Alzheimer's Care Armenia Brain Health Second Start Mission Armenia

«Second Start»: Bari Sewing Lab

The sewing workshops of “Bari Kari Lab” have been operating in the Nor Nork and Hrazdan day centers of the «Mission Armenia» non-profit organization for about 4 years. In the workshop, which includes only elderly people, about 10 products are sewn: bags, aprons, pens, bathrobes, shirts, bed linen, pillows, towels, even hats and sleeping bags were supplied to the soldiers.

According to Tamara Margaryan, social worker for Mission Armenia’s home service and day care, in 2018, the center’s old sewing machines were simply used to occupy the elderly, they performed work that did not require professional skills. The matter became serious after Anania Shirakatsi school students and their parents received new sewing machines. “Seeing the enthusiasm of the beneficiaries, Amkor organized professional training courses for more than 50 beneficiaries,” says Tamara. Later, the center was equipped with the necessary equipment: printing, cutting and embroidery.

Ms. Margaryan noted that the name of the training was based on the name of the most active participant. For 68-year-old Yervand Bari (Bari means kindly in Armenian), joining the Mission Armenia and sewing was truly life-changing. After 13 years of treatment in a psychiatric center, Ervand, a builder by profession, changed his last name and found the strength to acquire a new profession.

“When I was in a psychiatric hospital, I helped everyone, they say I am kind. In addition, I create, and I needed a literary pseudonym, so I chose the surname Bari,” says Yervand, to be honest, that he still helps women in the workshop: prepares machines, lubricates, cuts threads and helps in any way he can.

The social worker said that they had already entered a new stage of cooperation with the organization, won the competition and received a large order. According to Tamara, the products made by the elderly do not feel like a brand on the market, and the more orders there are, the more successful this social entrepreneurship project will be.

When asked if it was not difficult at a venerable age to find strength and acquire a new profession, Yervand says: “I really like to work, I can’t do nothing, I have to do something, then with this sewing I feel good, what can I bring benefit someone and help yourself.” He is convinced that at any age, work will be successful if a person really wants it.