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This center is unique in Azerbaijan

Vocational Rehabilitation Centre for young people with disabilities has been operating since December 2013 in Ramana settlement of Baku city.

What differs the training center under the State Service of Social Security of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Population of the Azerbaijan Republic from other schools? We asked Rahila Hasratova, the director of the center to tell about the work of this institution.

This educational institution organizes professional training for youth with disabilities with the purpose of integrating to the society, creating conditions to acquire the skills demanded by the labor market, as well as, developing creative abilities. This is a special kind of institution, which has no analogues not only in Azerbaijan, but also in other several countries.

Today, the center has courses in more than 10 directions (including folk crafts, computer, cooking, sewing, hairdressing, etc.). Courses can be long-term (6 months) or short-term (3 months). You can take up to 200 students aged between 15 and 30 years, with all conditions. The center has its own dormitory, canteen, medical and wellness center, fitness, sport and assembly halls, classrooms and practice rooms. All services, including training, accommodation and board, leisure activities, trainings and practical courses are provided free of charge and financed from the state budget. Within less than 3 years, more than 800 people with disabilities applied to the center for obtaining profession. 377 of them passing a full course received a certificate officially recognized by the state. Almost all of them successfully found a job in state institutions and the private sector. The rest passed short courses, or got basic employability skills. In addition, young people in need of social rehabilitation received the necessary support.

The center is not limited with the training of students. A lot of projects of different types are realized here. Basically, local non-governmental organizations (NGO) conduct training, seminars, excursions, concerts, sport events for center students with the support of line ministries, as well as the Youth Foundation under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and The Council of State Support to Non-Governmental Organizations under the Auspices of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Besides, with sponsorship of TİKA (Türk İşbirliği Koordinasyon Ajansı - Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency), courses on mosaics and folk craft of “ebru” have been organized. It is noteworthy that on the basis of the center the club for relatively young sport type “Boccia”, which is included in the program of the Paralympic Games, has been created. With support of the National Paralympic Committee of Azerbaijan, the Center team successfully participated in various championships in both local and international levels. Now the guys are coached by an expert from Turkey, which prepare them to participate in the next international tournament.

The carpets, paintings, woodworks, etc. prepared during the courses are demonstrated in various exhibitions, auctions, and sales. The author receives the revenue/profit. However, the main goal, besides making a profit from the sales, is the creation of conditions for students to have access to the labor market, the acquisition of experience in this area. In the future we plan to expand the scope of provided services, including long-term courses. In this connection, the assessment of labor market, needs and the professional level of young people with disabilities are conducting. This will allow to respond with more flexibly to the challenges and the socio-economic changes in society and to reduce the risk for people with disabilities in the process of getting professional education.