For almost 10 years, Nabat Aliyeva has lived alone in her home in Alinazarli village in Beylagan rayon. She has an oncological disease. Remarkably, Nabat was not aware that social services are available for elderly people living alone in her area.
“Recently I heard from our community leader that an organization held a meeting about social services for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), the elderly and people living alone in Beylagan,” Nabat Aliyeva said.
The community leader informed her about a roundtable meeting on “The Community’s Role in Providing Social Services to the Elderly and IDPs,” organized by the Youths’ Enlightenment and Social Development Public Union in Beylagan. The discussion was organized as part of their efforts to enhance public and social services for the elderly and IDPs. The meeting was made possible by a grant awarded by EWMI’s Socio-Economic Development Activity (SEDA) in Azerbaijan, which is co-financed by USAID and the Government of Azerbaijan.
During the roundtable, Faik Mehdiyev, a leader of Aliyetmezli community, informed participants about an elderly woman in his village who was in dire need of social services. Participants from the Center of Social Protection of the Population carefully took notes. They agreed that social workers from the Center would visit Alinazarli village, talk to the elderly woman and try to offer assistance with her domestic issues.
The next day, a representative from Youths’ Enlightenment and Social Development Public Union visited Nabat Aliyeva. They explained her social rights and services available to her. After the meeting, representatives from the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population registered Nabat Aliyeva for receipt of social services.
“Currently, a social worker visits me once a week,” said Nabat Aliyeva. “I gradually have begun to forget that I am alone. Previously, I gave up thinking about treating my disease, but a few days ago I changed my mind. I visited a doctor, and I am now receiving proper treatment. This was possible thanks to the psychological support provided by the social worker who motivated me to live a full life. I am grateful to the people and organizations who work to identify lonely people and enlighten them about their rights in society.”
Nabat is among 37 elderly persons in Beylagan rayon who have registered to receive social services thanks to the Youth Enlightenment and Social Development Public Union’s awareness-raising and close collaboration with the Center of Social Protection of the Population.
With support from EWMI’s SEDA program, the Union has identified social problems faced by the elderly and IDP youth, made these issues public and advocated for municipalities and communities to resolve these issues. They continue to assist women like Nabat in realizing their rights, while involving local businesses, institutions, municipalities and government in resolving such issues faced by citizens.