Internet Center at the Culture House of Armenian Society
In 2012, the Internet Society of
Armenia applied to the International Internet Society for a grant to create an
Internet center for people with vision impairment in the Culture House of the
Armenian Society of Blinds. The issue is that initially the internet center had
been established in the building of Main Postal Service which appeared to be
not a right place (limited physical access to the building, crowded
neighborhood with few transport provided, etc.). After thorough analysis of the
situation the Culture House of Armenian Society of Blinds was selected. The
administration received the news enthusiastically. The Culture House is located
in a district where blind and visually impaired people live historically, where
there is a park zone, and where used to be a special plant for those people to
International Internet Society awarded a 10,000 USD worth community grant and
the Internet Society of Armenia added 2,500 USD. The grant period was one year.
In parallel, the initiative group of Internet
Society and Culture House started to develop the concept of transforming the
Culture House into a Rehabilitation Center for blind persons. The
rehabilitation has been meant to take place in three main directions: sporting,
information and, of course, cultural. The information technologies have been
allocated to the third floor.
The photographs depicting the process of creation of
the first block of the Internet center can be found here. With the grant
proceeds two premises were renovated – the center itself and a recreation room
adjacent to it. Also, 6 computers, tables and office chairs were purchased. Two
more computers, a color printer, air conditioner, drinking water apparatus and
furniture items were donated to the center by a US organization International
Relief and Development (IRD).
Opening of the center took place in April 2012. At
the end of May the center was honored by presence of the First Lady of Armenia
Mrs. Rita Sargsyan accompanied by the famous writer Zori Balayan, Minister of Culture
Mrs. Hasmik Poghosyan, Deputy Minister of Employment and Social Affairs Mrs.
Jemma Baghdasaryan and others.
In September 2013 Mrs. Rita Sargsyan invited the
President of Union of Armenians of Russia Mr. Ara Abrahamyan to visit the
center. He committed himself to complete reconstruction-renovation of the
Thus, a small grant for establishing an internet
center for blinds triggered an entire process resulting in creation of a
wonderful rehabilitation center for blinds which will serve as a platform for
connecting to the world!
The internet center once established in the building
of Main Postal Services will also relocate to this House of Culture thus
increasing its capacity.