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News and Information on Third Sector Development in Azerbaijan

Published in Azeri, Russian, and English


No. 31




ISAR Opens NGO Resource Center in Mingechevir



Private Support as a Possible Source of Funding for NGOs


Legal Clinics Make a Difference



Down with Parasites!


Women and Prison


Saving the Bulla Island



An Ecology Lesson



Center for Protection of the Rights of the Child


Summer Vacation for Disabled and Orphaned Children


SOS Children’s Village




New Publication Available in ISAR’s Resource Center

ISAR Opens NGO Resource Center in Mingechevir

Since September 22, ISAR has been operating an NGO Resource Center in Mingechevir.  During

an opening ceremony for the Center, government officials, local NGO leaders, and

representatives of international organizations operating in Mingechevir had a chance to get

acquainted with the services of the Center.  ISAR-Azerbaijan Country Director Ms. Kim Perlow

welcomed the guests and introduced them to the work of ISAR.  Baku Resource Center Manager

Naida Ramazanly gave visitors additional details about the services to be offered by the

Mingechevir Center. NGOs expressed enthusiasm for the center, pleased that they would have

access to information previously unavailable in their city. This information includes nearly 100

journals and books in Azeri, Russian, and English about NGO management and related topics,

such as fundraising, financial management, environmental protection, and children’s issues.

While ISAR’s regional program has been using a traveling staff to work with NGOs outside of

Baku over the past year and a half, the Mingechevir Resource Center is ISAR’s first NGO

Resource Center outside of Baku. The Center represents part of ISAR’s overall effort to help

Azerbaijan’s non-governmental organizations (NGOs) develop. The Center provides services

similar to those offered by ISAR’s Baku Resource Center, including a library, computer center

offering free computer access as well as e-mail and Internet, to local NGO representatives. The

two staff members of the Mingechevir Center will work with Baku-based staff to organize

training, consultations, and meetings for the local NGOs from Mingechevir and surrounding


ISAR made the decision to open the Center in Mingechevir because the city is home to a growing

and developing local NGO sector, and is located near the cities of Sheki and Ganja, where ISAR

also works.

During the first month that the Center has been open, NGO representatives and individuals

interested in NGOs from Mingechevir and surrounding regions have received consultations about

the NGO sector in general, as well as on grant-writing and working with the mass media.  Several

information sessions for NGOs have been conducted at the Center, including a discussion on the

role of volunteering in Azerbaijan. Additionally, several school groups have watched

environmental videos at the Center, and ISAR’s Student Outreach Program staff have carried out

interactive workshops at secondary schools in Mingechevir to teach children about the concept of

local NGOs.

The Mingechevir Resource Center is located at 19 Nizami St., Apt. 21, Mingechevir, tel: (8-147)


. The Center is open Monday-Friday from 10:00 am-

6:00 pm.


Private Support as a Possible Source of Funding for NGOs

By Alekper Guliev


Throughout the world today, and especially in the United States, where people are well-

accustomed to giving charitable donations, charitable donations can account for up to 80% of the

income of non-governmental organizations – this supports totals of about $100 billion per year.

As charitable donations play such an important role in allowing non-governmental organizations

in the US to carry out their activities, NGOs there spend most of their fundraising energies on

seeking this type of support.

In Azerbaijan, the situation is quite the opposite.  The majority of funding for NGOs here in

Azerbaijan comes from international foundations and donor organizations, as well as foreign

embassies and multinational companies working in the country.

It is not uncommon to hear the opinion that receiving grants is the easiest and most convenient

form of financing.  However, this is far from the truth.  In fact, this form of financing has a

number of drawbacks.  First, at the present time, grants are extremely competitive and grant

funding is becoming more competitive year by year.   Grant giving organizations often have to

turn down grant applications that are well-written and well-prepared, simply because the

foundation does not have enough funding to support every project that it would like to fund.

Competition amongst NGOs is tight, and often only one in ten projects is supported.  Thus, nine

out of ten projects go unfunded, and most of them are never actually carried out.  Additionally,

due to the importance of grant funding in Azerbaijan, many NGOs spend their time trying to

write and perfect grant applications to please donors, rather than concentrating on carrying out the

work that would best benefit society.  Additionally, NGOs’ work often becomes regulated by the

timeframes of the donor organizations and NGOs live project to project.  Most importantly,

worthwhile projects that fall outside the focus of the foreign donor organizations working in

Azerbaijan often have little chance of being carried out, and NGOs find their activity restricted.

