COMMUNITY SHIELD AZERBAIJAN (Baku), or CSA for short, was established just over three years ago by a group of volunteers, some of whom had been involved in helping the 40 or so residents at the leprosarium in Umbaki on an individual basis. As some of the money came originally from expat football activities, a football was incorporated into CSA’s logo. Although CSA was established initially to help the leprosarium, it soon expanded into other areas and, since its inception, the charity’s activities and projects have changed the lives of many people.
UMBAKI LEPROSARIUMCSA is still very much involved in the leprosarium. In the last three years all residents have been given new living conditions and now have a comfortable and decent place to live. In addition, new bathroom, laundry and toilet facilities have been installed and CSA continues financing their quarterly .
GIZILDASH ORPHANAGEThe orphanage for teenagers at Gizildash was in an appalling condition and much-needed improvements to their basic facilities, including completely new electric wiring, were undertaken. This work continues unabated as windows and floors need to be replaced.
Besides the renovation work, CSA considered the improvement of the youngsters’ personal lives a high priority. There was nothing for them to do all day and job prospects were non-existent.
With the help of AZETA, the Azeri English Teaching Association, a group of volunteers visit Gizildash twice a week to teach the young people English. Six computers and numerous fruit trees were donated and a gardening project was initiated. The gardening project serves not only to give the children something to do, it also makes them responsible for the planting and growing of the vegetables and fruit trees, provides them with fresh produce and even some income. The orphanage is associated with a vocational college where the school-age teenagers get their education. The college has a woodwork and sewing workshop. CSA secured paid work to make beds and duvets for other institutions and employment in Baku was found for six residents. In addition, arrangements were made for one young woman to have an operation to surgically correct her eyes.