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
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
The new bathroom facility
Sandra Gentile, country manager of Hess
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