures and then worked side by side in the neonatal intensive care unit with Armenian doctors.

Now, Lee and others are conducting weekly video conferences in which the Armenian doctors send photos of patients via the Internet, then offer diagnoses with the counsel of American advisors.

Ohanesian's group will pay to continue the effort for 2 1/2 years, then the Armenian Ministry of Health will pick up the tab, said Ohanesian.

"They felt they could do that because the cost of treating blind children is enormous," he said. "They felt by paying for early treatment and prevention, there is an economic benefit for the country, in addition to the social benefit."

Lee said the trip has blossomed into a full-fledged partnership with the Armenia Eye Care Project, Childrens Hospital and clinics in Yerevan, with plans to expand assistance and training well beyond what the eye can see.

"This is just the beginning," Lee said.

Over the years, Ohanesian said, doctors trained through the Armenia Eye Care Project have performed 10,000 surgeries and seen more than 300,000 patients who could not afford to pay.

"That's 10% of the whole country," Ohanesian said. "And it is the Armenians that are doing it. We trained them, granted, but once trained they shouldered the burden and are treating their countrymen for free."

Friday, August 20, 2010

Vanessa Kachadurian- Adoption Irregularities in Armenia

in English
Prosecutors Probe Reported Corruption In Armenian Child Adoptions
By Emil Danielyan
State prosecutors are investigating a recent RFE/RL report which exposed apparent government corruption in the adoption of Armenian children by foreigners, it emerged on Friday.

The story, which appeared on the web site of the RFE/RL Armenian Service on June 23, suggested that the adoption procedures involve thousands of dollars in informal expenditures, apparently bribes paid by adoptive parents and their agents to Armenian officials administering the process.

An official in the prosecutor’s office told RFE/RL that Prosecutor-General Aram Tamazian has instructed his subordinates to look into the matter and report their findings to him. The official said the order followed a written request sent to Tamazian by Social Security Minister Aghvan Vartanian who was apparently alarmed by the report.

It is not yet known whether the preliminary inquiry will result in a criminal case. The prosecutors may question some government officials involved in the foreign adoptions.

The report in question is based on information collected by Ara Manoogian, an Armenian-American based in Nagorno-Karabakh. Posing as a U.S. woman interested in adopting an Armenian child, he has communicated by-email with Americans knowledgeable about the issue. Several of them told him that the entire process cost them between $9,000 and $13,000 per child and that most of the expenses were bribes paid to local officials. They all acted through Yerevan-based mediators.

A foreign adoption in Armenia typically takes between four and six months and requires a chain of positive decisions by several government bodies. The most important of them is a special government commission made up of high-ranking officials, including the ministers of justice, education, health and social security.

Its day-to-day affairs are managed by Aram Karapetian, a senior member of Prime Minister Andranik Markarian’s staff. Interviewed by RFE/RL in June, he strongly denied that any government official might have accepted kickbacks in return for facilitating foreign adoptions.

The final decision to allow a foreign national to adopt an Armenian orphan is given by the full cabinet of ministers. Officials say the government made about 30 such decisions in the first half of this year.

Vanessa Kachadurian- Adoption irregularities

For years it has been known that there are adoption irregularities in Armenia. There is sadly many people who are waiting for healthy babies rather than taking on the more challenging tasks of a special needs older child. Armenian officials are especially troubled by the arrogance of American Armenians who have no prior interest in the Republic of Armenia but set out to adopt a healthy infant.

Prior to the current Hague Convention laws, independent adoptions were allowed in Armenia where couples circumvented the adoption authority and dealt directly with physicians in Armenia. One of the Physicians was arrested in Armenia who would arrange the adoptions with the birth mother. This is why another layer of safeguard has been added to the adoption procedures, it is an investigative arm headed by Argam Stepanyan.

The current law provides that the children be registered on the national registry. The person in charge of this is Karine (a very old friend of mine). Each relinquishment case must be investigated by Argam's office, verify that no relinquishment was coerced or bought as in the past. The orphanage directors are apprehensive about putting the children on the registry BEFORE there is an expressed sincere interest in adopting that child. They are aware of the advertising frenzy such as the attached online auction that will occur. The orphanage directors who control the adoptions are not happy with this attitude of entitlement and have been slow to registry the children. Understandable they prefer that the interested parent(s) meet the child in Armenia, instead of falling in love with a photo and becoming emotionally and financially attached by the adoption facilitators.

