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Save the Children began the Children's Tolerance Education Project (CTEP) in 2004 as a way to promote tolerance, cooperation and critical thinking skills for primary school children in the South Caucasus. The program now continues in Azerbaijan in partnership with Bakcell Telecom – one of the leading mobile phone network providers in Azerbaijan.
For 2010, Save the Children and Bakcell Stars have selected activities that promote tolerance, cooperation, compassion and health lifestyles, this regional program equips children with critical skills such as problem solving, conflict transformation, negotiation skills, cross-cultural and effective communication, active citizenship, knowledge on child rights, care for environment, child participation, gender and gender-based stereotypes, stigma and discrimination, independent decision-making and life skills, through interactive puppet shows among schoolchildren in a number of primary schools. These include puppet actors’ performances at five pilot schools and a series of interactive performances by children from these schools.
Save the Children’s Community-Based Children’s Support Program (CCSP), which began in October 2004, promotes social integration and community-based care for vulnerable children in Azerbaijan. This six-year USAID-funded program provides targeted assistance both directly and indirectly to marginalized children in 12 districts of Azerbaijan. Management and financial support for the Children and Family Support Centers have been taken over by government structures in an effort to provide vulnerable children services such as day care, psychosocial support, and individual family counseling. CCSP will continue through July 2010.
Community-based Active Protection System (CAPS)
The Community-based Active Protection System (CAPS) is implemented throughout the country by Save the Children Netherlands and strengthens alternative service provision in the regions while developing the capacity of government partners to pursue long-term plans to establish and coordinate the child protection systems in Azerbaijan. CAPS will continue through 2010.
Funded from European sources through the United Nation High Commissioner on Refugees, the Care and Maintenance of Refugees and Asylum Seekers (CAMP) Program contributes to improve health and well-being of the most vulnerable refugee and asylum seeker populations from 3rd countries, most of whom do not hold official refugee status and are deprived from basic mainstream services, including healthcare. Project components to support this goal included the provision of financial subsistence allowances, access to healthcare services and provision of psychological and social interventions for vulnerable members of the refugee and asylum seeking population. It is within the context of lack of official recognition for refugees, social isolation and lack of employment opportunities that the program focuses on increasing access of basic medical, psychological and social services to the refugee/asylum seeker population in Azerbaijan and contributing to the improved health and well-being of the members of these target communities. CAMP will continue through 2010.
The Successful Transitions to Adulthood Program (STAP) began in August 2008 with financial support from Statoil and aims to produce Information, Communications Technology (ICT), Basic Literacy and Livelihood Development (life skills) materials for supporting the successful transition of youth from institutions to adulthood and independent life. STAP comes at a critical moment in Azerbaijan development where the government actively encourages de-institutionalization and alternative-care thereby, enabling to reform the existing child welfare systems. STAP's holistic approach includes an innovative personal development training and community awareness campaign where youth are offered access to soft skills and knowledge and, most importantly, gain positive attitudes towards work especially in highly needed, less popular sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, tourism and services.
With the financial support of European Union and Statoil, Save the Children began the Creating Livelihoods for Adulthood Program (CLAP) in November 2010 to increase livelihood opportunities for marginalized youth through involvement and strengthening capacity of civil society organizations. SC partners with six NNGOs and relevant government structures to support institutionalized children at transition ages (14-17), linking them with Employment Centers and Vocational Technical Schools to ensure they have the skills necessary to build productive, meaningful lives. The program provides a two-year comprehensive program of training and technical assistance to the six NNGOs, whose strengthened organizational and programmatic capacity and sustained links to government-supported services supports higher quality services to young people accessing five (5) targeted boarding institutions, five (5) Employment Centers and two (2) Vocational Technical Schools. Advocacy efforts will influence policy-makers, while encouraging organizations and public to contribute to the expansion of legal space for local civil society. Additionally, the selected NNGOs will work through media to increase public awareness of and trust towards local civil society. CLAP is being implemented with experienced national partner Reliable Future and the program will continue through 2011.
Save the Children continues to support its spin-off microfinance institution – AzeriStar Microfinance – locally-registered as an independent entity in 2006. AzeriStar has provided start-up funding for small income-generating activities to over 8,000 clients from households otherwise would not be eligible for credit – primarily women and refugee populations.
Plans for the Future