Mission East in Armenia has been working for over 20 years with the most marginalized and vulnerable people who have been struck hard by the collapse of the Soviet Union, the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the economic crisis and the segregation policies that have been existing in the country for a long period of time. Our actions mainly target people with disabilities and their families, children with special needs (educational, social, health), and people living in poverty in rural areas of the country.
These groups have had little chance of education and health care services and have been discriminated and left out of society because of stigmatization and exclusion. They lack basic knowledge about their rights and are left vulnerable and unable to protect themselves with little opportunities to employment or improvement of their livelihoods.
Since 2009 Mission East has been partners with the Global Fund on their “National Program on the Response to HIV Epidemic in Armenia” in which we have overseen 10 local organisations and co-operated with government bodies to provide support to people living with HIV/AIDS, as well working with those most at risk in order to slow the spread of the epidemic.
Over the last ten years, the Armenian government has shown a positive track record on economic management and reform, but still has huge challenges beating corruption and in health, education and disability - the key sectors that Mission East is working in. The health sector is amongst the least funded in the former Soviet countries.
Major achievements - 20 years of Mission East in Armenia working with civil society
Major achievements for Mission East have been the development of disability rights laws and signing of international conventions to protect people with disabilities and raising awareness on disability within Armenian society .
Building the capacity of civil society forms the core of our Armenia program. We have worked to build the capacity of and implement projects through more than 25 Local NGOs. We also helped establish the Disability Advocacy Coalition, a platform for Armenian disability organisations. We include capacity building elements of national and local governments in all projects, influencing them to adapt and develop policies linked with disability, inclusive education and children’s rights, and other medical and social issues. In addition, our Armenia field office has built good relationships and a strong reputation in rural areas, both with communities and local authorities. These relationships have been built through our long term cooperation on community health and disability project work.