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WHEELCHAIRS FOR MINE DISABLED PEOPLE IN AZERBAIJAN

Fifteen mine disabled persons received wheelchairs during the special ceremony held in Khanlar Regional Office of ANAMA. It was the first ceremony in a series of events on distribution of items provided to the Agency by the WHEELCHAIR FOUNDATION (USA) at the financial support of USEUCOM, donated $21.000 for 280 wheelchairs to be delivered to ANAMA. The event has been hosted by the "Chirag"("Cresset") Humanitarian Development Association. This NGO, contracted by ANAMA had 1) to clarify needs in wheelchairs mine victim identified during the Countrywide needs assessment survey in 2004; 2) gather those living close to the place of next ceremony; invite honorary guests and representatives of press; 3) distribute wheelchairs or handover them during special event arranged for this reason. Mr. Nadir Jafarov, the Director of "Chirag" Association and Mr. N. Mamedov, the Manager of ANAMA Regional Office in Khanlar greeted mine disabled people, their relatives and guests. Dr. Suzanne Fiederlein from James Madison University, Mr Rauf Nasirov, the Head of Department of Khanlar Executive and his colleagues, Director of Ganja Orthopedic Centre, Head of Ganja city Society Disabled People, the Director of "Ojag" ("Fire") Humanitarian Association and Information Manager of ANAMA were the honorary guests of the Ceremony. All the guests made speeches reflecting importance of the action with best wishes to mine disabled people. In return, some mine survivors expressed their gratitude to the Wheelchair Foundation and USEUCOM, thanked ANAMA and "Chirag" Association for the care about themselves. The words have been said as well on problems disabled people faced and necessity to join efforts in their resolution. The discussion continued during the lunch. Mrs. Fiederlein has made grant-in-aid to one of the mine survivors in amount of 50 US dollars. The ceremony had wide mass media coverage - two news agencies and 5 TV channels have paid attention to the event. Some newspapers reflected the event on their pages.