In the US and other countries where private donations provide the lifeblood for NGOs, the

situation is quite different.  First, an organization can decide on its own how and when to hold a

fundraising event, without being concerned about the schedules and regulations of grant giving

organizations.  Second, the organizations have more control over how they allocate such funds to

various parts of their organization’s activities.  And third, fundraising activities serve not only to

raise funds, but also to raise public awareness and interest in the activities of the organization and

help create a positive image for the organization.

While NGOs in Azerbaijan are aware that private fundraising activities are used by some NGOs,

the vast majority chooses to ignore this means of financing.

Why is this the case?  In my opinion, there are several reasons— NGOs’ fear that in Azerbaijan it

isn’t possible to hold successful fundraising events due to the lack of a tradition of charitable

giving in Azerbaijan and the lack of knowledge and experience about how to conduct fundraising

campaigns.  It must be noted that in Azerbaijan, most NGOs view their activity on a project-to-

project basis—that is, as short-term activity with a start date and end date, which should bring a

concrete result by the end date;  fundraising from individuals is a long-term process, involving

upfront costs and commitment, and, as a rule, makes more sense when long-term commitment is


Let’s take the example of the Russian Greenpeace organization, which decided to undertake

fundraising from private sources.  First they identified their target group and began to develop the

fundraising program, first looking at their financial situation.  They worked out a system for

receiving payments from individuals.  Then they prepared and distributed several thousand letters

to the people in their target group.  When they received replies to their letters, they analyzed the

responses, and followed up with the senders.  Of course, it took some financial resources as well

as human resources and time to carry out this fundraising effort.  Only after a full year of

continuous work on this fundraising campaign did Greenpeace Russia break even.  That is, one

year after they began this fundraising effort, Greanpeace staff and volunteers saw their efforts

begin to pay off—the full costs of their campaign began to be exceeded by the amount of the

donations they had received.

 It might seem that this type of fundraising is ineffective.   For surely the efforts that were spent

on raising these funds could have helped the organization to win several grants during the same

one-year period.  However, the results for Greenpeace go far beyond the money they received.

The campaign enabled Greenpeace to cultivate a certain group of people who are helping the

organization today and will continue to help it in the future.  And the number of such people will

continue to grow.  The basis for future funding for the organization has been established, and in

turn,  Greenpeace Russia has taken the first steps toward formation of a truly financially stable and

sustainable organization.

What lessons does this example hold for Azerbaijan’s local NGOs?  First, fundraising takes effort

and study and time.  It takes looking at examples abroad, and reading literature about fundraising,

and trying to adapt these methods to the local situation, and not being afraid to experiment.  Only

by using your full potential can you realize the financial sustainability of your organization.

Legal Clinics Make a Difference

By Elmira Abdullayeva


What is a legal clinic and what is legal education?  These questions were the topics of discussion

at a meeting, which was held on September 18 at the ISAR-Azerbaijan office. Bob Bolton from

the American Bar Association (ABA) was the speaker at the meeting, attended by a number of

the directors of NGOs working in the field of legal education and human rights.

As Bob Bolton explained, the first legal clinics appeared in the United States in the 1920s and

30s.  They were based on the model of medical clinics—they provided law students with the

opportunity to gain practical skills working with clients, providing them with legal assistance.

The development of legal clinic education in the US got a second wind toward the end of the

1950s when various foundations began to support clinics focused on two main issues: providing

legal services and helping law students develop skills.  This method of training is very similar  to

intern programs at US medical schools, but with one major difference—for medical students , the

internship period is obligatory, while for law students, the internship remains optional.  In reality,

these clinics fill the role of giving students experience even before they graduate and become

lawyers.  In Azerbaijan, legal clinics function under the auspices of Khazar and Azerbaijan

Universities, both private institutions.

“I think that clinical education allows students to approach their work more creatively, to see the

value of their work as a mechanism to solve conflict,” stated Bolton.  Meeting participants all

agreed that legal clinics help students become more aware of legal practice, and increase their

base of legal knowledge.  Students in their final year of undergraduate students as well as

master’s students can intern at legal clinics.  According to Bolton, the value of legal clinics is that

while the student himself is learning, he is helping others who do not have the means to hire a

lawyer or get legal advice elsewhere.

During the, meeting, local NGO representatives expressed their opinions about legal clinics in

Azerbaijan.  For example, according to Chingiz Ganiev, head of the Committee for the Protection

of Democracy and Human Rights, it would be good if such clinics could be established not only

under the auspices of universities, but also under the oversight of local human rights



Down with Parasites!

