How I lent 4400 Dollars to a Taxi Driver I Just Met

On Foundation business in Armenia, few days after arriving in Yerevan, I met up with Tim Sraight and Kirk Wallace for dinner.  Tim has been in Armenia for 21 years, besides being the Finnish Honorary Consul in Armenia, and Norwegian Honorary Consul in Armenia Knight of the First Order he runs Homeland Development Initiative Foundation one of the largest if not the largest social enterprises in Armenia. Kirk is developing hydroponic farming in Armenia – a soilless farming system that relies on nutrients from fish waste.  During dinner, I mentioned that I am working through the details to loan a taxi driver who I just met 4,000 dollars. Their reaction was immediate. Their body language was clear: “You are an idiot; you need to learn the ways of the old Soviet republic”.   I am writing this blog, to which the final chapter will not be written for some time.  Although not advised, Tim suggests that if I go through with this, to at least make sure that there is a notarized contract.  I am writing this because I could not coherently explain why I am going through making $4400 available to a complete stranger.  Continue reading “How I lent 4400 Dollars to a Taxi Driver I Just Met”

EREO Progress Report

Back in August 2018 we started a fundraising campaign to help Equal Rights Equal Opportunities NGO secure a permanent facility in Vanadzor, Armenia.

Soon after the start of the campaign, George Keushgerian joined with a generous proposal to purchase a property and lease it to EREO for 10 years at zero dollars.  We closed the campaign when we reached our goal ($15,000).

Given our sad history of corruption and poor governance, George’s only advice to me was to make sure that we have some level of control how the facility is used and how the money is spent.  I am happy to tell you that the project has been a great success – beyond our dreams because of the leadership of its president Anush Aslanyan and board member Anush Arakelyan – the highly dedicated duo.

The funds we raised were placed in two accounts $10,000 in an 9% (9% is the going rate in Armenia) Certificate of Deposit that will mature in another year, and $5,000 in a checking account for renovations.

A couple of days ago we received a full account of their progress.  They used the $5,000 for carpeting, building modification to make it handicap accessible, security cameras. Doors, and thermal windows and heating system were donated by AYO.  The $10,000 CD generated $980 of interest so far.

The link below is the video that Anush sent us, I put some titles and posted it on you tube for you.  Please take a moment to watch it – inspiring.

Tumo in a Box Initiative

Berd community in Tavush, Armenia is getting the first Tumo In A Box. Now the young in remote communities will have the same opportunities as those living in Yerevan, Dilijan, Gyumri, or Stepanakert. At Tumo Center for Creative Technologies teens are given the tools they need to learn 21st century skills in technology and design, such as, Animation, Game Development, Filmmaking, Web Development, Music, Writing, Drawing, Graphic Design, 3D Modeling, Programming, Robotics, Motion Graphics, Photography, New Media, etc.

Hayg Foundation is participating in this pilot project by committing $3,800 for 2019 to cover expense of the Education Coordinator.

Make checks payable to:

Hayg Foundation
4420 Exeter Dr #102
Longboat Key, FL 34228 USA


Hayg Foundation, Inc. is 501 (c) (3)  Charitable Organization under the US Internal Revenue Code.




Medical and Social Models of Disability

The video was made within the framework of “Armenia: Advancing disability rights-based legislation” project. The project is implemented by Mobility International (MIUSA) and “Agate” rights defense center for women with disabilities with the financial support of National Democracy Institute for International Affairs.