Corporation and Cooperation: Marriott teams with Orran for sake of street kids

With national songs and dances in front of the Armenia Marriot Hotel Wednesday the hotel and Orran Non Governmental Organization, announced their partnership in intensifying the struggle to help Yerevan’s street children. Hotel waiters wore T-shirts with the Orran symbol and crafts made by Orran children were on sell in the hotel lobby.

Orran founder Armine Hovannisyan says that the cooperation between Orran and Marriott will be a unique attempt at stepping up the fight against destitution and begging on Yerevan’s streets. Every Wednesday, at 5 p.m. during the month of September, the children of Orran will perform traditional Armenian songs and dances at the entrance of the hotel.

“The guests of the hotel will be provided with various occasions to make donations. We want them to pay attention not to our organization, but to the future of the children,” Hovannisyan said. “Nothing is compulsory, those willing will be told about the activities of Orran and the situation of these children, and also they will be offered the opportunity to buy something from the display. The goal is not so much to raise money as to make people feel for these children.”

At the launching performance, passersby approached the Orran children, hugging and kissing them.

Adrine Gzoghyan, 38, embraced with excitement her three children – Artur, 11, Armen, 10, and Rita, 9. All three sing in Orran’s choir. “I have five children. But for Orran’s help, I don’t know what my family’s situation would be now,” she says.

During the five years of its activities the charitable organization has taken more than 100 children off the streets, providing them with food, clothing, psychological and medical services, tutoring, and an avenue for success. Some 140 elderly people are also helped through a special program that provides them with hot food on a daily basis.

“This is not merely a duty but also a privilege for our hotel,” said Armenia Marriott Hotel general manager Katrin Hentszel. “The problem of children and elderly begging on the street – and the more basic problem of poverty – is something that needs to be solved. We are happy to be working with the professional staff and truly delightful beneficiaries of Orran to come one step closer to the solution.”

Orran co-founder (and independent Armenia’s first Minister of Foreign Afffairs) Raffi Hovannisyan points out that Orran’s children represent the generation that made a hard transition, finding themselves in the streets.

“They have the right to be happy. It is our primary task to do away with begging. I am confident that these children will be the last needy ones,” he said.