By Gamida Gaibova


Association Against Protozoa in People and Animals

One million years ago, dinosaurs inhabited the earth.  Then, despite their great strength, they

disappeared.  There are hundreds of hypotheses about why they disappeared.  Could mankind

endure this same fate?  Protozoa could just have the power to wipe out mankind at some point in

the future.  Protozoa are single-celled organisms, some of which live freely in soil or water.  But

many of them are parasites that must live inside of animals or humans.  Some of them cause

serious diseases such as amebiosis, trichinosis, toxoplasmosis, and malaria.

The problem of parasitic infection has always existed, but veterinary care, modern sanitation,

medical services and properly working communal services and commercial organizations have

meant that in the modern city or town, people have not faced great risk of parasites.

Today this is changing.  In Baku, parasitic infection has the potential to become an epidemic.

Many factors affect the spread of parasites.  Among these factors is high population density in

certain areas, insufficient sanitation services, and inappropriate care of food products.  At the

same time, the natural surroundings in which we live have changed greatly.  Baku used to be a

modern, cosmopolitan city, where it was highly unusual to find cows or sheep; today, however,

such animals can be found not only in the distant outskirts of the city, but also in its squares and

parks.  Many of the natural connections between man and animals have been broken, with

economic conditions leaving dogs and cats living and breeding on the streets—they too can carry


The most dangerous places for parasite infection are stores or markets where both animals are

slaughtered and meat is sold.  During the Soviet period, animal slaughter was regulated, limited to

meat-processing factories or special points, and all slaughter was supervised by specialists.

Today, many shops or individuals sell meat which has been slaughtered without supervision.

Dogs and cats eat raw bits of meat or lick the meat juices, thus ingesting parasites.  These

parasites live on in these dogs and cats, and are excreted onto the parks and playgrounds where

Baku’s children play.

People can also ingest these parasites directly, by eating meat that has been slaughtered,

processed, or packaged without proper sanitary supervision.  Eaten rare or uncooked, this meat

can cause parasitic diseases in humans.  With lack of regulation of meat processing today, people

are more and more often becoming host for parasites that formerly lived only in animals.  More

and more often people are falling victim to parasitic diseases.

The Association for the Fight Against Protozoa in Animals and Humans was founded in order to

help prevent the spread of parasites in both animals and humans.  Our Association recently

completed a project to control parasite infection in the Baku area.  This project included

monitoring of several areas in which animals are slaughtered in the city, including the streets of

Baku-Mardyakan, the villages of Bakikhanov and Kishli, and the Yasamalskiy Region Park Zone

in order to identify those areas with the greatest amount of parasite presence, and to raise public

awareness to the presence of parasites and to the risks that protozoan parasite infection can entail.

The concrete results of the project include a map showing the quantity and type of parasites

identified in the surveyed areas.  Association members talked to butchers in these areas to alert

them to the risks of parasites.  Brochures in both Russian and Azeri were produced for

distribution to people in the areas under study, pointing out the risks of parasite infection,

symptoms of parasitic disease, and how to treat such diseases.

In my opinion, in the future it will be necessary for several NGOs working on medical, social,

and environmental issues to come together to work on this important issue.  Together we will be

able to work to decrease parasite infestation throughout the entire Baku area.  In the future, we

also need to work to ensure that meat byproducts are used or disposed of in a sanitary manner,

and to do more research on the source of infected animals—private plots or large farms.  We plan

to produce flyers, posters, and educational materials for school children about the prevention and

risks of parasite infection.  In just three words, we can state our goal: “down with parasites!”

Women and Prison

By Elmira Abdullaeva


In Azerbaijan as in many other places, law-abiding citizens view these people as leaches on

society, people who should just as well be forgotten.  But these people do live in our society—

they are part of society just like the rest of us, people who have lived among us and will again

live among us, so long as they follow society’s moral and ethical codes.  These people are


Prisoner work colony #4 is the only women’s prison in Azerbaijan.  It is home to women of all

ages and ethnicities.  Each one of them awaits her own fate, but they are all united by their

common criminal past.  And one more thing unites them as well—almost all of them are mothers.

Some even gave birth in the prison.

“Women and prison” was the topic of my recent discussion with Elmira Alekberova, president of

the El Center for Development, a local NGO that has for several years been working to help

women in prison.

How did you get the idea to work with this category of women?

Several years ago, I was working at the Dilara Alieva Society for the Protection of Women’s

Rights.  Women whose sons, husbands, and brothers were in prison came to us for help.  That

was the first time I came into contact with the problems of the imprisoned and began to think

about their rights.  Slowly, more and more people became aware of our work, and we started to

receive letters from prisoners themselves.  They wrote to us about the difficulties they

encountered.  These very letters are what brought me to Prison-Work Colony #4.

