New Perspectives in Spitak

Wednesday, October 5, 2016
USAID Armenia Mission Director Debbie Grieser (right) and Mayor of Spitak Gagik Sahakyan participate in the harvest at the newly established Eco-Greenhouse in Spitak that already employs eight people with disabilities.
Armine Karabekyan, USAID/Armenia

In early 2016, the USAID-funded LIFE program teamed up with the Municipality of Spitak and the Spitak Farmer NGO to establish a social enterprise and an Eco Greenhouse in the town. The greenhouse was not only going to help with the community’s local needs. The project was going to create jobs and new aspirations for Spitak’s most vulnerable people, including persons with disabilities.

Backed by USAID/LIFE program, the project ended up attracting other donors as well, including the UNDP GEF Small Grants Programme, the Armenian Missionary Association of America, UNICEF, and Kamrjak NGO among others.

After months of dedicated and hard work, the blossoming greenhouse officially opened its doors during the ribbon-cutting ceremony on September 26. The facility is fully equipped with modern technology, offering a perfect setting to grow cucumbers, peppers, and other vegetables that will help the people of Spitak generate profit through agriculture. As a social enterprise, the greenhouse has already employed ten people, of which eight have disabilities. These people in green T-shirts are the magicians behind the fresh and appetizing vegetables, caring for each leaf and product and harvesting them when the right time comes.

The endeavor has excited the local municipality and staff so much that they are now thinking of expanding the business to grow more vegetables for charity and greater revenue.