Armenian relief and support fund looks to the future
January 18, 2018
Longtime partners, supporters, current and former staff, and donors gathered recently to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Jinishian Memorial Program (JMP).
JMP is the legacy of Vartan H. Jinishian, who created the endowment fund in honor of his parents, who immigrated to America during the Armenian Genocide in the early 20th century. Administered by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), JMP benefits Armenians in poverty and need who live outside the United States.
The celebration took place at the Gabriel Sundukyan National Academic Theatre in Yerevan, Armenia. The reception opened with remarks from JMP’s executive director, Eliza Minasyan, and the chair of the United States Advisory Committee, Victoria Chopourian Gehrt. Recognizing the importance of JMP initiatives in Armenia, the minister of diaspora spoke about the many years of service that JMP has provided to Armenian communities and, in honor of these accomplishments, gave presidential awards to JMP, JMP Syria and Gehrt.
The Rev. Jose Luis Casal, director of Presbyterian World Mission, also praised JMP’s work. Participants enjoyed presentations from the country directors of Jinishian’s largest programs in Armenia, Lebanon and Syria. More than 30 current and former staff members from Armenia, the United States, Lebanon and Syria were honored for their contributions. The honorees included Zabel Yirikian, the longest-serving JMP employee, who has worked for Jinishian for more than 40 years.
The primate of the Armenian diocese in Georgia, His Grace Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan, expressed gratitude for JMP’s work toward community development and preservation of cultural and spiritual national values.
“More than 15 years ago we prioritized the development approach and envisioned a gradual shift from direct relief programs to effective programs that stimulate self-sustainability and growth addressing the root causes of poverty,” said Minasyan.
“We are flexible to adjust our strategy and projects to address current country needs and provide long-term support if needed,” said JMP Armenia Country Director Armen Hakobyan.
Holly Sarkissian, Special to Presbyterian News Service
Today’s Focus: Jinishian Memorial Program
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Mission Co-Workers
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray:
You, O God, raise us from despondency to praise. In spite of human wickedness, you are faithful, seeking after every one of your children. We join with all who call on Jesus’ name, thankful that our story begins and ends in you. Amen.