Leyla Aliyeva attends opening of center for blind and visually impaired children and youth in Sarajevo

On June 8, inauguration of the centre for children and youth with impaired vision in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was inaugurated after reconstruction with support from the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. Vice-president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva, state officials of Bosnia and Herzegovina attended the inauguration ceremony.

The Centre is a state establishment designed for the education of blind and visually impaired students from Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as from the regions. Established in 1947, the Centre has been functioning as an education establishment intended for children with loss of vision.

Director of the Centre Damir Ovchina informed Leyla Aliyeva that the Centre, which is comprised of two buildings, has been reconstructed to modern standards. This will allow to carry out the establishment’s management in an integrated order.

Leyla Aliyeva viewed the pictures of the complex taken before the reconstruction. The state-of-the-art sports hall at the Centre has been added to the project after the collective’s appeal to Mehriban Aliyeva.

A musical program prepared by children was presented during the familiarization with the Centre.

The Centre provides preschool and primary education, and brings up blind and visually impaired children in order to help them master a profession. Youth of this kind are educated here, and those that lost their vision ability later pass the rehabilitation phase. The centre, which has been reconstructed with support from the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, offers completely new standards for blind and visually impaired youth to receive education and maser different professions.

Delivering a speech at a ceremony devoted to the opening of the Centre, Director of the Centre Damir Ovchina told that being in total disrepair just a few month ago, this building now has high level conditions for education. Thanking the Heydar Aliyev Foundation for this, Damir Ovchina said the reconstruction works carried out in a 5000 square metre-area will definitely have its positive impact on the education.

Head of the Blind and Visually Impaired Children’s Association Yenisa Zimich thanked the Heydar Aliyev Foundation on behalf of parents and children.

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Science and Education Minister Damir Mashich thanked the Heydar Aliyev Foundation on behalf of his country’s Prime Minister Nermin Nikshich. Damir Mashich noted that the contribution made by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, which has implemented a number of projects in Sarajevo, to the reconstruction of the Centre will allow children of this type to more broadly use their potential. A Bosnian official presented a certificate of honour and keepsake to Leyla Aliyeva.

Chairman of Sarajevo city Grad district’s municipality Semir Efendich expressed gratitude with the second project being implemented by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation in the municipality’s territory, and talked of the significance of this centre for the country.

Deputy of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Parliament Adnan Vashich too thanked the Heydar Aliyev Foundation for the support provided to physically disabled children.

Children being educated at the Centre presented their handicrafts to Leyla Aliyeva.

Leyla Aliyeva made a speech at the event: “We are pleased to have participated in the reconstruction of this centre. Being established about ten years ago, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation  has been implementing a number of programs in culture, education, healthcare and charity around the world. Following the initiative of the Foundation, 400 schools have been built in Azerbaijan, state-of-the-art education establishments constructed in Georgia, Russia, Turkey, Romania, Pakistan, Netherlands and Egypt. In December 2005, in partnership with the UN Development Program, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation provided aid to visually impaired children. The Foundation has been keeping partnership relations with UNICEF, UNESCO, ISESCO, UN  and other international organizations.”

Leyla Aliyeva noted that the laying out a park and building of a bridge some time ago in Sarajevo with support from the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, erection of a monument to  the victims of Khojaly and Serebrenitsa genocides is a sign of respect our nations show towards our near past.

Informing of the horrible genocide committed by Armenians in Khojaly, Leyla Aliyeva expressed a hope that justice will triumph.

Inauguration of the Centre reconstructed by support from the Heydar Aliyev Foundation has widely been covered by the local media. eydarLeyla Aliyeva gave an interview to local correspondents.

While walking in the Centre’s yard, Leyla Aliyeva was informed that lessons at the Centre are conducted regularly. Children come to this establishment from all regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and some of them live in the boarding school. The education  includes history, ecology, literature, journalism, puppet theatre, debates club, foreign languages, mathematics, music, sport and other sections. The visually impaired are taught the rules of using information technologies. In future,  the Heydar Aliyev Foundation will provide the Centre with special equipment,  and publications compiled in Brail alphabet will be sent here.

Leyla Aliyeva planted a tree in the Centre’s yard, let children have Azerbaijani sweets, talked with them.

Within the framework of her Sarajevo visit, Leyla Aliyeva arrived at the Friendship Park and visited the monument erected to the victims of Khojaly and Serebrenitsa genocides.