The Karakhanyan family lives in this trailer alongside the Tbilisi Highway on the outskirts of Yerevan. Four children are being raised inside. They range from 3 to 12 years old.
Due to the heavy snow of recent days, the door is opened with difficulty.
The kids sit on a makeshift couch made from wooden pallets. Te trailer is divided into a sleeping area, kitchen and living room. There’s no room to move around.
Gohar, the kids’ mom, says that the children are used to the cold and don’t get sick. A wood stove is burning in the living room. An electric heater nearby is never turned off.
After going without electricity for years, technicians strung a cable from an outside street lamp.
There are no closets to store anything. The family’s belongings are scattered about.
The kitchen/bath area is freezing. The window has no glass.
In addition to the four kids and their parents, Gohar and Armen, there’s a fifth lodger; Armen’s brother. When his sister is released from the psychiatric hospital, she’’ be moving in as well.
The family gets by on state assistance and handouts. Armen used to work in the metal trade but health issues prevent him from working today.
The local district council occasionally helps out with food packages. Other charitable organizations have provided clothes for the children. The Armenian Church has assisted with repairs to the trailer.
Last year, the eldest child, 12 year-old Galust got hit by a car. Internal bleeding forced doctors to remove one of his kidneys and spleen. The family receives no medical pension despite the boy’s health issues.
Gohar says that when she went to the Arabkir Children’s Clinic for a medical reference. She was told that she would have to pay a fee. She didn’t have the money.
The mother has gone to the Yerevan Municipality in the hope of getting another apartment somewhere but was told there are no available homes.
Gohar has given up hope of ever moving from this trailer on the side of the road and getting her four kids out of harm’s way.