In the beginning of this year Danish Refugee Council (DRC)
became an UNHCR implementing partner of the project titled Preparation for Peace and
Return. The project is targeting internally displaced persons (IDPs) from mainly the
Fizuli area. They are offered skills development courses in the fields of construction and
community service. These courses will be implemented on two technical schools, one in
Sabirabad and the other in Saatli. These schools have been selected in co-operation with
The Ministry of Education after an assessment tour of three technical schools situated in
Baku and the two before mentioned. The idea behind the programme is to enable the IDPs to
rebuild their areas upon return and service their immediate community needs.
Linked with this first step of the project is a smaller
information and income generation component, which you will hear more about in the next
DRC has signed contracts with the technical schools in
question, met with the respective Executive Committees and their representatives in the
camps in the area. The project has been warmly accepted by the authorities and we are
looking forward to an active and fruitful year.
For the implementation DRC has welcomed two new staff members
one Azeri engineer and one Danish engineer.
In February DRC had the pleasure of welcoming Pernille Tind.
Pernille is our new social co-ordinator and is taking over from Shanna Jensen. Pernille is
an engineer and has previously worked for a shorter time in Bosnia. We wish Pernille a
happy year in Azerbaijan and good luck too with her work.
Welcoming Pernille also means saying good-bye to Shanna. DRC
wants to express our sincere thanks for your efforts here I know you will be missed
by many, not least for your warm heart and respect for the people of this country. You are
a hard worker Shanna, and rest assured that your efforts have made a difference in many
peoples lives. We wish you the very best with your new life in Denmark.
In the middle of March we moved to new office premises five
minutes from city centre. Our new address is:
- Gurban Abbasov 16
- P.O.Box 174 DRC 370 000 Baku
- Tel: 99 4 12 91 44 04
- 99 4 12 97 46 05
- Fax: 99 4 12 91 12 88
We are still in the process of settling in and are looking
forward to seeing friends and colleagues here for our opening reception on Friday 27
Evaluation report has been carried out in 4 of the community
centres, where 25 30 users have been interviewed. Most of the interviewed IDPs
recognise the centres as a good place to go and reduce stress, to get moral support, and
to acquire new skills.
Both children s books and magazines have been
distributed along with UNHCR donated seeds, quilts, and sweaters.
Memorial ceremony on the year day of the "Hodrallji
Massacre" was held in Narimanov and Technical School No. 3
Total number of beneficiaries Jan/ Feb amounts to:
|Tec. School No. 3
Planned new Centres:
Repair started at Technical School No. 4 and in "Old
186 students have participated in the various courses these
months, 34 have finished their courses with good results.
In order to involve and activate the teachers more a
Teachers Evaluation Form has been introduced, where they have to report on each
participant s progress and performance.
Skills development centre in New Tagiyev
has almost finished the repair work.
A new round of applications has been carried out. There has
been a huge interest with 740 applications from Sumgait and part of Tagiyev.
The fields of interest vary tremendously; however, 239
applications have been received for sewing, carpet, and knitting activities; and 110
applications within the area of carpentry and car service, and some 84 applicants want to
As a result of the huge amount of applications we have
received we have started developing a database. The database will be an information-search
programme set up so the users can get detailed information about the DRC activities.
Registration, and screening are done together with UMID HSSC
and are proceeding well.
All old projects have been audited and monitored once or
twice a month.
No new projects have been started.
For the last couple of months the income generation
activities have attracted a large number of visitors who have wanted to learn from the
Danish experiences. Among the visitors have been: UNDP, IRC, NRC Azerbaijan, and NRC
Geogia, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent, the Danish representative
from the OSCE mission, and Sumgait Executive Committee
The Training Centre in Sumgait is running well with attended
English classes with some 10 participants in each class; and computer classes which are
more popular with averagely 15 participants per class. The users of the centre are local
NGOs with a profile similar to that of DRC.
The English courses for the members of the Working group
under the Republican Commission have been extended to the end of March.
The co-operation with the children magazine UMID is on-going
and the NGO has issued a new number. DRC was present at the publishing event, which was
marked by a reception. From this number onwards DRC will receive 100 copies for
distribution at our community centres.
Since July 1997 DRC has co-operated with the organisation
UMID HSSC. It was with great happiness that we celebrated the official registration of
this NGO which is now called UMID 98 HSSC. Future co-operation between UMID 98 HSSC and
DRC is based on a partnership agreement, the main joint activity is income generating
DRC is supporting this NGO with extensive English and
computer courses and organisational development assistance.
During the last two months two small workshops on capacity
building has been carried out for the DRC staff followed up by practical organisational
assistance activities on a daily basis. This exercise is on-going and is expected to be
enlarged if possible
At the moment an intensive computer course is running
tailored to individual needs among the staff. In April a similar individually tailored
English course will be carried out before we return to all staff and partner training
Finally let me thank you all for the warm welcome you have
given me upon my arrival in Azerbaijan. I am looking forward to a prosperous year with a
- Ulla Fomsgaard
- Project Manager
- Danish Refugee Council