The Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society (AzRCS) was founded with an initiative of Fatalikhan Khoyski and a general -lieutenant Aliagha Shikhlinsky in 1920. Since its inception the AzRCS has been carrying out a number of activities related with a humanist mission of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Helping to the most vulnerable groups of population and providing support to them are priority activities of the Red Crescent Society. Since the day of its foundation up to date the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society has also been implementing different youth-related activities in accordance with activities and Fundamental Principles of the Movement. At present, the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society has over 16.000 volunteers countrywide. 80 % of these volunteers are young people. The Red Crescent organizes regular meetings, seminars and events to involve young people from different regions of the Republic in humanitarian activities and programs of the National Society. In 2003, the Red Crescent established its youth and volunteer board. The youth and volunteer board holds its meetings in Baku and other cities of the Republic more than once every year. During these meetings members of the board report on their activities and discuss the ways of solving of problems of young people in the regions through the Red Crescent Society. In Sumgayit, Ganja, Lankaran, Mingechevir, Sabirabad and Nakhchivan, the Red Crescent established youth clubs enable its volunteers to meet, share ideas and experiences. To strengthen its youth -related activities and to achieve better coordination of its youth-related activities, the Red Crescent established a youth committee according to the Presidium’s decision of October 29, 2004. The main aim of the youth committee of the AzRCS is :
- Guided by the Movement’s Fundamental Principles to develop the movement of voluntarism among young people;
- To promote humanitarian values among young people;
- To promote the ideas of peace, mutual respect and understanding among young people;
- To ensure that young people has a meaningful pastime and live with healthy life style
The main objective of the youth committee of the AzRCS is :
- To promote Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement’s activities among young people in the Red Crescent primary organizations in educational institutions and local branches;
- To promote the International Humanitarian Law among young people;
- Encourage youth and volunteers to be more involved in the Red Crescent work
- To organize proper coordination of the activities of youth and volunteers of the Red Crescent;
Priority activities of the Youth Committee defined in its Regulations :
- To organize and conduct sport tournaments and events among young people to improve their health state;
- To organize and conduct activities related with personal hygiene and sanitation, protection of an environment among young people;
- To promote road safety rules and rules of conduct in time of disasters among young people;
- To organize trainings on HIV/AIDS, harms of drug abuse and alcoholism
- To promote music, drawing and art among young people;
- To organize trainings on First Aid among young people;
Since the beginning of its activity the Youth Committee has been conducting different kinds of trainings and events in accordance with its Regulations. The Youth Committee organizes regularly meetings with young people in the AzRC’s primary organizations and committees established in secondary schools, universities and other educational institutions. The Youth Committee conducts different trainings and discussions on relevant topics with school children and students in the educational institutions.
In 2005, the Red Crescent Youth Committee initiated ” Star Trainers” projects to implement the work on dissemination of International Humanitarian Values and HIV/AIDS prevention in educational institutions. Within this project 8 young volunteers were trained as humanitarian values dissemination trainers and another 8 young volunteers were trained as HIV/AIDS prevention trainers. They were given certificates by the Youth Committee. Within the project these “star trainers” conducted promotion activities among school children in 6 secondary schools in Baku city.
The Youth Committee organizes regularly sport competitions among the primary organizations and primary committees of the Red Crescent. The winners are awarded with diplomas and presented memorable gifts by the Youth Committee. The activities of the Youth Committee are highly appraised by the leadership of different educational institutions. Different universities apply to the Youth Committee with a request to send its students to the Youth Committee to do their practical work.
Every year the students of a prestige Western University do their practical work at the Youth Committee.
The Red Crescent Youth Committee established its “Youth Center” in Barda and Fizuli districts (front line districts) which are situated in western part of Azerbaijan. These youth centers are provided with computers and furniture. The youth centers contribute to more involvement of young people in the activities of the Red Crescent. They also help the young people to acquire computer knowledge and skills.
Fighting against AIDS
The Youth Committee celebrates significant dates of the Movement by organizing a number of events in the fields. At the end of each month the Youth Committee conducts trainings on HIV/AIDS for new volunteers of the Red Crescent. Also, different surveys, campaigns and promotion activities on HIV/AIDS are being conducted among the general public.
On the occasion of the 1st of December – “World AIDS DAY” the Red Crescent Youth Committee conducts promotion campaigns on AIDS in educational institutions. During these campaigns the volunteers of the Red Crescent distribute information materials on AIDS to the educational institutions. School children and students demonstrate small performances on AIDS.