Argam was recently in the USA, a trip paid for by the US State Department. Argam brought his family as well for a working vacation. He met with several adoptive families and the children previously adopted under the old non-direct independent procedures. None of these parents should be cocky or feel they have any influence on Argam loosening up the adoption protocols for their adoption agency. It doesn't work that way. Because someone pays a "hospitality visit" and shares a meal doesn't mean they can or will make special favors for a particular agency that has been on the radar for many years in Armenia.

This was confirmed by a phone call to Tom DiFilipo of the JCICS, who met with Argam. Tom understands that the only children available in Armenia are the sickly and is dedicated to working with Armenia to help facilitate protocals. Tom understands the challenges of adoption agencies and how many work in obscure niche countries because there is a percieved "flexibility". Tom also mentioned that in 2004 there were 600 adoption agencies in the USA conducting International Adoptions. Today there are 200 adoption agencies in the USA, he further explained that the old way of conducting adoptions will not work in the current Hague adapted countries.

The first goal of Armenia is to adopt out the special needs children, in 2009 on 20 adoptions visas were allowed to the USA from Armenia (slightly higher to the preferred Italy) approximately 80% were special needs ranging from correctable to severe. Currently as of August 1, 2010 there have been 7 visas granted to the USA, 100% have been special needs ranging from limb differentation to down syndrome. One American woman who has 14 children in the USA just left Armenia 3 weeks ago with 2 adorable Down Syndrome children. I am told that the 2010 total Orphan Visas to the USA will be 10-12 which will close it's fiscal calculations September 30th.

There is an active foster care program in Armenia as there is in the Republic of Georgia. However, a my source in Georgia informed me that a mean-spirited Adoption Agency was recently stiring up trouble in the country. Making absurd claims that there are adoption agencies working with fake Hague acreditation. Shortly afterwards, the police in Georgia conducted a raid on the foster families who were arrested. It seems it is not in the best interest$$ of a particular Adoption agency to have a foster family in country care for children that could be auctioned off and adopted to unsuspecting parents 4,300 miles away.

These same people in the Republic of Georgia shared with us stories about an American Adoption Facilitator that had a "close" relationship with the son of one of their orphanage directors. They also gave the name of the man this Adoption facilitator is "close" to in Armenia. They are asking "Does the American Husband know?"

Sadly Georgia has had their share of arrests and adoption scandals, they are leaning the same way Armenia is. To adopt out the special needs children and adopt the healthier children to locals and Europeans. The Europeans have a great program, adoptions are subsidized by their government because of a zero population growth. It takes longer as there is a short list of government social workers assigned to cases but the end result is it is the government of Italy, France dealing DIRECT with the government of Armenia. Not some too bit adoption facilitator in the country that claims to be an attorney and drives a higher end Mercedes (a rarity for the economically strapped country of Armenia)

Our friends in the Republic of Georgia informed our Armenian friends that recently they had 2 adoptions after a 3 year hold on adoptions. We were saddened to learn that the one child died shortly after his adoption never reaching his forever home in America. There is an investigation on this child's medical history and what information was withheld.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Vanessa Kachadurian- Our boy turns 4

On July 23rd, Narek turned 4 years old, we had a celebration at a local pizza parlor. Narek and his mayrig (Anahit) have been in the USA since December 2009 getting radiation and chemo treatment at the City of Hope Hospital in Duarte, CA.

8 months later there is an improvement to the tumor growth. Narek remains a happy loving child full of hope and positive behavior. A grown adult would crumble at the pain of chemo - this child is one brave little warrior.

Anahid is a strong loving mother that has sacrificed everything for her child. Our community is behind them 100%, the Armenian media, the Armenian Churches, businesses, schools and individuals.

Anahid is a Social worker in her native Armenia, where she ironically dealt with many sick children. Nothing can prepare you for your own personal heartbreak, but it will certainly make Anahid more understanding of the parents in Armenia that deal with the stress of an illness.

Say your prayers every night for Narek. God I love that kid!!!!!!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Vanessa Kachadurian Welcome Followers!!! Katchkar

Here is what a Katchkar looks like. Katchkar=Cross
There are over 100,000 of these in Armenia
hence my last name "of the Cross" or "Christianson"

Armenia was the first country to declare Christianity in 301 AD.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Vanessa Kachadurian Photos of Armenia!!!

Vanessa Kachadurian
Thank you for all the donations.

