Postcards from the edge

Postcards from the edge
Tales of (mis)adventure from abroad

Mongolia (completed)

Location: Muren, Mongolia

Date: June 2009-August 2014

Context: The harsh living conditions of northern Mongolia leave many destitute children and mothers to fend on their own. Some parents are unable to properly care for their children, who then stray away from school and fail to attend classes. Some of these children along with orphans in the community get involved in crimes such as petty theft, alcohol and drug use. The lack of social services means that children and women caught doing anything illegal are sent to the only jail in the province, where they spend their days in small dark and cold cells, eat noodle soup once a day, sleep on wooden planks on the floor, share the showers and bathrooms with the male prisoners and are involved in hard labour.

Primary goal: To improve the immediate living conditions and security for the children and women prisoners by renovating their cells, installing private bathrooms, as well as setting up a prison garden to improve nutrition and give an alternative to hard labour.

Secondary goals: To work on preventing repeat offenses by child prisoners by renovating an unused prison office into a classroom which will be used to provide them with literacy, mathematics and civic education.

Fundraising Goal: $5,500

Fundraising methods: (1) Sale of adventure film about a 5-week horseback and walking expedition across the Siberian Taïga. (2) Conferences and various fundraising events by volunteers.