Yerevan's Abovian Street, the Rainbow Garden awaits
inside Building No. 44.
The ringing of a fairy-tale bell is followed
by warm welcome. On entering the Rainbow Garden
one can feel and see the wonderful seven rainbow
colors with the help of which the true fairy-tale
of the garden was created.
"Every day about 20 families visit our center,
where parents and children are in peaceful and
pleasant atmosphere," says Nune Avetisyan,
head of the Green Floor Rainbow Garden's Center
on Early Socialization of a Child.
Children are allowed to do everything in this
garden. They are playing all those games that
are often forbidden by their parents, but must
follow two rules strictly: when approaching to
the pool full of water they must put on an apron,
and while riding bicycle they must not get over
the marked border.
The Garden's psychoanalyst, head of the Physiological
Department of Valeri Bryusov State Institute of
Foreign Languages Angela Vardanyan says: "There
is no 'one should not' here. There is logic in
what 'one should not' in the garden. Everything
is allowed to do but with an understanding."
The Rainbow Garden of Yerevan was founded in 1996
thanks to Armenia's Childhood French organization.
The organization's president Erik Legro had started
rendering charitable aid to Armenia's children's
homes and boarding schools soon after the earthquake
Childhood organization is a member of 'Le Harpe'
(lyre) French Association, which is the owner
of the Rainbow Garden. President of the association
Willy Baral is still sponsoring the Garden, where
staff are trained and routine seminars conducted
Unlike other organizations of Armenia receiving
children, the Rainbow Garden is being visited
by parents and their children at the age of 0-4.
It is a place for leisure and relaxation. Here
you obtain a new way of thinking.
"We do not interfere with the children's
playing, we let them be free," says pedagogue
Ashkhen Narimanyan. "Often parents disturb
them and we gently prevent them."
Narimanyan stresses the importance of a child's
freedom, his or her free idea. A child is the
lord of his or her favorite occupation and games.
A rainbow on the wall of the garden symbolizes
a union of sky and earth. Water flowing from a
small fountain into the pool is another symbol
of life. Children go up the stairs of a wooden
castle to the second floor and watch their world
"In this extremely politicized world, birth
of the Garden is the first revolutionary step
by which the right for confidence of a child as
an individual is being restored and confirmed,"
writes physiologist-pedagogue Karine Barikyan,
head of the center, in the publication "The
Revolution of Little Steps".
Since 2000 Barikyan and her husband Raffi Setyan
have been sponsors of the Garden.
There is no charge for children and parents to
attend the Garden. Over seven years it has received
about 21,000 children. When a child enters the
garden, his or her name and age are written down
on a blackboard.
"Psychologists use special methods of work,
so that a parent can understand his or her child's
problem by means of games and drawing," says
Avetisyan. "There are always unique children
who differ from each other. We listen to them,
help and understand them to the extent they trust
are 300 Rainbow Gardens throughout the world,
since the first was established in Paris in 1979.
"We pay special attention to pregnant women,
to their mental state," Vardanyan says, "as
during intrauterine life a child starts to understand
everything. He has already got his individuality."
The center also has become a place of meeting
for divorced couples. There they often restore
their relations and families.
The Garden's staff of 18 tries to help children
develop their creative world leaving comments
for their parents.
"Children and parents are always together,"
says Avetisyan. "First of all it is a place
where they can communicate. Communication with
the help of psychologist's analysis often help
parents to overcome the aggression that parents
Children leave the Garden happy and excited.
They impatiently are waiting for the next visit.
Pedagogue Narimanyan mentions that parents say
that they could hardly keep their children at
home till 11 o'clock, when the Garden opens.