Shelter for Street Children
The Shelter for street children was a project
of CSA for years. The privately owned shelter provides support for needy
children, both from the street and from the local neighbourhood. CSA provided
hot meals and second hand clothes as well as activity sessions.
Weekly arts and crafts sessions were run by
CSA volunteers and for many children this opened up a whole new world. Some of
the children had basic or no education, and they were delighted when after some
determined practice, they learned to write their own names.
The programme was expanded to include sports
activities, and both boys and girls were enthusiastic participants, learning to
share, take turns and to work together. A donation of computers enabled
volunteers to start up a simple teaching programme to enhance the learning
By the end of 2008 and for various reasons
including the severe deterioration of the building, CSA made the difficult
decision to withdraw from the facility, and it was with great sadness that the
volunteers said goodbye to the children who had come to mean so much to them.
CSA continues its commitment to helping disadvantaged children,
and any donations of clothes or other items will be passed on to the most needy
within the community.
Anita at the shelter
An overview of CSA's Commitment
CSA’s first activity at the Shelter,
supported through donations collected by Bobby Stretch, was to provide
food supplies over Christmas 2004. Later, the Bhoys of Baku financed the
shelter meals for some years. CSA also received an unusual donation: 15 pairs of
England-match-worn socks from the 2002 football world cup. Chris and Ran
Gotch donated these socks so they could be auctioned to raise funds for the
A number of renovations and
improvements at the centre have taken place, thanks to the support of Rob
Cole, Bobby Stretch, CDC and also to Katie and Roslyn who
donated a washing machine by asking their friends for money rather than presents
for their birthdays.
Children from the shelter taking part in a
local football tournament
Weekly arts and crafts sessions were
introduced by CSA volunteers, showing the children handicraft activities they
had never done before. Sports activities quickly became popular and CSA
volunteers have been very innovative in devising games to play, both indoors and
out. The volunteers have been successful in encouraging girls to participate in
the sports activities which is unusual in Azerbaijani society. Donations from
TISA, Children’s Yoga Club and Baku Bicycle Club enabled the
volunteers to expand the games programme.
Teams from the innovative broom game!
Playing football, as with boys
everywhere else, is very popular and BP drivers offered their coaching
services for free for a couple of years. Football kits were kindly donated by
BP and Amec and a match with TISA school was organised.
Playing on the school’s real grass pitch was a first for these children.
Street children's game against TISA