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The Children of Armenia Fund (COAF), a non-profit, non-governmental organization that uses community-led approaches to reduce rural poverty, particularly with youth, held its 12th annual holiday gala last Friday at Cipriani 42 in New York. Over $3.7 million was raised to fund the first SMART Center, a state-of-the-art, scalable learning and knowledge exchange hub.
Guests of the gala included COAF Founder Garo Armen, Alice Saraydarian, Co-Chair Tony Shafrazi, emcee Caroline Rhea, performers Christine Ebersole, members of Harvard University‘s Acapella Group, and featuring the Rakiem Walker Projects LIVE, as well as COAF’s SMART Center architect Paul Kaloustian, Henry and Patricia Hay, Giora Rachiminov, Dan Liebrovici, and Urs Fischer among others. Philanthropist and biotechnology entrepreneur Noubar Afeyan received this year’s Save a Generation Award for his continuous support for COAF and many other projects in Armenia.
COAF has funded and implemented education, healthcare, community and economic development programs for more than 30,000 people in rural villages of Armenia. SMART will implement COAF programs based on models which have charted success in 22 villages in the Armavir and Aragatsotn regions of Armenia over the past decade.