1-0 for 13-year-old Tigran | Mission East

1-0 for 13-year-old Tigran

Tigran together with his mother.
Tigran together with his friends.
Tigran sitting at his desk.

13-year-old Tigran used to sit all alone at home.
By Tania Maria Lüders Rusbjerg, Mission East Journalist
Photos by Hayrapet Hovsepyan


"He had no friends," says his mother, Ofelia.
Tigran has cerebral palsy and can not walk unaided. He was therefore home-schooled until he reached the age of ten. But just a few years ago Ofelia heard about a school which was able to accommodate Tigran and his special needs.

The school is a result of Mission East’s work helping people with disabilities in Armenia to exercise their basic rights. In Armenia, children with disabilities are often associated with great shame and are regarded as a burden to society. For this reason many parents hide their children away from the rest of the world.

Mission East, together with its local partner organization, Bridge of Hope, works to identify children with special needs and ensure that they are enrolled in school. In school, they have the opportunity to interact with other children and make friends, and receive an education from teachers who are trained to take each child's special needs into consideration when teaching.

Today, Tigran has many friends and doesn’t see his disability as a limitation. 
"He wants to be a soccer player when he grows up," says his mother with a smile.

Read more about Mission East in Armenia