SOS Children's Village Baku

Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, is located on the Apsheron peninsula, on the western shore of the Caspian Sea, and has more than one million inhabitants. The city was first mentioned in the 9th century. Modern Baku is an important centre for oil production and spreads out from the old city walls, its streets and buildings rising up the hills that rim the Bay of Baku.

A suitable plot of land for the construction of the SOS Children's Village in Baku was donated by the municipality. It is situated in a very beautiful spot, about fourteen kilometres away from the city centre of Baku.

The SOS Children's Village is surrounded by olive and pine trees and cane, giving home to a large population of wild ducks. Some of the buildings even offer a stunning view of the Caspian Sea. The official opening ceremony was held on 27 June 2001 in presence of the president and the secretary general of SOS-Kinderdorf International, as well as numerous guests of honour.

The SOS Children's Village Baku comprises fourteen family houses with a capacity for up to 126 children, an administration and service area, houses for the village director and the SOS aunts (who support the SOS mothers and take care of the children when the mothers are on leave) and a sports field. Initially, only twelve family houses were built, but due to the large number of vulnerable children, two more family houses were added in 2002.

The SOS Kindergarten on the same premises has also been extended since its opening in the year 2000. It comprises four group rooms, a multipurpose hall, and eating and sleeping facilities for up to 100 children, who are looked after on a full time basis. Both children from the SOS Children's Village and from the neighbourhood attend the SOS Kindergarten, which greatly contributes to the integration and acceptance of the SOS Children's Village by the local community. The family strengthening programme offers access to essential services for children’s development (eg. educational, nutritional and health support, social skills) and supports families to protect and care for their children. The programme also aims at linking families with income generating activities and offers help to improve the parents’ parenting skills.