SOAR’s Transitional Center is the first of its kind in Gyumri – a residential setting for older teenage girls who have outgrown the traditional orphanage but who are not yet ready for independent living. Our residents attend college; assist with our handcraft business (; are enriched by our academic programs; appreciate volunteerism; learn essential life skills, including home and money management; build self-nurturance and self-confidence; and prepare themselves for emotional, fiscal, and professional independence.

Meet Our Girls

Lilit Asatryan
Liana Serobyan
Lusine A.
Arpine Khachatryan
Margarit Davoyan


Liana Unusyan
Angin Harutyunyan
Artur Manukyan
Rafayel Ghevondyan

The Transitional Center sewing and craft business, Gyumri So-Art!



Presentation at the SOAR Transitional Center, Gyumri

The Center had the honor of hosting Lusine Sanoyan, the First Deputy Head of Gyumri at the Transitional Center. The purpose of this meeting was to present an overview of all ongoing projects and activities at the center, highlighting our initiatives, achievements and future plans.

The presentation began by introducing our location, residential and office rooms. Special slides were prepared to present all ongoing programs lead by the Foundation.

The various educational programs offered at the center were highlighted, including literacy classes, vocational training workshops, and skill-building sessions. These programs aim to empower residents with knowledge and skills to enhance their personal and professional development.

Following the presentation, there was a discussion with Lusine Sanosyan, who expressed appreciation for the work being done at the Transitional Center. Feedback was provided on areas of strength and areas for improvement and commitments were made to explore potential collaboration opportunities moving forward.

Special visitors of the Center

Hrazdan Tokmajyan (see his bio below) presented his research that he made of values and traditions of Armenia’s past.

He presented the Center members very old Marash, Aintab and other needlework items.

He carries out a research projects about Armenian needlework in the Middle East and he is the author of a number of books:

  • Marash Needlework (2010) published by the Aleppo Marash Cultural Union, Aleppo, Syria.
  • Ourfa Needlework vol. I (2014) published by Berio Tem, Aleppo, Syria.
  • Aintab Needlework (2015) published by Gertasiradz Union of Aleppo, Syria.
  • Preprint, Galamkerians: Aintab, Damascus, Aleppo (2015) to be published by Berio Tem.

Hrazdan Tokmajyan was born in 1961 in Gyumri, Armenian. In 1980 he graduated from the Panos Terlemezian Collage for Fine Arts. In 1985 he graduated from Khachatur Abovyan institute of pedagogy. His teaching career started in 1985 in Sev Kar’s village’s school, Tavush province, Armenia. In 1993, he was invited to Aleppo (Syria) to teach in the Saryan Fine Arts Academy maintained by the Armenian General Benevolent Union. After more than twenty years, and despite the ongoing insane war in Syria, Tokmajyan is still the art professor of the Saryan Academy.

Since 1988, Tokmajyan is a member of the Armenian Artist Committee and since then he participated in many collective exhibitions and organized individual exhibitions.

In 2011, Hrazdan Tokmajyan was granted the Armenian Republic’s Cultural Ministry’s “Golden Medallion”, the Marash Cultural Union’s “Marash Lion” medallion and the Frederick Nansen Medallion.

In 2015, the Minister of the Armenian Diaspora Ministry honoured Mr Tokmajyan with “Arshil Gorki” medallion.

The next guest was Tatev Muradyan, who is a cultural expert and tries to keep and transfer old Armenian carpet and embroidery ornaments to nowadays world.

She does this by her own brand “MURADiAN”, that presents silver and gold jewelry with Armenian embroidery ornaments, such as Marash and Aintab.

Tatev motivates the youth to love their roots as much as she does, not only by words but by their actions to spread national values.

The Center will continue such series of special guest meetings which will enrich SO-Art studio’s “living library”.

Healthy lifestyle courses at the SOAR Transitional Center in Gyumri

The “Healthy Lifestyle” course continues at the Center which aims to promote physical well-being, improve overall health and support the holistic recovery of our residents.

Individualized exercise programs were developed for each resident based on their unique needs, abilities and rehabilitation goals. These programs incorporate a mix of cardiovascular exercises, strength training, flexibility exercises and balance activities.

Fitness supplies were purchased to help during the series of exercises to work on muscular system.

The residents receive personalized guidance and supervision from a certified fitness trainer and a rehabilitation specialist during these sessions. This ensures safe and effective performance of exercises while minimizing the risk of injury.

Regular assessments are conducted to track students’ progress in terms of physical fitness, mobility, and overall well-being. This allows for adjustments to be made to the exercise programs to optimize outcomes.

A dynamic and engaging event aimed at honoring the achievements of women, motivating and inspiring Gyumri Transitional Center staff and beneficiaries was held at the Center.

