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Kristy Khachigian

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Kourtney and Kim, Will You Take Orran? An Open Letter to Kim Kardashian

Posted: 03/05/2013 11:51 am

Dear Kim,

I'm sure many of your fans and Twitter followers have Googled the origin of your last name.

Not me.

Like you, I'm the daughter of an Armenian father.

Like you, I grew up in California, surrounded by beach towns and taco stands.

And like you, I am one of a million Armenians living in the United States with endless, everyday opportunity.

Our "cousins" in Armenia are creative and entrepreneurial -- just like us -- but in the shadow of the former Soviet Union, they constantly fight poverty and repression.

One of the tragedies of Armenia today is that indigent parents force their children onto the streets to beg as their family's only source of money. Social vulnerability and economic deprivation in families have contributed to an increase in the number of unaccompanied children and those living and working in the streets. A recent study states that poverty has doubled in Armenia.

Fourteen thousand Armenian children don't attend school because their families can't afford it.

Other children pick food out of the garbage to survive.

These children are the future of Armenia, and a Kardashian reality show could help save them.

You recently tweeted that you wanted to visit Armenia. It was one country you had never been to.

Well, I was your age when I first traveled there. And like you are now, I was pregnant with my first child.

During my trip, I visited an organization that helps Armenia's most vulnerable youth. It is called Orran, which means "haven" in Armenian. Those attending Orran come from broken homes and families with no means of income.

At Orran, I saw hope for Armenia's at-risk children. Orran gave them food, clothing, tutoring, medicine, and psychological and social services.

The children there were alive with hope and energy. They recited poems and literature, worked on homework together and played with their friends. If you'd ask them if there was anything they could wish for, they could not think of a thing. A hot meal and somewhere to go after school was enough.

It was evident to me that Orran provided for these children a belief in their future where beforehand they had been destined to live out their lives in the streets without an education, much less any hope.

Orran has changed thousands of young lives, but a Kourtney and Kim Take Orran trip this spring would change thousands more.

Should you be interested, Orran would plan your itinerary including visits to our sites, the Armenian Genocide Memorial, and Etchmiadzin, where the cathedral is the oldest state-built church in the world.

As you start a family, start your legacy with Orran.

After all, Armenian children also deserve endless, everyday opportunity.

They're just like you and me.

 
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