Nine square meters of living space, no toilet, semi-dilapidated walls, and a roof – the Grigoryan family’s house is like 3,000 others in Gyumri erected after the earthquake that hit northwest Armenia in 1988.
Lusine, 30 years old woman and a single mother of 5 has to raise her children alone. Her husband has committed suicide because of the family debt burden.
Anahit has lost thirty family members during the earthquake and her husband passed away at a mere 50 years old. Now, she is a migrant worker and the destination is Istanbul. Her aim is to earn enough money to help her children.
These stories are part of Gyumri where The Distrikt is located. However, we can grow in prosperous communities and that is why our goal is to improve the living conditions of the people trapped by poverty.
The poverty trap
These are just a couple of stories from many showing how deeply poverty is rooted in Gyumri. The poverty trap has caught more than 48.4 % of the city’s population. The unemployment rate is rising up to 50% and no tangible hope is around. Therefore, those having a chance are leaving the city. As a result, over the last three decades, around 50,000 people have left Gyumri reducing its de jure population equal to 112,421 as of the beginning of 2020.
On top of these, there is a huge housing crisis in the city. More than 2000 families are living in temporary shelters – domiks, already for three decades after devastating earthquake hit the city in 1988.
So, how to fight against poverty? The response in The Distrikt is jobs, jobs, jobs!
When we located ourselves in Gyumri the goal was clear – to create opportunities for a brighter future for local people and their children in Gyumri. We do so by creating sustainable job opportunities. Education and working opportunities are the way to get rid of the poverty trap.
Within the first phase of the project around 300 hundred job opportunities will be created both for high-skilled and low-skilled positions. In a long run, this number will be increased.
Each of the enterprises located in The Distrikt creates new income opportunities for Gyumri that the whole city will benefit directly as well as indirectly.
Innovative technologies for the housing crisis
The Distrikt brings a solution to the Gyumri housing crisis with new technology. Prefabricated houses have a cheap production cost and are based on the local resources and workforce. With a price well below the local average, it will be affordable for the families blocked in domiks. In addition to low prices, the use of energy-efficient technologies will save costs on monthly communal expenses like heating and electricity.
SDG 1: No Poverty
The Distrikt contributes to the SDG 1 No Poverty. The goal is to end poverty in all its forms everywhere by 2030.