Page 1




1999 – 2011  from challenges to opportunities

DEVELOPED AND EDITED by John Varoli, with contributions from UNICEF specialists in the North Caucasus: Raoul de Torcy, Murad Shishkhanov, Aida Ailarova, Eliza Murtazaeva, Fatima Yandieva and Mukhamed Khavtsukov Cover Photo: Max Novikov Design: Denis Karavaev Printed by design and printing company OOO “BEST-Print”

Content Foreword.................................................................................. 3 CHILD PROTECTION..................................................................... 4 HEALTH & NUTRITION.................................................................. 8 EDUCATION................................................................................... 11 PEACE AND TOLERANCE............................................................. 14 PSYCHO-SOCIAL RECOVERY........................................................ 17 YOUTH DEVELOPMENT................................................................ 20



Caspian Sea




Black Sea






Foreword T

he year of 2011 marks more than a decade of UNICEF’s presence in the Russian region of North Caucasus. Like in many other parts of the world, the organization carried out its mandate mobilizing resources and strengthening partnerships to overcome the obstacles that poverty, violence, disease and discrimination place in a child’s path. Since 1999 a team of devoted professionals, comprised of both local and international staff worked hand in hand to tackle challenges ranging from emergency assistance to recovery and development. Throughout this period, UNICEF programmes had an impact across many sectors of society bringing improvement in such areas as Education; Peace & Tolerance Promotion; Health; Water & Sanitation; Mine Action; Child Rights Promotion; Psychosocial Recovery and Youth Development. In some cases, the North Caucasus proved a fertile ground for pioneering ideas and innovative approaches seeking to create protective environments for children and favorable conditions for youth development. Advocating for measures to protect and promote the rights of children and young people in the region, UNICEF has often times taken the lead in bringing together the local governments for better coordination of resources and efforts.

The North Caucasus still faces many concerns and challenges, but the infrastructure of effective assistance and development has been reestablished in areas once devastated by violence and turmoil. Local state institutions and public organizations are now better equipped to carry out the task of providing social services and reestablishing greater social harmony. Today, child and adolescent protection, development and social participation are among the most

© UNICEF/2011

prominent issues in the region. This strategic shift supports new national priorities that underline the need to invest in the North Caucasus, starting with young citizens. The progress made over the past decade will not be sustainable without ensuring stability in all spheres of life, and this is only possible by placing adolescents and young people at the centre of development. We would like to thank all the people and organizations in the North Caucasus who have partnered with us over the past decade, and we wish you continued success as you strive to realize our common goal for peace and prosperity. Sincerely,

Bertrand Bainvel UNICEF Representative in the Russian Federation



UNICEF IN THE NORTH CAUCASUS from challenges to opportunities

CHILD PROTECTION — MINE ACTION — CHILD RIGHTS PROMOTION — SOCIAL SERVICES FOR CHILDREN he military conflict in Chechnya left a large part of the republic’s territory covered with landmines and unexploded ordnance, and since 1994 this led to the deaths and maiming of more than 3 000 civilians. Of this number, about 130 children were killed, and 620 wounded1). The poor public awareness about the threat lurking in fields and forests contributed significantly to these casualties.


To combat this killer, UNICEF in cooperation with the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining and local non-governmental organizations in 2001 established a community-based data collection system, which became instrumental for developing A MINE ACTION PROGRAMME, which included components, such as mine risk education, victim assistance and advocacy programmes. In cooperation with the Ministry © UNICEF / 2003 / M. Sadulaev of Education of the Chechen Republic school courses were developed for children and integrated into the curriculum. Training was provided to teachers, and educational and informational materials were printed and dis1) UNICEF-established Information Management System for Mine tributed, including posters and manuals. Action (IMSMA)


By 2005, the situation improved significantly and nearly all of the Chechen republic’s population had been reached through the campaigns in schools, IDP camps and the mass media. The programme’s effectiveness is most evident in statistics, with the number of civilian casualties dropping almost 40fold, from more than 800 in 2000, to 24 in 2005. Survivor assistance was another important programme component, and included physical rehabilitation, psychological counselling for children and parents, and training for medical staff. These were made possible in cooperation with the Chechen Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Labour and Social Development and local NGOs. Nearly 600 victims were provided with prosthetics and orthopaedic devices. There have also been arranged vocational trainings, such as sewing and carpentry, as well as instruction in computers and English that could prove useful for future employment and psychological wellbeing of mine victims and their families. One activity that frequently caught the attention of the international media was a football (soccer) team consisting of landmine victims. Created in 2002, the team of about a dozen young men, each missing a limb, through their sports achievements became an inspiration to many of their peers and families, whose lives had been affected by land mines.


