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 Report - DRC - Monthly Report (March 1998) (DRC)

 Report date: 28.02.1998

UNHCR PROJECT (98/CS/AZE/LS/470(ID)

1. PROJECT OBJECTIVE / OVERVIEW

In the period from December 1997 to March 1998 Danish Refugee Council (DRC) has carried out an assessment of possible school partners for the project Preparation for Peace and Return.

The assessment has been finalised and the partners selected in co-operation with Ministry of Education (MOE). For detailed assessment report please see annex 1.

Due to the findings during the assessment tour some project adjustments will have to be made. Please find adjusted project plan in annex 2 .

2. Description of beneficiaries:

The selection criteria:

The participants selected for the vocational training courses must possess the following qualifications:

  • originate from the Fizuli area
  • be active and entrepreneurial
  • must have community spirit and be involved in community activities
  • committed to train others and willing to share their knowledge and acquired skills with others
  • must show initiative and have ideas of how to use the skills which are being taught.

A large population of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the Fizuli area is found in the two identified schools and camp no.7 close to Bilasuvar (2885 persons according to statistics from The International Federation). However, also a number of IDPs from other areas of origin are found living among the Fizuli IDPs. In order to avoid conflict in the selection process and establish the needed acceptance and concentration for work it has been decided that 60% of participants will be selected from the Fizuli area and in the case of the remaining 40% the other selection criteria will take precedence.

3. Implementation procedures

After the finalising of the assessment and selection of partners a second trip was made to the region. Here contracts of co-operation were signed with both Sabirabad and Saatli Technical Schools stating the responsibilities of the two partners. Likewise introductory visits were paid to The Executive Committee of Sabirabad where a meeting with their local representative in all 7 camps was carried out. It was decided that this representative is to be on the selection board which is to consist of the director from the school, a DRC representative, and this representative. In the case of camp number 7 the director will be substituted by the camp manager. The Executive Committee in Saatli was met and introduced to the programme during the Novrus Bayram celebrations at the school premises.

During a meeting with mr. Rustamov and members from the Working Group under the Cabinet of Ministers the project was also introduced. They requested a special project description to be submitted in azeri, which will be done as soon as possible, and pointed out the vital importance of co-ordinating activities with the government.

Finally meetings were held with The International Federation in Sabirabad to determine the project activities in camp 7 and for general co-ordination and information.

4. Related inputs

In order for the UNHCR team to work in the region part of a house has been rented for them. These premises will be both living quarters and local office/working premises.

A car cum driver has been rented on a monthly basis, and an interpreter has likewise been employed on a monthly basis. Additional support to translations will be necessary from time to time.

5. Description of Assistance

1.31 education: vocational skills training

Sabirabad Technical School with three adjoining hostels and its dilapidated state has already been described in the previous report.

Minor renovation and repair work of the future workshops have just started. The state of the hostels has been reported to Norwegian Refugee Council for possible physical rehabilitation. Special care has been taken to instruct the management of the school both about the implementation of the project and the responsibilities.

On our second visit to Saatli Technical School the possibilities for a fruitful co-operation became quite clear. Furthermore the school might also be a place to visit for other schools less well run. Only a small population of IDPs live on the school premises. The participants for the courses will consequently also be selected from camp no.2 and 3 which are situated in the vicinity of the technical school. The director will along with the camp managers, and the DRC representative select the future participants. The International Federation has been informed and is appreciative of the project.

For the third place of operation has been chosen camp no. 7 near Bilasuvar for several reasons. From many quarters has the sentence sounded " couldn’ t someone do something here". The area has been pointed out as in need of attention from as divers quarters as Mr. G. Gahramanov, chairman for Committee of Refugees and IDPs , ambassador Stoudman, director of OSCE, the International Federation in Sabirabad and the local authorities.

The camp has a large population of IDPs from Fizuli. Some of the men are at the moment moving to and from the camp to the liberated areas or as close to the liberated areas as they can get carrying out small activities, some even bring back yoghurt from their cattle to the camp. So there are signs as to the preparedness for return and the initiative called for in the project document. The possibilities for carrying out the various courses in applied form are existing.

1.98 EDUCATION: Other educational Activities

A pedagogical/ methodological course for all participating teachers and masters is planned for the middle of April. The idea of training the trainers in participatory training approaches that are aiming at improving their teaching skills and at the same time stimulating the students to a higher degree of participation has met with approval from all parties involved.

1.99 EDUCATION: Sector Support/ Management

The initial two staff members have developed into a small group of three men as an interpreter has joined the team. They have gone through a thorough introduction and are keen to meet the challenge.

Unfortunately the team met with a major problem on the last day of March. The expat was informed about his wife’ s serious illness and has immediately returned to Denmark and has terminated his contract.

A successor has been found and selected in Denmark. She is due to join the team in the middle of May. Until then the programme will be run according to schedule by the project manager and an project assistant has been employed for the training of trainers seminar and the methodological planning of the project her name is Katy Ferrar. She will stay with the team until the successor arrives. The change of staff will not affect the UNHCR budget.

Ulla Fomsgaard
Project manager
Danish Refugee Council
Azerbaijan


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