‘Elderly people have to feel like an active and important part of society’

The Agency for Sustainable and Operative Social Provision (DOST Agency) is a public-legal entity under the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Population of the Republic of Azerbaijan which provides the population with the accessible modern, operative, and electronic services offered by the government. The agency provides 154 social services in 10 different realms through the network of DOST centres. The mission of DOST is to improve the well-being of the population, increase public care for vulnerable groups of people, implement innovative solutions to ensure this and achieve citizen satisfaction following equality, transparency and accountability.

Farid Mammadov, Chairman of the Board, told us about their project ‘Building society for all ages: promoting wellbeing of the elderly persons in Azerbaijan through an active ageing.’ At the core of this project is the dedication to helping older persons not lose their sense of value to the world. Elderly people have to feel they are an active and important part of society. Under the project, 1050 elderly people were provided with counselling in their social services entitlements, and trained in the use of new technologies to ensure they could have access to the most reliable and current information on care options and services.

Another element of the project involved 46 older persons creating training videos for 1000 young people so that they could pass on their wisdom. Training videos varied from knitting, cooking and tailoring to history, career development and motivation. These trainings built a bridge between the two generations, giving the older generation a greater sense of purpose, while also benefiting enormously from the project's social aspect.

DOST told us that ESN is an internationally recognised organisation having many professional members, its help and support to them is quite influential. Meetings, trainings, webinars, events, projects, and awards organised by ESN provides a chance to learn various practices and experiences and make new connections.’