SOS Social Centres in Azerbaijan
In Azerbaijan there are currently three Social Centres for children and the local community, in Baku, Ganja and the mobile Playbus Project. Many SOS Social Centres operate via Family Strengthening Programmes, that aim to support the wider community. Below is some information about some of the Social Centres that SOS Children runs in Azerbaijan:
SOS Social Centres around Azerbaijan: In-Depth
Description of Social Centre/FSP:
A Social Centre was constructed in Ganja in 2009. The family strengthening programme offers access to essential services for children’s development (eg. educational, nutritional, health support, social skills) and supports families to protect and care for their children. The programme also aims at linking families with income generating activities and offers help to improve the parents’ parenting skills.
Work and Achievements:
In order to expand services and reach more beneficiaries the project focused its activities on building of social centre. As a centre, Ganja Family Strengthening Programme started its activity in early June. Once a week the team organizes Mothers’ Club along with tutoring and handicraft classes for children beneficiaries’ (age range 7 - 14). Tutoring and handicraft classes are coordinated and held by two project volunteers. While mothers participate in Mothers’ Club, their children are engaged in tutoring and handicraft classes. The major goal of these activities is to develop new skills and give mothers and their children a chance to spend their leisure time effectively by coming together, sharing new skills and experience.
Together with volunteers, FS team created a play room within the Centre. Also, the strategy of individual approach to each family was implemented. Therefore, on the basis of investigations made by social workers, families’ needs were discovered and met individually.
Caregivers who successfully accomplished vocational courses were provided with necessary equipment (sewing machines, cosmetology tools, etc.) for building their business. In addition, with the help of the programme, several of these families got social benefits from the government.
Families continue to benefit from free juridical consultancy and medicines. In addition, expensive surgery of one child was organized by the project in 2009.
21 children from elementary school were provided with uniforms and school kits. One child’s education fee was paid by the project. Currently,this child is the best student in the class.
Living conditions of 21 families were improved. This included repair work in the houses, distribution of heaters, beds, etc. Of the families
SOS Playbus Project
Description of Project:
SOS Children run an SOS Playbus which travels around Baku. It is a mobile centre offering fun and educational play materials for children, and it stops off at public parks and hospitals, at orphanages and grey concrete tower blocks. Activities such as drama, dancing, dressing up, face painting and various craft activities help children to obtain confidence in themselves and trust in others. The educational games teach the children about their rights and the environment, and during the events the Playbus-team shows the parents and teachers new teaching methods and encourages them to develop new ideas.
Work and Achievements:
This year the Playbus project was 100 % sponsored by Mobitel company. During 2009, Playbus organized 209 activities covering about 8,140 children and 1,633 adults.
March: the team organized a big event dedicated to the Tuberculosis Day. The theatre performance named “THE ADVENTURES OF HEALTHY COUNTRY” was shown to many guests including foreigners who attended the event. The media also supported the event.
May: the team organized the event dedicated to AIDS/HIV. The Republican Social Centre for AIDS/HIV was the partner of Playbus in this event. The theater performance named “It can be late later” was shown by SOS Children, FS beneficiaries and students from Elitar Gymnasium. Playbus team invited many guests including the media.
Summer tour, 1-14 July: It was the fifth tour of Playbus to the regions of Azerbaijan. During the summer tour, the team organized 16 activities covering about 1438 children.
In total, 12 activities were organized in Zaqatala, Balakan, Shaki and Ganja. It was one of the most interesting tours.
18 September: this day was dedicated to Universal Peace Day under a motto of “Welcome to Peace planet”. The Peace Planet consisted of 6 continents (Europe, Asia, North America, South America, Africa, Australia and Antarctica), where children could see peculiarities of each continent’s culture and traditions. From the beginning of the event, each continent was represented by several children dressed in the national costumes of the countries they represent. Each continent prepared its own presentation (dance performance). Children presented Azeri, Russian, English, Turkish, Ukrainian, American Indian, Chinese, African, Brazilian, Australian, and Indian national dances and special dance of penguins of Antarctica. At the end of the event children recited a slogan about the peace and the peace doves were let out in the sky. The performance of Azeri singer followed after the final speeches. The event was covered by 2 local TV channels, newspapers and representatives of several news agencies.
December 23-29: We hold New Year activities with different schools, SOS CV’s and FSP’s