A Visit to the Children of Armenia’s SMART Center

Children of Armenia Fund smart centerAn unexpected two and a half our drive through the hills and valleys of beautiful Armenia was well worth it when we got to the SMART Center, developed by the Children of Armenia Fund (COAF). The facility is like cold iced-tea on the warmest summer’s day. Architecturally unique to the region and brimming with endless potential, the structure was made to be one with nature, without compromising the natural splendor of the rolling green hills that make up its environment.
The SMART Center provides education, healthcare, and culture to the children of six surrounding villages, and features a library, computer access, and exposure to the arts including dance, music, and theatre, as well as area’s designated for quiet and creativity. Transportation for the children is provided by the Children of Armenia Fund, with young children accompanied by adults as they travel.Children of Armenia Fund smart center lab
“There is a growing drive to promote innovation,” explains Garo H. Armen PhD, Chairman of the Children of Armenia Fund and the figure whose creative vision led to the development of the SMART Center. “Some of the more progressive companies, not just technology companies, biopharmaceutical companies and others, are setting up innovation centers. One of the objectives of setting up an innovation center is to populate them with groups of individuals who are not biased with corporate culture, because even though some of the corporations do wonderful things, they erect or transmit biases that prevent people from thinking freely.”Children of Armenia Fund smart center
“SMART would be a fantastic experiment to see what can be created away from the urban environments and the corporate environments that we are so obsessed with today,” Garo elaborates.
Still in its early stages since launch, the SMART Center is eager to share this world of opportunities. “The question then was, we spent 14 years to reach 45 villages, are we going to spend a hundred years to reach the rest of Armenia? That wasn’t really practical. So we developed this concept of SMART”.Children of Armenia Fund smart center

– Lia Martirosyan, Co-Founder of ABILITY Corps

[Video: Krist Marukyan, Operations Director at COAF SMART Center — click toggle icon on lower right side to enlarge]


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