2021 Hand In Hand Services and Locations
On September 27, 2020, the Azerbaijan Army launched a 44-day attack on this region. The people of Artsakh have been hit very hard by this war, especially in several areas Hand in Hand had been actively serving. Hand In Hand is currently serving this region.
Here is a quick summary of the current details:
While the transfer of POWs is still in process, over 2,500 Armenian servicemen and women are dead or missing. Sadly, Armen Andranik Melkumyan, Hand in Hand’s IT specialist, is missing and considered in that count. He bravely enlisted when the Azerbaijan government started attacking.
All other 22 staff members, most of whom fled the region, have been located. Currently, some team members are returning to Artsakh if their homes are in regions currently held by Armenians. However, many are now displaced considering how to reestablish their families.
Thankfully, the clinics in Martuni and Mardakert and one mobile van experienced only minor damage have been repaired.
Unfortunately, the clinics in Shushi and Hadrout, along with the second mobile van, are no longer in areas accessible to Armenians.
Electricity is intermitted as the major power plant was targeted and significantly damaged.
Martakert The town itself is in a dire situation as it was heavily damaged by enemy shelling and due to the change in land ownership, it is much “further” from the capital Stepanakert. Consequently, the one-hour trip now is almost three hours. This will have a grave impact over the economy and the overall well-being of Martakert. However, our clinic there is back up and running, serving the population of the town with special emphasis on the children and preventative care.
Martuni This town was also very seriously damaged during the war. One can hardly find a home that hasn’t been shelled during the very fierce combats in and around town. Our newly renovated clinic had just been completed prior to the war. With the electricity restored just recently, we are currently serving the town and outskirts in the region of Martuni.
Mobile Clinics One of our mobile vans, equipped with modern equipment, X-ray, instruments and supplies, had minor damage and has been repaired. It is presently operating in Stepanakert caring for the refugees, and the near future will be going to the rural villages (typically 2-3 weeks in every village) and providing dental care to the children of those remote communities. The other van, unfortunately, was in a region that is no longer accessible.
Karmir Shuka Also known as Krasni Bazar, Karmir Shuka is the largest “village” in Artsakh and home to 1100 people. This village is working quickly to reconstruct their lives and ensure production of the winery and vegetable oil production factory are working a peak production. Karmir Shuka stands on a hill adjacent to a valley. The “other” side of the valley is now occupied by the Azeri soldiers, which makes our villagers’ unsettling. Only a few hundred meters separate the two sides. Hand In Hand has taken over a dental clinic and is now offering services in this region, the school and local kindergarten.
Yerevan Two of our staff members were displaced in this war and currently are living in Yerevan. Due to the great need for care among displaced families in Yerevan, they have set up in a private office to treat patients in need locally.
Other Rural Areas of Artsakh Hand In Hand is seeking funds to secure a second mobile van to reach the rural areas of Artsakh. These regions were hit very hard and it is very difficult for families to access dental care.
Shushi and Hadrout Along with the second mobile clinic, these clinics are in areas currently occupied by Azeris and, unfortunately, not accessible to Hand In Hand.