Meeting with the VIVA Foundation - Move2Armenia

Meeting with the VIVA Foundation

Meeting with the VIVA Foundation

Since 2016, the VIVA – Doctors and Volunteers of Armenia Foundation has been providing medical assistance to residents of Artsakh and implementing social projects. Since September 19, the fund has been functioning 24/7, interacting with hospitals, doctors, preparing to help and helping the victims.

September 24 in the yard common ground A meeting was held with representatives of the fund. They answered popular questions from volunteers and donors, talked about themselves, types of help and the role of charity. The Move2Armenia team and I attended this event and will briefly convey the most important information.


  1. What assistance is relevant, and what is the fund doing now?
  2. The Limits of Refugee Assistance
  3. Disinformation
  4. Shadow fees and verification
  5. Intellectual volunteering
  6. Informed donation
  7. Effective assistance 24/7

1. What kind of assistance is relevant, and what is the fund doing now?

Tatyana Oganesyan, co-founder of the fund, kmn, doctor:

VIVA is a medical foundation with more than 500 doctors. We have been through four wars and emergencies, we have been preparing all this time and we know when and what is needed.

During this time, we have collected almost 1,000 first aid kits for citizens, and we have opened a headquarters in Goris. Together with doctors at the Goris hospital, the foundation’s volunteers will provide medical assistance, including psychological assistance, and purchase the necessary medications. It is important that the medical team makes decisions about purchases, because no one knows better than the doctors themselves what they need.

Reports on the work done will be published on the website after assistance has been provided.

2. Limits of assistance to refugees

Tatyana Oganesyan:

There are large foundations registered in Armenia since the 90s, some of them are even funded by the UN. These foundations know how to welcome refugees and how to work with them.

Gor Nakhapetyan, philanthropist, philanthropist, businessman, trustee and co-chairman of several charitable foundations:

There are many funds, but we are against competition, for cooperation and partnership. We have chats with the heads of funds, common projects, we help each other transport cargo. For example, things from our foundation were delivered by the project "301 Land of Wisdom". Nowadays, money spent effectively is the most important thing, and in order to correctly distribute resources, you need to exchange information and not purchase unnecessary things.

Charity always works in conjunction with the state, whatever it is. The Viva Foundation cooperates with the ministries of health, defense, labor and social affairs. Ministries, like one fist, must deal with human life.

Tatyana Oganesyan:

Many people are interested What the government is doing now:

  1. You can choose a real estate agent from the Facebook of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs A post was published with a link to Platform for calculating primary needs and hotline number – 114.
  2. A refugee routing map will be published.
  3. There is a refugee reception center.

The work will be structured like this: first, people will walk through the Kornidzor corridor, then they will meet with doctors, psychologists, volunteers from foundations and the state. After this - distribution to hotels. There are now places for 40,000 families (three people each).

There are different fees and everyone wants to understand where boundaries of refugee assistance. Our foundation, for example, will not collect clothes. If it is needed, we will indicate the receiving funds. There is no need to collect food - the state already has some kits, hotels have a kitchen. You cannot buy perishable goods, which is what some funds are doing now. In my opinion, this is irrational.

Volunteers in Russia brought diapers and baby food needed in hospitals. We also purchase rare medicines. In addition, our warehouse contains medical equipment left over from the last war.

3. Disinformation

Georgy Kevorkov, ambassador of the foundation, author of Armenian Telegram channels and media:

The first thing you don’t need to do is read Turkish and Azerbaijani media. There is practically no truth there. Sometimes information appears in neighboring sources faster than in Armenia, but this is not so important. The correct information will still reach the Armenian media.

Second: you cannot post the movement of vehicles - this is helping the enemy. You need to understand the purpose of disseminating information, because any thoughtless publication can lead to death.

Gor Nakhapetyan:

Volunteer work, donation, etc. involve some obligations. I, as a trustee of the fund, its face, publish only what I understand, VIVA advertising. We can also all influence the collection of evidence of crimes currently being committed. Atrocities must be documented.

Georgy Kevorkov:

What you need to do now is read trusted sources. How to understand that a media outlet can be trusted:

  • if at least once the media lied and did not apologize or publish a refutation, then they can be rejected;
  • read Telegram channels where they do not swear, quote the original source and provide links, and refute information.

4. Shadow fees and verification

Viktor Mikhailov, co-founder of the foundation, lawyer, human rights activist:

During a crisis period, the problem of collecting money for personal cards and collecting some things becomes more active. It could be:

1) the initiative of a specific individual who wants to be useful;

2) fraud.

Remember that the responsibility for using donor funds lies with them.

Individuals who accept donations must understand that they have a great responsibility. Even purchasing should be done economically, in collaboration with wholesale suppliers. Resources are not infinite, and they need to be spent wisely.

I recommend acting through professional foundations, as they have spent years honing their professionalism and gaining public trust.

