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AX-22100 Mariehamn, Åland, Finland
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2. Center for girls in Azerbaijan

Six Girl Group leaders from Baku, Azerbaijan and the chairwomen of the Azeri women’s organization Yuva had the chance, during a five-day study-visit from 13 to 17 October, to discuss the joys and challenges of working with Girl Groups with colleagues from Lithuania. With the support of its local Lithuanian partners the Åland Islands Peace Institute organized the study-visit as part of the project “Open Doors”. The Peace Institute’s project staff Sarah Stephan and Justina Donielaite accompanied the visit.
Within Open Doors the Yuva has founded a youth center for girls in Baku, where currently ca. 10 Girl Group leaders are actively engaged in Girl Group activities. In Vilnius they participated together with three colleagues from Kaliningrad/Russia in a deepening training led by trainers Ruta Zitkiene and Daiva Sabuniene.

Simple Picture Slideshow:
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AzerbA method manual on the Girl and Boy group method has been published in Azeri within the project Open Doors, which is run by the Åland Islands Peace Institute, together with partner organization Yuva in Azerbaijan. The publication is written by gender consultant Mia Hanström and is a forerunner in highlighting gender perspectives in youth work in a publication in Azeri. The Method manual is based on previous Russian, Swedish and Lithuanian versions written by Mia Hanström in the framework of various co-operations between the Peace Institute and its partner organizations. The Azeri method book is now used as guide for the girl group leaders who are active at the center Open Doors in Baku, Azerbaijan. The project Open Doors, and thus also the publication, is funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and Emmaus Åland.


Suheyla, Rena and Ulrika in discussion about women's roles in Azerbaijan and about the nordic Gilr and Boy group method. 

The Peace Institute’s first long-term project with Yuva, a women’s organization in Baku/Azerbaijan, officially started on October 1, 2011. Yuva is, just as the Peace Institute, a non-profit, non-governmental organization that promotes the rights of women and  the participation of women in decision-making process on all levels of society. The project centers around the Nordic Girl group method which shall now be introduced also in Azerbaijan. The Peace Institute will support Yuva in establishing a girl club in one of Baku’s most disadvantaged districts, where Yuva will offer meaningful after-school activities with a feminist perspective. The Girl Group method will be part of the activities offered, as well as IT and English courses, which right now are extremely popular among the youth of Azerbaijan.

The project is financed by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and Emmaus Åland. 

Impressions from the fourth project visit to Azerbaijan withi the project Open Doors, May 2013

Az_OpenDoors_2013In the neighborhood of Ahmedli, a few blocks away from the last metro stop, far off the glittering lights of Baku’s city center, the women’s organization Yuva runs “Open Doors”, a youth center for teenage girls. The center is supported financially and conceptually by the Åland Islands Peace Institute and opened its doors for girls living in the adjacent apartment buildings almost exactly one year ago, in May 2012, and is today a popular meeting place for girls and young women.