After visiting the Colony several times, I understood that I could not help the women prisoners if

I was only going to work with them from time to time.  Thus came the idea to develop a project to

work regularly with these women.

 Have you always found understanding for your work with these prisoners?

Of course not.  Many people think that it is not worth helping prisoners.  I have often been told to

do something else.  But we were lucky enough to find understanding and financial support from


At the start of our work, we helped to improve the living conditions for these women, building a

library and a television room.  I want to emphasize that from the very beginning, we received

complete understanding and support from the government.

Working together with the government, we were able to carry out medical exams on all of these

women and work to improve their daily living conditions.  But this was too little.

I saw that many of these women were in need of psychological rehabilitation.  Specialists have

pointed out that being imprisoned has negative consequences on people, especially women.

Women who are locked up for a long period feel socially and morally degraded and have very

little chance to preserve themselves as individuals.

As part of our work, we aimed to help these women develop confidence in themselves.  Doctors

and psychologists worked with them.  We helped them celebrate birthdays and holidays.  We did

everything we could to make their living conditions as similar as possible to those they had had

outside of prison.  Unfortunately, this project was only funded for six months.  We are doing

everything we can to make it an ongoing program.

What are your future plans?

Women prisoners represent a unique social group in our society.  As a rule, after five years in

prison, many lose their family contacts, which leads to their being cut off from society, and

makes them antisocial.  Thus we are now working on the development of a program to

rehabilitate women who have recently been released from prison.  While in prison, women have

one type of problems, but once they are released they have even more problems.  The difficulty of

adapting after life in prison is difficult from a psychological perspective.  Women who have been

locked up for years have forgotten how to live independently and how to make everyday

decisions.  Many of them are passive and cannot find their place in society.  Many have

difficulties finding jobs.  They often encounter difficulties relating to the large number of people

who they encounter outside of the prison.

Therefore, in the future we hope to start a center to help women make the transition to life outside

of prison.  The center would work on several levels, helping those still in prison, those about to be

released, and those who have recently begun their new lives outside of the prison walls.  In many

countries, such centers already exist thanks to private initiatives.

These ideas which El Center for Development President Elmira Alekberova shared with The

Third Sector News are likely to elicit mixed responses.  But whether we like it or not, prisoners

exist in our society.  And like any civilized country, we are obligated to ensure that these

prisoners are treated according to legal norms.  The bottom line is that, while in prison, these

prisoners do not have the right to live like you and me—they do not have the right to freedom.

But this is not the issue at hand.  The issue is that these people will live amongst us after they are

released from prison, and it is best for us and for them to help them become productive citizens in

the future.  It makes more sense for us as a society to support their rehabilitation rather than their


Saving the Bulla Island

By Sergei Spevak and Gulnara Gurbanova

Citizen’s Initiative Network of NGOs and the Mass Media

Two of Azerbaijan’s local NGOs, The Living Nature Club for Flora and Fauna and the Citizen’s

Information Network of NGOs and the Mass Media (CIN) with support from the ISAR’s Caspian

Program (based at ISAR-Central Asia) decided to join their strength to hold an ecological action

on Bulla Island.  The joint environmental project includes the organization of expeditions with

the goal of raising public awareness and alerting international organizations to the problem of

protecting the unique animal and plant life on the island.  The Living Nature Club and CIN

wanted to send out an SOS to bring attention to the dying birds and animals on the island and to

let people know about the danger of the pollution occurring in the area.  According to these

groups, this pollution could be curbed if appropriate measures were taken to prevent oil spills in

the area surrounding the island.

The Bulla Island is located 20 km. to the South of the Absheron Peninsula.  Local residents call

the island Hara-Zira.  It is said that this name comes from the Azeri word gara-zire, which means

“black Zirya”, because the island was created by a volcano.  Even today, active volcanoes exist

on the island—the last eruption was two years ago.  Formerly oil-rich land, today, as a result of

oil extraction, the island is considered a dead zone, covered with rusty metal and abandoned

equipment, and along the coast, the island is covered with dead birds and seals.  Even so, this has

not disturbed some of the island’s flora and fauna.  The island is home to animals including the

Caspian swamp turtle, mute swan, kaskaldakas, pustelga, and angutka ducks.  In winter,

swimming diver birds


also make their homes on the island.  Unfortunately, many of these species

are found not only on a list of island inhabitants, but also on the endangered species list.  This is

not surprising— on the island there is no fresh water and wild cats pose a serious threat to birds

and small animals.   Physical evidence of oil pollution can often be seen on the animals

themselves, smeared with bits of oil.