in potentially risky areas. In 2011 the mine victim data collection system is handed over to the local government for its further maintenance. In 2005, a campaign was launched in the region to draw greater attention TO PROMOTION OF CHILD RIGHTS and protection from violence. Efforts were made with local government ministries to monitor and report on child rights violations, and to determine the gaps in the existing system and take measures to rectify the situation. Technical support was also provided and experts were trained. One of the project’s leading successes was the creation in 2005 of a Child and Woman Protection Department in the Chechen Republic. This new department made the issue of children’s rights a top priority for the republic, and will have long-term effect. If previously, the process of monitoring on child rights-related violations and follow-up was hardly evidenced, today tangible efforts are made to ensure that children’s rights are protected. UNICEF continues to work closely with the Child and Woman Protection Department, as well as with Child Rights Ombudspersons offices in Dagestan, North Ossetia and Ingushetia, providing training and study tours for officials and experts. In addition, UNICEF supported provision of legal counselling

Of no less importance were advocacy campaigns, such as holding a photography exhibition in Moscow in December 2006 that featured photos from the lives of landmine victims. The exhibition was devoted to children killed or injured by mines and other unexploded ordnance. To ensure a zero casualty rate in the republic, a comprehensive de-mining programme must be established, and there must be continuous mine risk education to promote safe behaviour

© UNICEF / 2009 / A. Khakiev



UNICEF IN THE NORTH CAUCASUS from challenges to opportunities

support by the Child Rights Ombudsperson’s offices to children and families in need. Other efforts aimed at making a long-term structural change in the region include a project with the Dagestan State Pedagogical University to create a child rights teaching manual and integrate it into the curriculum of the University. This was completed in 2008, and then integrated into the curriculum of teaching universities in Dagestan, Chechnya, Ingushetia, and North Ossetia. In recent years, considerable efforts were also made to strengthen social services for children keeping in mind the needs of the most vulnerable and socially disadvantaged children and families. In North Ossetia, a number of initiatives was realized to foster family placement for institutionalized children. This includes working with local officials to help them see the benefit of prevention and monitoring to avoid the institutionalization of children by dealing with home problems at early stages. Training and workshops were also held with officials working for guardianship departments in different republics, helping them to create the necessary legal procedures and regulations.

© UNICEF / 2006 / M. Sadulaev

In spring 2010, pre-school education ser­vices were set up in Chechnya to bring children with special needs into the mainstream preschool system. UNICEF also supports training for kindergarten staff who work with these children.

© UNICEF / 2007 /S. Tsarnaev

There is a strong need to create more services for children with special needs and their families to ensure early detection and intervention. A range of responses is required to address discrimination and provide protection, from building policies to legislation that protect rights. The main priorities of UNICEF for 2011 include initiatives to eliminate disparities in the lives of children across the North Caucasus region through extending opportunities for greater social participation, building families’ capacities to care, and to advocate for disabled children. 



Adam Mezhiev Adam Mezhiev was born on April 25, 1985, and his childhood was a happy and carefree one until the moment in early 1995 when an explosion from an unidentified device deprived him of his leg. Adam was merely walking by when the incident happened. Doctors could not do anything for the boy, and amputation was the only way to save his life. Adam faced difficult years of recuperation and adjusting to his new reality, but he didn’t fall into despair or complain because he was raised a young man of much faith. After some time, that positive outlook on life brought an opportunity literally to his door, and which changed his life forever. In 2002, representatives from the Laman Az non-commercial organization offered Adam the chance to sign up for computer courses and English lessons at the Grozny Computer and Informatics Technical School which were made possible with support from UNICEF. Those lessons gave the boy much needed opportunity to develop and learn. Soon after, a football team composed entirely of amputees was founded, and the young men began to train with much energy and effort. Adam joined them, and his hard work quickly paid off, eventually becoming team captain. The team participated in various tournaments, and even made it to the Russian National Championships. Adam’s success was so great that he was even asked to join the Russian National Team, and he led them to a Silver medal at the World Championships, and twotime European champions. © UNICEF / 2007 / M. Sadulaev

In 2007, Adam ran in the 8-kilometer international race in New York City for people with physical disabilities that was sponsored by the city’s mayor. He finished third among hundreds of competitors, proving that the power of will and faith can overcome any disability and limitation.



