Proshyan School Water Project - Armenia

Proshyan School Water Project - Armenia

NPCA & WC LOGOSThis project is made possible through the partnership of Water Charity and the National Peace Corps Association.

Proshyan School, Ashtarak, Aragatsotn Marz, Armenia

sinksCommunity Description
Ashtarak is the capital of Aragatsotn province, with a population of 20,000. It is located in central Armenia, 23 kilometers north of the capital. The town sits on the southern flank of Mount Aragats, the tallest mountain in the country and lines the beautiful gorge of the Kasagh River.  Ashtarak has plenty of water flowing from the Aparan Reservoir, 37 kilometers northeast and historic irrigation channels, built in the Middle Ages, the same time as the town’s landmark stone bridge. 

During the Soviet Era, construction materials, mining and agriculture made the town thrive. But since the fall of the U.S.S.R. industry and capital have fled, along with jobs. Most men are forced to seek work in Russia or the Ukraine, leaving behind half-empty houses and fatherless families. 

Commonly, women stay at home or work as teachers for as little as $30 a month. Children are the very heart of this community, but educational resources and facilities are poor. According to the World Bank, just 8.9% of the country’s budget was spent on education in 2013.  As a result, most of the Proshyan School building is boarded-up and derelict, used to store broken desks, chairs and shelves. Heat is so insufficient in winter that everyone must wear coats, hats and gloves all day. 

Problem Addressed
There is no running water at Proshyan School.  

Though workmen are always digging up the streets, the town’s infrastructure remains as it was in 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed. To make matters worse, corruption reaches deep into the utility business, recently sparking demonstrations in the capital. 

In Ashtarak there is water from 8 AM to 9 AM and from 9 PM to 10 PM. There is no running water during school, which means that children and staff can’t wash their hands after using the bathrooms.  

It’s not hard to imagine how the lack of running water affects health. Most teachers and students have numerous colds during the year, and last spring an infectious flu closed school for two weeks. Without access to water, there has been no reason for the kids to learn that aseptic hand washing can deter the spread of germs. Even adults believe you get a cold if you don’t wear heavy socks. 

Project Description
This project will install 4 plastic 1,000-liter water tanks in each of the 4 bathrooms at Proshyan School, located in opposite wings of the building—1 for boys and 1 for girls, side by side.

Currently, each of the bathrooms has 2 stand-up, non-flushing toilets, as well as 2 non-working sinks, though the drains are intact and operational. The water tanks will not affect the toilets, only the sinks.  The tanks will be placed on strong metal rods just beneath the ceiling so pumps will not be required. Most of the piping is plastic and each tank will be equipped with a filter, making the water fully potable for kids who want to drink or brush their teeth. They will also install 4 electric hand driers, which will be more ecologically sound and sustainable than paper towels. The grant includes funds for a 3-month supply of liquid soap; thereafter, the school will cover soap costs.
All materials are available in local hardware stores. When the water system is installed and fully-operational, 4 teachers and 2 RNs will hold Hygiene Camp for students and teachers at Proshyan School.  It will consist of three one-hour sessions for each class, grades 3 to 9, over the course of a week. On completion of the workshops, participants will use good hygiene techniques to contain the spread of colds and flu, especially aseptic hand washing. They will compete in a Good Hygiene Poster Contest and become motivated to spread the news to family and friends.   

Faculty and parentsProject Impact
The project will directly benefit 190 students and 35 staff members at Proshyan School.  Indirectly, it will affect their family members and friends.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Susan Spano

Monitoring and Maintenance
Susan will have about  7 months after the completion of the project to monitor the working of the tanks and institute annual hygiene classes, ultimately to be taught by the school nurse. The custodial staff will be tasked with tank upkeep. They will be installing electric hand driers (so there's no need for paper towels) and soap dispensers. The grant will include funds three months’ worth of soap, with further provisions to be handled by the school.

