Jinishian Memorial Foundation

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The Jinishian Memorial Foundation (JMF) was registered in the Republic of Armenia on March 23, 2000. From its offices in Yerevan, JMF directs programs and projects throughout Armenia, often in cooperation and partnership with other non-governmental organizations.

JMF is sponsored and maintained by the Jinishian Memorial Program of the Presbyterian Church USA. For almost forty years, the program that carries the family name of Vartan Jinishian has been active in several countries of the Middle East. After independence came in 1991, the Jinishian program began to explore extending its relief and development activities to Armenia. Today, it supports durable solutions to Armenia’s social and economic problems. Taking a comprehensive approach, JMF aims to

  • Reduce poverty by supporting the development of sustainable activities.
  • Empower Armenians at all levels of society to work together to overcome collective social and economic problems.
  • Support the spiritual, intellectual and social development of young Armenians.
  • Strengthen civil society through support to non-governmental organizations and other formal and informal social benefit activities.
  • Relieve the immediate suffering of the most vulnerable and marginalized groups through material and spiritual assistance.

In fulfilling its mission as a faith-based organization, JMF cooperates with the Christian churches of Armenia through a local advisory committee, which has members from the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox, the Armenian Catholic, and Armenian Evangelical churches.

In its early years in the Middle East, the Jinishian Memorial Program (JMP) was fully occupied delivering social services and relief to tens of thousands of Armenians in the midst of social, economic, political, and ethnic instability. Those programs were designed to help the poor and needy cope with the lack of daily necessities, and to confront conditions of despair, poverty, poor health, and limited educational opportunities.

However, today JMP is expanding its awareness and understanding of opportunities for service to Armenians to include self-development, a process by which persons may overcome their personal or community environment of poverty through reflection and action. Without diminishing the need for relief, JMP increasingly affirms a self-help approach to grass roots, community-based development. It encourages the poor and needy to articulate their own perceptions, to define their goals, to plan for resolving problems, and to organize themselves for meeting social objectives, which they have identified and chosen.

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