The event was mainly addressed to beneficiaries who are our Transitional center prominent advocates for women’s rights.

Everyone had a platform to express their thoughts related to women’s empowerment, challenges, self-care, wellness, etc. All the speeches were inspiring and highlighted the big role of a woman in the society.

Specific gifts were chosen for GTC staff and beneficiaries.

During the event Center girls prepared performances for the staff.

The International Women’s Day served as a reminder of the progress made and the work that still needs to be done to create more just and equitable world for all.

Arpine Khachatryan birthday celebration at the SOAR Transitional Center, Gyumri

Happy birthday, Arpine!

December 2023

4-year anniversary celebration for the residents of the SOAR Transitional Center, Gyumri

4-year anniversary celebration for the residents of the SOAR Transitional Center, Gyumri. A new updated plaque was unveiled.

Monte's Life book reading

A book reading was organized on “Monte’s Life”. Rafayel Harutyunyan visited the Center to share with the students real stories that Monte and Rafayel experienced during the war time in 1992 fighting together for our land.

Celebration for Volunteer Dy at the SOAR Transitional Center, Gyumri

Celebration of International Volunteer Day. The event was organized to express gratitude, recognize the efforts, and foster a sense of community among the volunteers who play a crucial role in SOAR.

Healthy Lifestyle classes for the residents of the Center

Healthy Lifestyle classes for the residents of the Center.

This initiative aimed to promote physical well-being, improve overall health, and support the holistic recovery of our residents.

The primary objective of the Healthy Lifestyle program was to integrate physical fitness routines and wellness activities into the rehabilitation process.

A rehabilitation specialist, who was invited from Gyumri Rehabilitation Center, worked to create individualized exercise plans tailored to the specific needs and abilities of each resident. These plans incorporated a mix of cardiovascular exercises, strength training, flexibility exercises, and balance activities.

A gynecologist, Liana Gevorgyan, was invited to discuss hygiene practices and provide information on sexual development, aiming to empower the young girls with knowledge and foster a healthy attitude towards their evolving reproductive health.

These classes will continue through until the end of the year.

Thanksgiving celebration for the SOAR Transitional Center, Gyumri residents

Thanksgiving celebration for the SOAR Transitional Center, Gyumri residents.

September 2023

A series of training has been started at the Center in Gyumri. Topics and the implementation vary. New knowledge, individual and group work, reading, entertainment, interesting games and exercises in one place, as well as visitors from different fields at the center and field trips to important structures of the city.

The trainings are conducted by the center’s employees and volunteers.

Renovations of the entryway and library, funded by SOAR La Canada.

August 2023

Volunteering at Camp for Children’s Home of Gyumri!

Volunteering at Our Lady of Armenia Summer Camp!

Liana Unusyan graduated with her bachelor’s degree from National Polytechnic University of Armenia Gyumri Branch.

Congratulations, Liana!

July 2023

The young ladies are heading to Our Lady of Armenia Summer Camp to volunteer their time!
They received money to purchase clothing, appropriate camping gear, footwear, etc. they would need for camp. SOAR also purchased their luggage, hygiene supplies, and water bottles.
SOAR Transitional Center, Gyumri residents head to camp!

June 2023



The residents thank their sponsor for their laptops used for school and learning computer skills!

April 2023

 “Perfume: Scent of a Woman” event, presented by Arthur Aleksanyan (scholarship). Influential women of Gyumri from different spheres were invited. They learned about the SOAR Transitional Center and worked on collaborations for future programs.
SOAR Transitional Center, Gyumri "Perfume: Scent of a Woman" Event
Transitional Center, Gyumri birthday celebrations

Birthdays celebrations for Armine, Arthur, and Josephine!

March 2023

The Gyumri TC beneficiaries visited both the Transitional Center and the Families of Fallen Soldiers Support Center in Yerevan.
They learned about SOAR projects and initiatives in place and saw the humanitarian programs in place during the last couple of years.
Both center’s beneficiaries and staff visited the Van Gogh Exhibition in Yerevan, which was a unique and time limited expo by its 3D and stunning video materials.
The group then had a special dinner and celebrated March 8th (International Day of the Woman) together. The gifts were prepared for girls by SOAR.
It was very beneficial to gather both center beneficiaries together, which gave them an opportunity to know each other and SOAR in different ways.
New laptops for the young ladies at the SOAR Transitional Center, Gyumri

New laptops for the young ladies at the SOAR Transitional Center, Gyumri. Computer classes will begin soon!

January 2023

Equipment and furniture for the Training Center

December 2022

Three-year anniversary celebration for the SOAR Transitional Center in Gyumri!

3-Year Anniversary Celebration!

Kitchen renovations funded by SOAR Los Angeles, the Kokonyan family, and the Harold and Josephine Gulamerian Armenian Orphan Fund.

