GHNI Leadership Visit House of Esther

House of Esther, Armenia

In early October, we presented the House of Esther at a gathering in Ferney Voltaire, France.  People were interested in helping the Syrian refugee families. We explained that we are getting ready to host refugee families once we finish the basic renovations on the house. A few volunteered their time to visit and help where needed. A few doctors and sociologists may provide counseling and assistance to abused women to speed the healing and recovery process.

In Armenia, our partner NGO will help to bring refugee families to the House of Esther when it’s ready. The NGO is already handling 1,500 families (around 5,000 refugees). Our partner does everything from receiving refugees at the airport to temporary housing, documentation, visiting the hospital, schooling for their children, filing background information for possible work, etc.

On Saturday I travelled to Armenia, where members of GHNI leadership joined me, including Gary Vannatter, Richard Prior, and Mr. and Mrs. Hal Jones. The leaders and I met with UNHCR representatives in Yerevan, Armenia, and the Ministry of Diaspora for the Syrian and Iraqi refugees, as well as a few other organisations.

Following our meetings to solidify partners, we then evaluated the progress of the renovation of the House of Esther, calculating when it would be fit to house our first few refugee families. Progress has been good, as it is 80% complete. Work that still needs to be finished includes three water closets, floor coverings (carpet or light parquet), painting rooms, and the dining and living rooms. We are now working to fill and send a container of beds, mattresses, kitchen equipment, gardening equipment, and outdoor furniture. We need enough items to house 30-40 refugees by early April 2016.

GHNI Volunteer Project Manager