Armenian Youth Initiative

A nonprofit organization

44 donors

100% complete

$0 Goal



AYI spent part of January and February, 2024, working with children and families who relocated to Armenia following the expulsion of over 100,000 Christian Armenians from their homes in Karabakh (Artsakh).  Our efforts targeted the Artsakh population but was not limited to these families alone.  It's easy to lose track of the general population of struggling Armenian children and families in light of these recent events.  The pictures of the car caravan leaving Artsakh last fall were heart-wrenching.  Their personal stories of grief and loss and the impact of the traumatic life events were horrific.  It is important to remember that 75% of all Armenian children live in poverty.


Armenian Youth Initiative (AYI) was established as a Minnesota (501-C3) non-profit to provide activities and opportunities to youth and their families.  We began this initiative in the early 1990's and recently completed our 14th visit serving thousands of children and families.  AYI continues to work with our partners on the ground in Armenia to support disadvantaged youth while supporting displaced families.   We provide essential supports to a large portion of the underserved population.  Our work is ongoing - focusing on the most impending needs and filling service gaps for Armenians.  Your help continues to make a difference.  

   * Humanitarian assistance (food, clothing, school supplies, medical needs) to depressed and displaced families in collaboration with our partners (Mission Armenia, Tufenkian Foundation) in Armenia.

   * Provided needed furniture, appliances and supplies for families relocating from Artsakh.

   * Collaborative projects (Tufenkian Foundation/Mission Armenia) addressing unmet Mental Health needs while providing emotional support.   Through workshops and seminars, AYI provided needed support to front-line workers, mental health professionals, social workers, along with youth and their families.

   *  Provide excursions/activities for vulnerable children.  These could include cultural and educational programs that provide opportunities for team-building and positive social interactions.  In addition, we offered holiday parties and entertainment for hundreds of displaced children from Artsakh.

   *  We offered individual, group, and family therapy services to both Artsakh families and those residing in Armenia.  In all, 113 parents and 64 children participated in various groups, individual, and family sessions.  Provided individual case consultation with co-workers on the ground.  The majority of these services were offered in the Metsamor and Armavir areas.

  *  We offered medical transportation and consultation to numerous families with medical issues.  Provided additional funding or ongoing services to address complex medical needs.


The current atmosphere in Armenia remains uncertain.  Existential threats are a part of everyday life.  The future of the displaced Artsakh families also remains unknown.  Some are learning new skills to obtain employment, others are contemplating moving elsewhere.  Still others have limited options and remain in unfavorable living circumstances. 

The uncertainty of Armenia's future provides a chilling reminder that the world is in chaos.  Armenia's effort to survive and maintain it's historical identity, it's independence in a hostile region, remains an ongoing challenge.  The bravery and courage was on clear display from this resilient population.

AYI works diligently to remind those struggling they are not alone.  There are lots of people (supporters like you) who care about them and their fate.   We remain committed to working with our partners to address the challenges facing all Armenians. Our partners in Armenia work tirelessly to support young people and families.  Their hard work and commitment is amazing.  Without them, we could not do the work we are doing.   Thank you!

Martin Meketarian, Executive Director

Armenian Youth Initiative, Winter, Spring 2024

Organization Data


Organization name

Armenian Youth Initiative

Tax id (EIN)



Children & Family Humanitarian Aid


PO BOX 22194
Saint Paul, MN 55122