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 Report - Activity Report (Oxfam)

 Report date: 31.07.1998

1) NGO support work.

Disability

1.1 Disability Awareness Programme.

TV Programmes - As it was planned, the 1st part of the 1-hour "Final Film", based on the previous seven 20-minutes films, was broadcast on August 7, 98 at 17.30 by the 1st State Channel (Az TV -1). This 30-minute film was also repeated on the initiative of TV authorities at 17.30 on August 20th .

At the moment the disability programme staff together with TV Crew are working on the 2nd part of the Final Film. It is planned to be completed and broadcast by the end of September. The Final film will be translated into English and will be available for all NGOs and people interested in disability issues.

Radio Programmes - The 11Th radio programme was relayed on August 16th at 21.30 and was dedicated to disabled people in the Binagady region of Baku.

The 12th radio programme will be broadcast on September 22nd and is dedicated to elderly disabled people.

Newsletter

We are planning to produce a Disability Newsletter in Azeri which will consist of 5 highlights - Disability Rights, Activity of NGOs, Disabled Women and Children, Letters from Regions and Monitoring of local mass media on disability.

First meeting of disability NGO representatives will be held early in September.

1.1.2 Disabled Women Group (DWG).

DWG started to work on the project "Research on Disabled Women in Baku". At the first stage of the project 14 members of DWG and a sociologist will develop a questionnaire.

New groups of Disabled Women are organising in Barda. Now the work on strengthening of these groups is progress. The "Information" subgroup of DWG is linking with Disability NGOs with the purpose of creation an "Information Team" for the development of the Azeri version of Oxfam’s Regional Disability Newsletter.

Discussion were held on the materials sent by Disabled People's Union of Finland concerning Disabled Women and Architectural Barriers. The information has proved very interesting and useful. The "Employment" subgroup of the DWG organised knitting training for 50 disabled women. All these women will be provided work at home. The new training on carpet making for 20 disabled women will start in the middle of September.

1.1.3 Information Centre for Disabled People.

The centre is providing free consultation and disseminating information to Disabled People on the following issues: Disability Law, Addresses of the required institutions and Legislation of the Azerbaijan Republic.

During August 94 people attended the centre and 5 anonymous calls requesting information and advice. The total number of enquiries in the following categories were 101: Rights of Disabled people (77), Utilities privileges (9), Education (1), Employment (5), Family problems (1), Medical rehabilitation (8).

sThe Centre w visited by Disabled people from 11 districts of Baku(88%) and from other districts of Azerbaijan (12%) : TerTer (3), Sumgayit (4), Gazakh, Lankaran, Sheki, Khanlar, Kurdamir, Imishli (1) from each.

84 queries out of 101 were about receiving Disability status and the privileges given by legislation to disabled people. This figure might be seen as evidence that at the moment disabled people have difficulties with understanding and interpreting the new amendments to the Disability Law.

On the basis of most frequent queries an information sheet on the Amendments for the Pension Law was prepared. Also the training on "Pension Law" and on "Housing Law and Privileges for disabled people" was held for the project staff by the lawyer of the centre.

43 out of 94 visitors were women, 10 of whom asked about children's disability, which could indicate that the care of disabled children in the family is completely women's responsibility.

The Centre is open daily from 10.00 ‘till 18.00 except Sundays. Address: 26, Talibli Str., metro "Inshaatchilar", (near Notary office). Telephone: 321060

1.1.4. Disability research in Barda. The data collection on 1,500 disabled people and children was completed in Barda town and IDP settlements. The results of the research will be produced over the next month.

1.1.5. Summer camp for disabled and able bodied children. - SAHIB associations. Three 3 week camps for 60 disabled and 30 orphans were organised between 29th of June and 29th of August. The venue was provided by Government which was situated near the sea in Pirshagi. Parents and volunteers assisted teachers and nurses in organising integrated social and educational activities for the children. It is clear now that there is no discrimination against disabled children by able bodied children if they really participate in joint activities. They became very friendly, challenging and supporting each other. This project is now finished but OXFAM will continue to assist this NGO - (SAHIB) and government in future joint initiatives.

