The reason behind Mongolia's impoverished communities lies in the country's not-so-distant past. Following the fall of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, Mongolia struggled to transition into a free market economy. In addition, a series of natural disasters severely affected Mongolia's lifeblood — livestock and herding. Families began to move to the city, and away from the stability of their traditionally nomadic, rural and communal way of life. Instead, many families found themselves alone, for the first time ever. As they struggled to adapt, alcoholism increased, the number of single-parent households grew and many children ended up abandoned or homeless. Many of the families are living in extreme poverty.
You can support Mongolian families as they work to overcome poverty, rebuild their communities and provide security and education to their children. The majority of the families we support are single mother-headed families. The following programs are growing rapidly and transforming the lives and futures of thousands of children and families in Mongolia!
In impoverished urban Mongolia, orphanages are not just a place for children who have lost their parents, but a place where parents bring their children when they are unable to care for them — when they have run out of options and run out of hope. Whenever possible, we work to reunify children in orphanage care with their birth families, or with a loving, permanent family through adoption — all the while giving them the specialized, high-level care they need and deserve.
"I traveled to Mongolia for the first time in early 2001. We had begun our program in this amazing country the year before. We established a special baby care unit at the Infant Sanatorium called "Rainbow," providing nutrition, medical supplies and other needed items for 30 infants and toddlers, as well as conducting training for the pediatricians and caregivers on staff. I recall spending so much time with the children that some of them started calling me "aav" (the Mongolian word for "daddy") when they would see me. Mongolia is a country of great beauty, both in the majestic landscape and the kind and gentle spirit of the people. But is also a place of great hardship and need, with winters that drop to below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Because of the deep concern that the Mongolian people have for the welfare of their children, and the partnerships that we are able to nurture, our work has expanded — growing from serving a unit of 30 children, to a diversity of programs that now serve over 3,000 children. Even so, the need that remains is great, and there is so much more for us to yet do."
There are so many ways for you to advocate for orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable children in Mongolia!