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Community Shield Azerbaijan (Baku)
www.csabaku.org

Umbaki Leprosarium

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 finances.

Help Needed

  • Funding for quarterly medical and household bills, amounting to around AZN 1000/quarter.

  • Clothing for the residents.

Renovations

Refurbishment complete

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 Society.

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.

Other assistance

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 leprosarium

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.