There was a time when Bulla was considered an outstanding nature area.  In the early 1970s,

hundreds of jeyran and saiga deer were brought to the island to breed with the idea of increasing

their populations.  Hunters took care of decreasing their numbers.

At the end of the 1970s, it was decided that jeyrans should be resettled in the Shakhova-Kosa

region—using barbaric methods, they were caught and moved.  The saigas were shot.  The result

of this “resettlement” was the complete disappearance of saigas in the territory of Azerbaijan, and

a significant decrease in the jeyran population.

Government officials dealing with ecology attest that today jeyrans are only present in the

Shirvan reserve.   However, this is not the case.  We have seen jeyrans on Bulla.  Twenty-one

jeyrans live on the island.  They are trying their best to survive there, but with out human

assistance their survival will be nearly impossible.  It is not simply a matter of lack of food and

drinking water—they try to survive by drinking sea water and eating dry grass—there is also the

concern that the current population size is not big enough, from a genetic point of view, to sustain

the species.

Within the framework of the Bulla Island project, activists  from the two Azeri NGOs removed

trash from a large portion of the island.  The groups also planted a small garden, referred to as a

“green corner” on the island.  Plants for the garden were chosen based on the climatic conditions

of the island.  The project also included the organization of a meeting with oil workers and sailors

who work near the island.  But most importantly, the project included taking photos of the jeyrans

on the island—these photos will serve as evidence that that jeyrans really exist on the island.


An Ecology Lesson

By Elmira Abdullaeva


Do you know what the word “angvil” means?  Probably not.  But the children in the upper grades

at three of Lenkoran’s schools know.  They can tell you that an angvil is the only river fish that

can live both in the water and on dry land.  The students learned this and many other interesting

facts about the environment during a environmental classes carried out by three NGOs in the

region.  The joint project of Umid-21


 Century, Students and Youth, and EcoSOS-South was

carried out with financial support from ISAR.  The goal of the project was to increase the

environmental knowledge of today’s youth, and to explain to them why the environment needs to

be appreciated and taken care of.  During the first part of the project, students attended

environmental lectures.  Following that, they planted small gardens on the school grounds.  In

addition, the children visited nature reserve areas in their region.

Representatives of ISAR’s grant and information programs visited the environmental lessons in

early October.  It is worth noting that these lessons were being carried out well.  A doctor of

biology was conducting the theoretical part of the lectures.  Different reading materials were used

throughout the course.  However, the groups succeeded in keeping the lessons from resembling

stereotypical institute lectures.  The students were constantly competing with each other to see

who could ask the most interesting question.  They were surprised to learn that 90% of the

world’s sturgeon population lives in the Caspian, and that during the time of Peter the Great, it

was forbidden to ring church bells during the sturgeon’s spawning period, so as not to disturb

them.  However, today, sturgeon are caught without any regulations, and if this continues, the

children learned that their grandchildren will never even have the chance to see a single sturgeon.

Instructors made a lasting impression on these kids by showing them the way a tree reacts when

its leaves are pulled off.  It looks like the tree can feel pain.  “We hope that this knowledge which

the children received during our lessons will help them to form an idea about what the

environment around them is.  We try to explain to the students that if people do not protect

nature, that they are really just killing themselves,” says Afer Kerimov, one of the project



Center for Protection of the Rights of the Child

By Galkhan Aliev

Project Coordinator

Society for Legal Education

Children don’t choose their parents.  For many, this reality means a tough life right from the start.

Children’s welps and screams can be heard through the walls of neighboring apartments—people

accept this as the sounds of the active process of “raising” a child.  Many times, however, these

sounds can be signs of abuse, signs that an unprotected child is becoming a victim.  We wanted to

find a way to help children protect themselves from physical and emotional abuse in their

families, to ensure that they have the right to a normal life under normal conditions.  In many

countries, schoolchildren know that if their rights are violated—if they are hurt or mistreated—

that they can seek help from various centers that provide consultations and advice about how to

resolve such crisis situations and offer advice as to the legal protections available in such


Today, with financial assistance from ISAR-Azerbaijan, members of the Legal Education Society

are working on a project to evaluate the possibility of establishing a Center for the Protection of

the Rights of the Child.  The project has four main objectives:


Provision of free legal and informational assistance to the population and NGOs

working in the sphere of children’s rights;


Publication of a book under the title of Rights of the Child ;


Organization of training courses for NGO representatives and lawyers;


Conducting a seminar on Social Rights of Children: Legislation and Effective

Methods of Enforcement.

