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 Program Resume - BUTA Psychosocial Rehabilitation of IDP Children in Azerbaijan (BUTA)

 Duration: 31.12.2000 - present
 Location: Baku
 Sectors: Community development

BUTA Psychosocial Rehabilitation of IDP Children in Azerbaijan

Implementing agency: BUTA Childrens Humanitarian Foundation/ Norwegian Refugee Council.

Donors: The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Duration: May 1999 - February 2001. This project is a continuation of two previous programs 1995-1996 and 1998-1999.

Target group: The project is carried out in two IDP settlements in Azerbaijan, Sabirabad IDP camp C1 and Pirshagi IDP settlement (sanatoriums Gilavar, Kizilkum and Santehmontaj) with the total number of children involved 1400. The age group is from 8 to 16 years old.

Background/ Description:

The NRC/BUTA project was designed to fill in the gap of non-formal education for children in IDP camps with the use of various socio-cultural and recreational activities. It has been implemented through activities of four sections: folklore, art, sport and theater. From May 1999 one new pilot section (computer) was introduced in Pirshagi IDP settlement. Each of the sections is led by professionals in the relevant field: sport couches, theater managers, artists, etc.

The Guidelines for Educational Assistance to Refugees, UNHCR, Geneva 1995 emphasizes the importance of recreational activities and non-formal education in the work with traumatized children. Along with a more formal schooling, play is an essential instrument in alleviating the traumatic experiences and promoting healthy development. One of the earliest signs of emotional disturbance in a child is the inability to mix and play with contemporaries. By rebuilding a daily structure, playing brings a sense of normality into the life of a child.

All the project activities are supervised by psychiatrists and psychologists, who work closely with other professionals in the sections. Together they plan the activities, design plays and scenarios for children and instruct teachers in how to deal with behavioral deviations in children. Though the medical group plays an essential part in the project, psychiatrists and psychologists never exhibit their presence in an explicit way, so the children perceive the whole process as an interesting and exciting game.

Various assessment tools are used for program effectiveness evaluation. Among them are various psychological checklists, observations of the leaders in the sections and video-materials. A computer program has been made in order to process the result of the psychological tests.

A number of IDPs in the camps have gone through training courses organized by the project staff. During the past year several volunteers have been involved in the activities with children, assisting the section leaders, and the Psychosocial Rehabilitation Center, consisting of IDPs, has been established in Sabirabad camp. The idea is to assist this center to become an NGO, which would be able to carry out the work further on independently.

Trainings/ Conferences:

A training material and training methodology on psychosocial rehabilitation principles have been developed through the past two years. The training is designed for Program and Field Staff. For further inquires, please, contact Naila Huseynova, Liaison Officer, NRC/BUTA.

An international conference on psychosocial rehabilitation principles is scheduled for November 1999 in Baku. Several experts from Norway and Croatia, who have been involved in the work as consultants or evaluators earlier, are to take part in the conference. A tentative agenda of the conference can be sent to all interested agencies on their request. Contact person is Naila Huseynova, Liaison Officer, NRC/BUTA.

At present we are working on operational guidelines in psychosocial work, a book, which will combine experience of four NGOs working in this field (BUTA from Azerbaijan and three Georgian NGOs). This book is to be published by November this year.

January 2001

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