Telethon 2007 is over, with very satisfactory results – this is such a great, unifying initiative, that it is hard to see any other example, when the Armenian Diaspora collectively supports the development of our common fatherland – Armenia. The Telethon was also well represented on the Internet: the Armenian version of the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund was quite up to date in all three language versions: Armenian, English and French.
Although logically, as we have, according to some estimates around 2 million Armenians in Russia, the website should have a Russian version as well, I somehow felt gloatingly satisfied to observe this omission. Here is at last an all-Armenian event, where Russia doesn’t play the dominant role. That is indeed satisfying, call me anti-Russian if you will!
More about the achievements of the Telethon 2007 can be seen on this section of All-Armenian Fund’s website, as well as in various press reports:
[Panorama.am | 14:12 23/11/2007] The annual telethon organized by Pan Armenia Fund ended several hours ago in Los Angeles. The telethon managed to collect $15 million 275 thousand which is more than collected last year, $14 million.
The pan national fundraising was conducted under the heading “One nation, one future.” The collected money will be used to recover villages in Tavush region of Armenia and Martuni region of Nagorno Karabakh.
Pan Armenia Fund reports say people for Los Angeles, Europe, Asia as well as Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia actively participated.
While I greatly compliment the Armenian Diaspora on this growing amount of financial assistance they are inputting into the development of Armenia, I also have to note, that the key indicator to help me measure the dynamics of Telethon and the success of the All-Armenian Fund was the fact, that only 142950000 AMD was collected by the 2500 Armenian organizations this time. Considering today’s CBA exchange rate that is $453507 US, or 2.96% of the total amount pledged. Comparing it with last years figures I was somehow depressed to see, that this year’s figure pledged from Armenia is lower than last year’s $1.54 million or 11% of the total. What does this mean? Don’t the Armenian companies directly benefit from the programs implemented by the fund? Does it mean, that they don’t trust it anymore? Or is it, because the outgoing and weakened President Kocharian and Serge Sargsyan, who disparately needs the support of big business, decided to not to pressure the big Armenian businessmen to contribute more? Indeed, there are many speculations and rumors, that Armenian businesses contribute only because they are told to from above. And that is a depressing idea.
Anyway, despite controversy over telethon (and I remember very well how Armenian blogger Nazarian was speaking about his doubts about whether to contribute or no), bare figures show us, that the Diaspora trusts the Telethon more and more. And despite all the reservations, I have to compliment the All-Armenian Fund and the Armenian Diaspora for this new achievement in joining forces to support the nation one more time. Diaspora, we need you, and it’s not just a matter of financial resources. We need the understanding, that we are all One Nation, One Future indeed.