Within this project, two working groups will be formed.  Two experienced lawyers will serve as

members in each group.  The groups will meet for four days each week to provide free legal

services to the population and consulting to organizations which work on children’s rights.

Situations where children’s rights may have been violated will be analyzed, and legal action will

be taken in cases in which Azeri law, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, or other

international conventions have been violated.

It should be emphasized that lack of systemization of Azeri law and international conventions on

children’s rights limits their effectiveness.  According to the Azeri constitution, international

agreements signed by Azerbaijan are considered as part of the internal legislation of the country,

and in cases where Azeri legislation conflicts with international agreements, the domestic laws

are supposed to be revised in accordance with the international norms.  Unfortunately, however,

in practice the Azeri government and the courts do not follow the Constitution on this issue, and

international norms go unfollowed.

Azerbaijan has signed many international agreements, however, the majority of these

international agreements are not designed as a law, with detailed descriptions.  This means that, in

practice, the population, NGOs working on issues of children’s rights, government officials

working on these issues, and lawyers do not know the details of the agreements, how to follow

them or how to implement them in practice.

As a result of the legal reforms carried out in Azerbaijan the legal base of the country has almost

completely been changed: new civil and family law codes have been passed, incorporating

substantive changes in legal norms relating to social and other rights of children, introducing new

institutions such as a foster family institute and others.  The training which we will run will

provide NGO leaders and lawyers with information about these laws through role play and

interactive training methods as well as lectures by experienced lawyers.  Overall, the project will

help us all to better protect the rights of Azerbaijan’s children.

Summer Vacation for Disabled and Orphaned Children

By Zohra Jafarova


Sahib Society

Life in Azerbaijan is not set up for the disabled.  It is hard not to agree with this statement.  Have

you ever seen special devices to help the disabled use public transportation, or wheelchair ramps

running alongside of stairways in city buildings?  Maybe you have.  But not in Azerbaijan.

In our country, the disabled have difficulty moving around independently, and may even have

difficulty leaving their own apartments.  Life can be extremely difficult for disabled adults, let

alone for children.  But they, like the rest of us, yearn to breathe fresh air, to take a stroll around

town, to attend exhibits and concerts.

The Sahib Society is dedicated to helping children and teenagers who have limited opportunities

available to them.  For the past four years, we have organized a summer camp for disabled

children.  For many of the children who attend, camp has been their first chance to swim in the

sea, get a suntan, and talk with their peers.  We received help from the parents of these children.

Along with the disabled children, our camp is also open to children who live in state orphanages.

The camp provides all of the campers with the opportunity to engage is sports, to play outside,

and to learn in ways in which they do not have the opportunity year round.

Our work with the children is based on the principal that we should treat all of the children

equally, regardless of their physical ability or disability.  The campers take part in activities based

on their interests, including music classes, drawing, pottery, board games and other classes and

activities.  Thus far, the camp has operated with sponsorship from the oil company BP—however,

we hope that we can make the camp an ongoing, sustainable project.  With this goal in mind, we

have organized a summer camp for healthy children from families who can afford to pay fees,

and we use these fees to support the camp for the disabled.

We believe that all of our programs help the children we work with to overcome psychological

barriers, and to learn that they have the right to receive an education and to enjoy themselves, just

like all children do.

SOS Children’s Village

By Farida Mammadova

SOS Children’s Village

According to official statistics, there are more than 11,000 orphan children in Azerbaijan.  The

two orphanages in Baku, designed to house a maximum of 300 children, are operating at over

capacity.   Over 20,000 orphans are under the guardianship of close relatives, most of whom do

not have the means to support them.  Azerbaijan is in need of institutions that can provide

children not only with a roof over their heads and a hot meal, but also with maternal love and


In many countries orphan children are being helped by local branches of the the international

NGO, SOS Kinderdorf International.

An SOS Children’s Village is currently being built here in Azerbaijan, by an Azeri NGO by the

same name.  The village will be a place for orphan children to find love and care by new

“mothers” and “aunts”, and learn to play with new “brothers” and “sisters”.

The first SOS Children’s Villages were established in 1949 in Imst, Austria by German Gmainer,

whose wish was to help the children who lost their parents during World War II.

The main principle of the Children’s Village is that children live in houses together, with women

who care for them as a family.  The women are called “mothers” and dedicate their lives to giving

these orphaned children a feeling of complete security, love, and care.  Mothers have the

authority to raise their families and make decisions for the family.

