Original Expedition Saray Orphanage Other Work Images of Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan and its orphanages were the driving force behind the creation of the Burnaby Blue Foundation.  The following words encapsulate the sights and sounds that Sacha first found in 2000. 

'The orphanage in Azerbaijan was undoubtedly one of the most shocking experiences that we had. It is home to 175 children all of whom have various, undiagnosed disabilities. There is no scientific evidence to prove a link, however the area was the heartland of the Soviet petro-chemical industry and discarded oil-rigs litter the shores. Factories and refineries remain as they were when abandoned and all manner of chemicals are still dripping into the earth. The level of disabilities as a result is certainly higher than normal.

The first overwhelming sensation was the noise – a truer representation of bedlam would be hard to create. The second was the smell. Unwashed bodies that had permeated into the building itself created an unforgettable moment in time. On our first visit we saw children carried by an arm and leg to rudimentary baths, for which read a bucket of water. We saw children tied to radiators, others rocking back and forth and others being able to move only by rolling down corridors.'

The story of Saray would not be right without mention of Mary Beth Foxworth.  Mary Beth is a truely unique and incredible individual who has given boundless energy, love and time to the children of Saray.  She has been the BBF person on the ground and without her, none of this would have been possible.

Since then much has been done and BBF is proud to say that it has completed much of the work it set out to do which includes:

        •     The almost complete revovation of the Saray orphanage
        •     Provision of heating in two other institutions
        •     Provision and renovation of boilers and water systems
        •     Creation of sewerage systems
        •      Emergency work (such as repairing a collapsed roof)
        •      Renovating classrooms


We are now concentrating on our work in Kenya, however Azerbaijan remains firmly in our minds.  We keep a watchful eye on Saray orphanage through our network of volunteers and are currently scoping the possibilty of funding an educational and development programme.  We hope that this might become a reality in early 2009.  Please look at our following pages for more information.

Nov 08 - MaryBeth has gone back on a visit to Azerbaijan and we fully expect her to come back with a host of projects for us to fund.  We know that there is a lot that can still be done and if we can again establish the right contacts through the International Womens' Clube then we will once again turn some of our energies to the disabled orphans of Saray and its sister orphanages.



£3,400 allows an orphanage to have electric hot water boilers

£400 provides a special needs teacher for 3 months

£50 provides disabled children therapy toys




 CIA Factbook - Azerbaijan

 Foreign & Commonwelth Office - Azerbaijan

If you would prefer to divert your donation to Kenya please e-mail us.