Something very cool is happening, something I never expected but an so thrilled to report on....there is an echo boom of philanthropy in the countryside here in Mongolia. My good friend and Mongolian teacher Saraa (Standing beside me in the photo above....and Mongolian) and her husband Baagii ( you'll meet him in a minute..) have started thinking about the world in a whole new way. Saraa and Baagii run a small (wonderful!!) ger camp and horse trekking business ...www.horsetrekmongolia.com where I go riding every week. The International Equestrian Club ( fondly known as the riding club) has helped Saraa and Baagii and their neighbours tremendously and has allowed them all not only to remain in the countryside, but to thrive. This amelioration of their life has lead them to stop and consider their good fortune - and look at their other, far flung neighbours who have not been lucky enough to benefit from the riding club or the like....and, has made them want to spread the love and help their neighbours! It's a beautiful thing to witness! Saraa and Baagii have been involved on many levels with the foundation already - including helping us set up the Children of the Peak Sanctuary and running our annual fund raiser, the Gobi Gallop. Recently, after looking around and trying to decide the best, most sustainable way to help their rural neighbours, Saraa & Baagii came to me with a suggestion. "There are a lot of people out in the countryside just barely hanging on" they said... "why don't we help thembefore they have to give it all up and move into the city..and onto the dump! Even more, maybe we can gather them together, buy them a few animals and set them up in a business they all know well ....a farm!" Great idea ! I love it! And I love the the idea of helping your fellow man is spreading!! First things first though - let's just get them some warm clothes for Tsagaan Sar!
So, we bought a bundle of children's used warm jackets, had them washed by a local expat lady here,(thank you Joy!!) used some of the wonderful sweaters donated from Australia ( see previous blog... you won't believe how wonderful they are if you haven't seen them!) and I set about, with the help of Elaine and Sue - two tremendous volunteers really making a difference here in Mongolia - bundling up 80 or so bundles to give out in Erdene Zoum, a small town about 60 kms outside of Ulaanbaatar....all set up by Saraa!
Such Fun !! And it was so lovely to see how happy Saraa was to be instigating this wonderful outreach.
80+ kids, 23 families...like this one - 4 children, almost no animals left and the husband unable to find other work, they live on 80,000 MNT / month - family allowance. About $60.00 / month - and meat is about $6.00 / kilo. Very tough.
So sweet to see the happy smiles on the kids' faces!
These people are not used to people helping them and so it took them a bit to realize that we just wanted to give their children something warm and snug to help them through the winter.
And thanks to you too Sue!! And to your wonderful husbands who gave up their Saturday to come out and help us help these kids!
....with just some of the recipients!
...and why is it that the women always end up holding the babies..hmmmn...
.. I guess you could say look who's talking!
Saraa - having a blast!
It was nearly over and only had one problem... and we had not found a suitable recipient for this absolutely adorable little western fur lined jacket! Never fear...Baagii to the rescue! He saw that we were looking to find a LITTLE one for it, scoped out the crowd and took control!
Will it fit under that dell?
Yes it will!! How cute is that! ?? And how lovely to have another WARM layer under the dell! And how lovely to see Baagii get into the spirit of giving!
Thanks everyone! Another really wonderful day. I can't tell you how great it feels to be able to meet and help these people! After we had given something to everyone there, the local director wanted us to take our remaining 8 or so packages of clothes out to one of the poorest family in town - 3 women living with 10 children..in one ger.
This is the ger....inside wasn't any better. And yes, that door is a blanket. Suffice it to say that this week we are organizing another donation of clothes to this family - we found out that most of these ten kids aren't going to school because they don't have clothes - and food ( staples & meat), Boov, candy and tea for Tsagaan Sar. And next week Baagii and the guides he uses for his horse treks are going to help us out again. The Veloo Foundation is donating a fully decked out ger to help these ladies and, most importantly, the children out, and Baagii and his team are going to put it up for them. How good is that?!! So, once again, thank you all for your donations that make it possible for us to help like this...you really can't imagine the changes you are helping to make in so many lives here!!
Hello, my name is Julie and I am the Vice-President of the Veloo Foundation. Welcome to the Blog, where I will post new activities and events going on with the foundation. Enjoy!