1.2 Women's NGOs.

1.2.1 Training on Rights and Laws for IDP women at the Oxfam's Community Centres by Women Rights Defence Association. This project was to hold a training programme on Rights (Human's, Women's, Educational, Civil and Public, Refugee's Law) for the IDP women at the 29 Oxfam's community Centres in Barda (south and North), Terter, Yevlakh, Sheki and Mingechevir in order to increase their Legal Awareness and self confidence. This project is now finished and a final report with the project findings will be submitted to Oxfam. Detail information about the project is going to be given at the project presentation, which will be organised in September at the WRDA office. The positive impact of this project is also the strengthening of the district network and capacity building for the National NGO.

1.2.2 Monitoring of Women's Rights News Letter - Human Rights Centre

This project has been to produce a newsletter in Azeri, English and Russian on a 10 day basis. The focus of the newsletter is the review of the women's movement in Azerbaijan and reporting on observance of women's rights. There were 3 editions produced (Azeri and Russian) in August. The hard copies have been sent to the local Women's NGOs, Government Institutions and International NGOs. The English version of the newsletter for May, June and July were also produced. These newsletters were distributing according to the mailing list "WomeNet" and "WomeList" including more than 60 NGOs, INGOs and media in Europe, Asia and America. Useful contacts were published in the newsletter as well.

1.3 Advice and Information.

1.3.1 Legal Advice Centre - Independent Lawyers Association - This project is to organise Legal Advice Centre (LAC) to provide free access to legal advice and a library on current legislation. Two Lawyers and the clerk are working full time, 6 days a week (except Sundays) at the Centre and give free consultations on local Legislation to those who visit or phone the centre.

During August 149 people (75 women and 74 men) with 162 queries visited this Centre. 25 people also used the library. Majority of queries were on general information (55). The next important issue was Fringe Benefits (32), Housing (21), Family law (19), Civil Procedure (9) and Civil Law (7) etc. LAC produced the 4th bulletin and 2 information sheets giving information on the most frequent queries.

As a member of the initiative group for NGOs consolidation, the LAC has prepared a project for the consolidation of the Azeri NGOs. LAC also became a member of the Government Commission on Migration of Refugees and IDPs.

The narrative report on 6 months' activities of the LAC with findings and recommendations was submitted to Oxfam.

Centre's telephone is 973457, e-mail: imran@legal.baku.az
Address: 90/2, Bashir Safaroglu str., Baku, 370009.

1.3.2.Consulting Centre on further development of the private sector and farming -"VATAN"- this project is to organise two Advise Centres on creation and further development farms in Saatli and Sabirabad districts. Two advisors at each centre will help the inhabitants of the 18 villages both local population and refugees (about 34850 people) in farm creation and development of agricultural enterprises and to make links with the potential investors as well. The most effective means of disseminating information was found to be regularly visits to each village to talk to people on the issues of concern to them. During August "Vatan" continue to give the advice and information to their beneficiaries. Training on "Links with the potential investors and making contracts with them" was held. Also some meetings with the potential investors were organised.

1.4 Current projects under consideration by OXFAM for funding are as follows:

Advocacy and Lobbying - Law Magazine
Home Help Service training for local NGOs - Jewish Women’s Association.
Village disability integration programme - KOMAK (charity association Barda.)

2. BARDA Programme activities

2.1. ECHO 1997-98

This Programme was completed this month.

2.2. ECHO 1998-99 PROJECT

2.2.1 To support 28 existing and 10 new community groups

1. Formation of groups in 10 newly identified communities:

This month community facilitators have visited different communities in order to facilitate the formation of groups. In 9 new communities women groups have been formed and Women Group Leaders have been selected by the communities. With the help of women groups and communities formation of other different groups are in the process.