UNICEF IN THE NORTH CAUCASUS from challenges to opportunities

HEALTH & NUTRITION — Expanded programme for immunization — Mother empowerment programme — Young people's health and development — Water supply for Grozny — Medical equipment for hospitals


rmed conflict in Chechnya severely damaged the local health system, and created dire sanitation conditions with the potential for even further exacerbation of the humanitarian crisis. Timely intervention by UNICEF, local NGOs, and state authorities prevented a worse-case scenario.

under five years of age. The cold chain was reestablished to guarantee proper conditions for vaccinations from place of manufacturing to administering to children. Equipment and supplies were purchased – refrigerators, freezers, generators, cold boxes, vaccine carriers, syringes, and etc.

For instance, the destruction of the cold chain system and vaccine storage centres prevented the immunization of local children. To rectify this situation, an expanded programme for immunization (EPI) was established to aid children

In 2004, cold centers were first opened in the Chechen capital, Grozny, and in Slipsovskoe (Ingushetia). Over the next several years, similar facilities were established throughout every district in both republics. Nearly all 300,000 children among the local population were reached every year with the necessary immunizations. Medical staff was also trained to give vaccinations. This was done in cooperation with WHO consultants, and about 400 staff were trained to UNICEF standards.

© UNICEF / 2006 / А. Svirid

The Maternal and Child Health (MCH) programme was a second vital component toward improving health in the republic. This involved procuring equipment and essential medical consumables, like infant re-



suscitation and reanimation equipment, as well as syringes and bandages. A Mother Empowerment Programme was focused on families and communities with the intent to educate about correct practices in the rearing and care of children – how to breastfeed properly, better nutrition, hygiene, the need for vaccinations, how to recognize common childhood illnesses, and etc. Leaflets on these topics were distributed, and nearly 60,000 mothers were reached between 2002–2006.

© UNICEF / 2008 / С. Tsarnaev

A Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative was also In 2005, Young People’s Health and Devel- launched, and two hospitals were certified in the opment programme was launched to establish North Caucasus – one in Nazran and in Grozny. This youth friendly health services. Teenagers were the led to reduction of mortality rate among newborns main target, with emphasis on reproductive health, under seven days. including HIV prevention, promotion of safe sexual behaviour and abstinence. Medical staff was Immediately following the start of armed hostilities trained to work in youth clinics. Nearly 45,000 in 2000, UNICEF began its water and sanitayouth were reached in the republics of Chechnya, tion programme trucking water into Grozny, Ingushetia and Kabardino-Balkaria. especially for children in schools and hospitals. Almost 120,000 people were reached daily. EquipSince 2006, preventive health programme was ment – such as garbage trucks, water purification launched in Chechnya and Ingushetia; it focused units and water tanks  – were provided. In 2006, on four components, including de-worming, iron this programme was handed over to Grozvodkanal, deficiency anaemia prevention, vitamin A supple- the water company for Grozny. mentation and promotion of breastfeeding. Deworming activities were especially effective in ar- In addition, disinfectants and hygiene items were eas where children gather in large numbers. About distributed. Latrines were also built in local hospi90,000 primary school children were reached. tals, and supplies of soap, detergents, and cleaners were made. Iron-deficiency anaemia prevention was promoted among pregnant mothers by dispersing iron supple- From 2007 to June 2010, the European Union fiment tablets and training staff to work with these nanced the procurement of sophisticated mediwomen. About 45,000 pregnant mothers in Chech- cal equipment, as well as ambulances, for two nya were reached each year from 2006–2008. Also, hospitals in Chechnya, and one in Ingushetia. Hyvitamin A supplements were given to children age giene campaigns were also held, reinforced with six months to 5 years, reaching 102,000 children printing posters and brochures, which allowed for in Chechnya in 2007–2008. much of the local population to be reached. 



UNICEF IN THE NORTH CAUCASUS from challenges to opportunities

© UNICEF / 2009 / L. Ausheva

Khedi Bogatyreva K

hedi Bogatyreva of Ingushetia delivered her baby without any complications, but the baby was either reluctant to nurse or refused the breast completely. Having received insufficient amount of milk the baby would often cry. Emotional overload and sleepless nights brought Khedi to a state of physical exhaustion and depression.

