Mariam has designed the first-ever laundromat in Debed village, situated in the Lori region in Armenia. Her business, Lav Lva, is the only community laundromat in Armenia since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Currently, 900 people living in this village lack easy and affordable access to running water. As such, they are traveling long distances to the Debed river every day, using the water for all purposes, including drinking, cooking and washing their laundry. The multi-purpose usage of the river poses serious health risks to all village residents.
The benefits of Mariam’s business are two-fold. Firstly, the women hired to run the laundromat earn full-time employment, lifting them out of their current financial insecurity, allowing them to contribute to their household income. Secondly, the entire village's health and quality of life will improve as they will no longer have to wash their clothing in the dirty, toxic waters that are partially frozen half of the year.