Embassy of the United States of America
Office of Public Affairs
83, Azadlıq Prospekti Phone: +(99412) 498 03 35
AZ1007 Bakı, Azerbaycan Fax: +(99412) 498 93 12
Email: HuseynguliyevMM URL: http://baku.usembassy.gov/
On July 9, 2007, a signing ceremony turned over the Shuvelan Children and Family Support
Center from Save the Children to the State Committee for Family, Women and Children’s
Issues of the Azerbaijan Republic. This handover continues the cooperation between the
government and Save the Children to ensure the permanence of this center which provides
unique support for vulnerable families and children, by including its activities within the
The Shuvelan Children and Family Support Center is one of three centers supported by USAID
and implemented by Save the Children Federation in partnership with United Aid for
Azerbaijan within the Community-based Children’s Support Program. Launched in October
2004, the Community-based Children’s Support Program promotes the full integration of
vulnerable children into society and develops community capacity to care for these children in
three areas of Azerbaijan – Mingechevir, Goranboy and Shuvelan. Providing community
development activities, family supports services, and children’s services, the centers aim to
prevent factors that lead to institutionalization and facilitate the children’s return to their
Through the activities of the centers, Save the Children aspires to demonstrate community-
based alternatives for institutional care that are included within the overall government
program for de-institutionalization and alternative care. Joining together, Save the Children and
the State Committee for Family, Women and Children’s Issues implement various projects that
address children’s issues. In order for the centers to continue to provide support to the
communities they serve, Save the Children is transferring all three centers to the Azerbaijan
Government to initiate their involvement with alternative methods of social assistance to
children as exemplified in the centers. The next handover ceremony of Goranboy Center will
take place on July 12, 2007.
Opening the ceremony, Hijran Hajiyeva, Chairwoman of the State Committee for Family,
Women and Children’s Issues, made a congratulatory speech for this occasion, noting that the
establishment and handover of these centers is an important step towards the support and
protection of vulnerable children within the implementation of the State program on De-
institutionalization and Alternative Care.
Save the Children’s Country Office Director, Geof Giacomini, emphasized the critical roles of
the center towards deinstitutionalization. Mr. Giacomini specifically underlined that the
handover does not mean the completion of the program, but rather the beginning of a close
cooperation between the State Committee, NGOs and other government agencies toward
creating and improving new alternative support services for vulnerable families and children.
The Deputy Head of the local Executive Committee, Alakbar Heydarov, also expressed the
Executive Committee’s support to the Shuvelan Children and Family Support Center and his
hope that similar centers can be established by the State Committee in the future.
Joining in with congratulations for the handover, the President of the Union of Azerbaijani and
Turkish Businessmen (ATIB), Ahmad Erentok emphasized recent achievements the State
Committee has obtained within the short time since its inception, using today’s ceremony as a
Ilham Mammadov and Lala Abbasova, Parliament Members; Hanaa Singer, UNICEF
Azerbaijan Representative; Sevinj Hasanova, Deputy Minister of Economic Development;
Adam Onal, Baku-Turkish Private Lyceum Director, Representatives of Embassy of Turkey,
Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, Cabinet of Ministers and National Research Center,
UNFPA and USAID representatives and also other local government officials were also
present for the signing ceremony. Representatives of the local centers such as “Rainbow”, the
“Dajallar” Association of People with Down Syndrome, and Place of Hope also attended the
Following the opening speeches, poems, dances, and other songs and performances by children
who benefit from the Shuvelan Center’s activities continued the ceremony. For a fitting end to
the event, guests toured through the center, able to observe for themselves children involved in
activities similar to the ones daily facilitated by the center.
For more information about Save the Children (www.savethechildren.org), UAFA
(www.uafa.org.uk) and USAID (www.usaid.gov), please visit their websites.
For more information about this event, please contact Sevinj Askerova,
Information Coordinator at Save the Children Federation: (012) 498 02 13 or 493 73 48.