Our Story

In the early 2000s, a small group of occupational therapists saw the challenges that children with disabilities and their families struggled with in Gyumri. Faced with social isolation, stigma, poverty, few therapy options and little awareness of their rights, families affected by disability are some of the most vulnerable in Armenia.
At that time, there were very few services available for this population. Many parents felt ashamed to bring their children into public places. With inclusive education efforts in nascent stages, many children simply spent their days at home on the couch. Others languished with speech and mobility problems which could have been assuaged through early therapeutic intervention.
Together, Aregak’s founding members devised the idea of a daycare center that would not only provide therapy and care for children but also support for families. The project began as a joint initiative of the NGOs Caritas Vorarlberg/Diocese of Feldkirch and Armenian Caritas.
​Realized in 2008, Aregak operated with only a few employees and ten children. Before long, however, it was clear that the services provided by the center were in high demand, and the old house in which it operated was neither barrier-free nor sufficient in size to accommodate all the beneficiaries.
In 2015, with donations and support from many individuals and organizations, a state-of-the-art center was built. Replete with barrier-free bathrooms, wheelchairs, physiotherapy equipment, a kitchen, and accessible walking paths, the Emili Aregak Center – named after its primary donor Emil Nachbaur – now serves more than 120 children and families each year. Learn more by clicking on the buttons below.

Our Values

Our mission is to foster the full and equal inclusion of young people with disabilities and their families into society through therapy, socialization, training and advocacy.

  • We eliminate barriers (socially, mentally and in the built environment) and create a new positive attitude towards people with disabilities
  • We offer tailor-made therapy for the holistic development of children with disabilities
  • We live inclusion through our building and with our deeds and actions
  • We support events and projects that help us to deliver on our mission
  • We encourage the inclusion of people with disabilities in the labor market and serve as a model employer in this regard
  • We provide resources to all those who work with or alongside people with disabilities, such as family members, schools and teachers, trainers and employers

Our vision

Our vision is a society in which diversity is celebrated, where people with disabilities live a dignified life, and where all children have equal opportunities to develop and realize their potential.

  • We work to realize an inclusive community in which people are respected as they are
  • We promote a society in which people with disabilities receive the support they need to develop their potential and to live a dignified and autonomous life
  • We advocate for training opportunities and jobs for people with disabilities so they may integrate fully into social life

The Christian view of man and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities are the foundations of our work.

  • We follow the values of Caritas, and serve people with disabilities and their families with love and compassion and respect for the dignity of each individual
  • We are committed to the values of inclusion, tolerance, individuality, and diversity
  • We achieve our mission through personal commitment, continuous professional development, collaborative action, openness, awareness, and empathy
  • We see volunteering as a central element to achieving the mission of the Emili Aregak Center
  • We network with other institutions with similar goals and we are willing to take on an exemplary and leadership role