November 2022

The residents visited “Herbs and Honey” teashop and “Upside Down” museum in Gyumri.

Items were displayed and sold at a local Christmas Market for Gyumri So-Art

Thanksgiving celebration with Our Lady of Armenia Center.

Birthday celebrations for Arthur and Liana

Computer classes and certificates received!

Caritas “Little Prince” Center beneficiaries study visit to the Transitional Center

October 2022

Astghik Mkhitaryan
Zhenya Muradyan

Astghik Mkitaryan and Zhenya Muradyan from the SOAR Transitional Center, have become independent, moving into their own apartment together with another young lady. They will continue their education and work but are no longer participating in the Center’s activities. We are confident that they have learned skills to become self-sufficient during their stay at the Center and will be successful in all their endeavors.

Good luck Astghik and Zhenya!

Liana Unusyan of the SOAR Transitional Center

August 2022

AGBU Camp in Bulgaria!

July 2022

A new floating library funded by the Harold and Josephine Gulamerian Armenian Orphan Fund.
Learn more HERE!
Floating library at the SOAR Transitional Center, Gyumri

May 2022

SOAR Transitional Center, Gyumri garden furniture

Work on the garden!

New garden furniture funded by the Harold and Josephine Gulamerian Armenia Orphan Fund.

December 2021

Happy 2nd birthday, SOAR Transitional Center!
Happy 2nd birthday Transitional Center!

New equipment for the kitchen!

July 2021

Demolition of the barn at the SOAR Transitional Center
Demolition of the barn at the SOAR Transitional Center

June 2021

Completion of work on the basement at the Transitional Center, and new furniture!

Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart…
 Handing of gratitude letters to our volunteers who helped us in organization and implementation of June 1st Community event that took place at the SOAR Transitional center.
Volunteers were awarded with incentive gifts (books) as well.
Thank you to volunteers at the SOAR Transitional Center

June 1st Celebration!

May 2021

The girls at the Transitional Center receive their certificates for their computer courses!

Computer class certificates for the Transitional Center girls!

Thanks to the New Jersey Juniors, the garden at the Transitional Center has been renovated!

March 2021

Beginning of renovations of the SOAR Transitional Center basement, funded by the Norman K. Miller Charitable Fund and the Gulamerian Fund

Beginning of renovations at the SOAR Transitional Center

February 2021

Transitional Center girls have meeting with psychologist

A Gulamerian Fund project, the Tranitional Center girls meet with a psychologist to discuss all the current situations that can cause stress. This meeting they discussed the Artsakh war and everything related to it.

The girls at the center had a trip to Cafesjian Center for the Arts followed by dinner!
Inspired by the vision of its founder, Gerard L. Cafesjian, the museum offers a wide variety of exhibitions, derived from the Gerard L. Cafesjian collection of contemporary art.

Trip to Cafesjian Center for the Arts!

December 2020

Sewing classes at SOAR Transitional Center

Professional sewing classes needed for the Transitional Center business venture…

The 1-year celebration of the opening of the SOAR Transitional Center!

1-year celebration of SOAR Transitional Center opening

November 2020

Taking into account the great involvement of the social sphere in the current conditions and modern trends, SOAR Transitional Center emphasizes the mastery of girls’ computer skills. In cooperation with the #KAZA Swiss Humanitarian Foundation, the center has organized computer courses for it’s students. Together with the lecture Armenak Margaryan, the girls have the opportunity to get systematic knowledge about the Microsoft office suite, computer tools and media literacy. Knowledge is a force with which you can defend yourself….

October 2020

The HERA France Association awarded the SOAR Transitional Center a grant to purchase equipment for their new business venture!

The girls at the Transitional Center are helping with Artsakh relief however they can. From distributing hygiene supplies, to making camouflage nets, they are an inspiration to us all!

August 2020

Astghik and Liana  assisted the sisters of Our lady of Armenia Center with the 3rd round of food distributions to the OLA families

July 2020

Birthday celebration for Tehmine at the SOAR Transitional Center

A birthday celebration for Tehmine!

A meeting with all the girls…including a new resident, Tehmine Aslanyan!

All the TC girls!

June 2020

Bikes for the girls from SOAR Zurich!

April 2020

Celebrating Ani's birthday!

Celebrating Ani’s birthday!

The girls take time to work in their garden, and take virtual classes during the Covid19 shelter in place

January 2020

SOAR Transitional Center Garden

The Gulamerian Fund is the major contributor to the SOAR Transitional Center.

The girls there believe the environment is the driving force for creating beauty! Along with the spring in the SOAR Transitional center, they have started gardening activities: cleaning the dried leaves, cutting branches! Keeping their home clean and tidy, they are creating a pleasant area full of interesting and useful ideas…

Grand Opening, December 2019

Transitional Center opening ceremony