One day Khedi’s friend, Aza, told her about the plenty of milk substitutes. Khedi decided to give it a try and watched how her baby emptied the bottle and soon fell asleep. In the next two months Khedi nursed the baby with both breast milk and formula. By the end of the third month the baby only drank formula.

When Khedi was pregnant for the fourth time, her husband learned that the central maternity hospital in Nazran, the Ingush capital, was accredited by UNICEF and WHO as a “Baby Friendly Hospital.” He decided their next child should be born there. Doctors explained to Khedi that breast milk has a unique composition that changes dynamically in accordance with many factors, including the baby’s age, climate conditions, seasons, and even light conditions. No formula can ever perfectly match breast milk.

During the pre-delivery stage Khedi received important recommendations on such issues as baLikewise the next two children born to Khedi start- sic breastfeeding techniques, proper breast milk ed off with breast milk, and in course of the follow- preservation, and a breastfeeding mother’s diet. ing three months were gradually transitioned to Health specialists explained how breast milk is formula. During winter the children often got sick important for growth and development of the with flu, but Khedi explained it by the local damp child. Khedi’s fourth child was able to benefit climate. She never connected the frequent sick- from this information, and she enjoyed much betnesses of her children to their feeding regime. ter help than her siblings.



EDUCATION — education for internally-displaced persons — improving the quality education — early-learning — inclusive education


hen armed conflict resumed in Chechnya in 1999, access to education for displaced children counted among the most serious challenges. This problem remained dire until 2005. In those five years, UNICEF helped to build and finance both temporary and permanent schools in Ingushetia and Chechnya, working with local and international NGOs.

damaged were renovated with UNICEF help. Supplies were also sent, such as books, furniture, stationery and recreational items. The reopening of schools was a critical moment to convince the remaining IDPs to return to their homes in Chechnya and resume their normal life.

In Ingushetia, for example, a programme called Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) School Assistance, built 59 tented schools, and also set up four kindergartens. In total, almost 12,000 boys and girls were given access to education that otherwise they would not have had. This programme’s main goal was to guarantee the quality of teaching, and a safe and proper environment for children. Material assistance included visual aids, furniture, water supply, hygiene items, as well as equipment for extra-curricular activities and hobby clubs. The next step in of IDP school assistance was allowing children to return to their home schools in Chechnya. As armed conflict lessened, many of the remaining schools quickly were overcrowded because others had been destroyed. Those schools that were only slightly

© UNICEF / 2007 / K. Omarkhadzhieva



UNICEF IN THE NORTH CAUCASUS from challenges to opportunities

During this time, UNICEF in accordance with its mandate provided support to the local government in reconstruction and rehabilitation of schools. Once the emergency was over, the main focus shifted to strengthening education ser­vices in Chechnya and Ingushetia. With financial support from the European Union, school laboratories and computers were supplied because schools often lacked facilities for physics, chemistry, biology, geography, and foreign languages. Provided items included fully equipped gyms, and training equipment to schools. Also, vocational training rooms were established to provide youth with skills that would later help them get jobs. The needs of pre-school education were also cared for as 70% of all kindergartens needed to be rebuilt or renovated1). In 2004, a new community-based model was set up for providing preschool education to children five to six years old. In Chechnya, the first 10 early childhood education centres were opened in cooperation with local governments and NGOs. A total of about 500 children were positively impacted and given a chance at early-learning. In 2006, the number of such centres increased to 40, helping almost 2,000 children. These centres were then handed over to local governments.

gramme first and foremost strives to integrate children with disabilities into mainstream schools, and to create an environment so they fit in and study and develop productively with other children. A pilot school was established in each of the five republics starting from Ingushetia and Dagestan and then extending to North Ossetia-Alania, Chechnya and Kabardino-Balkaria in 2008. Toward the goal of a friendly environment for disabled children, training was set up for teachers and psychologists to work with these children. Also, physical barriers, such as thresholds and stair are removed, ramps are built, and special furniture is provided. In cooperation with government partners and NGOs, efforts are made to explain parents and the community why it is important for these children to be included in schools. Breaking down stereotypes and prejudices is an important task because some families struggle to accept their children’s disabilities, while other parents don’t want their children to be in contact with them. Inclusive education will only achieve significant results if the government and community work together to forge a viable solution. 

