Well, it's been nearly a year to get to this point, but earlier this month we finally opened our doors - officially! Now,thanks to endless hours of volunteer work by some very committed people, tons of donations large and small, every weekday, children of the Peak come to our centre for fun, friendship, lessons and, of course food. And let's not forget warmth...physical and psychological..and lots of it on offer to these very special kids!
It was spectacular to see the little ones show up - mostly all dressed in their Tsagan Sar best. This princess was the first through the door..and the first one to find out that every time you come through that door your hands will be getting washed! And yes, that is our fearless Executive Director Sue Crews in charge of hand washing...her talents know no bounds!
The first moments with the toys and new friends....
..and their new teachers! Huge thanks to Bayasaa and our other assistant teachers who stepped up and took the lead when our "professional" teachers promised by the government failed to materialize.
And huge thanks to to the rest of the staff who have been working long long hours to dot all the i's and cross all the t's. As you might imagine, it's quite the undertaking getting this working!!
...and not everyone appreciated the fact that they were lucky to be there!! This is our accountant Maagaa working well outside her job description!
As opening day wore on...lots and lots of joy started creeping in..
although we still had our tremulous moments...and one little girl who was coming completely unglued for a couple of hours and in the end could only be calmed by seeing her usual care giver...
...her big brother!!
He knew the secret to her happiness was at one end of a teeter totter! With info like that - the rest of the day was a snap for her!
And when the "dell" uniforms came out
...everyone took to them like a house on fire - even our little Munkhchimeg..."silver braids" is what her name means..and I think it is pretty apropos somehow given how wiry her wonderful hair is!! I suspect when we get our shower building built ( next big project!!) and get some shampoo into that hair it might settle down...maybe.
In the meantime, with a little help from the teacher, we managed to get a little control on that riot of gorgeous black hair! For a minute at least!
...I have to say I love these little dells that are serving as a warm layer of clothes and as a school uniform of sorts..and so, it turns out, do the kids.
The apparently multi cultural Tea Party..
We really only had one day with crying clients..and even at that there were only 4 or so that were serious about it. Most of the children were like this little one...delighted to be there!
The girls were in blue dells and the girls in grey....right? Right?? Well...ok, it took a couple of tries to figure it all out, but we have it working now!
Hair nicely calmed - or at least as close to calmed as it gets, Munkhchimeg skipped away...in stolen shoes! And yes, they were returned to their rightful owner but oh, what a wonderful Wizard of Oz moment! I kind of expected her to click her heels together and ...well..who knows?
Look what I got at school today mom!!
How great is this! Part of our hygiene initiative ( along with hand washing and teeth brushing) kids, adults, visitors, teachers...everyone wears slippers! Everyone! Of course...it does make shoe " borrowing" somewhat easier....but we're working that one out too!
One of our great supporters, Soyolbold who rode the 700 Km. Gobi Gallop to raise funds for the centre finally got a chance to meet the kids he was helping - only to find out that they wanted to steal his long hair!! It was so much fun watching him play with the kids and learning first hand that kids, even kids who work at the dump, are just kids.
So now the real work begins. For all of us. These kids will be learning about life, letters and getting on with others and we'll be working hard to raise funds and awareness to make sure the centre will be able to keep working ( and growing!!) for years to come. Wonderful, rewarding work it will be too, to watch these kids as they grow and learn and with confidence and skills the get from the Sanctuary move forward to take their place in the world. And it won't be on the garbage dump.
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!