$100,000 Already Raised and 2 First-aid Projects Launched
The Armenian Wounded Heroes Fund (“AWHF” or the “Fund”) was created in response to Azerbaijan’s latest large-scale military attack against the people of the Nagorno-Karabagh Republic (Artsakh), which left almost 100 Armenian soldiers and civilians dead and several hundred wounded. As part of the first phase of its plan, AWHF is seeking to raise a total of $300,000 to fully equip the two most threatened regions in Artsakh (“Region 1” and “Region 2,” names withheld for security reasons), as well as over 600 heroes currently protecting the Artsakh-Azerbaijan border in an autonomous manner—that is, without access to medics—and in Special Situations, with life-saving, military grade first-aid kits.
Since May, the Fund has already raised over $100,000 and started two projects: end-to-end deployment in Region 1 of Artsakh and, at the government’s request, a pilot project for field testing for Special Situations (“Pilot Program”).
“We applaud other organizations’ efforts to support the families of our wounded and fallen heroes financially. In addition to similar efforts, we have chosen our primary initial focus to be on saving lives and minimizing injuries and deaths going forward. We will start with first aid and gradually also address critical personal protection and survivability needs,” said Chris Petrossian, co-founder of AWHF. Petrossian is a senior investment banker in Los Angeles, and a long-time supporter of multiple Armenian charitable initiatives.
The Problem and Solutions
According to U.S. statistics, approximately 20% of combat deaths are preventable. The three leading causes of preventable death from penetrating trauma are:
– Extremity hemorrhaging (60%)
– Tension pneumothorax/lacerated lungs (33%)
– Airway obstruction (6%)
One of AWHF’s primary objectives for 2016 is to deploy advanced combat-grade first-aid kits to our heroes in Artsakh who are most exposed to attacks and threats from Azerbaijan, as witnessed during the first few days of April 2016. These U.S.-made kits are proven to be 90%-100% effective in situations where, currently, preventable penetrating trauma leads to death and permanent injury/amputation.
Advanced militaries worldwide—in the United States and Israel, for example—have adopted sophisticated first-aid kits that save lives in these cases. AWHF members have conducted extensive consultations with U.S., Israeli and Armenian combat tactical casualty care experts, and have proposed a solution for Armenia that tailors the best practices and equipment used by these advanced users. In May, the Fund worked with Armenian government officials to finalize four types of kits:
– HAYDUK (individual kit)
– CHOKATAYIN (squad medic)
– HATUKAYIN (for special/autonomous situations)
– PRKARAR (for advanced treatment and resuscitation during evacuation)
These kits have been approved by government ministries as the standard combat casualty care systems in Armenia going forward. The first order for Region 1, valued at $100,000, will arrive in Armenia in September for training. In addition, the Pilot Program was launched in early June, and HATUKAYIN kits will arrive in Armenia by June 10. AWHF is seeking to raise an additional $200,000 to fulfill initial critical needs for 2016, and will be able to send a new order to cover Region 2 with the next $100,000 raised. AWHF has the ambitious goal to deploy these kits to 100% of our heroes in all 9 regions of Artsakh by 2018.
The AWHF program will leverage the presence of a core group of medics in Armenia who have recently been trained at advanced levels through NATO initiatives in Europe on the very same equipment the Fund will be deploying. These “black-belts” have, in turn, been training a broader group of medics and other personnel, and will be a cornerstone of the initiative to upgrade the entire front-to-hospital evacuation and patient care system in Artsakh.
“We are coordinating closely with U.S. Government-funded initiatives as well as key government ministries and other NGOs in Armenia to leverage existing efforts and provide thought-leadership in this area where AWHF has unique experience,” said Levon Kocharyan, AWHF’s program manager in Yerevan. “We have a strong team in Armenia to ensure successful implementation and monitoring.”
The AWHF has paved the way for a standardized set of equipment and training, and has unique access to deliver this advanced equipment at favorable pricing. “This is a national, strategic project that is long overdue,” said AWHF co-founder Razmig Arzoumanian.
“We have put together a proven team that combines access to Western technologies, robust in-country logistics capabilities, and outstanding organizational and financial controls to deliver complex solutions with zero tolerance for losses.” Arzoumanian is a senior investment banker in New York who works closely with leading global defense companies. He added, “As this project evolves, we will increase our long term financial and medical assistance programs and undertake additional mission-critical projects, such as survival and protection equipment and supplies.”
The Armenian Wounded Heroes Fund is a 501(c)(3) (status pending) dedicated to serving our heroes, standing with them through challenging times, saving lives, and supporting the rehabilitation of our wounded heroes, while also supporting the families of those who have fallen in sacrifice to our homeland.
Our team includes business leaders who have experience with Western technologies and life-saving equipment, with program management in Armenia and worldwide, as well as audit and financial controls. Our founders will continue to cover all administrative costs so that 100% of every dollar donated goes to procure and deploy modern equipment to our heroes. They will ensure that only the best solutions are deployed, and that this equipment reaches 100% of its intended recipients through a rigorous monitoring mechanism already agreed to with officials in Armenia.
Support the Initiative
We ask donors as well as charitable organizations to join us in this important initiative, and accelerate the roll-out of crucially needed equipment throughout Artsakh as soon as possible.
For more information, please visit our website at www.armenianwoundedheroes.com; write to us at email@example.com; or follow us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ArmenianHeroes/), Twitter (https://twitter.com/ArmenianHeroes) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/armenianheroes/).
Source: Armenian Weekly Mid-West