You're very welcome up at the Children of the Peak Sanctuary Kindergarten ...and now it's easy to find us!
Well, we made it! into the 21st century! Recently browsing Google Maps to give someone a map of how to get up to the Peak I realized that the satellite photo had been updated and now incudes an up to date shot of our facilities - including the 2 get kindergartens ( shiny metal roofs and all!) , The Foulger Pratt wing ( Blue roof and red roof for the kitchen!), the Brad Winters Community Library ( Dark Brown roof) and our 2 foster care gers and our security / guard house in the containers by the fence. This was hugely exciting news for me because it meant we could submit our location to Google Maps and have it available for people who want to search for us on the map by name! We just found out it's been added to Google Maps - how cool is that?! Now you can find us by typing in Veloo Foundation or Children of the Peak Sanctuary Kindergarten into the search bar on Google Maps and we can pinpoint our location and share it with anyone who wants to come up and find us - which means finding us is going to be a lot easier now! So, you have no excuses people - our volunteer programme happens every week on Fridays and our doors are always open for visitors. See you up there!
You know the one. That moment when the guy who has been dragging himself along in the dirt because he didn't have a wheelchair ....gets one. It doesn't get better than this people. Seriously. Nothing is better than this. Full stories of more distributions will be added to the post as we go along over the next few weeks. I just wanted to start your weekend off on this awesome note!
Bat-Erdene, a dedicated father and talented artisan and leather craftsman living in Ulaanbaatar has dedicated himself to his craft for years as a way to make ends meet. Not an easy thing to do anywhere . Really not easy to do in post Soviet Mongoia and particularly when you happen to be missing a leg and dependent upon crutches to get around. Not an easy thing to do in Mongolia period. Unable to afford a workshop space on the ground level he has spend years hopping down a steep narrow staircase to his workshop. Him making a go of it in a regular job was not much of an option. You see, in Mongolia being handicapped pretty much means that no one will hire you and if you are going to have a decent life you have to be a go getter. an innovator. An entrepreneur. And Bat-Erdene fits the bill. Quiet, and engaging his smile is quick and shy and when presented with a leather design challenge his head cocks quietly to the side as he mentally runs through the process , seeing in his mind the construction and finishing of the requested bag, belt, saddle bag or chaps ( yes chaps!) followed inevitably with the serious nod and a quiet " Bolon"..I can do that..
I have known and admired Bat-ERdene for 5 years now. He is a caring and gentle soul and has designed and made me purses, belts, wallets, saddle bags ( lots and LOTS of saddle bags for the Gobi Gallop) and hat bands ( remember the ..."Bolon"..) Recently this gentle, hard working entrepreneur has also become the most unexpected of all things a philanthropist.
He called me up when I was last in Mongolia and told me that he was dissolving his NGO which had been his way of helping his fellow handicapped people and being an engine for positive change in the community. Instead he was going to become a for-profit business. "Wonderful!" I said thinking that this spoke to a great move forward for his business. Then he leaned across the table and said "Julie, I have been making your Gobi Gallop sadldle bags and hat bands and I have been talking to Bayaraa and Miriam ( Foundation logistics managers) and I am so impressed with the work you are doing to help Mongolian Children. I have heard that you also are bringing in wheelchairs to help Mongolian handicapped people. You are a foreigner and are doing such great things for the children. I would like to help you help the Mongolian children."
Breathtaking. And very moving. I was so touched by his desire to help. He and his wife have worked and worked for years and now when they are on the threshold of making it, his first thought is to help us help the children. Of course, he doesn't have a lot of money to give straight away. What he proposed is that he give a portion of the profits from the sales of his bags to the Children of the Peak. It seems to be a model whose time has come. Like Horse Trek Mongolia and Art of Zaya, Bat-Erdene and his Morit Khas brand want to be part of the solution for their country, part of the answer to the question " How will Mongolia move forward?" It is really lovely- and we are honured to be a partner in this new approach to giving.
So, to help him (and the children) out, I have brought over a selection of some of his designs and with the help of a few friends we are showing them to shops and individuals who might want to become part of this movement to purchase responsibly and help the children through their purchases. Just one more way that we can help more and more people and spread the word about the plight of the children we help. SO....if you want a hand made, custom designed purse, wallet, or a camera bag, or a backpack, or chaps ( yes chaps!), hat bands...really anything made out of leather, I know where you can get them. And, if you know someone who has a shop and would like to participate in ethical entrepreneurial philanthropy, let me know and I'll put you in touch. It's a wonderful feeling, be part of an ever expanding team dedicated to making sure that we truly can move forward and make a difference...one child at a time.
In the meantime, just so you know what I'm really talking about - here are a few of his traditional and fashion forward designs....with prices. Oh, and yes, everything can come in every colour. Every colour...you're talking to a girl who has teal saddle bags that Bat-Erdene made for me! How fun is this!?
They're here!! Earlier this week the shipment containing over 300 wheelchairs and other similar medical devices that left Canada mid-June, arrived! It has now cleared customs and is on its way, with the help of the Mongolian National Handicapped Association, to help literally hundreds of handicapped people in Mongolia! This unexpected and unlooked for donation is changing hundreds of lives - and we're thrilled to be a part of it!
How this came about....
Just a few last thoughts...
This has been one of those things in life that comes without warning. Our work with the children and families at the garbage dump has brought me into many homes where handicapped people suffer in isolation. To have been able to make this connection between the donors and those in need across Mongolia has truly been an honour and I am grateful for the opportunity. I love that our work in Mongolia meant that someone out there knew about us and was able to bring our name forward as a partner for these kinds of shipments.
Future updates and details of some of the 300+ stories that this distribution will result in will be posted here as the stories unfold and while this may well be the only such shipment that we are ever able to coordinate and make happen, I am so happy to have been able to be apart of the chain that is making such a HUGE difference ...one chair at a time.
Hello, welcome to the Veloo Blog. Here we will post new activities and events going on with the foundation. Enjoy!