Social activities :
In connection with celebration of the most favorite holidays in Azerbaijan and the most significant dates of the Movement, the Red Crescent Youth Committee pays visits to children with physical and mental disabilities, orphanage children, elderly alone people. During these visits the Youth Committee organizes lunch tables and concert programs to raise spirits of these people.
The Youth Committee organizes a summer camp for children from families of victims of armed conflicts who found a temporary shelter in Azerbaijan.
In connection with celebration of the most favorite holidays in Azerbaijan the Red Crescent Youth Committee pays visits to juvenile detention center and women detention center attaches to the penitentiary system of the Ministry of Justice. Sport competitions are organized among juveniles in detention center.
On the occasion of the International Volunteer Day, 5 December, the youth committee conducts a number of social activities such as, tree planting in school yards, public surveys, humanitarian actions, collecting second hand clothing, meetings with IDP students living in hospices.
Dissemination of International Humanitarian Values
Dissemination of Humanitarian Values Sector of the AzRC’s Youth Committee has been functioning since the year 2006. The Dissemination Sector of the Youth Committee organizes humanitarian values dissemination seminars for children of different age groups.
In 2006, the Dissemination Sector of the Red Crescent Youth Committee initiated ” Dissemination of humanitarian values” project in the orphanage house N 1 in Nizami district of Baku. The project has ended in January, 2007. The main goal of the project was to involve orphan children in humanitarian activities of the Red Crescent by using new methods in dissemination of humanitarian values.
In 2006, Dissemination Sector of the Youth Committee also continued “Star Trainers” promotion project of the Youth Committee to develop humanitarian values dissemination activities. So far a total of 9 volunteers were trained as dissemination trainers at the Youth Committee of the Red Crescent.
In 2007, the Red Crescent Youth Committee started to carry out activities aimed at increasing the number of volunteer blood donors in the country. “Club 25″ project initiated by the Youth Committee is a project which can contribute very much to the establishment of the Republican Blood Donors Association. The main aim of the project is to give an opportunity to the young people to gather together and discuss ideas on how to increase the number of blood donors in the country and thus to help people in need of blood. A member of the “Club 25″ must be between 18-30 years old and give voluntarily 25 times blood.
I Reporting Election Conference of the Red Crescent Youth Committee.
On November 20, 2006 I Reporting Election Conference of the Red Crescent Youth Committee was held. It should be mentioned that the Red Crescent Youth Committee was established according to the Presidium’s decision of October 29, 2004. The President of the AzRC Mr. Novruz Aslanov was an initiator of the establishment of the Youth Committee. The Red Crescent HIV/AIDS program coordinator Shaban Shayev was appointed as Acting Chairman of the Youth Committee. Head of Dissemination Sector Bayram Veliyev and the Red Crescent lawyer Jeyhun Ismayilov were appointed as Acting Vice-Chairmen.
The aim of the Conference was to report about the activities of the Youth Committee during the last 2 years, to approve the Regulations of the Youth Committee, to elect chairman and two vice-chairmen of the Youth Committee, the members of the Governing Board, Presidium and Finance commission of the Youth Committee. A total of 170 young delegates elected from different regions of Azerbaijan were invited to participate at the Conference.
Also,80 representatives of local and international, government and non-government organizations which cooperated closely with the Youth Committee during last years were invited to participate at the Conference. Among the guests invited to I Reporting – Election Conference of the Red Crescent Youth Committee were: President of the National Red Crescent Society Mr. Novruz Aslanov and leadership of the AzRCS, a rector of Azerbaijan Technical University, a member of the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society professor Havar Mammadov, the representatives of the Azerbaijan Delegations of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross, the United Nations Organization, the Office of Ombudsman, SOS Children Villages Association, leadership of orphanage houses and boarding schools, directors of secondary schools, representatives of mass media.
The Conference approved the Regulations of the Youth Committee. Shaban Shayev was re-elected as a chairman of the Youth Committee. Bayram Veliyev and Jeyhun Ismayilov were re-elected as deputy vice-chairmen. The members of the Governing Board ( 15 members), Presidium ( 5 members) and Finance Commission ( 3 members) of the Youth Committee were elected among active volunteers of the Youth Committee. Note : The chairman of the Youth Committee Shaban Shayev fulfills at the same time the duties of HIV/AIDS program coordinator. Vice-chairman of the Youth Committee Bayram Veliyev fulfills at the same time the duties of the Red Crescent “Mine Action” program coordinator. Another vice-chairman of the Youth Committee Jeyhun Ismayilov fulfills at the same time the duties of “Dissemination of IHL” program coordinator.