Setting the vision


The NCFA was pioneering in being the first publicprivate partnership of its kind in Armenia. With the close collaboration of the State, international donor organisations and the private entities, the NCFA initiated the Tatev Revival Project.

In the early 2000s, the Tatev community in the Syunik region was among the most underdeveloped and hard-to-reach places in Armenia.

With a high level of unemployment and minimal opportunities to attract investment, it was also one of the most depressed areas.

In principle, Tatev had the potential to be a key hub on the tourist route that connects Yerevan with Artsakh and the south of Armenia. However, due to its remoteness, the area was hardly ever included in tourism development programs. Tatev was in need of someone to propel it to rebirth.

The last decade has seen thousands of people — builders, donors and volunteers — come together in service of an “impossible” dream. The vision was not only to restore a magnificent landmark, to pull off an outlandish feat of engineering, and drive exponential economic prosperity into the depressed Syunik region. It was also to invent the future of Armenia — and a new approach to creating change.

They called it Tatev.

The results of this endeavour have inspired the world. They have rippled far beyond the region’s air trams and monasteries. One in five Armenian tourists now come to ride the Wings of Tatev, and around 1 million tourists have visited Tatev since 2010 — representing nearly a 17-fold increase in the annual tourism flow to the region. New economies are budding in the surrounding area. Transport infrastructure has been modernised and unemployment has meaningfully decreased. Not least, the world has gained an outstanding example of how the power of a venture mindset can meet the task of improving the world. The impact has multiplied exponentially.

Taken separately, neither the construction of the aerial tramway nor the restoration of the monastery could have ensured the comprehensive development of the area.

We were well aware that a long-term socioeconomic impact can only be expected where there is a well established cooperation among various agents of change.

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Dear Visitor,

We are glad you are interested in the activities of the IDeA Foundation.

On this platform, you can learn about two-decades long thought, passion, commitment and hard work — all in pursuit of a more prosperous Armenia. The road has been long and reflections many. But we managed to achieve to a point where our work has left its mark on the lives of millions of people and we are really proud of it.

Our accomplishments are the fruit of a collective effort by hundreds of thousands of promoters and volunteers, tens of thousands of donors and supporters, hundreds of colleagues and dozens of founding partners. Together, we have shown what wonderous things can be achieved when people strive for realization of a common goal.

Allow our family, who was lucky enough to witness these remarkable achievements from the beginning, to express our sincere gratitude to numerous wonderful, caring, purposeful people and organizations that made all these achievements possible. We have the honor to present their successes and express our gratitude to them.

We have tried to present the key landmarks of our journey to a brighter Armenia, to chart the lessons learned, and some of the new approaches and initiatives they have forged — the 700 projects over the last 20 years.

We hope that learning about these works will be as pleasant for you as it is for us to tell about them.

But, more importantly, we would like to see you among those Armenians who will continue this path together with us in the future.

If a single community of like-minded people working towards the realization of a common vision of the future can achieve such a result, imagine what kind of changes can be made if the efforts of the entire nation were directed towards creation. Together we can dream.

And, together, we can make our dreams come true.

Thank You,

Ruben Vardanyan and Veronika Zonabend