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Community Shield Azerbaijan (Baku)
www.csabaku.org

School for Deaf Children

The school came to the attention of CSA as an institution which seems worthy of support to help improve its facilities. One CSA volunteer, a qualified teacher of the hearing impaired, visited the school to offer craft activities.

The school provides a teaching environment for 327 deaf children aged 7-15 years. 150 of those are either weekly boarders, or stay at the school permanently, the remainder being day pupils. Most boarders return to their families during the summer months. The building is shared with 500 refugees from the countryside around Baku, although they live independently from the school.

As is often the case, the fabric of the building was in a poor state of repair. The roof and windows leaked, the heating was almost non-existent and the washing/sanitary facilities were completely inadequate for the number of children living there. There were a number of poorly maintained toilet blocks, but only one bathroom/shower room to cater for the 150 children.

The bedrooms were very cramped, with no space between beds, and many bed-frames and mattresses were rusted and sagging. The kitchen and classrooms are also in need of renovation, and the entire electrical system is dangerously overloaded.

A fundraising campaign was launched in May 2008 to improve the conditions at the school. Later that month, a sponsor who wishes to remain anonymous, came forward and together with Hess who donated $20,000, the renovation project could start in the summer of 2008.

In 2010 the girls dormitory underwent a major overhaul with donations from Hess and Irish Society

Existing facilities at the deaf school

In early 2009, the opening of the renovated boys dormitory took place in the presence of Hess and the donor who wishes to remain anonymous. New bathroom facilities and new beds made the transformation complete.

The new bathroom facility

Sandra Gentile, country manager of Hess

Other assistance

Nathalie Benson, a CSA volunteer, created a sign book for the children at the deaf school. Thanks to sponsorship from Howard Lyn of Rapid Solutions 350 books were printed and handed over to the children in 2011.

Howard Lyn of Rapid Solutions and Ann Sutherland from CSA