Among other events, 2016 is marked for LGBTI community with a new initiative called “Big big baazar”. “Community for community” initiative of LGBTI people in Armenia initiated “Big big baazar” holiday fair and the raised money will be given to LGBTI persons, who are in need of shelter because of having problems because of their sexual orientation.
In an interview with LGBTnews one of the heads of the initiative Heghine Babayan provided details of the event.
Heghine points the circumstances she met while working for Pink Armenia when LGBTI people faced problems with their family members because of their sexual orientation and gender identity and ended up being homeless.
There are cases when family members throw them out after finding out their sexual orientation and gender identity. Or, as a result of tense atmosphere at home, they leave home on their own even if they have to sleep out. And those cases are not rare.
There aren’t special lodgings for LGBTI persons in Armenia. According to Heghine opening lodgings will cost a lot of money and potential donors can’t afford to provide that money.
“New Generation” NGO attempted to provide those people with lodgings for four months only once. Thus a solution should be found to solve those people’s residential problems: – said Heghine adding that this issue worries not only her but also a group of other individuals and as a result of regular discussions with them we came up with the idea of initiating an event like Big big Bazaare which is widespread throughout Europe.
The logic of the initiative is the following: “Some items people don’t need and which are useful are collected and then sold below market value, and the profit is allocated to the homeless”.
The event was held on December 22. Within the framework of the event 250.000 drams was raised. According to Heghine they were concerned about the efficiency of the project while implementing it, however, luckily the project succeeded.
The idea of second hand isn’t common in Armenia, and we worried about its effectiveness. The event was due in summer, but it was constantly being postponed until December. I am happy with the results though. Before the project I said I would happily sleep the day we raised 100.000 drams, but, in fact, we could raise more that it. Furthermore only 70 % of the items was sold, the other 30 % is still being sold:”- says Heghine.
The Facebook account notifying of the “Big big baazar” event was closed, since the organizers were concerned that the event would be followed by a wave of homophobia.
The collected items were sold to those who had been invited to the closed event held in “Article 3 club” on December 22.
Hegine noted such events are going to be continuous and serve exclusively the same purpose.
“We have still got some items which are not consumed yet, and we are trying to sell them. We have further plans of organizing such projects, which might be a little different. The raised money hasn’t been spent at this time, fortunately we haven’t faced such cases yet”- said Hegine.