Background

Background

Helen Keller


Helen Adams Keller was born on June 27, 1880 in Tuscumbia, Alabama. In 1882, she fell ill and was struck blind, deaf and mute. Beginning in 1887, Keller’s teacher, Anne Sullivan, helped her make tremendous progress with her ability to communicate, and Keller went on to college, graduating in 1904. In 1920, Keller helped found the ACLU. During her lifetime, she received many honors in recognition of her accomplishments. During her remarkable life, Keller stood as a powerful example of how determination, hard work, and imagination can allow an individual to triumph over adversity. By overcoming difficult conditions with a great deal of persistence, she grew into a respected and world-renowned activist who labored for the betterment of others.

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Haghtanak Nursing Home


Following Armenia’s long, hard, cold winter the Mobile Eye Hospital emerges from hibernation (Yerevan garage) and embarks on a 10-month journey to conduct eye screenings and treat patients throughout the marzes.

Treating the vulnerable and children is a top priority of the EyeCare Project. Its first stop each year is “Haghtanak,” a nursing home in Yerevan, followed by visits to soup kitchens, more nursing homes, special schools and orphanages and a number of other local community groups and nongovernmental organizations that care for the poor and underserved, the vulnerable and disabled, families of perished fighters, war veterans and Mission Armenia beneficiaries.

Eye Safety at Home


Most eye injuries happen in the home and the leading cause of blindness in children is eye injury and three out of four of children’s eye injuries happen when no adult is present. To prevent eye injuries at home wear protective eyewear or glasses when working with chemicals to protect your eyes from splashes. Never mix cleaning agents and always wash your hands after use. Keep all household chemicals and paints locked up away from children. Champagne corks or the tops of some carbonated beverages can fly into the eye and blind you. Point them in a safe direction.

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Anna Hovakimyan, M.D.


Anna Hovakimyan, Chief of the Corneal-Uveitis Clinic at the Republican Eye Hospital in Yerevan, Armenia, encounters the same challenges as other working mothers worldwide. How does she balance her roles as mother, wife and physician? “With great difficulty,” Dr. Hovakimyan responds. Though her days are always filled with conflicting demands upon her time, she responds to all who need her with kindness and grace. Along with her demanding medical career, Anna and her husband, Hayk Avagyan, Chief of Orthopedics and Sports Trauma at St. Nerses the Great Hospital in Yerevan, are the parents of two active boys, Arik Avagyan, 9, and Arsen Avagyan, 5.

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Where We Work


armenia