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Our mission is eliminating
preventable blindness and
making eye care accessible to
all people in Armenia.

The name of our beneficiary, Elinar, means “brave hearted” in Persian.  She is only seven years old, but she has already experienced the horror of war. The morning of September 27, 2020 Elinar woke up to the sound of bombs going off. Missile attacks from Azerbaijan were targeting peaceful settlements in Artsakh, where Elinar and her family lived. Within just a few hours Elinar with her mother and three siblings were heading to Armenia to seek refuge. The war forced them to leave their native village of Getavan; Elinar’s father stayed back to protect their homeland.

Due to the stress Elinar began to have nightmares and needed support from a therapist. During one of her visits the psychologist noticed that Elinar had an eye problem. The family said that Elinar’s vision had begun to deteriorate about a year ago but that they could not afford the care needed to save her sight.

Familiar with the Armenian EyeCare Project and our many programs the psychologist referred Elinar’s family to our organization. During Elinar’s detailed eye exam, AECP Physician Dr. Ruzanna Harutyunyan identified a congenital cataract in the girl’s right eye. Such cases required surgical treatment at an early age to save the child’s vision. In Elinar’s case this precious time would be irreversibly lost if not for the support of the Armenian EyeCare Project. The staff at AECP’s Armenia office helped Elinar’s family with the required paperwork and Elinar was able to receive her needed surgery at no cost and was provided high-quality intraocular lenses completely free of charge.

After the cataract surgery Elinar’s vision exponentially improved. “Now my daughter can see better,” Elinar’s mother, Tamar said. “Due to her poor vision Elinar experienced some difficulties at school. But after the treatment she studies much better. I am so thankful to the AECP for providing this support!”

Elinar is happy too. She plans to celebrate her restored vision with a good book. “Now I can read my favorite fairy tales,” she says with a smile.


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