Mashtaga Psychiatric Hospital
situated to the north-east of Baku on the Absheron Peninsula, has been a
relatively new project for Community Shield Azerbaijan.
We knew about the appalling
conditions in the children’s ward in 2006, but realised that to renovate the
building totally would be an enormous task requiring substantial financial
backing and dedicated volunteer commitment.
Two examples of the old facilities
We started to help by providing new
beds and linen thanks to sponsorship from Amec. The beds were constructed at
market rates by staff and students at Gizildash College providing them with an
opportunity to put their woodworking skills to good use.
Renovation of two children's wards
After researching to establish what
level of support might be available from the Baku community, it soon became
apparent that a complete overhaul of the building housing the 2 children’s wards
would be possible, although the project would be huge by CSA standards.
A campaign was launched and enough money was raised to start the project. CSA’s
trusted contractor, Sterling, carried out the renovation to the usual
high professional standards and in November 2007 the official opening was
attended by most of the sponsors.
Sponsors and CSA volunteers at the opening
The project was only possible thanks to the large number of sponsors who pledged
financial backing. Major sponsors were given the option of sponsoring a specific
Some CSA volunteers helped to raise funds by organising special events: Susan
Lewis’ tea party, Dawn Quinn’s theme nights and not forgetting the
faithful volunteers who organised and manned stalls at bazaars, lunches and
coffees to raise money for the cause.
CSA was also fortunate to have one
of their Azeri volunteers, Lyama Hartley, as project co-ordinator
for the renovation, to make sure that everything ran smoothly.
The magnificent end result was one which reflected a coming together of
organisations, companies and individuals, both Expat and Azeri, each of whom
contributed in their own way. Collectively, they funded the ward for 16-18 year
All major sponsors of the ward are acknowledged on a plaque mounted on the
Plaque showing the sponsors of the adolescent
The Anglo Azerbaijani Society
was the biggest single contributor to the project, financing the under 16’s
ward. They had been looking for a worthy project in memory of their long time
committee member Susan Crouch, who passed away early 2006, and it was a moving
moment when Susan’s ward was unveiled 20 months later.
Plaque showing ward dedicated to Susan Crouch
Pictures showing the new facilities