Alvina, 14, lives with her family of five in a small one-room cabin in one of the communities served by World Vision’s Gavar Area Development Programme. The wood-burning stove in the middle is never turned off as the cabin’s walls can’t keep the warm produced during the day time. Alvina’s mother and father take turns watching over the stove at night to make sure that heat is still being produced but also to protect the house from catching fire.
“We burn manure,” says Alvard, 37, Alvnia’s mother. “[It] burns harder and longer than wood and costs less,” she explains.
Alvina’s younger sister, Anna, is only 3. She copies every Albina’s every move and word. Alvina feels responsible for being the best example for her sister and tries to be very accurate in everything.
Alvina’s elder brother, Gegham, 16, helps his mother by fetching water from the water source located miles away, a task that is especially difficult for the teen since his right hand has not work properly due to an accident he suffered as a child where his collarbone was broken. Although his family spend all their savings on surgery, medical care and physical therapy, he never fully recovered. His shoulders are notably different, a fact he tries to hide, especially when he meets a stranger
“Gegham helped me a lot while getting water from the source,” remembers Alvina. “I knew it was hard for him; sometimes he hid his face while taking the water bottle, so that I couldn’t see his struggle,” she says.
Over the past two years, World Vision has been working to restore all the main water pumps in the community allowing water flow into the houses of the people.
“Now, we don’t go that far and [we] don’t have the difficulty of water gathering, since water comes into our house,” smiles Alvina.
“With the huge help of World Vision, we received water at our houses,” says Alvard. “Now, I don’t worry about my kids, since they are safe and clean,” she adds.