Scholarship for 100 children to express gratitude after 100 years

Businessman and philanthropist Ruben Vardanian declared that he will provide scholarship to 100 children who are Syria, Lebanon or Iraq citizens.

In the recent years, Ruben Vardanian became a prominent figure of the Armenian Diaspora. He is a CEO and investment banker working in Russia and also known as a philanthropist and entrepreneur. Speaking at the 25th year celebration of American University of Armenia, Vardanian said that he will provide scholarship to 100 children who are Syria, Lebanon or Iraq citizens.

Vardanian said that these children can benefit from the education fund that he established with his wife Veronika Zonaberd to study in any international college, including the one in Dilijan.

“100 years ago, many Arab families embraced our orphaned grandparents then, though they were not rich or anything. If it weren't for them, we wouldn't have been here. Now, after 100 years, it is our turn to thank them. Now, we will help them.” Vardanian also reminded that Near East became a home for many Armenians after the genocide. Emphasizing that decent education is essential for all people, Vardanian said that dreaming and self-belief are the first steps of the success.

Ruben, grandson of Hmayak

1915 is an important date for the story of Vardanian's family. Vardanian's grandfather Hmayak was one of the thousands of children who were orphaned during the genocide. His father and older brothers were killed and he tried to walk all the way to Eastern Armenia from Arceş with his mother and sisters. On the way, her mother and other relatives died. At the age of 9, the orphanage of Near East Relief Foundation took him.

Vardanian has never forgotten the story of his family, like many Armenians. He met Nubar Afeyan, an Armenian living in Boston, in Harvard. They started to think how they can use their abilities, energy, experiences and money for the good of Armenians and Armenia. Their friendship was the starting point of Idea Foundation and their other projects.

“Republic of Armenia is 25 years old, but the Armenian civilization is 500 years old. We have to build something new on this foundation. We have to get rid of the victim psychology and deal with building our future.”

From businessman to a philanthropist

Vardanian is an investment banker known in Russia and worldwide. Being CEO and controlling shareholder of Troika Dialog, Vardanian also advisor to the president and chairman of the board at Sberbank. In the recent years, Ruben Vardanian has been dealing only with his personal financial and charity work. IdeA Foundation (Initiatives for Development of Armenia) aims to establish a powerful future and a modern life for Armenian people with long-term projects. He is also one of the founders of “100 Lives” project, which focuses on the stories of survivors and rescuers.


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Aline Ozinian