June 1, 2005

Round table was held at Heydar Aliyev Foundation on discussion of the project “Deinstitutionalization of children from state child institutions and alternative care in Azerbaijan Republic”

On June 1 at Heydar Aliyev Foundation round table was held on discussion of the project "Deinstitutionalization of children from state child institutions and alternative care in Azerbaijan Republic". Opening the action held with participation of reps of the government of republic, international and non-governmental organizations, special boarding schools and children`s homes, President of Foundation, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Mehriban Aliyeva said we are gathered to discuss very important issue. Heydar Aliyev Foundation is deeply involved in settlement of social problems of country, prepares and implements a number of big programs and projects, works. As President of Foundation, I attended 28 children`s homes and boarding schools in Baku city, as well children`s homes in Ganja, Goranboy and Shamakhi. I aimed to know the problems of these enterprises. And there are problems and they are different.

Education and dormitory buildings, additional buildings are unavailable, material-technical base is old. From another side, health of children, level of the education they get, specially their future fate, role and place in society are big problems. Taking this into consideration, the Foundation prepared a program "Development of children`s homes and boarding schools" and implemented a number of important actions in frame of this program. At present fundamental repair works are underway at more than 10 schools. Repairs finished in a number of them and they have been changed to educative centers meeting highest and modern world standards.

Mehriban Aliyeva emphasized that well-repaired children`s home, very modern boarding school can never replace family, family atmosphere. Role of family has always been great in Azerbaijan in formation and education of every youth. That is why there is big problem in front of us. And this is preparation of the program on deinstitutionalization of children living in children`s homes and boarding schools from state institutions and alternative care to them. Different works have been done in this direction by state, international organizations give recommendations. This problem is already being solved in a number of developed countries of the world and their experience is interesting for us.

Foundation has prepared the project of initial proposals in form of recommendation and you have been presented that.


Minister of youth, sport and tourism Abulfaz Garayev, head of UNICEF Azerbaijan Office Mrs Hanna Singer, deputy chief of department of science, culture, public education and social problems of Ministers Cabinet Gurban Emirov, chairman of Social Policy Standing Committee of Milli Mejlis Hadi Rejebli, MP, chairman of Republican Child Organization Guler Ahmadova, other participants gave reports, noted importance, social-moral significance of the issue, necessity of improving the current legislation base, taking into the consideration national mentality during study and application of experience of foreign countries.

They stressed importance of the efforts of Mrs Aliyeva to direct attention of the society, respective governmental bodies, rich citizens, foreign companies acting in our country to the problems of children`s homes and boarding schools of the republic, highly valued results of her activity in this field.

Closing the interesting discussions, Mehriban Aliyeva said apparently it was very important issue. Discussions showed that there are plenty of questions but answers do not satisfy us. These issues are impossible to be settled in short time, it will take much time and power. We touched new problems in discussions and they should be solved. Expressing special gratitude to Mrs Hanna Singer, UNICEF representative, President of Foundation said organization does very big and useful works in this direction in the world and Azerbaijan. But we should not forget that Azerbaijan got its own reality. We have a million of refugees and IDPs, there are children in these families. According to statistical data, 7-10% of children today at boarding schools are children of those families. How their problems will be settled? There is only one way to this: territorial integrity of Azerbaijan must be restored and these people must return to their native lands and children must go schools of their native lands. It is very important factor belonging to Azerbaijan only.

Mehriban Aliyeva expressed her certainty that all these problems will be solved. Because all in Azerbaijan - state, community and separate persons want this issue to be solved.