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Vivacell-MTS: Three Decades in a Basement

The Sukiasyan family from Gyulagarak village, Lori region, has been living in a damp and cold basement for years. Their wish to live a decent life was left unfulfilled when the 1988 earthquake struck. It became nearly impossible to build a home even after many years following the disaster.

For three decades, the Sukiasyans’ son, Arman, together with his parents and sisters, and later with his wife and children, went through many hardships. He has tried to take steps, but with the lack of financial means, chances were little he could do that; the walls of the semi-constructed building were left under the old and deteriorating roof. The weather in the region is damp and rainy damaging whatever remained in the house. Living in it had turned dangerous with the walls completely covered in mold.

The problem of the socially vulnerable family appeared in the center of attention of VivaCell-MTS and the Fuller Center for Housing Armenia. As a result of the support of the partners now the problem of the leaking roof is solved. The rain showers are no more a threat for the family.

“I wouldn’t handle this if I tried alone. Thanks to the support, we replaced the roof in 4 days. I am glad my children are under a safe roof. Now I may feel that we live a decent life,” said Arman.

“The house was in a horrible condition after the earthquake. We had some savings and tried to put the stone on the stone. For a whole life, for 30 years, I have been living in a damp basement first with my children and later with my grandchildren without any hope. Now everything has changed. Now we live full of new hopes and dreams. I will send my grandchildren to the army from this house with good mood,” Arman’s mother, Gyulper Sukiasyan said.

The Sukiasyans have been able to also address another danger threatening their children by renovating the room with semi-dark and moldy walls with the help that came as part of support from partner organizations.

“Our partnership with VivaCell-MTS was initially focused on supporting families living in borderland villages, but we should not neglect the issue of the disaster zone housing and the problem of other families in need of housing. The priority for this family was to repair the roof; but with our investment, we were also able to solve the problem of renovating the interior,” Fuller Center for Housing Armenia President Ashot Yeghiazaryan said.

These days, construction works are underway in various regions of Armenia as part of the partnership between VivaCell-MTS and the Fuller Center for Housing Armenia.

VivaCell-MTS (MTS Armenia CJSC) is Armenia’s leading telecommunications operator, having the widest network reach and spreading a wide range of Voice and Data services all across Armenia. Having the best of the Armenian people interest at heart since its launch on 1st July 2005 and in a short period of time VivaCell-MTS has managed to build a nationwide network and a considerable customer base. VivaCell-MTS drives innovation and aims at always being at the forefront of any development serving the Armenian mobile communications market.  The company follows the guidance provided by ISO 26000 (International Standard of Social Responsibility) and ISO/IEC 27001:2013 (Information Security Management System). For more information visit www.mts.am

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Mobile TeleSystems PJSC ("MTS") is the leading telecommunications group in Russia and the CIS, offering mobile and fixed voice, broadband, pay TV as well as content and entertainment services in one of the world's fastest-growing regions. Including its subsidiaries, the Group services over 100 million mobile subscribers in Russia, Ukraine, Armenia and Belarus. Since July 2000, MTS' Level 3 ADRs have been listed on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker symbol MBT). Additional information about the MTS Group can be found at www.mtsgsm.com   

Fuller Center for Housing Armenia is a non-governmental, charitable organization that supports community development in the Republics of Armenia and Artsakh by assisting in building and renovating simple, decent and affordable homes, as well as advocating the right to a decent shelter as a matter of conscience and action. FCHA provides long-term, interest-free loans to low-income families. The monthly repayments flow into a Revolving Fund, which is used to help more families, thereby providing a financial foundation for sustainable development. Since 2008 the Fuller Center for Housing Armenia has assisted over 800 families. For more information, please visit www.fcharmenia.org or email us at fcarmenia@fcharmenia.org

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