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Friday, August 29, 2014


Azerbaijan

  • The residents share a toilet, a bathroom, and a kitchen. During the day, they try to find any kind of work to make money to buy food and clothing.
  • Some of the residents have jobs but they are not easy to find. Baji Nuriyeva, 34, worked as a cleaner for several years before she contracted tuberculosis and had to stop.
  • Gurbat Khanlarov has been living in the hostel since 1991. “As soon as we turned 18, the state abandoned us," he says. "No one cared about how we will build our lives on our own, where we will go, and what we will do.”
  • Samir Rahimov, 25, used to work as a laborer. After he broke his leg, he could no longer work.
  • Rahimov recalls that one day a company asked for a $600 bribe to get him a job. “Where would an orphan find $600?” Rahimov wondered.
  • He says it's difficult to get any kind of a job with a past in an orphanage. “We sit and wait for someone who needs to have their yard cleaned or their walls painted,” he says.
  • There are no job opportunities in this part of the city, he says. And traveling elsewhere is difficult, he says, due to unreliable public transportation.
  • Ellada Jafarova, 34, says she asked the director of her orphanage whether there was any facility or program to help her get on her feet.
  • She says he answered, “What do I care about your future? Go out and beg. Sell seeds. Do whatever you want. Just go as far away as possible.”

In Azerbaijan, Struggling To Overcome A Stigma

Published 24 April 2012

Abbas Atilay, a photographer for RFE/RL’s Azerbaijani Service, recently visited a hostel in Kyzyl-Dash, a settlement near the capital, Baku. The hostel is home to about 40 underprivileged young people who were released from state care once they turned 18.