2. Formation of Steering Committee:

Community Facilitators continued their discussion with different groups on formation of steering committees. It is expected to form some steering committees in September.

3. Resident Profiling:

Formats have been drafted, discussed and modified between whole programme staff and the final version of format is now ready. Resident profiling will start at the beginning of September.

4. Facilitate Bimonthly Training to Community Leaders:

Community facilitators are regularly involved in this process. Next training is scheduled on 3 September, where discussion of group development and resident profiling will be discussed.

5. Facilitate Exchange Visits among core groups by settlements, within districts and among districts:

Exchange visit was organised between Yevlakh and Shaki agriculture groups. The main objective of this visit was to learn success and difficulties of Yevlakh groups in agriculture activities.

6. Regional Exchange Visit: under process

2.2.2. To improve public health condition in new identified areas

1. Improvement of 8 small water schemes

Sites in Garatapa sovkhoz and Garatapa farm has been visited and possible water sources were investigated. All relating paper work and drawings are under preparation.

Minaret Group in liaison with Children Aid Direct (CAD) built a washing place in Mingachevir Right Bank Hotel yard. As Oxfam has planed some other activities in this area it has co-ordinated with CAD so that any further interventions would not overlap. According to CAD, Minaret Group is not planning to do any further activity in this place, if they do so, they will contact Oxfam for co-ordination.

2. Construction of 150 pit latrines:

A new design and quality requirement has been discussed with IDP toilet superstructure producers. Related papers has already been prepared so that contract can be tendered in September.

3. Construction of 30 shower cubicles in new bathhouses

Community workers have been involved in identification of sites in the communities and election of bathhouse operators by community members. Initial discussions were held in Mingachevir Polytechnic hostel, Mingachevir Right Bank Hotel, Garatapa sovkhoz and Garatapa farm about the future operation and maintenance of bathhouses.

4. Construction of 30 washing places.

It is planned to discuss this with community facilitators and communities next month. This activity will be carried out together with those in 1.

5. Construction of 10 new community centres

Communities where these 10 centres are going to be constructed have been visited by engineers and community facilitators in order to identify sites for construction. It has been discussed with communities.

6. Provision of Small Repair Kits (SRK) to support 150 families through self-help approach.

The ways of how these small repair kits are going to be distributed have been discussed with engineers. Close involvement of communities in identification of beneficiaries in their own communities was considered as a most appropriate way of distribution.

7. Public Building Rehabilitation (PBR) occupied by 150 families

Mingachevir town executive committee has been visited to get permission for future engineering interventions in some of the buildings belonging to this authority and agreements are signed. Two large buildings, Polytechnic Hostel and Right Bank hotel, have already been surveyed by engineers in Mingechevir town. It has been decided to initiate the community activities before PBR work. Detailed drawing of unfinished hotel has been done by an engineer and estimates are to be completed by first week of September.

All measurements of Polytechnic hostel building have been taken in order to produce drawings and to estimate quantity of work in this building.

8. Provision of 38 sun/rain shelters in 10 new communities and 5 neighbouring settlements:

Discussion with beneficiaries is under process. Engineers are reviewing the drawings and preparing documents for tender.

9. Provision of 50 rubbish collection points: Sites in the communities are being identified

10. Distribution of relief items under 3.2: will be carried out after production.

3. Income generation activities for 400 families:

1. Continue Local Production with 12 existing and 10 new communities:

Producers have been identified in existing and new communities. There will be 214 jumper producers, 103 floor rug producers and 83 socks producers.

2. Produce 700 palas, 1500 woollen vests, and 3000 pairs of socks:

Quotation for the materials has been obtained and all materials are expected in the warehouse on the first week of September.

3. Identify and formation of 7 groups with specific skills to set up small business: Community Facilitators are discussing the possible small business within the communities. Questionnaires have been developed. Draft contract is under process. It is expected to identify the groups in September.

