DEBET, Armenia—A groundbreaking ceremony took place for the Children of Armenia Fund’s new conference center in Debet, a village in the Lori Province of Armenia. The construction of the center was initiated by COAF, and is considered to be one of the most important infrastructures of the COAF SMART Campus, along with the COAF SMART Center and the Concept Hotel.
The Center is a 19,654 sqft building with 20 guest rooms, two fully equipped conference rooms, a cafeteria, a professional kitchen and a leisure and meeting room. It will host summits, conferences, corporate retreats, expositions, exhibitions and other events.
During the groundbreaking ceremony, COAF managing director Korioun Khatchadourian mentioned that one of the main objectives of the Center was increasing economic development in the region of Lori and transforming it into a sought-after tourist destination.
“Another important goal is hosting young people from various regions of Armenia and all over the world. They can stay here and participate in the camps and other events organized at the COAF SMART Center,” noted Khatchadourian.
Thus, the new Conference Center will expand the opportunities provided by COAF SMART Campus, boosting the educational and economic progress of rural communities.
A number of prominent guests and COAF representatives attended the groundbreaking ceremony, including the Deputy Governor of the Lori region Gayane Markosyan, COAF Board of Trustees Chairman Richard Bezjian, COAF Founder’s Representative and Senior Advisor Erik Gyulazyan, COAF Senior Advisor Haig Boyadjian, Kanaka Construction Co. Director Hayk Hovivyan, Mayor of Debet Ashot Ghazaryan, former Mayor of Debet Ararat Kocharyan, architects from d’Arvestanots studio Arsen Karapetyan and Grigor Haykazyan.
During the ceremony, which had a lively turn-out, guests were offered shovels to mark the ground where the Center would be constructed. Later, Deputy Governor Gayane Markosyan expressed hope that the collaboration between COAF and Regional Administration would be long-lasting. “You are doing a great job by having your input into the advancement of rural communities,” stated Markosyan. “The Center will hopefully attract more and more visitors to the Lori region.”
“And let’s not forget about the core idea of the building,” Koryun Khatchadourian added. “The construction itself might be fascinating, but what’s more important is the ‘content’ that is has to offer to visitors.”
The Conference Center by COAF will be designed and constructed by d’Arvestanots architecture studio and Kanaka Construction Company. The construction will be completed, and the conference venue will be fully operational by the end of 2020.
The “Children of Armenia” Charitable Fund is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that employs community-led approaches aimed at improving the quality of life in rural Armenia, with a particular focus on children and youth. COAF’s target development areas are education, healthcare, social and economic development. COAF launched its programs in 2004, starting in one village and expanding to 51 villages in Armavir, Aragatsotn, Lori, Gegharkunik, Shirak and Tavush regions.
Since 2015 COAF has developed and started implementing a new vision – COAF SMART Initiative. COAF SMART is designed to advance a generation across the rural world through education that will benefit individuals, societies and the environment. COAF SMART will become an exemplary model of development and will be replicated in other regions and communities throughout Armenia. The first COAF SMART Center was inaugurated on May 27, 2018 near the village of Debet, Lori Region, with an outreach to over 150,000 rural residents.