Amidst the turmoil of the 44-day war, then-10-year-old Ellen emerged victorious in a competition held in Russia, earning her a cash prize of 500 USD. Her upbringing and love for humanity led her to tell her parents "Mom, Dad, I really want to help my brothers and sisters in Artsakh who are fleeing the war." This led to the parents forwarding the funds to the All Armenian Fund which was then urgently collecting funds to save these victims of Turkish hatred. Surely, this act of kindness would sow the seeds for future individuals and organizations to pay it forward to Ellen. Or so we hoped.
Before the war, we had discussed with Ellen's parents, the pressing need for her to possess an instrument worthy of her world-class talent. The principal flute of the Orchestre symphonique the Montreal praised Ellen as "the greatest flute talent he has ever seen". What more did we need to know? We made a promise to her family that we would support them if all other avenues failed. We certainly did not have the means to help them, given the financial strain we were already experiencing in supporting our existing projects. Three years passed, and all attempts failed to produce the necessary funds (20-25,000 USD) to purchase the flute Ellen needed. The billionaire Armenians of Moscow and the prominent Diaspora Armenian organizations failed to grasp the significance of such an instrument for a young prodigy. Our own fundraising efforts on Facebook and with direct mailing led to a 750 USD donation. In stark contrast, Ellen's peers in countries like Japan and Korea were loaned or gifted flutes worth 30K for their competitions. Those societies understand that it is their collective responsibility to unlock the potential of talents like Ellen's.
Armenian society often misdirects funds towards showy events, inviting big stars to perform in Armenia, the Diaspora, or organizing Festivals and Competitions. Instead, we should be channelling our resources towards funding education and providing essential tools to the next generation of cultural ambassadors for Armenia. This type of endeavour requires significantly less funds; you get much more bang for the buck!
Seeing that our billionaires will not understand that sacrificing one or two expensive restaurant outings for them could change the life of this incredible talent, we stepped in and helped by covering part of the funds needed (6000 USD). The remaining 17,000 USD was covered by the family, with the help of a big loan from the bank.
If you believe in the power of nurturing extraordinary talent like Ellen's, we appeal to you to join us in contributing to her future. Contact us now and be a part of the movement to empower Armenia's cultural ambassadors. Together, we can make a lasting impact and ensure that no exceptional talent goes unrecognized or unaided.
Watch Ellen, on Armenian TV!