Each family consists of a mother and group of children who live as siblings together.  Children

are accepted into the village between infancy and age eight.  The goal is that the village will be a

home to them in such a way that when they grow up and move away, they will want to return to

visit.  The average village consists of 10-20 families.

 Currently, SOS Children’s Villages operate in more than 130 countries throughout the world. In

1997 the Azerbaijan Government and SOS Kinderdorf International signed an agreement on

establishing the first children’s village in Azerbaijan.  The same year, by decree of the Head of

Executive Authority of Baku Mr. Rafael Allahverdiyev,  4.5 hectares of land was allotted for the

construction of the village. In 1999, Sevil Aliyeva was elected President of Azerbaijan

Association SOS Children’s Village, Tair Budagov was chosen as Vice-President and Ugur

Zeynalov as Chief Executive.

Construction of the first village started in October 1999.  The Azerbaijani SOS Children’s Village

consists of 12 family houses, a kindergarten and 6 subsidiary buildings. Resident children attend

local schools with other children from outside the village.

After the physical village was under construction, the next stage was to choose the “mothers”.

Any woman aged 25-40 and ready to devote her life to orphans could become a “mother”. Only

24 candidates out of 200 willing to work in the village were selected to receive training. Within

three months, the candidates were trained in all skills and qualifications necessary for the job, and

upon completion of the training course, a final selection was made and twelve of the women were

chosen as “mothers”, five as “aunts”.

The houses and equipment for the village are complete.  The staff have been selected.  Now it is

time to start selecting children.  Only healthy children without any living parents are eligible for

residence in the village.  Boys will stay in the village up to 16 and girls up to 18 years of age.

Upon reaching this age, the children will be moved to teenager villages, where they will receive

assistance in receiving a higher education.

All expenses for building and equipping the village were covered by the international NGO SOS

Kinderdorf International.  However, in accordance with the organization’s regulations, the local

SOS NGO is required to create a fund to raise money for the center.  Therefore, members of the

Azerbaijan SOS Children’s Village NGO is seeking support from all interested individuals and


“Give a kid a hand. Refusing aid to them today we refuse a future, which might bring more

than their short and vulnerable past”.

Phone number: 98 15 77/79



New Publication Available in ISAR’s Resource Center:

Self-regulation in the Non-Profit Sector

Self-regulation in the Non-Profit Sector is a collection of materials prepared by the International

Center for Non-profit Law (ICNL), based in Washington, DC.  The book includes analyses of the

situation in the non-profit sectors of several countries where the Third Sector is just developing,

including Romania, Columbia, and Ethiopia.  Information from the US situation is included as a

contrast, as the non-governmental sector is well developed and has extensive experience with


The introduction of the book focuses on the importance of voluntary self-regulation of NGOs in

free societies and presents examples of the development of effective standards of this regulation.

The book dedicates its three main chapters to the Code of Ethical Norms for the Operation of

Non-Profit Organizations in the State of Maryland (US), standards of self-regulation which came

out of a conference on civil society in Romania, the NGO Code of Ethiopia, a declaration of

principles passed in Columbia, and the nine criteria for NGOs set out by the American National

Information Bureau on Charitable Issues.  All of the chapters contain commentary to help the

reader understand the complexities of these issues being discussed.

This important publication is available in Russian in ISAR’s Resource Center library.


Seventh International Conference on the Environment

San Francisco, CA

July 2-4, 2001

Application deadline: April, 2001

For more information, please contact Kevin Hickey or Demetry Kantarelis at:


Assumption College

500 Salisbury Street

Worcester, MA 01609-1296, USA

Tel: (508) 767-7296 (Hickey), (508) 767-7557 (Kantarelis)

Fax: (508) 767-7382

International Summer School on Forced Migration

July 2-20, 2001

The Refugee Studies Center at Queen Elizabeth House, Oxford University is organizing a

summer school for NGO managers, governmental organizations and researchers assisting in the

decision making process regarding IDPs.  For more detailed information, please contact:

Igor Savin and Mikhail Kishkaver

The International Summer School Administrator, Refugee Studies Centre, Queen Elizabeth

House, 21 St. Giles,

Oxford, OX1 3LA, United Kingdom. E-mail:


+44 1865 270723 Fax: +44 1865 270721 Website:

Searching for Partners

The organization Protection of Women based in Voronezh invites organizations working on

women's and children's issues to contact them regarding possible cooperation.  For more

information, please contact:

Anna Gorbunova

Protection of Women

21 Lezyukova Street, Apt. 127

394053 Voronezh, Russia

Tel./Fax: (0732) 73-83-19 (home)

Òel: (0732) 78-53-86 (office)



Grants for Environmental Organizations

The international foundation, Global Greengrants, which focuses on environmental protection, is

offering grants of $500 to $5000 dollars to support environmental organizations.

