“Thank You For Your Service!” Says the Business Community in Armenia


“Thank You For Your Service!” Says the Business Community in Armenia

Regional Post talked to the ZINAPAH – National Foundation for Servicemen Insurance to understand how the private sector has supported this structure and its mission in a crucial period for Armenia.

Text : Nazareth Seferian
Photo : ZINAPAH – National Foundation for Servicemen Insurance


ZINAPAH beneficiaries and their moms

It is difficult to talk about “business as usual” when the country in which you are conducting operations is effectively in a state of war. While many of the Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives outlined in this issue have focused on strategic topics specific to each business’ context, there is one philanthropic organization in Armenia with whom all businesses work directly or indirectly, and that is ZINAPAH – the National Foundation for Servicemen Insurance. 

This Foundation was established in 2017 to provide stable compensation for the well-being of fallen, missing, and first and second-category disabled soldiers and their families, seeking to compensate for injuries sustained while defending the homeland and borders for the peace and security of future generations. Known earlier as the Insurance Foundation for Servicemen (more popular with the name 1000+) the organization has rebranded in late April 2023 to ZINAPAH – National Foundation for Servicemen Insurance. This rebranding has allowed the organization to stand out from other foundations, improve its visibility among beneficiaries, donors, and partners, and also shed new light on their current work.


ZINAPAH team and the Board of Trustees at the annual reporting and rebranding press conference


According to the law in Armenia, every working citizen in the country has to make mandatory contributions from their salaries to ZINAPAH, making it truly a nationwide effort to support those that have risked their lives to defend the country and its people.
However, ZINAPAH also gains vital resources through voluntary contributions from businesses, as well as generates additional funds through its asset management program.

“While the contributions we receive from mandatory payments still form the lion’s share of our budget, I believe that the voluntary donations from businesses give a very important message – this isn’t just something companies want to check off as part of their compliance with legislation. This is an issue that touches all of us, and we need to demonstrate that we honor our servicemen and care for their needs,” said Karine Sarkissian, CEO, ZINAPAH – National Foundation for Servicemen Insurance.
To date, ZINAPAH has allocated compensation of more than 76 billion AMD to more than 5,000 servicemen and their families. These compensations consist of both lump sum payments, as well as monthly support. Given the escalations in the conflict situation in the region even after the 2020 Artsakh War, it would be an understatement to say that more support is needed.

Fortunately, some businesses have recognized this need and revisited their priorities in these difficult times. Amundi-Acba made a decision to cancel the planned marketing campaigns in 2022 and, instead, transferred the amount budgeted for these campaigns to ZINAPAH.


ZINAPAH branding illustration. Flyer for the press conference day


“Any employee working for such a company would understand immediately that their employer sees the bigger picture in Armenia. There will be better times for marketing campaigns and company promotion, but this is a moment when we can come together for a bigger cause,” Karine Sarkissian commented.

ZINAPAH does not just limit its activities to providing financial support to servicemen and their families. It seeks to go beyond those boundaries and also find other ways to improve the lives of those that have sustained serious injuries while serving their country. For example, through a partnership with the organizers of Yerevan Wine Days, the Foundation made arrangements for three soldiers with first and second-category disabilities to display and sell their handmade items during the three days of the Festival. Vahe Kalantaryan works with wood and he presented watches, gift boxes, coasters, and decorative items. Norayr Petrosyan used the same material but made containers for wine, notebook covers, and card holders. Hovsep Arakelyan displayed silver pieces such as pendants, crosses, and more. Yerevan Wine Days might seem like a very commercial event, but the participation of these young soldiers added an important touch of responsibility to the proceedings. This is a good example of how a company has chosen to use the massive potential of their event, which brings together an audience of tens of thousands of people, to create additional social impact.

“It is one thing to provide financial support – this is our duty and we are happy that we have the capacity to do it. But these young people want to rise up beyond their disabilities and take charge of their own lives. So simply providing financial support isn’t always enough. We need to help them do what is within their own power so that they can lead lives of dignity and fulfillment,” said Karine Sarkissian.

Haypost provides another example of a business using its existing operations to create additional social impact. The national postal company took it upon itself to place a donation box for ZINAPAH – the National Foundation for Servicemen Insurance in all its branches across the country in 2021, making it easier for anyone in Armenia to donate to the Foundation. Additionally, Haypost released a special stamp in November 2022 dedicated to the Foundation, helping raise its visibility.

The business community of Armenia has demonstrated a strong desire to help the Foundation in its noble mission. In 2020, around 9 companies contributed more than 50 million AMD each to the Foundation, while more than 20 businesses contributed between 10 and 50 million AMD.

“It is encouraging to see that businesses in Armenia are thinking about how to give back to the country, and they are seeing our Foundation as an organization that is meeting an urgent need. Our values of transparency, accountability, and integrity ensure that all our partners see the impact of their contributions,” added Karine Sarkissian. 

As other articles in this issue have demonstrated, Corporate Social Responsibility can be a powerful tool when used strategically by a business, and often has a long-term focus. But there are times when the urgency of a need requires a company to focus on the shorter term and to find a partner that can provide the right impact through a philanthropic partnership. ZINAPAH – the National Foundation for Servicemen Insurance has demonstrated to the business community of Armenia that it is the right partner for the cooperation.

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