Improving the quality of education by upgrading teachers skills has been one of the prime focuses in recent years. From 2006 to 2010, a special programme was implemented to help 4,000 teachers to improve their skills. The needs of the most vulnerable children were given the highest priority. In 2008, an inclusive education programme for disabled children and young people was designed and introduced in five republics. This pro1)

 UNICEF and Ministry of Education of Chechnya joint assessment of schools and kindergartens (2001 and 2005)

© UNICEF / 2008 / А. Khakiev



Arsen A

rsen Khubetsov was born prematurely in 2001, and spent several months in an incubator in the department for premature babies suffering from lung problems. When the little boy was allowed to leave the hospital and go home his head suddenly began to swell. The doctors diagnosed him with hydrocephalus, and all efforts to do correct the situation failed. Subsequent attempts over the next several years also failed to yield results, and his head ceased to grow only after an operation was done in Moscow when Arsen was 2.5 years old.

© UNICEF / 2010 / Z. Israilova

After that, Arsen continued to develop as most children, but persisting problems with stunted growth of his legs made going to school difficult. So his mother, Albina Khubetsova, a teacher in Vladikavkaz, did everything possible to create proper learning conditions at home.

Some time later, however, Albina learned that a school had been established in the North Caucasus by UNICEF with the facilities to meet the specific needs of children with limited abilities. “At first we were very nervous how the other children would react to Arsen, and how Arsen would react to them,” remembered his mother. “But our worries were unfounded, and in fact, the children received him very well, just like one of their own, and he made friends.” During his first year, Arsen was in a special class for children with limited abilities, but in his second year he joined classes with all the other children. “Since I began studying at school I have a dream – I want to become a scientist because I have learned many new interesting things about the world,” said Arsen. “I like school very much because now I have many friends, whereas before I just stayed at home and didn’t have contact with other children.”



UNICEF IN THE NORTH CAUCASUS from challenges to opportunities

PEACE AND TOLERANCE — social cohesion events — peace and tolerance curriculum introduced — peace and tolerance training for teachers and professors — networking and coordination with local governments


n the early 1990s, many children and youth in the region witnessed or suffered the consequences of violence, tensions and instability. Despite the improved situation, today there are still several potential or latent conflicts in the region that can cause new outbreaks of violence. Therefore, it’s important to take measures to foster and maintain peace in the region.

need to have contact with those representing other ethnic, religious and social groups.

From 2000 to 2005, effective coordination mechanisms were established between UNICEF and all relevant government ministries in the NC republics so that maintaining a high level of contact amongst each other they could function as a united front against similar problems faced by each. Since early Many children and youth have been stressed or 2005, UNICEF has taken the lead in promoting P&T traumatized, which increases the risk of developing anger, aggressive behaviour and hatred. As a result, many of them still do not travel far from home, and have little or no contact with children from other nationalities. In this environment, prejudices and stereotypes can flourish. Peace education and peacebuilding initiatives are essential to foster the development of culture of tolerance and promote the peaceful resolution of disputes and tensions. Also, the children

© UNICEF / 2009 / S. Kvasov



among the young generations in the North Caucasus. The Peace and Tolerance programme was launched with social cohesion events such as peace camps, peace rallies, and forums that involved almost 300 children from five republics, many of which were meeting others from a different nationality for the first time. Since 2007, peace and tolerance camps have reached almost 1,500 children, promoting among them the principles of non-discrimination and respect for diversity. A second component of P&T was the inclusion of peace and tolerance training courses in the programme of extracurricular activities of local schools. In course of the following three years, these have touched the lives of 20,000 children in 5 republics. The trainings present peace and tolerance in a lively and friendly manner to help the children to understand and internalize the principles of peace and tolerance of others, especially those from different ethnic, cultural and social groups. A third component of P&T, and the one that will certainly have long-lasting and extensive impact was to improve the existing educational system by training school directors, teachers and local trainers in the discipline of peace and tolerance. Some 3,000 education workers have received training within the framework of the programme. In 2011, similar work will begin with professors and staff at pedagogical universities in all the republics.

© UNICEF / 2009 / М. Khavtsukov

perts and young people from the North Caucasus republics. The summer camps, training sessions, and other meetings are not just one-time events whose effect dissipates once over. The passage of time has shown that these children and adults remain in contact long after they meet at peace and tolerance events.

In 2011, one goal is to strengthen the network of youth authorities and youth NGOs in the five republics that will continue the work for years and even decades to come. Raising children in a spirit of peace and tolerance should be one of the main responsibilities of the state and society, The Peace and Tolerance programme is unique in giving special attention to those who are most vulbringing together professionals, international ex- nerable. 



