About AAA

A brief history of the US-Educated Alumni in Azerbaijan

As a result of all the U.S Educated programs, the whole generation of the US-educated Azeri cadre developed in the country, working for the Azerbaijani government, NGOs, private sector companies, as well as international organizations. They possess necessary skills and knowledge to contribute to the development of the country.

Alumni of the US exchange programs have been networking and communicating with each other a lot but they have also made several attempts to unite under an organizational structure.

In 1996, the alumni of FLEX program established an organization called Azerbaijan International Youth Club (AIYC). This organization existed for a few years and conducted several interesting and fun activities, one of which was the joint summer camp for the Azeri and Georgian alumni. The club also had its own soccer team.

Another attempt to create an alumni association was made in 1997-98, when the Azerbaijan-American Alumni Association was established, but its registration at the Ministry of Justice was rejected and the organization slowly stopped its functioning.

The US-Educated Azerbaijani Alumni Association

The US-Educated Azerbaijani Alumni Association (AAA) is a non-governmental, non-profit organization that unites alumni of the State Department educational exchange programs in Azerbaijan.  The AAA was established in October 2003 by a group of US-educated Azerbaijani alumni with the aim of uniting all alumni of Azerbaijan under one umbrella and using their knowledge and skills to help developing Azerbaijan.

The organization is run by the board of 13 alumni, representing various State Department and USAID-funded exchange programs including FLEX, UGRAD, MUSKIE, FULLBRIGHT, PIE, TEA, Community Connections, Contemporary Issues, Humphrey, and RSEP. Up to date, dozens of projects have been implemented. They include public lectures, policy discussions, radio talk shows, publications of supplements on policy issues in Ayna and Echo newspapers, translations of books from English into Azeri, art exhibitions, movie nights, charity events and social networking events, regional seminars on the topic of "Education in the US", regional community projects, publication of the weekly newsletters for alumni.

The number of alumni in Azerbaijan has surpassed 2,000 already. Also, there are some people who individually have gone to study in US Universities. They are also AAA members.

Mission and objectives

AAA has the following mission and objectives:

  • Creation and maintenance of a platform for the US educated alumni in order to assist them to contribute and give back to the community;
  • Support democratization of the state and the community and development of civil society;
  • Engaging enlightenment of the youth from disadvantaged communities;
  • Promotion of gender equality and importance of education;
  • Engaging in charity projects for assisting disadvantaged youth and other vulnerable social groups;
  • Contributing to economic, social and cultural development of the regions;·
  • Conducting enlightenment and capacity building activities in the regions;
  • Supporting development of cooperation between the governments and communities of the US and Azerbaijan;·
  • Providing support to the universities and higher education institutions;
  • Assisting youth in determining career and study path.

Legal status

AAA was officially registered at the Ministry of Justice of Azerbaijan in September 2004 in the status of non-commercial entity.  The organization shares office at US-Azerbaijan Education Center launched in 2011 and official address is J.Jabarli str. 40, 2nd floor, AZ 1065, Baku, Azerbaijan.

Projects

Up to date, AAA has implemented dozens of the civic education, social, cultural, capacity building projects, more particularly following:

  • Increasing Alumni Impact in Azerbaijan – the project supported civic and educational initiatives of the alumni for community development;
  • Alumni Corps of Teachers – within the project US-educated alumni visited and stayed in the four underdeveloped communities and conducted English language courses in a community schools for a year;
  • Reach the Regions – in the framework of this project, the US educated alumni visiting the remote regions of Azerbaijan and conducts capacity building projects there;
  • Regional community projects – the alumni members engaged in volunteering activities in the local communities;
  • Policy Roundtables – AAA organizes roundtables with the participation of the representatives of the state authorities, civil society, international organization and experts on various issues related to the youth policy of the country;
  • Summer School for Students from Disadvantaged Communities – within the project a special 15 day summer school for the children and youth from refugee and internally displaced families on topics related to education abroad, girl's education, volunteering, project writing, etc.
  • "My success story" documentary project – this documentary is about four young people from the underdeveloped regions of Azerbaijan but they managed to study abroad and to build successful academic and professional background. The project is under implementation;
  • Preparation of Professional School and University Advisors – within the project a network of special school and university advisors were established and they consulted regional schools and universities on development of their education systems;
  • Support to Institutional Development of the Azerbaijani Universities – the project supports the institutional development of the universities of Azerbaijan;
  • Education in the USA – the members of the organization engaged in promotion study abroad programs in the regions of Azerbaijan;
  • Context Quarterly Alumni Magazine – it is a project which creates a platform for the alumni to express their views on social processes in Azerbaijan;
  • Baku Law Journal – quarterly journal project where the alumni analyzes Azerbaijani legal system;
  • Azerbaijan Business Case Competition – the competition among the students from both city and the regions of Azerbaijan;
  • Career Resource Center – the project which assists the youth in finding their career and study path;
  • Promoting Interactive Teaching through Alumni Teachers Network – within the project, the alumni teachers are visiting regional schools and enlightens local teachers on innovative methods of teaching;
  • Education and Career Fair – the project aims helping the youth finding the universities and job places.

 

The main funders of AAA are the US Embassy to Azerbaijan, IREX, the Youth Foundation of Azerbaijan, business community and etc.



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