4. Provide grants to the groups identified in 3.3: Will be carried out after the identification of groups in the community.

2.4 Agriculture activities in 10 selected communities:

1. Consult with local agricultural department: Primary visit to all agriculture department within the project area has been made by the Agriculture specialist and necessary information is obtained. Regular visits will continue whenever required.

2. Provide seasonal vegetable and basic tools to 300 families

Ground work is already completed by agriculture specialist. Seeds and necessary tools have been identified. The distribution of vegetable seeds and tools is planned to be carried out in early September.

3. Purchase of 1500 fruit trees to 500 families

Discussion have been done with communities, local agriculture department and local authorities regarding proper land, varieties. Identification of beneficiaries is under process.

4. Distribute fruit trees: Will be done after identification of beneficiaries.

5. Help 302 families in Sheki ECHO camp for wheat production: Exchange visit to Yevlakh has been made. Discussions have been carried out with communities, local agriculture department and Executive Committee on this programme. Ex. Com. agreed to provide 75 ha and local agriculture department agreed to provide some technical assistance if required. Community will write a proposal which will include their present and future plan.

3. NOVIB Savings & Credit Programme

A new programme for one year started this month. A revolving fund has been created to use the money as loan to groups. A separate format has been developed to record these expenditures and income. The groups have already started to take loans from the revolving fund. Two separate accounts have been opened in Yevlakh Bank to deposit money from repayment and interest from these groups.

Group Development:

All the groups are closely monitored by S/C staff. All repayment of loans have been made in time except local s/c group "Novruz" from Shirvanly village, which delayed the first repayment. The leader explained that as they are very busy in the agriculture field, he mixed up the dates. The group has submitted a written explanation. Oxfam has accepted the explanation and the contract will continue. However, the group has to pay a penalty for delay as stipulated in the contract.

Savings and Credit Group conducted a "group development workshop" on 22nd August. 20 women and 20 men representing all groups, participated in the workshop. The objectives of the workshop were to identify the current capacity of the groups, to analyse what types of special training and workshops are needed, analyse the business management capacity, future plan of the groups and possible linkage between groups. 7 Oxfam programme staff also voluntarily participated in the workshop.

4. Earthquake.

During the month of August Oxfam and ECHO worked jointly on a proposal to provide temporary shelter to the victims of the earthquake in the south of Azerbaijan.

5. OTHER ACTIVITIES

1. Children Theatre Performance:

Child actors for a theatre performance on malaria have been identified during the month. 32 children from Railway Wagons and Lak Forest communities will participate in the show. The show will be in September.

2. Staff training

To improve the knowledge of English language, a teacher has been recruited this month to give lessons to interested staff members.

It has been also decided to hire a computer specialist to improve the basic knowledge and computer skills of key staff. This has been discussed with the head of Mingechiver Computer Centre. 24 1 hour lessons will start from 7 September, 2 hours each day, three times a week.

Key programme staff attended a 2 day Regional workshop in Tbilisi to discuss the future advocacy and lobbying strategy of Oxfam in the Caucasus. The two key areas have been identified as education and health.

3. Visitors

Felix Martin (World Bank) visited Baku office on 10 August. British Petroleum (BP) is interested to invest some money for the welfare of Azerbaijan. He was interested to know which social sector need more support.

Arne Shakmeraas (a Norwegian journalist) visited Barda office on 14th. The objective was to write a story on the situation of IDP for fund-raising in Norway. With the help of one of staff, he visited Barda railway carriages and interviewed IDPs. Oxfam only facilitated the visit.

Hidy from CAD visited Barda office to discuss agriculture activities.

Rick Neal from IRC visited to discuss Oxfam’s community and children activities.

Report prepared by
Shovcat Alizade, Project Officer Baku and Kishor Sharma Programme Manager Barda.


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