Armenia Assist
Armenia Assist

Harry with his adopted family

My name is Harry Nakashian Jr., and I am an American of Armenian heritage. I had the idea in 2004 to do something that would honor the memory of my parents, Harry and Loretta Nakashian. I wanted to do something that reflected their values of generosity and love of children. I also wanted to do something that was direct, and something that I could be involved with, rather than just donate something to a group that may not represent my wishes. It almost naturally followed that I combined my love of travel with the idea to find a poor family in an Armenian village and impact their lives in a positive way. This included basic housing needs, medical attention where needed, warm clothes for winter, and most importantly, formal education for the children so that they can acquire vocational skills and a job that will help them become independent.

While applying for my travel visa in the spring of 2004, I met an Armenian girl also applying at the Consulate Office in Los Angeles. Lianna had an aunt who lived near a poor village and she introduced me to several families before I finally chose the family I wanted to assist. I felt very good about my choice and I felt especially good that this is a family I would get to know, and that I could watch the progress they make.

I have now been to Armenia several times since that first trip in 2004, and it has been a very satisfying experience for me. We hope that what we are doing can inspire and serve as a model for others who understand the value of real help, and recognize the continuing needs of Armenians who live in many poor villages throughout the country.

Harry Nakashian 3 January 2008

Updated Photos Autumn 2019

See the feature article about Armenia Assist. The Armenian Weekly

Armenia Assist

Learn to speak Armenian via Skype
from Sona Avagyan in Yerevan.

The Society for Orphaned Armenian Relief (SOAR)


Armenian Language Program
During the past decade, hundreds of children have been adopted from Armenia, some of which to non-Armenian parents and many who do no live ...

Harry and Sona Avagyan

Sona Baluyan

Sona Baluyan

I am happy to introduce Sona Baluyan as my ArmeniaAssist Partner in Yerevan. Born and raised in Armenia, Sona is a recent graduate of the Linguistics University in Yerevan. She speaks several languages, and I have known her and her family for 3 years. In this time, she has been essential to making sure we can be successful with our efforts.

She knows all the people in the villages we are in touch with, and she has traveled  extensively with me to these villages, including very remote areas in Karabagh. Most importantly, she has a sincere devotion to the kids in the villages and is very intent on seeing their lives improve. 

She is in  contact with these families and their kids, and keeps me informed of the news that concerns their lives. She explains very carefully and thoroughly all the news she receives. She offers suggestions and I always value her opinion when we decide together how to offer the best help by matching needs with our available resources.

She receives the funds and makes sure they are spent the way we chose, and reports back to me and donors on the results. She has been extremely helpful in this way, she is the link between people in other countries and the help getting to the kids in the villages. 

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