“Asbarez” – Marking TUMO’s 10 year anniversary and the inauguration of the new TUMO Gyumri building, the TUMO Center for Creative Technologies last week announced a five year, $50 million initiative to make its leading edge educational program available to all teenagers throughout Armenia and Artsakh. With 110 satellite facilities called TUMO Boxes connected to 16 fully equipped TUMO Hubs in regional centers, the program will serve 80 thousand students and reach all young Armenians even in the most remote villages.
A $10 million seed fund donated by the Yemenidjian family will launch and support hubs in Vanadzor, Kapan and Koghb, along with TUMO Boxes that feed into these and three existing hubs. To raise the remaining $40 million, TUMO is kicking off an international fundraising campaign. The Armenian General Benevolent Union and Elie & Elzbieta Akilian have each pledged to match up to $10 million of funds raised in the first 2 years of the campaign. With $10 million in seed funding, a $20 million fundraising goal, and an additional $20 million in matching contributions, the deployment initiative is already underway.
The announcement was made during the anniversary celebration of the official opening of the new TUMO center in Gyumri in the presence of government representatives, partners and friends. TUMO founders Sam and Sylva Simonian joined via live video and gave opening remarks.
“Our vision has always been to empower all young Armenians to achieve their full potential,” said Sam Simonian. “And now we are setting out to fulfill that vision throughout Armenia and Artsakh.”
Also attending were Armen Yemenidjian, representing the Yemenidjian family, Vasken Yacoubian and Vera Setrakian on behalf of AGBU, Elie Akilian, on behalf of Elie & Elzbieta Akilian, via video feed, and TUMO CEO Marie Lou Papazian.
“My family is extremely excited and proud to be a part of this vital initiative to arm the next generation of Armenians with the tools necessary to compete in the global technology marketplace, no matter where they live in Armenia,” said Armen Yemenidjian. “We hope this initiative encourages our Armenian brothers and sisters in the diaspora to invest in the future leaders of our country and economy.”
“AGBU has supported the incredible mission and vision of TUMO since its expansion in Armenia and Artsakh, and this gift will solidify a partnership to benefit Armenian children for generations to come. It is an honor to be able to strengthen the relationship between TUMO, AGBU, and students and their families. I also wanted to thank the other generous donors who will be joining this important campaign,” said Dr. Eric Esrailian on behalf of the AGBU Council of Trustees and Central Board of Directors.
Donations in the United States are tax deductible, and can be made in the form of one time or recurring contributions to the general project or earmarked to specific hubs or boxes.
TUMO Center for Creative Technologies is a free-of-charge education platform that puts teenagers in charge of their own learning. The TUMO program is made up of self-learning activities, workshops and project labs that cover a wide range of focus areas at the intersection of technology and design, including computer programming, animation, game development, music, robotics, 3D modeling, writing, filmmaking, graphic design and more. Over 20 thousand students currently attend TUMO centers in Armenia on a regular basis. In recent years, TUMO centers have also opened in Paris, Moscow, Tirana, Berlin and Beirut, with additional centers expected to open in Lyon, Los Angeles, Lisbon, Milan, Tashkent and Seoul. Licensing revenues from international locations contribute to the long term sustainability of TUMO in Armenia and Artsakh.