Up till the 1988 earthquake, the Senekhchyans lived comfortably in a building on Manushyan Street. But the disaster that year made them essentially homeless, forcing them to take shelter in so-called temporary huts known as domiks. For the past 12 years, the family has lived in a cramped, squalid hut, also on Manushyan Street. Yet despite the dreadful conditions of the hovel, including the fact that it lacked even the most basic of amenities, the Senekhchyans have never lost hope.
The family consists of six members: Mr. and Mrs. Paruyr and Ruzanna Senekhchyan, their children Julietta and Armenak, and Paruyr’s parents Armenak and Shahandukht. Paruyr works at a construction store, earning a little over $100 a month. His wife doesn’t have a full-time job. The family’s only other source of regular income is the government assistance they receive for the children, totaling about $54 a month.
The Senekhchyans had the surprise of their lives when representatives of Armenia Fund visited them at their hut and presented them with the keys to an apartment in Gyumri’s Mush district. Made possible by a donation from Armenia Fund benefactor Jean-Marie Atamian of New York, the Senekhchyans’ apartment came fully furnished and with a complement of modern amenities, including home appliances.
The Senekhchyans are the 33rd family in Gyumri to leave their domik behind and move into a new apartment with the support of Armenia Fund. The organization has been providing homes to such families since 2014.