If You Judge a Book by Its Cover You Might Miss an Amazing Story

When you visit the website of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the first thing that will catch your attention is Christine's photo. From this photo you will never be able to guess about the hardships that Christine went through. She has been looking for a job for a long time but it was not at all easy to find it for a person with disability. Christine was not losing her hope.

The Ministry of Emergency Situations has spent considerable time and resources in the last few years to implement more inclusive and gender responsive projects. It has teamed up with UNDP in Armenia and its own structures in disaster risk reduction - such as the Crisis Management State Academy and the Disaster Risk Reduction National Platform of Armenia - to help improve the environment and create enabling capacities for women and men with disabilities. The change processes included renovation of the building addressing different needs of women and men with disabilities and creation of an enabling environment for them to study, work, and have career advancement.

Christine Piruzyan was one of the first beneficiaries who applied for this programme. She was invited to an interview and soon became a member of a very friendly and supportive team at the National Crisis Management Center. Christine was able to push aside her feeling of depression and re-discover harmony in her life. She integrated well into the working environment; her self-esteem rose. Later, Christine signed up to the Pan Armenian Beauty Awards for women with disabilities and won the contest, breaking the limitations and stereotypes of the society. As Christine mentions, she feels blessed to be part of such a caring staff and can hardly imagine her life without her colleagues and the job that she currently has. She knows what it means to help someone. In Christine’s philosophy nothing is more important than a human life. "Saving the lives of others is a way to save ourselves".