For more information about the foundation, please see the website: http//

Applications Accepted for Environmental Projects

With support from the Ministry of International Affairs of the Netherlands, the Regional Center

for the Protection of the Environment of Central and Eastern Europe announces a call for

proposals for cooperative projects.   The maximum about of the grant is 20,000 euros for the

NGO and 15,000 euros for the partner organization.

Applications must be completed jointly by both partners.  More information is available from:

2000 Szentendre

Ady Endre u. 9-11


Tel: (36-26) 311-199



More information about all of these announcements is available in the ISAR Resource Center.

Also available in the Resource Center:



Passed on October 4, 2000

Available in both Russian and Azeri

Azerbaijanis Helping Azerbaijanis:

Local NGOs Working Toward Solutions for the Future

will be published by ISAR-Azerbaijan in Azeri and English at the end of November.  For copies

of this full-color illustrated book, featuring stories of local NGOs in Azerbaijan, please contact

Naida Ramazanly in the ISAR Resource Center.


Interested in helping a student learn more

about local NGOs?  Host a volunteer intern

in your organization.

Successful interns have carried out surveys,

taught English and computers, and much

more. . .

For more information, please contact Ulvi

Akhundli in  ISAR’s Information Program.

Grant Program Update

Cooperative Grants

Who? For 3+ organizations working together to

carry out a joint project on environmental or

social issues

When? Grant rounds are carried out monthly;

applications are due to the grant program the

second Wednesday of each month.

Travel Grants

What? Supports travel for NGO representative to

a conference or training

Who? Organizations working on social or

environmental issues

When? Applications are due the second

Wednesday each month for travel beginning no

earlier than 45 days after this date and no later

than 3 months after this date.

For guidelines, applications, and more

information, please contact ISAR’s Grant


Grant Funding provided by USAID.

For the past five years, ISAR has been working as a Support Center for local NGOs in Azerbaijan, helping non-

governmental, non-religious, non-commercial organizations to have a broader impact on society.

ISAR’s Training Program offers:


A basic training course covering NGOs, their management and

structure, financing, proposal writing, and public relations;

advanced courses on fundraising, conflict resolution, project

management, and structural development; consulting on

organizational development.

ISAR’s Information and Outreach Program offers:


Information: A library, computer access, and information

about conferences and grants; a directory of local NGOs,

monthly bulletin on NGO activity, and periodic research

reports and booklets; monthly general information sessions and

sectoral meetings for environmental, health, and children’s



Outreach: Helping NGOs work with the mass media, training

students about the local NGO sector, facilitating student

involvement in local NGOs, introducing the business

community to the local NGO sector, producing documentary

films, organizing conferences, seminars, and the annual NGO


ISAR’s Grant Program offers:


Small grants of $2000-$4000 for social and environmental

projects; Large grants of up to $10,000 for projects addressing

social, environmental, education, and civil society issues;

Travel grants and cooperative grants, all designed to help

local NGOs carry out their activity and learn to manage their

projects more effectively.

ISAR’s Regional Program brings the services of ISAR’s other

programs to the regions of Azerbaijan, including Mingechevir,

Ganja, Sheki, Guba, Lenkoran, Salyan, and Ali-Bayramli.  An

ISAR Resource Center is now located in Mingechevir.

Under Construction

- - - - - - - - - - - -

- - - - - - - - - - - -

We are in the process of redesigning our bulletin. . .

Comments and suggestions can be submitted to editor Elmira Abdullayeva

in ISAR’s Information Program,

All Local NGO representatives are invited!


Information Session


Friday, December 1, 2000, 3:00 p m


Large Training Room, 2


 Floor, ISAR-Azerbaijan


Discussion: What is an NGO?

Bulletin Editor:

Elmira Abdullayeva

Third Sector News  is produced

with generous support from the

United States Agency for

International Development






All local and international NGOs and initiative groups are welcome to contribute articles, suggestions, responses,

announcements, and pictures to ISAR-Azerbaijan for publication in Third Sector News.  The material provided for the bulletin

must in some way be related to NGO sector development in Azerbaijan. ISAR-Azerbaijan and the US Agency for International

Development are not responsible for the content of information presented by local NGOs and the mass media. If material from

this bulletin is reproduced, please cite the ISAR-Azerbaijan Information Bulletin.

Address: Baku, Jafar Jabbarly 24, apt. 2

Telephones: 95-25-57, 95-30-37; Fax: 94-30-84


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