Proshyan School staff and parents, including principal Samvel Shoukyan, will install the water delivery system on a volunteer basis. Former principal Nune Movsisyan, now deputy governor of Aragatsotn province, will help complete the project and promote it in the community via a Water Celebration school assembly. The project fills a crucial need at school for running water and teaches school community members good health and hygiene practices. It is expected to have deterrent effects on the rampant spread of colds and the flu.

While this is not an official Let Girls Learn project, it does fall into Water Charity's Let Girls Learn Initiative, a grouping of projects that have a pronounced element involving helping girls go to, and stay in, school.

Dollar Amount of Project
Donations Collected to Date


Dollar Amount Needed


Donations of any amount will be appreciated. The full amount will allow you a posted dedication, if that is something you would like.

This project has been completed.  To see the results, CLICK HERE.
School playDisplay


Funds Needed : 

Nerkin Khndzoresk Community Water Improvement Project - Armenia

Nerkin Khndzoresk, Syunik Marz, Armenia

Community Description
The village of Nerkin Khndzoresk has approximately 320 people. The quaint border village was founded in 1983 as a result of resizing of the bigger village of Khndzoresk. After the creation of Khndzoresk, Nerkin was established to strengthen the Southeastern borders of Armenia and was strategically placed below the larger village to prevent enemies from attacking. However, any expansion and maintenance of the area ceased after the fall of the Soviet Union.

The village resides about 7 km from Khndzoresk by one bumpy, hole-filled road and is 21 km from the city of Goris. Subsistence farming and animal breeding are the main sources of livelihood.

Nerkin Khndzoresk Community Water Improvement Project - ArmeniaNerkin Khndzoresk is currently suffering a deficiency of natural resources, lack of transportation, unemployment, and an aging infrastructure. As with many other villages in previous USSR countries, the community water supply and water drainage systems collapsed after the fall of the Soviet times.

Recent water testing completed Goris Water Organization indicated an excess in harmful bacteria. The lack of reliable access to clean water not only affects the public health of the people and animals within the community, but the community’s sustainability as a whole.

2009 statistics from the local health post reveal that over 50% of community suffered from some type of infectious disease throughout the year. Outbreaks of giardia, shigella, hepatitis A, and dysentery are believed to have been directly caused by the drinking water.

Nerkin Khndzoresk Community Water Improvement Project - ArmeniaProject Description
This project will construct 2 BioSand water filters with concrete platforms. One will be placed at the Nerkin Khndzoresk Secondary School and the other within the village center of Nerkin Khndzoresk.

The filters will remove 95%-99% of bacteria and will be effective across a broad range of harmful pathogens.

The construction of the BioSand filters will utilize concrete, sand, and gravel, all obtained locally. Project funds will pay for the construction materials.

The community will contribute all labor for the construction of the filters.

The construction will be completed throughout an environmental and volunteer awareness training session and provide local community members and youth the skills needed to engineer and maintain additional BioSand filters. The training session will be presented in coordination with the Nerkin Secondary School activity leaders and regional PCVs with previous experience building filters using this technology.

Project Impact
The project will directly benefit all 320 people, including children, teachers, and workers within the school as well as the remainder of the Nerkin Khndzoresk population.

The project will additionally indirectly affect surrounding villages with possible expansion of the technology to other communities in need.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Katie McKillen

Issues surrounding natural resources have forced many families to move from the community, and there is a fear that others will also flee shortly. Safe drinking water is necessary for the continued existence of the community.

This project utilizes the appropriate technology that has been proven to remove contaminants from the drinking water. The construction of these community-scale filters represents a meaningful contribution to the wellbeing of the community at a reasonable cost.

Dollar Amount of Project

Donations Collected to Date

Dollar Amount Needed
$0.00 - This project has been fully funded, through the generosity of The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust as a part of their Clean Water Projects initiative.

We encourage others to continue to donate using the Donate button below, and we will notify Peace Corps Volunteer Katie McKillen of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund the next project by Katie and/or those other PCVs in the country of service.

This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.

Funds Needed : 
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