Mongolia Care provides life skills training to prisoners in Ulaanbataar and Khakorim in Mongolia. This is particularly focussed on helping those with addiction (ie alcohol) and promoting self-esteem.
They also provide vocational training and transitional housing to in-mates when they are released. Mongolia Care runs several social enterprises:
- Chicken farm
- Water well
- Alcohol rehab
- Sewing project
Why are we partnering?
Mongolia has a population of about 3 million people. 50% live in the capital Ulaanbaatur and because it is surrounded by mountains the smog never clears. Smog from industry and burning coal and rubber for heating. Inflation runs at 50% pa. The traditional religion was Shamanism – worship of sky and nature, but today they are predominantly Buddhist. As it is landlocked and has little in the way of natural resources, it has very little profile on the international stage. It is the forgotten country.
Communism collapsed overnight in the 1990’s so the country has been trying to rebuild ever since. There are not many jobs there so unemployment and poverty are high. Especially during the winter it’s very hard for the men to get work as it is too cold. So they are idle and turn to drinking. The drinking turns to violence and they assault their wives or commit other crimes and end up in jail. Often wives kill their husbands in self-defence but end up in jail (for life) as a result.
What are we currently working on?
Life Skills: The life skills program teaches them a sense of self worth and encourages them to get off alcohol. This is necessary prior to teaching them a skill of earning money, so they can manage their funds appropriately.
Micor-loans: Boldo (left) was a professional cattle rustler. He had a team of people stealing and selling horses. He eventually got arrested and put in prison, and his wife left him. There he met Maspat from Mongol Khalamj (Mongolia Care) who taught him life skills and when he eventually got out of prison, Maspat and his wife taught him to be a baker. He then took that knowledge and started manufacturing Mongolian Dumplings for sale at the markets. He has now reconciled with his wife and has moved back in with his family.