In 1998, a group in Yerevan – the Armenian Charitable Foundation on Population Development – began work on an Armenian edition of "Our Bodies, Ourselves" with generous support from several donors and foundations, including Margot Dilmaghani, an Armenian-American activist from New York, the Soros Foundation in Budapest and the Lincy Foundation. They published 2000 copies of the book in 2001 and distributed copies at community trainings and workshops. They also promoted it in local media (television, radio, newspapers and magazines).
In 2005, the volunteers and staff of “For Family and Health” Pan-Armenian Association began working on an update that included stories of Armenian women. This adaptation also received substantial technical and financial support from the Armenian community in the US; several women activists that emigrated overseas also shared their stories. While a number of different donors supported the printing of both editions, the 2010 edition was supported primarily by Margot Dilmaghani, a life-long musician who raised funds through the release of the Classical Piano CD "Celebration!" featuring music by Armenian women composers.
The 2010 Armenian resource marked the beginning of a new initiative - “Women’s Voices for Health” - that seeks to inspire and empower Armenian women to become engaged in peer-advocacy for sustaining good health for themselves and their communities. Proceeds from the sales of this book are being used to provide free reproductive health care to women and girls by the staff of the “Vernissage” Reproductive Health Clinic at the St. Mary’s Family Health Centre recently in Yerevan, Armenia.
Take a visual tour of this brand new facility.
Our partner has made every effort to bring the second Armenian adaptation to a regional and international audience - through conferences in Croatia and Brussels, trainings in Kazakhstan, and networks in the European Regional Office of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, which implements projects in countries like Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia, Moldova, Macedonia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan.
OBOS's Executive Director, Judy Norsigian, wrote a short introduction for the book and continues to reach out to the Armenian Diaspora to increase awareness. This includes representatives of the Armenian government and health educators and providers. Judy is also on the board of the Armenian International Women’s Association, where there has been ongoing interest in the resource and discussion on ways to increase access to it in rural Armenia.
To find out more about the “For Family and Health” Pan Armenian Association, read this blog post by Sophia Moradian, who as a college freshman year travelled to Armenia to learn more about lives of women there.
If you would like more information about this project and explore ways you might get involved, please contact the OBOS Global Initiative staff.
The first Armenian adaptation, published in 2001.
Meet Our Partner
“For Family and Health” Pan-Armenian Association, a public not-for-profit organization, was established in 1995. The organization encourages democratic participation and works to improve the health and well-being of individuals and families by increasing access to sexual and reproductive rights, quality information and services, and sexuality education (with special attention on youth, as well as disadvantaged families, groups and individuals.) They focus on abortion, access, adolescents, advocacy, HIV/AIDS, and capacity building.
An accredited member of the International Planned Parenthood Federation’s European Network since 1999, our partner also works in close partnership with government, mass media, and non-government institutions. With informal branches in all 10 regions of Armenia, and headquartered in the city of Yerevan, the organization advocated successfully in 2002 for the adoption of a "Law on Reproductive Health and Reproductive Rights" by the National Parliament. This bill was endorsed by the Minister of Health of the National Standards and Protocols on Pregnancy Termination in 2010.
From inception our partner has conducted wide-scale educational, advocacy, training and service delivery programs in the area of reproductive health, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and a consortium of local NGOs receiving financial support from the IPPF, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNHCR and USAID. During 2006-2009, they introduced “youth-friendly” approaches in more than 30 health facilities countrywide and established a “Youth Forum” of more than 300 peer-educators under the umbrella of the Reproductive Health Initiative for Youth in the South Caucasus (co-funded by the UNFPA/EC/EPF). The organization's volunteers have reached more than 10,000 people across the country with reliable, culturally appropriate and affordable information and health care.
Our partner has also demonstrated the ability to improve access for low income and young women to high quality sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services - including comprehensive abortion care - through implementation of the Quality of Care Program (2003-2006, supported by IPPF/Gates Foundation), the innovative “Making Abortion Safe and Rare in Armenia” project (2006-2009, supported by IPPF/Innovation Fund), and the IPPF Global Comprehensive Abortion Care Initiative (2009-2010, supported by an anonymous donor), During 2010, they conducted a Comprehensive Abortion Care training for more than 150 external providers, disseminated relevant resource materials and MVA (manual vacuum aspiration) syringes, and provided on-going supportive supervision.
For information about "For Family and Health" Pan Armenian Association, please contact either the OBOS Global Initiative or the organization directly.
Contact Person: Alexander Khachikyan / Meri Khachikyan
Address: 123 Armenakyan Street, 0046, Yerevan Armenia
Email: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Looking for a Copy?
If you would like copies of the first and second Armenian adaptations, please contact “For Family and Health” Pan-Armenian Association at firstname.lastname@example.org. All profit from sales of these books will be used to provide high quality SRH services to low income Armenian women by physicians at the “Vernissage” Reproductive Health Clinic at the St. Mary’s Family Health Centre in Yerevan, Armenia.
Free copies are available to participants at training sessions organized by our partner in Yerevan, Armenia. For more information about the training courses and special discounts for bulk purchases, please contact either the OBOS Global Initiative or the organization directly. The OBOS Global Initiative also has a limited number of books in stock. Please contact program staff if you live in the US and would like a copy.