UNICEF IN THE NORTH CAUCASUS from challenges to opportunities

Tinatin Muzashvili T

inatin Muzashvili believes that a person’s life is like a book, and that an entire society forms an anthology. She hopes that her book of life will have an impact on the final shape and form of the anthology of her society.

In 2007, at the age of 16, she moved from the Republic of Georgia to North Ossetia-Alania. This new chapter in her life was certainly exciting, but also a reason for stress, apprehension, and uncertainty. Everything was new – a new home, a new school, and new friends. She described the period as “the most difficult of her life.’’

© UNICEF / 2010 / М. Khavtsukov

These changes, however, also offered new opportunities. One day she was introduced to a Peace and Tolerance programme offered by UNICEF. At first, she was rather sceptical, but in the end it changed her life. “If before I was full of complexes, after three years of participation in the programme I became a very active and confident person,” remembered Tinatin. She became a volunteer for the Peace and Tolerance programme, and found company and camaraderie with many other youth who share the same passion for establishing a more peaceful and tolerant society in the North Caucasus. “After participating in the programme, tolerance became my deep inner desire, and peace-making became an inherent part of my life,” said Tinatin. “The programme gave us hope and confidence that peace and tolerance is possible, and showed us how we can achieve it. The key factor is that we must all work together.” Tinatin now strives to change the world around her one step at a time. Maybe not everything is possible all at once, but every little step we take is one more step closer to greater harmony among people.



PSYCHO-SOCIAL RECOVERY — Beslan emergency response and counselling support — network of psycho-social recovery centres in Chechnya — psychological telephone counselling services in Ingushetia, Chechnya and Dagestan


ollowing the deadly siege of the school in Beslan, North Ossetia in September 2004 a multifaceted response was implemented to care for survivors and other victims. First, the initial immediate response was a rapid effort to provide medical supplies, including essential drugs and equipment in short supply at the overwhelmed local medical facilities. Over the course of the next 12 months, 2004–2005, educational supplies and equipment were provided to other schools in Beslan to accommodate the nearly 800 surviving children from the devastated school.

Therapy events were also organized, for instance, a photo workshop and exhibition to engage local children. In July 2005, 13 Beslan children, five of whom were former hostages, took a photography course and were taught to document life in Beslan one year after the tragedy. Over 100 photographs were chosen for a travelling exhibition later shown in Moscow and Bucharest.

Professional training was also a vital component. Together with the Wallenberg International University for the Family and the Child in St. Petersburg, as well as with support from the Broken Flower centre in Moscow, more than 300 specialists – psychologists, teachers, social workers, and docThe most extensive and vital component of Bes- tors – were trained. lan relief was implementing a number of programmes of psycho-social rehabilitation and coun- The Binonta family centre, which was opened in selling, which covered over 7,000 children and Beslan in 2006, provided counselling and psychoparents. Equipment and furniture was provided therapy services to former hostages, strengthento furnish the Psycho-social Rehabilitation Centre ing the protective environment and mitigating psyin Vladikavkaz. Similar support was provided to all chological trauma. eight schools in Beslan to open psychologist offices, and summer camps were organized for 350 In Chechnya, the psycho-social recovery children. programme was implemented in close coop-



UNICEF IN THE NORTH CAUCASUS from challenges to opportunities

© UNICEF / 2006 / А. Svirid

eration with local ministries for education, health, labor, and social development, as well as the republic’s parliamentary committee on family affairs. All these entities were organized into a steering committee to coordinate a two-tier psycho-social recovery network.

Another important psycho-social recovery project was the establishment in three republics – Chechnya, Ingushetia, and Dagestan – of a hotline services pilot project. In cooperation with the Institute of Psycho-Therapy and Counselling, Garmonia, staff was trained in St Petersburg. The local governments provided premises, and UNICEF The first level begins with school-based centers, equipped the centers. while the second tier is based on outside referral centers for trauma counselling. The government These centers are often literally lifesavers, helpprovided premises for the centers, and UNICEF ing those in need with various problems, such as trained the specialists. Between 2005 and 2010, in conflicts between parents and children, issues of cooperation with a local NGO, more than 70 psy- traditions versus modernity, the lack of opportuchologists from Chechnya were trained. nities for young people, gender equality, domestic violence and etc. This project has since been These specialists went on to staff 50 psycho-social handed over to the government and subsequently recovery centers for children opened from 2006 to integrated into the centralized system of hotline 2010. Another 100 young volunteers were trained services established at the federal level.  in psycho-social recovery to assist them. Today, this entire system has been incorporated into the Chechen social services network.



