Blog → Mongolia: The Last Adventure of our Trip

Mongolia: The Last Adventure of our Trip

Posted Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010 at 2:03 pm | 1 Comment

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Well, well– they keep coming back!

Mongolia  in 2010 March-April 003Mongolia  in 2010 March-April 011Don't you wish you were here!


And so did the snow and cold. While everyone in the states is enjoying spring weather, we bundled up.

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But we continued on trudging through the snow to eat in Russian Restaurants.

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While Andrei was giving a week’s worth of welding and technical training to a Miller distributorship company, I found that the highlight for me was meeting with Father Carlos and touring the Don Bosco Education Center.

sewingI met teachers and students and was impressed with how hard they all worked. To be in this Technical School (preparing students for Carpentry, Welding, Computer/Secretarial, and Sewing/seamstress jobs) is considered a high honor and with a long waiting list, students WANT to get in and keep good marks.

Ulan Bataar’s population is exploding as citizens are moving from countryside. There is a high rate of unemployment and crime. So the skills which are provided by Don Bosco to these street kids are helpful in their survival.

A new program of housing orphans and preparing them for continuing education was started a couple of years ago. There have been problems with housing (as boys and girls MUST be on different floors and/or buildings). There have been problems with deciding how to receive these street children and orphans as the government has set up new procedures for distributing homeless children. But last year when Kim Kipp, BRAFF President, toured facility, they had about 6-8 kids in dormitory rooms without much of anything else besides food and shelter.

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The purpose is to give them the basic education and sending them to public school while receiving basic food and shelter. Hopefully they can qualify for the Technical School and/or other higher education. I viewed the new Living Area with TV, music, comfortable sofas and chairs and plenty of room for activities and games. Much of this was donated by BRAFF along with a separate room with multiple new computers/desks.

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Andrei, as BRAFF’s own personal camel, had lugged 2 large suitcases from the Kipp/Maggos families across the ocean and across Russia to Mongolia – filled with clothes for these kids – and what joy they had for Easter!

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P4045709Don Bosco as a facility is fighting quite a few obstacles such as zoning rules for building adequate housing for girls and boys, finding night staffing, funding the heating of buildings through the long, cold winters of Mongolia all while managing/staffing the Technical School which teaches over 400 students.

For these reasons and to continue our mission, BRAFF hopes to set up the new BRAFF’s BLESSINGS PROGRAM in Mongolia as follows:

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1. Sponsor up to 8 children at his facility who are considered Orphans by Mongolian Law. This means that Mongolia has expanded their definition of orphans much like Russia. (All of our Russian adopted children DO have some family or relatives (very rare to find a child with none) but parent rights had been lost or rights had been signed away or removed by law. In Mongolian’s recent past a child was considered an orphan only if abandoned and not claimed. Now the government has expanded that to include children whose parent(s) and/or relatives can not take care of child due to social problems (alcohol, drugs, abandonment, etc).

2. Fr. Carlo/Don Bosco Center would select the children for Sponsorship. They are not capable to take on mentally handicapped children even considering their strong desire to help all children. They would therefore like to use the current resources which now brings to them the children. It is not only the Police although NO MATTER how a child comes to them they ALWAYS coordinate the documents with the police. They know how to do this and they do everything according to the laws.

Within their current residents there are orphans that could be sponsored. Father Carlo was open to looking at children that could come from other facilities IF there was a reasonable logic why the child could not stay in that facility. But it doesn’t seem logical to move a child from one institution to another for no reason. The Center receives and wants children who have no other choices.

3. Don Bosco School would be happy to take on all accounting/reporting to sponsoring families on a regular basis established by BRAFF (I suggested quarterly??) This is easy for them to do as their teachers are already recording all grades, etc. The children also have English classes and they could be taught how to use the email systems so that eventually there could be direct contact with the families. The Center could also take photos and send with the report along with comments from the child.

4. Currently, The Center can only receive boys as the Mongolia laws say that to be co-ed you must have separate floors. This poses a problem now as the first floor of the building still houses the Carpentry and Sewing classrooms for the Technical School. There are beds available for additional boys now upstairs.The remodeling that was done this past 10 months is very adequate and there would be very little funds needed to add any new dormitories. The living area for the kids is warm and comfortable, the computer room very efficient and the sleeping rooms are clean and adequate. Together with the Center’s future reqeusts, BRAFF could make available “things” which they may want or need.

5. Sponsorship could include the costs towards food and lodging. Heat is expensive as is food and this subsidy is the most important. When BRAFF decides to do the project, together with Father Carlo – we could determine a monthly price that would help his budget and allow BRAFF to find families.

(Father gave me a basic budget for 30 children for one year – 20 mil Tugergs. This is for basic clothing and sundries only. It doesn’t include the costs for heat or food. Based on 1.450 T/$1 – I come up with about $1,700 per year per child?? Correct me Father Carlo if I am wrong!)

The Child could go to an outside school or attend their informal school to bring them up to date. IF the child show the interest and capability to go to their Technical School – than this would be possible to. All of these options would be determined by the School and their teachers.

“I can think of no better situation where BRAFF could trust that the best option is being done that will improve a future life of a homeless child.” Diane

With heavy heart and full bellies. (Andrei ate 12 Mongolian Traditional Boos while Diane had only 3!) We flew back to Moscow for one more trip to St. Petersburg and then homeward to Luck, Wisconsin!

One Comment on “Mongolia: The Last Adventure of our Trip”

  1. Choly on January 19, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    What a nice lady Diane for her mission. Hooray to Fr. Carlo who started working with these children who found love and care with Don Bosco School.
    More power to both of you. God bless.