Volunteering in Sumgayit
Sumgayit is used to be a city of youth. From all parts of the former Soviet
Union young men gathered to Sumgayit firstly to build and then to work at numerous
plants and factories.
"Sumgayit was leader of soviet chemical industry and when it was building
nobody even thought of such things like ecology or environment" - said
Parviz Novruzov, Youth and Volunteer Coordinator of Sumgayit Regional Center
of Azerbaijan Red Crescent declared to information officer.
As a result of such thoughtless construction plants producing chlorine, ammonia,
chemical acids, plastics, aluminum etc. were concentrated on relatively small
"At the moment most of those plants stopped or do not work on their full
capacity but soil and seaside already highly polluted" - said Parviz. "I
remember the time when all of the plants were functioning and when we were driving
near to caoutchouc production plant we had to pass around puddles generated
from concentrated pollutant emissions as they were consisting mostly from acid
and corroded tires"
For few years Sumgayit became the place of ecological disaster and certainly
that fact influenced negatively to health of citizens. And of course children
are the most vulnerable in such situation. Most of them already born with different
"A lot of people appeal to us asking to help their children with medical
treatment and quiet often to fund operations abroad. Certainly we are not able
to send somebody to have surgical operation in Moscow not to mention in European
countries but we are trying to assist them within our recourses," revealed
After analyzing the situation there were found out that some of children isolated
from the rest of the world and can't even attend school or play with their coevals.
These facts caused the direction of work with children.
"In our Regional Center we have a group consisting of 5 volunteers which
work directly with disabled children. Twice per week they visit 15 children
living in different parts of Sumgayit," said Parviz. "Volunteers help
children to do lessons, they also paint and learn songs together".
Namig Abbasov is 11 years old and he suffers from a severe form of bronchial
asthma complicated with allergy. Because of his disease he is not able to be
out of his home most part of the time. When the weather is windy or rainy he
had to stay at home as dust causes acute allergy and slightest super cooling
"I was attending school till 3rd grade and then I fell ill," Namig
tells us. "I have two teachers from school coming to teach me and Leyla
from Red Crescent"
"He is very smart boy and always trying to do his home work, but due to
his isolation he is very shy and avoids strangers. I am pedagogue but it was
difficult to break the ice between us," said Leyla Mamedova, volunteer
of Sumgayit Regional Center. "Now we are best friends. Actually this is
what that entire program about - to widen horizon of those children, to get
them integrated to the community".
Sumgayit Regional Center already conducts this program for almost 1 year and
gained some experience in work with disabled children. This experience is planning
to be transferred to other branches in the framework of reforming of volunteer
structure initiated in AzRC.