The leprosarium in Umbaki was our
first project and was, in fact, the reason for our existence. Our aim was to
improve the atrocious living conditions of the patients at the Leprosarium, and
over the years we have worked on a number of projects to this end. With the help
of generous donors, we completely transformed the residentsí living conditions
in the space of three years. We continue to assist the leprosarium for which we require
Funding for quarterly medical
and household bills, amounting to around AZN 1000/quarter.
Clothing for the residents.
In September 2005, refurbishment of
the last of the residential buildings at the Leprosarium was completed. The
proceeds of the BP Leadership Team Beer Pull, and donations from the
Anglo Azerbaijani Society and Neptune Joint Venture enabled us to
transform an old, draughty building into a residential block providing
apartments consisting of a sitting room, bedroom, shower room and kitchenette
for seven couples.
Plaque showing the sponsors
New accommodation at Umbaki
On the 3rd July 2004, a newly
refurbished accommodation block at Umbaki was opened by Uschka Dunbar,
one of the founding members of CSA. The refurbishment, made possible by generous
support from The Irish Society, The Anglo-Azerbaijani Society and
the BP Baba Dağ Team, was performed by local builder Rafut Abasov
and provides decent accommodation for some of Umbaki's least mobile residents.
New buildings at Umbaki
In 2003, five converted shipping
containers, donated by USAID, were handed over to the Director of the
Leprosarium, providing the residents with a laundry, shower room, rest room,
barber shop and morgue. The conversion was sponsored by the Caledonian
Handover of the converted shipping containers
In September 2003 two more converted
containers, donated by EUPEC, provided the Leprosarium with laboratory
and pharmacy facilities, as well as a comfortable isolation ward.
The Joseph Rowntree Trust
donated $ 600 in 2010 towards medical supplies.
In 2010 Bertling donated a
much needed generator and Waterman and Absheron made sure
everything was connected and working properly. TISA teachers and students
recorded and translated Mahmud's life story into English for an American
database which collects the life stories of leprosy sufferers worldwide.
In 2009 the Caledonian Society
donated a substantial amount of money needed to repair several vehicles at
the leprosarium. They also provided funds for a new water pipe to be installed.
In 2006, just in time for the hot
weather in Azerbaijan, BP's Extended Leadership Team has generously provided the
funds needed to buy a fridge that will be used to store the medicines taken by
residents at the Leprosarium.
Improvements to the road to Umbaki,
and also the water supply to the whole village have been made, thanks to work by
Absheron Water and an individual contribution.
3rd August 2004: Reliable transport
for the Umbaki Leprosarium
To reach the leprosarium in Umbaki, a 90 minute journey from Baku on half-made
roads is the only option. A reliable four wheel drive vehicle is essential,
particularly for the director of the leprosarium, Dr. Vidadi, who must make the
trip several times a week to bring to Umbaki all the supplies necessary for the
well-being of his patients.
The Bhoys of Baku heard about
Umbaki's plight, and donated the majority of the money needed to buy a new Lada
Niva 4WD car. The Caspian Drilling Company contributed the rest and the Niva
was officially handed over to Umbaki's director.
Dr. Vidadi receiving the new Niva for the
Despite the limited improvements,
the road to Umbaki remains unforgiving and a new car is again needed for which
we seek sponsorship.
A Poet is Published
Also in 2003, a typewriter was donated to Mahmud, a gentleman poet and patient at the Leprosarium, enabling him to put his
poetry to paper for the first time. His poems have since been published by BP.
Mahmud, the resident poet
Thanks to the power of internet,
some of Mahmudís translated poetry is now part of a worldwide historical database
completed by Ideale Prosydignity in Hawaii which records
the experiences of leprosy sufferers. In 2010 TISA students in Baku
collected and translated interviews to add to the database.