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VIVACELL Donates Over US$100,000 In Support Of Children With Disabilities

© UNICEF Armenia/Hasmik Arakelyan
UNICEF Representative in Armenia Sheldon Yett (left) and Vivacell Company's General Manager Ralph Yirikian (right) holding a symbolic payment cheque at the event marking VivaCell's contribution of over US$100,000.

YEREVAN, 2 July 2007 – VivaCell, Armenia’s leading mobile operator is joining UNICEF and the Ministry of Education and Science to support on-going efforts to include children with disabilities into basic education. VivaCell is donating 36,773,760 Armenian drams (over 105,000 USD) to UNICEF to help ensure that children with disabilities in Armenia are able to enjoy their right to a quality education.

"VivaCell’s generous donation will help ensure that children who would have otherwise had difficulty going to school will be able to do so," UNICEF Representative in Armenia Sheldon Yett noted. "VivaCell, a signatory to the UN Global Compact, is showing by example how the private sector can use its resources for the benefit of children. We hope that other companies in Armenia will follow this company’s lead and demonstrate a commitment to improve the lives of children and families in this country." The Global Compact is a United Nations driven initiative to promote responsible corporate citizenship.

"We believe in the future of Armenia. And the future of Armenia is our children. Business has a responsibility toward the country in which it operates – to minimize to the extent possible the outcomes of social inequality between people and especially among children, and to ensure that all children of Armenia irrespective of their social or health status, are provided equal opportunities to get a quality education and participate fully in the life and opportunities in the world around them. That’s why VivaCell is interested in this inclusive education project. VivaCell recruits individuals with disabilities and invites other enterprises operating in Armenia to do the same," said Ralph Yirikian, the General Manager of VivaCell.

This joint project will benefit children currently studying at eight inclusive schools in Armenia’s capital, Yerevan, and in the province of Tavoush. Funds given by VivaCell will significantly ease children’s access to those schools through construction of ramps and provision of three specially equipped minibuses to transport children to and from the school. In addition, the project includes training for teachers in interactive, child-friendly teaching methods and establishment of resource rooms at project schools.

According to the Ministry of Labour and Social Issues, there are approximately 8,500 children with disabilities living in the Republic of Armenia. Although the country has 13 inclusive schools and 5 UNICEF-supported community centres that cater for the needs of 1,500 children with disabilities, many of these children still remain isolated from the society and excluded from basic education.

UNICEF established its presence in Armenia in 1994. UNICEF is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children’s rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to meet their full potential.

About VivaCell

VivaCell is the leading Armenian mobile operator, providing a wide range of Voice and Data services. Since its launch on 1st July 2005, in a short period of time VivaCell has managed to build a nationwide network and a considerable customer base. VivaCell drives the development and offering of innovative mobile communications products, services and features in the Armenian mobile communications market.

For more information, please contact:

Emil Sahakyan, Communications Officer, UNICEF Armenia

Tel.: (374-10) 52 35 46, 58 01 74

Fax.: (374-10) 54 38 10




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