Sara Corning Society

Sara's efforts in the Ottoman Empire, Armenia, and Greece 1919-1930:
For the next 11 years, Sara heroically helped to rescue and care for thousands of Armenian and Greek orphans from the former Ottoman Empire from 1919 to 1930. She risked her life to do so in besieged areas where vast numbers of children were orphaned due to brutal massacres of entire families.

1) Armenia & Ottoman Empire (Turkey)
Sara was initially posted in 1919 for a year near Mount Ararat in Armenia  where she managed an orphanage near Erivan (Yerevan). There were hundreds of thousands of starving refugees in this region upon her arrival. Typhoid fever and cholera were rampant in the refugee population claiming many lives, especially children. Sara worked tirelessly under these conditions. In addition to the orphanage, she was also responsible for supervising the health and nutritional needs of mothers and babies at a nearby refugee camp. The horrible conditions in this location are graphically described in Dr. Esther Pohl Lovejoy's memoir, Certain Samaritans.


Pictures: Mount Ararat, Sara with a baby and Orphans at Erivan after delousing

From 1920-1922, Sara was stationed at Anatolia College in Marsovan (Merzifon), in the Ottoman Empire where thousands of local Greek and Armenian citizens were marked for death in the town, including hundreds of thousands in the surrounding, mostly Greek, Pontic region. Any refugees who survived and many orphaned children, came to the College for safety. Sara and the staff would gather bundled babies from the doorstep of the College each morning after desperate parents were sent on death marches without food or water. Sara was responsible for helping to manage the large orphanage at Anatolia College in Marsovan, as well as her nursing duties in the College hospital. During an Ottoman raid seeking potential victims, Sara saved the life of an Armenian teacher whom she hid in one of the buildings, according to Anatolia College president, Carl Compton in his memoir The Morning Cometh. The teacher, Mirhan Hovagimian, eventually made his way to safety in Greece.


Pictures: Anatolia College, Staff at Marsovan Anatolia College, and Orphans at Marsovan

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