Monday, 3 August 2009

Head of Armenia mobile operator VivaCell Ralph Yirikian moves to support HIV education/awareness programmes, calls for tolerance

“Because we care!”

Whenever I go back home Yerevan, I always hear stories about Ralph Yirikian, General Manager of mobile operator company VivaCell, one of the most prominent businessman (and philanthropist) in Armenia. Astonishingly, all stories I hear about him are positive. One would expect to hear lots of ‘dirt’ about the businessman of such a caliber in Armenia. One would be wrong. Yirikian, perhaps, one of those exceptional business personalities in Armenia who managed not only to succeed in his business but earn respect of the population. Well deserved, I must add, as proved by his very latest actions and statements too.

Not only Yirikian moves to support HIV/AIDS related education and awareness programmes but also he calls for tolerance towards HIV-positive people which is essential for any such initiative to have a chance for success. This is important for developing a more tolerant towards vulnerable groups and minorities environment in Armenia too.

As they say, “VivaCell is more than operator”. I have to agree with this statement. They proved it in past, they proved it with this step again.

If only Armenia have more businessmen like Yirikian, we would have healthier (not only in medical terms) and more open society. I hope Yirikian’s attention to vulnerable groups and minorities will not stop here, evolving more groups, including LGBT Armenians. My respects for now, Ralph.

For more details - see Unzipped: Gay Armenia

*In photo (via - Ralph Yirikian did a blood test for HIV before signing a Memorandum.