Maria O

ne day, eleven-year old Maria, (not her real name), walked through the door of the psychological cabinet opened with assistance from UNICEF. She soon began to tell her story of increasing inability to concentrate and study properly.

Maria, however, showed good results in her classes, and got along well with the other children. There were no apparent complaints or disturbing signs that might trigger warning bells among a psychologist. Yet, something was disturbing the child, and so here she was in the psychological cabinet.

© UNICEF / 2006 / А. Svirid

Maria attended both individual and group psychology sessions, and the worse seen in her behaviour was a degree of shyness, hardly something unusual in a child. One day, however, when Maria was asked to make a drawing reflecting her family life, she was moved to tears. The girl went on to explain that she hadn’t seen her mother in five years since her parents divorced and she was sent to live with her father. Compounding the situation was the fact that the father compelled Maria never to reveal that she didn’t live with her mother. She knew her mother lived in another city, but couldn’t understand and accept why she never visited. Without the work of the psychological cabinet Maria’s condition would most likely have gone undetected for many years, slowly festering and growing into fullfledged psychological troubles. Timely intervention by a trained specialist, with the help of professional methods, was able to detect Maria’s condition in time, and provide proper support. Work was also begun with the father. At first reluctant, he soon understood the benefit of the assistance offered and eventually agreed to regular visits between Maria and her mother. Several months later, Maria was active again in class, outgoing and full of confidence.



UNICEF IN THE NORTH CAUCASUS from challenges to opportunities

YOUTH DEVELOPMENT — youth centres — development grants for young entrepreneurs and NGOs — cross-regional youth steering committee — capacity building of youth authorities


lack of economic and educational opportunity deprives many youth in the North Caucasus of a chance for a better life. While 18% of economically active population of the region is unemployed with highest levels registered in Ingushetia (53%) Chechnya (42%) and Dagestan (17.2%)1), a large number of idle youth who see little hope in the future contributes to social instability and crises. In 2009, UNICEF launched a two-year project with World Bank support to help young people to develop practical professional skills, improve the quality of their lives, and encourage healthy and constructive behaviour.

cently seen a rise in violent outbreaks, especially among young people.

A second component of youth development aims to foster economic opportunity by issuing small grants as seed money for youth entrepreneurs. Grants in the range of $7,000 were awarded to 25 young entrepreneurs chosen from a total of 185  candidates from five republics, who are using the funds to start-up a business. Among the projects currently underway are those in agriculture and farming, such as starting up greenhouses; stone carving to create items for decorative use; promoting eco-tourism in rural areas in the CauIn November 2009, a pilot youth centre was casus mountains and teaching visitors about tradiopened in Nesterovskaya, Ingushetia in coopera- tional skills; and other businesses. tion with the republic’s youth committee. The centre helps youth obtain practical professional skills The programme is more than just disbursing money. such as knowledge of information technology and Local youth are encouraged to submit their ideas, foreign languages that can be useful to later find and consultants then teach and train them to creemployment. The centre, which is staffed by pro- ate a business plan and how to start-up a business. fessionals and specially-trained volunteers, also From among these projects, the best are chosen. organizes leisure activities and sports to promote healthy living habits and keep youth from risky Grants ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 were also activities. The Nesterovskaya centre was handed made to 16 NGO-winners in the five republics to over to the regional authorities, who continue to foster youth programming. The projects receiving minister and expand the programme. In December assistance include promoting volunteer move2010, a second youth centre was opened in the ments, leadership skills, dialogue between youth republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, a region that has re- and authorities, providing opportunities to young girls, providing new professional opportunities to 1)  The Strategy of Social-economic Development of the North Caucathe unemployed, and training young journalists. sus Federal District (NCFD) until 2025


A third component and the one with the greatest potential for long-term impact is building bridges between the various government ministries and agencies from the five republics responsible for youth affairs and social issues. Previously, these state institutions had limited communication with each other. Over the past two years a youth steering committee was established for the region, bringing together state youth officials from the five republics, most for the first time. These officials were given a chance to meet regularly and learn about common challenges, as well as to discuss and create durable solutions. Experts from Moscow and St. Petersburg held training seminars, and equipment was provided for the ministries. Officials were also trained in strategic planning. Finally, an international study tour was organized so that officials could learn from other successful experiences with adolescents and youth. In 2011, apart from establishing more youth centres in other NC republics and the expansion of small grants programme, efforts are being made with the local governments to strengthen a volun-


teer movement and foster cross-regional interaction through youth exchanges. 

