-  Resilience on the frontline  -

A three-year war between Azerbaijan and Armenia (1991-1994), led to the loss of twenty thousand lives in Azerbaijan. Land mines along the contested border still claim victims.

In 2011, in partnership with AzRC, Tag organized a month-long football tournament for youth living in the Kazakh district on the border with Armenia – a mine-risk frontline zone. Prior to the competition, the youth on all six teams participated in first aid courses, thus empowering them personally and contributing to the knowledge of emergency medicine in this neglected and dangerous region. First aid training and equipment are sorely needed in the frontline villages, where the presence of trained medical responders contributes significantly to the communities’ disaster preparedness.

The football tournament was the “glue” which held the project together, allowing participants to benefit from the joy of the game, which is incredibly popular in the region, while also receiving leadership skills and first aid training. Tag provided uniforms, equipment, medals for all the participants and a trophy for the winning team. The youngsters who participated are now primed to be more involved in their communities.

Together with Meir Handelsman, Director of the International Cooperation Department at Yad Sarah (Israel’s largest organization aiding the elderly, disabled and housebound), we conducted two workshops exploring the potential for introducing rehabilitative services based on the Yad Sarah model.

 

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