Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan: UNICEF supports summer camps for war-affected children

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BAKU, 25 July, 2005 - UNICEF-supported summer camp activities began this week in Goranboy district of Azerbaijan, bringing recreational and play activities to some 120 boys and girls. Summer camp participants are child mine survivors and children from mine-survivor families that also include IDPs from the mine contaminated area along the front line.

Each camp hosts 60 children, with the first one opening on 25 July till August 3 and second on 29 August till 7 September.

The UNICEF-supported camp is to contribute to the mine action programme of ANAMA in the area of mine victims assistance and is run in collaboration with ANAMA, Ministry of Youth, Sports and Tourism, Initiatives for the Sake of Development, Azerbaijan Republic Child Organization and Right to Play based in Toronto, Canada.

Today according to ANAMA survey out of the 1883 mine survivors 22 are children and there are around 400 children in families with mine survivor.

On 26 July 2005, sixty children of various ages from different districts of Azerbaijan chosen according to the last year Survey stood in line in the yard of the boarding school in Goranboy during the opening ceremony. They were in yellow T-shirts and looked very joyful. They sung Azerbaijani anthem. Twelve instructors are from Republic Children Organization, main implementer of the Project. Representatives of INGO Save the Children and some local NGOs active in the area were observing this start. This is the first ongoing project initiated by UNICEF and ANAMA in support of mine-affected children.

Two summer camps, operating at the Goranboy boarding school, will provide the war-affected children with an opportunity to improve their social interaction skills, receive information on mine risk and will help to facilitate their integration into society.