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 Press release - Eurasia Foundation Approves Over $73,000 in Grants for Azerbaijan (EF)

 Press release date: 02.10.2003

For Distribution
October 1, 2003

Contact: Jamal Shakhverdiyev
jamal@efazerbaijan.org

EURASIA FOUNDATION APPROVES OVER $73,000 IN GRANTS FOR AZERBAIJAN

Baku, Azerbaijan - The Eurasia Foundation's Baku Advisory Board has recommended $73,201 for three grants to organizations in Azerbaijan for our new Community Active Schools Initiative. These are pilot projects to develop grass roots methods for finding solutions to pressing problems in local schools. Bringing together teachers, parents, students, school administrators and local leaders to work toward the common goal of improved schools and educational methods, the concept stresses volunteerism and democratic principles. It also seeks to harness the resources of the broader community, including businesses, and can stimulate local philanthropy. All projects are implemented in cooperation with the Open Society Institute in Baku, which plans on organizing a competition for selected participants to attend training in Israel. That training will be made possible through the financial support of the Israeli Embassy in Baku.

"Buta" Children Humanitarian Organization $23,426

To promote interactive discourse between students, teachers and their community, focusing on community participation and sustainable development, through the creation of a network of twelve schools and five municipalities in three districts of Baku: Nizami, Sabail and Azizbayov. Project activities will include trainings, debate competitions including TV debates, cultural/educational activities, round tables, and the publication of booklets and manuals. This school networking project will culminate in the creation of school journalism and business clubs for students to help develop student's professional orientation and understanding, and an Internet website will provide information about project goals, planned activities, project participants and project outcomes.
The project is funded jointly with Exxon Azerbaijan Operating Company LLC.

Lenkoran Education-Informational Center of the Lenkoran State University $24,795

To develop a new mechanism for management of education institutions in the Lenkoran regional community, create a network between five city and five village pilot schools in the Lenkoran region, and extend this network to the neighboring Astara region. Activities include the establishment of internet connections between pilot schools and the Resource Information Center, convening seminars, organizing community exhibitions and educational competitions, and conducting a region-wide conference at the end, devoted to review and discussion of this one-year project. Over the past three years Lenkoran's educational institutions have been developing capacity to mobilize and are working towards self-sustainability, and this project will strengthen and improve the infrastructure of the schools and community in the Lenkoran region, and improve the community's existing Educational Information Center that was established in 2000.

Ganja Regional Organization of "Knowledge" Society $24,980

To support Community Active Schools (CAS) by strengthening ties between regional schools with surrounding community and businesses with the aim of solving local problems. This pilot project will transform the Sadilli settlement school in the Ganja region into a local community center, and a variety of trainers will train teachers, pupils and parents in joint decision-making, as well as teach a broader group that includes members of the local community about civil society formation, information technologies, psychology, the basics of business, and the principles and methods of CAS. This project will create a center for civil initiatives in the school, will organize sport competitions, intellectual games, debates, and ecological activities, will equip the school library with books and magazines about civic education, and with the inclusion of two other Ganja schools into the CAS program of activities, will create a network of schools.

About the Eurasia Foundation

Privately managed with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development and other sponsors, we have made more than 6,500 grants totaling approximately $130 million to support democratic and economic reform in 12 countries of the former Soviet Union since 1993. In Azerbaijan, we have awarded more than $4 million in grants to advance local initiatives in civil society, private enterprise, and public administration and policy. Please visit www.eurasia.org and www.efazerbaijan.org



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