© UNICEF / 2010 / М. Khavtsukov

© UNICEF / 2010 / М. Khavtsukov

© UNICEF / 2009 / М. Khavtsukov



UNICEF IN THE NORTH CAUCASUS from challenges to opportunities

Magomed M

agomed, age 26, is typical of many men his age in his home town in the North Caucasus. He wants a decent-paying job to provide for the family he dreams about. And like many people his age in the region, finding opportunity in today’s economy is difficult.

© UNICEF / 2011 / М. Khavtsukov

“Please excuse me for being a little sentimental, but I want you to understand why I need to open my own business,” said Magomed with a serious tone. “There’s a young woman that I want to marry very much, and according to the rules of my people, before I marry her I need to have my own house, and I certainly don’t have enough money at the moment.” Magomed’s efforts to work as a hired-hand barely allowed him enough to feed himself and his three siblings. When they got older and were able to work themselves, Magomed had a chance to put aside some of the money that he earned each month to use as capital to invest in his business idea. Aware of the demand from women for quality hair and beauty services, Magomed thought that opening such a salon would provide him with a strong and regular income to ensure prosperity. At that current rate of savings, however, it would take over a decade to have enough money for his business, and he couldn’t expect his beloved to wait that long, especially since her parents were keen to marry her off to a well-to-do young man. “Fortune then smiled my way when I saw an advertisement for a competition sponsored by UNICEF for grants to youths with business ideas,” remembered Magomed. “I realized that this was my only chance, and indeed, my business plan was accepted! And as soon as the equipment for my beauty and hair salon arrives, I know that my happiness will soon be coming around the bend!”



Funds Contributed by Multi-bilateral Donors (2000–2011) 14 717 539

European Commission (EC) EC Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO)

12 236 110


8 302 164


4 448 187

Sweden / SIDA

4 051 379

United Kingdom / DFID

3 868 652


3 383 384

World Bank

1 982 972 1 884 924

Canada / CIDA

992 550

Germany Denmark

512 340


330 580


222 360

USA / Department of State

100 000


35 359

Luxemburg Estonia

19 295


17 964


12 710 3 285

Czech Republic










Funds Contributed by National Committees for UNICEF and Other Donor Organisations (2000–2011) German Committee for UNICEF

5 053 996

Thematic Funds

1 434 304

UNICEF RF: Individuals and Companies

605 863

United Kingdom Committee for UNICEF

555 100

Dutch Committee for UNICEF

538 211

French Committee for UNICEF

379 683

Swiss Committee for UNICEF

330 123

Quatar Charitable Society

250 000

Ireland Committee for UNICEF

250 000

Italian Committee for UNICEF

243 635

US Fund for UNICEF

163 450

Slovenian Committee for UNICEF

81 445

Danish Committee for UNICEF

31 181

Luxembourg Committee for UNICEF

23 276

Lithuanian Committee for UNICEF


9 559 0










UNICEF IN THE NORTH CAUCASUS from challenges to opportunities

Funds Allocated to Programmes (2000–2011)



Health and Nutrition


Child Protection


Psychosocial Recovery


Water and Sanitation


Promotion of Peace and Tolerance

6% 6% 5%

Mine Action Youth Development

UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN’S FUND For over 65 years UNICEF has been advancing the cause of children across all continents. In 1997 the Fund started implementing its activities in Russia. Since that period significant achievements have been attained in support and protection of homeless children; prevention of HIV among young people; promotion of inclusive education. Many things have been accomplished, yet there is still a long way to go to build a better world for our children.


Address: 9, Leontyevsky lane 125003 Moscow, Russian Federation Tel.: +7 (495) 988 8818 Fax: +7 (495) 988-8819 E-mail: Web: UNICEF IN SOCIAL MEDIA:

UNICEF in the North Caucasus: from challenges to opportunities  

The brochure provides a summary overview of the UNICEF/RF Programme of Cooperation "Children of the North Caucasus" implemented from 1999 to...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you