Needing some October inspiration? Look no further, this magical young lady’s heart-warming story will make you stop and think about life.. 20-year-old Sarnai* came to our Blue Skies Ger Village in 2007 when she was just 9 years old with her then 3-year-old brother.
Sarnai and her brother used to live with her mother, grandmother and uncle, all of whom were serious alcoholics who had lost all drive and enthusiasm for life. After drinking heavily one night, Sarnai’s mother beat her badly because she hadn’t cooked dinner for them - this is one example of the sort of life her brother and Sarnai were living.
One evening their home was set on fire; their mother managed to get everyone out except for her own brother, Sarnai’s uncle, who was killed. Sarnai’s mother was sentenced to 15 years in prison for murder and for two years their grandmother raised Sarnai and her brother.
Their grandmother worked as a street cleaner, she used all her income on buying alcohol.
The drinking got worse, Sarnai said there were many days when she had to calm her brother and take him to bed in a noisy house where the grandmother would stay up late drinking with her friends.
This heartwarming personal account was written by one of our former ger village children, Tsendee*. After living at the village for seven years Tsendee is now living a happy and independent life as a young adult. We are all incredibly proud of the beautiful person she is and the hard work and commitment she is putting in to achieving her dreams.
"Before arriving at the Foundation I used to live with my mother and stepfather in very hard conditions. Life was extremely difficult for me at this time. I was not happy at home and at school I was the shy, unconfident student who rarely spoke.
When I was eleven I went to live at the Christina Noble Children's Foundation's Blue Skies Ger Village. I had never been around so many other children before and especially not in one place where we could play together and really enjoy ourselves.
The ger village is home to lots of kind, polite and neat children and in no time I adapted to my new surroundings to become one of them. We all strived to uphold the ger village name by making accomplishments at tournaments and competitions.
In 2013 five-year-old little Bagi* was brought to live at the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation’s Blue Skies Ger Village. She arrived with her six-year-old brother, Gonchig*, after they were found begging for money on the city streets.
For these two young siblings life had been extremely difficult; they had spent their earliest, most vulnerable, years growing up without any proper parental supervision, with only each other for love and protection.
Amaraa* was only three-years-old when she was found living on the streets with her five older brothers. Up until then her childhood had been shaped by abuse, neglect and loneliness; she had never known unconditional love and protection. Both of her parents were heavy alcoholics and unable to provide any sort of stability for their children. As a result Amaraa and her brothers grew up fending for themselves, living in-between different relatives’ homes and in makeshift shelters on the city streets; during this time Amaraa was a victim of intrafamilial sexual abuse. This traumatic experience left Amaraa feeling isolated, fearful and untrusting of the world around her.
We met ten-year-old Gereltungalag* in 2014 when her mother, Ariuntsetseg*, enrolled her on the CNCF Child Sponsorship Programme. For many years this brave woman had struggled to provide for herself and her two children – Gereltungalag and her younger brother, Anand.
Sadly, Gereltungalag’s father left his family shortly after she was born. Ariuntsetseg remarried and gave birth to Anand, but his father also abandoned the family and neither man has kept in touch with or supported them. The money from Ariuntsetseg’s salary combined with the CNCF sponsorship money just about covers the family’s costs for food, electricity and basic needs, however on this income owning their own home would never be more that just a dream.
17-year-old Tsatsral* had been living under intolerable conditions for many years. Tsatsral, her sister and their 55-year-old mother were living with Tsatsral’s two uncles in a small ger belonging to one of the uncles who is unfortunately – like many Mongolian men living in extreme poverty – an alcoholic.
The other uncle has a severe learning disability which means he needs nursing care at home. Tsatsral’s mother, Uyanga*, has an acute kidney disease and also suffers from high blood pressure and depression, and so is unable to work.
Reflection by CIS Student Vivian Gu
From the 27-29th of September 2016, seventeen Hong Kong students aged around fifteen to seventeen, plus three teachers, spent three days in Mongolia alongside the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation to help children in need. Our school has been organizing this trip to Mongolia for several years now, with the intention of not only exposing students to Mongolia and its culture, but to make us aware of hardships that some Mongolian children endure and give us the chance to improve their lives in any small way that they can.
We are happy to say that after what we have heard was an incredibly eventful Noble Challenge all twenty-four adventures arrived safe and well, although some slightly bruised(!), at our Blue Skies Ger Village on Saturday.
The team was greeted by lots of smiling happy faces and a traditional Milk Welcoming Ceremony to show love and gratitude to our international friends who have shown such care and commitment towards our work with the children.
Upon their arrival the group were led into our main ger where they were given a brief talk about our Foundation’s programmes and an insight into the tremendous role their fundraising efforts will play in helping us to continue to give some of Mongolia’s most vulnerable children back their childhoods, and the necessary tools for a happy, self-sufficient and fulfilled future.
Recently, we sent 10 pieces of powerful artwork created by our children from the Blue Skies Ger Village, Child Sponsorship, and Boys’ Prison programmes across the world to America to be part of a CNCF Fundraising Event. Our talented young artists' work will be part of a silent auction alongside photographic images of Mongolia kindly donated by professional photographer and long-term Foundation supporter Barbara Moore.
70% of profits made from the sale of our Children’s art will be put into their personal savings accounts and used towards their further education, helping them to realize their life ambitions. This will be an incredibly rewarding experience for our young people, empowering them to play an active role in changing their circumstances and breaking the cycle of poverty. The remaining 30% along with all other funds raised from the event will go towards our projects in Mongolia and continuing to improve the lives of some of country’s most vulnerable children.
In the Field