Before moving to the ger village Nomin and her family’s situation was very different. They have experienced many challenges in their life together and are relieved to finally be in a safe and supportive environment where they can live free from fear, in warmth and peace.
Nomin’s husband died in 2014 due to ongoing alcohol abuse, a common problem among the poor in Mongolia. When he got drunk he used to become physically and psychologically violent to Nomin and her oldest son, often beating them badly in front of the younger children.
With nowhere else to go, Nomin felt unable to escape this controlling and destructive relationship and despite desperately wanting to leave she remained with her husband for many years.
After her husband passed away, the family lost their shed and were forced out onto the streets. Having a young family to care for and nowhere to go meant that Nomin had no choice but to take shelter in a stairwell of one of the city’s apartment blocks. The space was tiny and dark but Nomin did her best to make it feel homely for her children. She told us that no matter how poor you are you can always be clean and maintain your dignity.
During this time Nomin worked three different jobs to provide for her family: she was a caretaker for the apartment block, a cleaner at a nearby hospital, and a kindergarten assistant. Her work was physically tiring and paid very little but Nomin never stopped holding on to her dream to one day have enough money to buy a home for her children.
After living under the stairs for a couple of years the family moved into a shed belonging to one of their relatives. It was old, dilapidated, and provided inadequate insulation from 2015’s particularly harsh winter where temperatures regularly remained below -40°C. The conditions were appalling and lead Nomin to feel increasingly depressed and hopeless about her family’s future together.
It was around this time that CNCF met Nomin. When she came to our ger village she was in a state of desperation and it was clear to see from her tired, heavy eyes the hardship that she had experienced.
After getting to know more about Nomin our ger village manager felt that she could be a wonderful fit for our community. Her experience as a kindergarten teacher combined with her inner strength, warm heart, and high standards surrounding cleanliness were all qualities that could benefit our children and help to support our village.
After further discussion with other members of management the decision was made to ask Nomin if she would like to become part of our family as one of our ‘ger mothers’. Nomin happily accepted and moved into the village with her children immediately.
It has been wonderful to watch the changes in Nomin over the past few months and to see her and her children settle into ger village life so naturally. She takes her position very seriously and with great pride, paying attention to the children’s individual needs and always making sure that the village is a clean and beautiful environment.
Nomin is thankful that her children are now able to grow up in a positive, caring, and safe place where there is access to nutritious food, school supplies, and a range of enriching extracurricular activities. She believes that with these opportunities now available to them her children can grow up into happy and successful adults.
– Christina Noble