“I grew up in a regular house; I didn’t know what a domik was,” Astghik Mnatsakanyan says. It was after she got married that her life in a post-earthquake domik began, in Vanadzor. Although she was born the same year as the devastating 1988 quake but in an area away from what came to be known as the disaster zone, Astghik started her own family in the dreadful conditions of a domik.
Astghik has lived in the makeshift hut for eight years. As for her husband, Bakrat, he has lived in domiks far longer — for 28 years. His father has died at 54, as a result of the unsanitary conditions of their hut. Now Bagrat’s mother, Anahit, is also gravely ill. She has been diagnosed with leukemia.
Astghik and Bagrat have three children. Anna, the eldest, is in first grade. Their son, Sergey, is six. And their youngest daughter, Ani, is three months old. The family’s monthly income consists of some government assistance and Mrs. Anahit’s income, totaling about $125.
“My husband had run out of hope, but I still believed that God would help us, through the benevolence of a kind person,” Astghik says. Now her dream has come true, as Armenia Fund has provided the Mnatsakanyans with a new apartment.
Astghik, Bagrat, their three children, and Grandma Anahit have lost no time to move into their new home — a fully renovated and furnished apartment featuring a complement of modern amenities, including appliances. As for the family’s old domik, located in central Vanadzor, it will soon be demolished, taking with it the Mnatsakanyans’ 28-year nightmare.