Georgy Kevorkov:

Let me give you an example. A representative of the Telegram channel wrote to me that he wants to organize medical assistance courses. But such courses already exist, VIVA is ready to go to the region where those who want to undergo training will gather. If you want to help, please contact the funds.

And donors need to decide for themselves whether to trust newly created channels that usually focus on other areas. It may happen that you make a donation to scammers, become disillusioned with charity and never help again.

Gor Nakhapetyan:

Charity must be professional, and there is even a school of philanthropy, that is, they teach how to conduct foundation activities. It is not enough to be a good person, you need to be a specialist who can be trusted with money.

When you donate, look at who is in the trustees - who gave the fund their time, name, reputation, and believes in the fund.

5. Intellectual volunteering

Gor Nakhapetyan:

Speaking of the work of the trustees, the foundation council and ambassadors. Each of us is an intellectual volunteer. People come to us for advice, mentoring, and working with the public. Money is the last in importance and can be raised through the same initiatives.

Tatyana Oganesyan:

Intellectual volunteering is worth more than any money.

The Foundation needs not only doners, “free hands” volunteers, but also designers, psychologists, translators, editors and other specialists. The work of programmers is important, especially in terms of security, since sometimes websites collapse due to cyber attacks. You also need to work on the website and social networks.

If you would like to become a volunteer, write to us, indicating how you are willing to help and how much time to devote. Better yet, send your resume. Intelligent volunteers help the foundation save money on hiring employees.

However, no matter what skills you have, you can even just come and stand with us, support us, and seal the box with tape. No labor discrimination.

The only restriction: you are not allowed to eat, smoke or drink in the gathering area.

Volunteers from all over the world want to help us, so an online meeting is planned.

The site also has separate questionnaire for doctors. But we do not accept specialists right away, but first check them.

6. “Conscious donation”

Gor Nakhapetyan:

Whatever the situation, peaceful or not, one must be ready to provide assistance at any time. We have warehouses with equipment and medicines, we equip operating rooms, and our new direction is replenishing the blood bank. Thanks to VIVE, there was such a flow of donors for the first time.

Tatyana Oganesyan:

The Conscious Donation initiative is one year old. Currently, donors cover only 15% of hospital needs, and the foundation says that need to donate blood, creates a donor base. We have activated blood collection points in several cities. At the moment these are Yerevan, Hrazdan, Vanadzor and Gyumri, but we plan to expand the list and speed up the work of hospitals.

If you would like to become a donor, please fill out questionnaire on the website. Mark the cities where you could donate blood. In Yerevan, there are queues at the blood bank until October, so they may not call you back right away, and in Gyumri and Hrazdan there are much fewer people willing. At the same time, the occupancy rate of the blood bank should be uniform.

Citizenship and nationality of donors are not important; you only need to take your passport with you.

Read more about donation in our article.

Everyone should be able to provide assistance regardless of the incident. After the war in 2020 we opened first aid courses. The Foundation saw the need for this when doctors analyzed that many wounded were lost during the evacuation phase (it lasts up to 40 hours). And now our task is to train the entire civilian population. It is important that people understand that first aid is not only necessary in times of war.

Other foundations also organize such courses. But if you sign up for classes, make sure they are taught by medical professionals.

Our first aid courses are taught by doctors or residents who have completed wars and have international certificates. Classes are also conducted in Russian. There are 6–10 people per instructor. In one room the theory is taught, in the other there is practice. We even train older schoolchildren, having previously agreed with the state. So, we worked with children in Jermuk, Tera and nearby villages.


We also we train military doctors, We take them to conferences and courses, they learn how to work on complex devices. Important work is being done on rehabilitation of victims, including psychological.

Victor Mikhailov:

All VIVA's reporting can be found on the website. Openness is our value. You can see where every penny was spent. In addition, openness is manifested in the fact that we, the co-founders and trustees, carry boxes just like you.

When creating the fund, it was important for us to reduce conflicts of interest to a minimum. Therefore, the council is all volunteers, and everyone is involved in different areas. For example, apart from Tatyana, there are no doctors on the council. The main thing for us is to earn your trust.

I note that representatives of different nationalities volunteer, no one is at enmity. But if goods of Turkish or Azerbaijani origin are donated to us, we do not give them to refugees, but exchange them in Russian funds.

7. Effective assistance 24/7

Gor Nakhapetyan:

If volunteers work 24/7, then you need to do something so as not to go crazy. There is no need to waste time reading the news, as it only harms the psyche. Find your fund and do something, it helps. The foundation needs caring people at all stages of its work.

“What to do if you are overwhelmed by anxiety: advice from psychologists”

In our country, you need to be ready to instantly consolidate and know how to protect yourself. Everyone must understand what to do, where to go; the blood bank must be full.

If you want to help the VIVA Foundation - Doctors and Volunteers of Armenia, go to via the link to the site, transfer donations, sign up to volunteer or donate blood.

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Meeting with the VIVA Foundation
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