Bayasgalant acknowledges with great satisfaction and joy the improved situation of some children and families since they received our support. It is very touching to see how even little support can make such a beneficial difference and improves their living conditions so much. It also proves that every donation helps.
Bayasgalant wants to look at every children and family situation individually because behind many children lies a difficult past. Sometimes it’s important to pay taxi fees to drive a handicapped girl to a therapy, or pay for school uniforms or grant microcredits. Whatever the support is, Bayasgalant expects self-initiative from the parents and their own ideas on how to improve their lives.
Being paralyzed and using a wheelchair in the outskirts of Ulaanbaatar is a very immobile life. Since birth 16 year old Uuanzezeg has been paralyzed and mentally handicapped. She is the eldest of four children and financially a burden to the family. They can’t afford to pay transportation to bring Uuanzezeg to therapy. The last time the girl has seen a doctor was when she was six years old. There are unpaved muddy roads in the outskirts and in winter there is ice on the roads which makes the use of the wheelchair impossible. The girl has never been able to go to school so she is most of the time stuck in the family ger.
Small effort, big joy
When our social worker first met her, she sat very uncomfortably in her wheelchair, which she had outgrown. So first thing she did, was to order a bigger wheelchair and to organise the necessary documents for Uanzezeg to be able to receive the government social support. Bayasgalant is also paying now for the taxi fees to bring Uanzezeg downtown to receive therapy. When they went the first time the social worker invited her to a coffee shop where she had her first hot chocolate and cake. Her eyes were shining and she couldn’t stop smiling while eating and drinking.
Now the social worker brings her once a week to the day care centre. Her favourite thing is to sit on the swing, flying through the air, which gives her the feeling of freedom she doesn’t know otherwise. She laughs aloud and doesn’t want to stop – no matter how cold it its.
Two girls are now seeing their mum daily at the day care centre. Their mum is part of the team who make sure the children get healthy and enough food.
We have known Dogi since the time of the former project of Bayasgalant. Her two children used to live in the orphanage. “Back then, I had nothing but an alcoholic as a husband at home”. The woman was happy to know that at least her children were safe at the orphanage. When the charity was reorganized we were looking for unemployed mums. A lucky strike for Dogi: “since I work here, my life changed to the good. I enjoy my work and earn enough money to take care of my kids and I’m part of a good team".
After a stroke back to work
Her life had been difficult for a long time. Domestic violence, poverty and then she had stroke and spent a long time in hospital. When the social worker visited her at her home and left some food the family was able to have meals for a few days. Sometimes Dogi found work for a few days but since the stroke she was slower and needed to rest more, she was always dismissed. Her husband had left her. Bayasgalant knew of her faith and wanted to give her a chance. “When I got informed that I can work here, I was so happy”, she beams. While she is talking about her past, there are tears in her eyes then she smiles and starts cutting vegetables for lunch.
Ganchimeg is a single mum since her husband had died many years ago. She used to live here and there, always depending on the goodwill of family or friends. Then Bayasgalant granted her a loan to buy an own ger.
Her two children Bilgun and Doljisuren lived in the orphanage of the former project of Bayasgalant. Both were good students but they moved so often it became difficult for them to attend class regularly. Our social worker and Ganchimeg discussed possibilities to improve their life situation. They came to the agreement that Bayasgalant would grant her a loan and instead of paying it back, she is working each Saturday at the day care centre and helps to bath the children or helps out in the kitchen. This is her way of paying the loan back. Bayasgalant makes sure she only does jobs which are not too demanding physically because of her delicate health. Ganchimeg is very happy to be part of the team and also to be able to give her kids a proper home.
But her health problems are worrying her. When we visited Ganchimeg one morning, she looked very pale. She hadn’t felt well since she was operated because of cervical cancer. She should rest but her daily life is hard. During the summer month she tries to sell cakes on the streets but during the cold season her poor health prevents her. Selling cakes is the only income she has.
She can’t relax because of her disease and she worries about her children’s future if something happens to her. She also needs money to buy coal and thicker felt-layers for the ger to make it winter-proof. Our social worker is visiting her regularly and is trying to take some of the burden off her.