Before leaving on Holt’s inaugural Mongolia Heritage Tour this past summer, John Clark and his family donated the funds to build a new ger — a new home — for a vulnerable family living beside a garbage dump in Ulaanbaatar. Below, John shares what inspired his family to give, followed by a radio interview with the family who received a new ger.
The most memorable time for me on the Mongolian tour was being able to help a family in need of permanent housing in Ulaanbaatar.
Before we left for our tour, I was moved by the Holt video showing how others had donated funds to help build gers for needy families. I didn’t consider the expense. I felt we should do this.
I contacted the Holt representative in Mongolia, May Gombo. She not only arranged to find a family, but also was able to arrange for the purchase of the ger and furnishings. I was very surprised that she also was able to provide a day during our tour to actually build the ger. We were most excited to learn that our entire tour group was going to be able to help build the ger and meet the family who would soon occupy it.
It was an emotional experience to meet the family and their three youngest children. They were truly in need of housing and had been living in dire circumstances for quite a while. You could almost feel their joy. My wife became tearful when the interpreter told her the mother had been unable to sleep all the night before because she was so excited. The interpreter added that it was the first time in a long time that she had felt hope.
How often in our lifetime do we get a chance to give someone the gift of hope?
It was a very humbling experience. The family now had a safe place to live and they were now able to reunite with their 10-year-old daughter who was living to the north of the city.
It was a memorable experience helping to build the ger with some very experienced builders, as well as the family. I believe it will remain in the hearts and minds of the other tour members as well. Thank you to Holt for making this program possible and for providing social welfare support programs and financial assistance to the people of Mongolia. A big thanks to Paul Kim, May Gombo and all the Holt Mongolia staff for making this experience possible.
John Clark | Adoptive Dad
Listen below to a two-part radio interview with Ehkhjargal, the mother of three young children who received a new home from the Clarks. This interview appeared on KKLA Radio over the summer as part of a fundraising campaign for children who attend the Red Stone School — a Holt-supported school for children who live in and around a garbage dump in Ulaanbaatar.
As winter approaches, give a Gift of Hope in the form of a new home for a family in Mongolia, food and warm clothes for children living in orphanages in North Korea, or another critically needed item to help a vulnerable child or family survive.