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US Ambassador and Mrs. Heffern visit AGBU Hye Geen Pregnant Women’s Center in Talin

June 10, 2013

On Saturday, May 18, US Ambassador to Armenia John Heffern, his wife Mrs. Libby Heffern, Former Chairman of the AGBU Western District Committee of California Haig Messerlian and AGBU Armenia Director Arpi Vartanian visited the AGBU Hye Geen Pregnant Women’s Center in Talin.

During the Ambassador’s Diaspora Tour in the USA last December, Ms. Sona Yacoubian, Chairperson and Founder of AGBU Hye Geen Southern California, invited Ambassador and Mrs. Heffern to visit the AGBU Hye Geen Pregnant Women’s Centers in Armenia and meet the expectant mothers to better understand the realities facing women and their families in Armenia’s regions today.

Ms. Yacoubian remarked, “The AGBU Hye Geen Committee welcomes the interest and the appreciation shown by Ambassador and Mrs. Heffern. We consider the Pregnant Women Centers in Armenia a priority. Healthy newborns and healthy, educated mothers are essential to safeguard the future of our homeland. I also thank Haig Messerlian and Arpi Vartanian for their assistance in arranging this visit.”

Messerlian, Vartanian and Ani Aslanian, Project Coordinator of the AGBU Hye Geen Pregnant Women’s Center in Talin, described the Center’s activities, accomplishments and challenges. The 20 mothers-to-be were delighted to share their impressions and have a frank discussion about their everyday challenges. Ambassador and Mrs. Heffern, proud parents of five children and grandparents to one child, welcomed the opportunity to interact with the women, learn about their concerns, and share their experience and ideas.

To date, AGBU Hye Geen Pregnant Women’s Center in Talin has served close to 160 women and their healthy babies.

Mrs. Libby Heffern said, “It was wonderful to see so many Talin women actively participating in the center. I really believe that proper prenatal care is the most precious gift for their children.”

Ambassador Heffern stated, “Thanks to the Armenian General Benevolent Union for its great work in Armenia. Its Women Centers all over the country are prime examples of what AGBU does for the Armenian people. Libby and I had a heart-warming visit to the center in Talin, where we met two dozen pregnant women and discussed their lives, families, challenges and opportunities.”

Several constructive suggestions were offered. AGBU Hye Geen Pregnant Women’s Center Talin is already exploring ways to turn those ideas into reality.

Messerlian, Vartanian and Aslanian thanked Ambassador and Mrs. Heffern for their visit and enthusiasm, and expressed appreciation for their support to Armenia and the Armenian people. Messerlian added that their meaningful visit and conversation with the participants meant a great deal and would be remembered by all for years to come.