Azerbaijan International

Spring 2002 (10.1)
Pages 80

British Airways Adopts Orphanage

A Home for Inara - Azerbaijan's First Adoption
Guidelines - Adopting a Child from Azerbaijan
AzerbaijanAdopt ListServ

British Airways Adopts Orphanage
Saving the Children: Mobil Undertakes Orphanage Project
Children's Games Build Bridges: International Women's Club Reaches Out
Third Annual Reunion of Adopted Children from Azerbaijan

It all started out as a "Flight of Fantasy" back in 1999, when British Airways with help from Baku's International Women's Club, invited 60 children from four Baku orphanages on an hour-and-a-half flight over the Caspian. It was a memorable experience-this first flight for these children from the Zabrat, Ahmadli, Shuvalyan and Psycho-Neurological orphanages. (See AI 7.3, Autumn 1999). The following evening, a charity auction at the Hyatt Regency raised $20,000 to further help the institutions where they lived.

Above: Children from Baku's Psycho-Neurological orphanage are benefitting from the ongoing efforts and donations of British Airways' staff and customers.

But the involvement didn't stop there. "We decided to take on further responsibility for one of the orphanages," explained Sabina Sharifova, British Airways' Regional Manager in Azerbaijan. "We picked the Psycho-Neurological Orphanage-home to 80 children with mental or physical handicaps-and started providing food for them every month. The children's ages range from one to seven.

It wasn't long before the employees at British Airways discovered that the orphanage desperately needed to have its bathrooms be renovated. Part of the building had been closed off because the bathroom facilities were in such poor condition.

British staff members helped raise money to refurbish the bathrooms, and local businesses like Morrison Construction, Baku Hotel Company and Karadagh Cement provided materials and free labor. By May 2001, the project was underway.

The airline's staff is planning to raise further funds among themselves to complete the work on the orphanage's bathrooms as well as supply food, clothes and medication. At a recent New Year's party, the children were presented with a VCR and dozens of cartoon videos. These were purchased from funds contributed by the staff of the airline and of British Mediterranean Airways, the franchise carrier that operates the Baku-London route.

The project with the orphanage is expanding and passengers will have the opportunity-if they wish-to contribute to the effort via the airline's "Warm Winter Project", which is raising funds to install heating systems in the orphanage. For each ticket purchased in Azerbaijan, passengers may contribute $1 to this humanitarian project.

To find out more about helping the orphanage or to get involved with their next project to acquire special developmental toys and equipment, contact Sabina Sharifova, British Airways, Hyatt International Center, 1033 Izmir Street, Baku. Tel: (994-12) 97-05-00; Fax: 97-77-03;


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