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 Meeting - 26 May 2003 (WVI)

 Meeting date: 26.05.2003

Azeri version

Meeting: Children's Issues Coordination Meeting
Date: 26 May 2003
Venue: World Vision International
Chairperson: Gwen Burchell, UAFA

Attendees/ NGOs

Farid Talibov , UAFA- translating
Gula Aliyeva,
Gwen Burchell,
UAFA- chairperson
Axundov Nazim,
Ibadov Nazim,
Alxazova Maira,
Shixaliyeva Nazira,
Oftalmology for Children
Abbasova Valida,
Alice Pioorda,
Laura Peer,
Nijat Kersmov,
Nailya Velikhanova,
Makayeva Inara, UMCOR
Suleymanova Yana IWC
Teri Randall, IWC
Suleyman Labrayelov, Saglam Hayat
Gulana Huseynova, LOTOS
Sudaba Shirhiyeva, Children of the Streets
Bilgeis Mamedova, UFUG
Natasha Palubinski, WV- minutes


1. Introduction
2. BUTA presentation
3. Mission Statement discussion
4. Responses to letter
5. National Plan of Action
6. AOB

1. Introduction

Gwen Burchell opens the meeting and invites everyone to introduce themselves. Laura Peer, WV Project Officer, announces that this is her last meeting, and wishes everyone all the best. She introduces Alice Pioorda as a new consultant with WV.

2. BUTA presentation

Nazim Ahundov gives a short introduction to BUTA's work on psychological rehabilitation of children. Due to complexity of their work, BUTA developed their own method to approach the problems they had encountered during their work. He states that the children they encounter during their work they break into 4 groups. However, due to their constrains and limitation they could only work with 2 of those groups.

Buta's method is to assess children they work with and to put them into 4 different categories according to their needs. Unlike medical institutions, their work consists of rehabilitation through games and workshops.

  1. BUTA works children with post-traumatic stress disorders and have developed psycho-social ehabilitation method, which they published in their book.
  2. BUTA also works with children with neurological and psychological problems, due to deprivation of emotionally nurturing environment.
  3. Lastly, BUTA works with children who are orphans, victims, or have abnormality in their behaviour.

Nazim Ibadov underlines that during their working with children with psychological and other needs, they became acutely aware of lack of educational resources, and therefore he appeals to other organizations who work with children, to work together, so all children's needs could be covered.
Gwen Burchell summarises Nazim's presentation, by saying that all members of the coalition provide different services and by a referral, better services for more children could be provided.

3. Mission Statement discussion

Gula reads out a draft of the mission statement in English and Azeri.

{Draft} The Child Coalition is a group that exists to serve as a catalyst for reform in a national policy for meeting childcare needs via quality child social services system complying with UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Question: Is everyone agreeing with the draft? Laura inquires when are we going to use this mission statement? This is first draft, and we need to present ourselves clearly: Who? Why? How?
Nazim from BUTA adds that here are many organizations in Azerbaijan working with children's issues, and many of them are presented here. Doors are opened to all organizations, working with children. Our basic principle - quality of social services to all children.
Suleyman Labrayelov from ' Healthy Life' states that clarification is needed about main idea: 'catalyst' is objective mission goal, and does it mean catalyst for reform?
Alice asks to explain what does it mean by " child social services"? Gwen: this is a general term.
Gwen proposes to vote on the mission statement. Mission statement by majority is accepted, though with qualification that 'and implementation' should be added to ' for reform'.

The mission statement reads:

The Child Coalition is a group that exists to serve as a catalyst for reform and implementation in a national policy for meeting childcare needs via quality child social services system complying with UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

4. Responses to the letter

Gwen starts by saying that several organizations got responses from various government departments.
Natasha hands out letters ( English and Azeri). N urges everyone to read so to make sure thatt everyone knows what they are signing. We want to do a thorough job with this letter and will sign it next meeting. Gwen suggests putting issue of children in institutions first. Few members express their concern about Azei version of the letter. They feel that the language is not appropriate, because a Russian speaker into Azeri had translated it. Natasha asks whether everyone is agreed with the letter in its substance and essence? They were agreed with substance of the letter, but concerned about the language. Proposal was made to accept the letter and work on its Azeri version. Nazim from BUTA volunteered to translate the letter into appropriate Azeri language. It was also suggested that new mission statement should be included in the letter.

5. National Plan of Action

Gwen Burchell opens discussion by suggesting next step of action for coalition.

  1. UAFA sends a letter to Hadi Rajably, Chief of Social Policy Committee.
  2. Coalition prepares a presentation.

National Plan of action is being handed out, and Gwen suggest to listen what she has to say, think and come to next meeting with ideas, and then she writes to Hadi Rajably explaining what coalition wants.
Ms. Burchell focuses everyone's attention on four clauses in the National Plan of action relating to de-institutionalization: 4.1 & 4.2, and 5.2 & 5.4. Alice asks why we are focusing just on de-institutionalization, after all we, as a coalition we concern with all children's issues? Gwen points that very often is the case that a child, whether he/she is an IDP child, a child with disabilities, ends up in institution because parents unable to take care of their child She emphasizes that social services do not exist; and therefore we do not look for individual problems.

Ms. Burchell turns to clauses 4.1 and 4.2. She explains that 4.1 is about a child in state care, and 4.1 is about our worth. As a group, collectively, using our experience, we could develop models that Government could use through out the country.

She warns that process of de-institutionalization will take many years, and those children who are presently institutionalized have rights to better care services as well.

Regarding 5.1 and 5.4, Gwen tells that these clauses relate to de- centralization of institutions.
She underlies that it is very important to give power to institutions. She believes that this should be presented at the autumn meeting.
She summarizes her presentation by saying that we should address in our presentation two points:

  1. Reducing children in institutions
  2. Improving level of care

She appeals to the coalition members that they need to be prepared to discuss coalition plan of action at the next meeting.

Very important to come prepared , so issues that coalition is working on could be dealt speedily.

6. AOB

UAFA had published a manual, and Gula hands out copies of this manual to everyone present.
LOTOS brings a suggestion that newspaper 'ECHO' would like to come to one of the coalition's meeting. Gulana states that it could help the cause if media could cover some of the discussions.
However, some members feels that perhaps it is too early to invite media people. Perhaps later when coalition will accomplish the task it set to accomplish. It has been suggested that media is not excluded from the meetings but it could attend meeting by invitation. Due to time constrains, the coalition members decide to leave this discussion open until the next opportune time.

Gwen Burchell closes meeting by saying that next meeting should be dedicated to discussion of National Plan of action and to drafting coalition plan pf action.
Meeting closes.

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