Vanessa Kachadurian-Update on Karen Sarafyan the concert pianist

Some of you have been asking about Karen Sarafyan one the most talented Piantists in Armenia who has make a CD. He is 15 years old and was stricken with cancer this past year. His father and relatives asked for help, we gave some benefit concerts in Armenia and St. Petersburg with the Young Musicians of Armenia.
Ironically this is where Karen is today at the Children's Hosptial in St. Petersburg getting chemo treatment.
We are currently raising more money for his bone marrow transplant which will be done in Israel. Israel has a great government regulated health care system, I hope when I visit again he is behind his piano playing for us all.
Thank you so much for your donations and the first lady of Armenia Mrs. Sargesyan for her much needed help and support.
Vanessa Kachadurian- thank you for your support.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Vanessa Kachadurian Lah mah joon- ooh zum em

ok, ok, so we both like Lah Mah Joon. K can eat lah ma joon morning, noon and night, good thing we have a selection of great bakeries near us. When I told her she was going to turn into a lah ma joon ..she asked me "is that possible?"

We eat ours with Madzoon and always a soda, although it is the only time we drink soda (or with Pizza) Orange soda preferable.

Vanessa Kachadurian- thank you for the donations INTERNATIONALLY. MERCI TO FRENCH ARMENIANS.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Vanessa Kachadurian- Armenian Orphanages

This is fantastic news! The Western Diocese has received the funding and support for the 2 new orphanages. They will house children until they age out of the system but will have training and vocational schools attached to them so the children can become active members of society.
We have also established more funds for local Foster Families to care for the children. This is progress, and will make the children stronger and happier to be with their country and fellow Armenians.
Myself and others have met a few of the bio mothers, grandmothers and fathers of these children. While it is hard to grasp why they put their children in an orphanage most had good intentions. Some do it out of economic necessity, as jobs are so hard to find in Armenia.
The orphaned children must not repeat the cycle of taking their children to orphanages. This is why we are pushing for the vocational training.

For you that have asked there is a new Adoption Agency offering Armenian Adoptions, it is called Adoption Related Services. They are located in Pennsylvannia. Here is their contact info.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Vanessa Kachadurian More Kids.....

Here are some more of my sweet kids....

Vanessa Kachadurian- Sweet kids, with Hope!!!

Vanessa Kachadurian- Just back from ARMENIA 6/2/2010

We have managed to get 2 more operations for our children in Armenia. The visit with them is hard, they want me to take them home and I cannot. So I visit often as well as my friends and relatives stop by on a regular basis. We have 1 more child scheduled to come to the USA for surgery by the end of 2010.

I am tired but I will not give up, these children need me. They are afraid of being sold to Adoption Agencies. So we are establishing Foster Care homes in Armenia with very loving families.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Vanessa Kachadurian- Friends in Congress of Armenian medical aid

Thank you Congressman Jim Costa for supporting the Armenian Genocide Resolution.

Vanessa Kachadurian- Horizon Armenian TV #1 in worldwide Armo News/Supporter

Thank you Argam for your recent interview with Horizon Armenian TV.

Vanessa Kachadurian Charitable donations

Most come from private donations, and other Armenian humanitarian groups. Arm Relief Mission and COAF (Children of Armenia Fund) are both dedicated to the health of the children of Armenia. These two groups were started by Physicians who understand the need and have the means to initiate funds, grants and clinics.
Our future goal is working along with the Western Diocease who is opening private orphanages in Armenia with medical clinics to provide for our children.
We have many American medical professionals who can navigate the difficult area of Medicaid, compassion visas, and outreach to our communities.
We have many notable celebrities and politicans who are assisting with our vision.

Vanessa Kachadurian- Our 3 year old recieving treatment for Kidney Cancer

His Mother is a very smart woman who ironically works as a social worker in Yerevan at the children's hospital. She never imagined that her own son would need life saving medical attention. Horizon Armenian TV has been a tireless sponsor as well as Yerevan Magazine, Asbarez, and Armenian weekly.
Many poor and uneducated parents in Armenia in the past have been left with no choice but to relinquish their children as a ward of the Social Ministry offices. The children are either in a charity ward, orphanage or other group home. Our group is strengthening the finances for Armenia to provide for their own citizens so they are not adopted overseas or have the choice to provide by a strengthening Armenian Foster Care program.

Vanessa Kachadurian Medical support provided for Children

Through the Armenian Medical community in the USA and Armenia we have successfully sponsored 2 children to the USA for much needed medical treatment.
Our group has the Western Diocese as well as many Politicians who work at obtaining medical visas for the children who so desperately need advanced treatment that is not available in other countries.