Caritas Azerbaijan assisted poor and marginalised from 2003 until 2007. The Catholic Church has a chequered history in Azerbaijan: it was proscribed under the communist regime, but was re-founded in 2000; in March 2008 the first Catholic Church was consecrated in Baku, the capital. The Catholic population of Azerbaijan is 450 people, of whom 200 are foreign nationals, in a country that is predominantly Shia Muslim. The number of Catholics is increasing every year.
Although Azerbaijan is theoretically a rich country because of its petroleum reserves, most of the population lives in absolute poverty. Healthcare has to be paid for, the schools are poorly organised and there are no places where young people can meet socially or for sport. Drug abuse and the spread of HIV and AIDS are serious problems: 100 people die of related causes in the capital every year. There is no social support or assistance.
The work of Caritas Azerbaijan includes:
- A soup kitchen that provided 50 meals a day, including Sundays, for the children of the parish;
- Collections of funds to support adoption programmes in Azerbaijan for orphans and other disadvantaged children;
- Youth centres for children to use after school to help with their studies and to give courses in English and skills to increase employment possibilities such as computing and carpet making;
- Shelters for the homeless with 30 beds run by the Sisters of Mother Teresa of Calcutta; Summer camps by the sea for 200 children.
Caritas Updates from Azerbaijan
Caritas Azerbaijan Info
|Postal Address||Telmur Allev St. 69 “b”/1
|Telephone||+994 12 62 22 55
+994 12 62 36 15
|Fax||+994 12 62 22 55|
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