Sponsor a child in Azerbaijan
Many people in Azerbaijan suffer as a result of poor health and social care, and parents receive little help when caring for their children. Consequently, families are in danger of breaking apart and children suffer from discrimination and the absence of a caring upbringing.
Poverty and poor healthcare make for tough living
Despite high revenues from natural resources, Azerbaijan's income is not widely spread and many people still live below the poverty line. There is a lack of basic health care, especially in provincial areas, and even when there are clinics, a visit is still too expensive for many people.
Children suffer discrimination and a lack of family support
The social support system in Azerbaijan is seriously underdeveloped. Instead of receiving help to care for their children, struggling families are forced to turn to institutionalised care homes. Children who live on the streets or in institutions risk discrimination. Illness, HIV/AIDs and disability all result in prejudice and stigma. Over 10,000 citizens suffer from HIV/AIDS, and this problem is exacerbated by the poor health care provided. Girls can be forced into marriage far earlier than the legal age, and sometimes children as young as 5 are involved in child labour.
Our Work in Azerbaijan
In cooperation with the local authorities, SOS Children focuses its efforts on supporting vulnerable families and helping parents to care for their children. It runs training programmes for parents and ensures that children from all backgrounds have a secure childhood with the opportunities for a successful future.
The capital city Baku is home to many poverty-stricken families, living in run-down concrete tower blocks and struggling to find work. Unemployment rates are high as outsiders come in search of work or in response to conflict in their own towns. With employment so difficult to come by, many people are working with no job security and very low wages, in a city where the cost of living is high. Many children in Baku end up in state-run institutions.
SOS Children started working here in 2000 to provide many of these children with a new home and the love and care they need. An SOS Playbus travels to children in the community, offering workshops, games and creative activities.
Ganja is the second largest city in Azerbaijan, and suffers from an underdeveloped infrastructure with poor water quality and out-of-date housing. The work of SOS Children is vital here to provide services such as schools, nurseries, hospitals and shops. We also target the high unemployment rates by offering parents job advice and guidance on raising children, helping families to stay together.
For more information about the work we do in Azerbaijan see our page on Azerbaijan Orphans.
Life in SOS Children's Villages Azerbaijan: Eshgin's Story
When Eshgin was six years old, his mother died and he came to live at SOS Children’s Village Baku. This is his SOS mother Leyla’s story:
“Eshgin was angry that his mother had died: he couldn’t accept that someone else had to look after him. One day when he was crying, I went over to him, sat on the bed and told him I knew his mother died and that I was not trying to take her place.
His grief was immense, and he was lashing out at me. But after a year or so, he began to accept that his mother was gone, and he started giving his new life a try. Eshgin has been in the Village for eight years now, and we talk about his mother all the time. We went to her grave recently. He laid flowers and told her that he has a new loving mother to take care of him, that she shouldn't worry and that he is happy. He told her he misses her a lot and that there'll always be a place for her in his heart."
SOS Children's Villages Azerbaijan
D. Aliyeva str. 251-A
Tel: +99 412 4933913
Fax: +991 12 489 0297