Mongolia: Seeing Sponsorship’s impact firsthand – before and after in this community

By Mongolia Portfolio Advisor, Davis

I got to know Mandukhai, a sponsored child from Mongolia, through her Australian sponsor who I met at a World Vision event, where I was invited as guest speaker.

When I told her sponsor that I would be visiting Mongolia on a monitoring visit, she requested me to take a small gift to Mandukhai- and so I did.

I discovered that Mandukhai lives in the Selenge project – where Australians sponsor more than 2200 children. The project manager notified Mandukhai about our visit and it took us less than 30 minutes to drive from the manager’s office to her home.

When we arrived, we found Mandukhai preparing to go for her archery practice in preparation of the competition she had qualified for. She was among the top five children who were selected to compete during the Nadaam festival, a country-wide event held during midsummer.

After introducing us to her family, we walked with her to the training field as she discussed her passion for archery, her enjoyment of participating in project activities and the positive impact they’ve had on herself, her family and community. It was awesome seeing her hit bull’s eye target over 50 metres away. Her technique and composure was amazing.

Mandukhai and the other children in her community participated in various project activities such as the Vision Star art and music festival and the Good Will sports competition. Both have been organised with the goal of developing and rehabilitating the most vulnerable children - those living in poverty, those with disabilities, and those who have been orphaned or abused for example.

Mandukhai was among those selected to participate in the finals from the World Vision Seleng project where some of you sponsor children.

As a result of participating in project activities, Mandukhai and the children in her community have now gained confidence in expressing themselves in public, have higher self-esteem, have improved their social skills and feel healthier and more physically fit after playing sports.

She and most children can now make good decisions to protect themselves, manage emotions and communicate ideas.

 

Life before the project started

Before World Vision started the Selenge project, the community lacked safe and potable water, had poor health facilities, food insecurity, low agricultural productivity and high poverty occasioned by low income. With World Vision’s support through sponsorship, communities are now drinking clean water. They also have improved health facilities, and increased levels of income for households due to improved food productivity.

World Vision has strengthened household economic resilience and improved their financial management through facilitating community savings groups to encourage vulnerable families to build regular accumulated savings together. As a result, families, including those with sponsored children, are able to provide for their children and they have increased resilience.

I found out that there is an improvement in the quality of health services and community engagement to use the services as well. For example, I was able to see renovated child friendly spaces in the local health clinics and clinics now have necessary equipment. As a result, the community, especially mothers and children are able to access quick medical attention in comfortable conditions. It is also important to note that communities also made financial contributions to these achievements – as World Vision understands the need to ensure community members are engaged in the change process so they feel they can carry out this change even after World Vision leave.

Communities are now prepared

Environmental disasters are a reality in Mongolia, which is why World vision established a Disaster Risk Reduction program. The Selenge project, where I met Mandukhai cooperated with the Local emergency agency and facilitated earthquake preparedness training for school children and the wider community. As a result, communities, including children, feel they know what to do in case of a disaster.

It was encouraging to witness the change in Mandukhai’s community, I’m glad I had the opportunity to visit her and see firsthand what World Vision is able to achieve because of sponsors like you.

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