Since its inception in 2001 Mongolia’s Give-a-Ger Programme has helped to empower nearly eight hundred and fifty families in desperate and hopeless situations by providing them with a safe, functional and beautiful new home of their own.
Temujin* is a seven-year-old little boy full of energy and life. He has two older brothers, one older sister, and one baby sister who Is just ten months old.
Life has been tough for this family of seven, who moved to Ulaanbaatar from the countryside four years ago. Temujin’s father and mother, named Myagmar and Anujin, would collect pine nuts from a nearby forest and earned just enough money to survive. In search of a better future for their five children, they made the brave decision to move to the city and start a new life.
Having arrived in the city with expectations of abundant work opportunities and easily available housing, the scarcity and hardship that greeted them was a shock. Lacking many of the necessary skills and qualifications for city employment, Myagmar and Anujin quickly had their dreams of a better life shattered and were forced to confront the reality of the struggle that lay ahead.
After weeks of searching Anujin eventually found work as a cleaner in one of the city’s apartment blocks. The work was physically tiring and paid very little but with no other options available to them Anujin gladly accepted the job and the family took up residence in one of the apartment’s stairwells.
The space was dark, unhealthy, and too small for even one person to live, never mind a family of seven. Unsurprisingly the appalling conditions took a toll on the family both physically and mentally, leading them on a downward spiral of depression, bad health and diminishing optimism.
Sadly the family’s fortune only got worse when complaints from apartment residents about noisy children lead to Anujin losing her job and the family being forced out of their makeshift home. Unsure where to go, the family was scared and desperate, and with only $60 of government support per month to share between them, finding a new place to sleep wasn’t easy.
Eventually the family found some relief taking shelter in a tiny rented dormitory on the outskirts of town. The cramped nine square meter room remained far from what Myagmar and Anujin had once envisaged for their family’s future, and despite their continued love and strength, dreams of a better life seemed desperately out of reach.
It was during this time that they heard about CNCF’s ‘Give-a-Ger’ programme, which although seemed like an unrealistic fantasy, did offer a small glimmer of hope for what otherwise felt impossible to achieve: a home completely of their own.
Upon application our social worker team went out to visit the family’s home and evaluate the severity of their situation. Immediately they were struck by the family’s terrible living conditions and the parents’ deep longing to provide a better life for their five children. The love between them was clear but so too was the poverty, desperation and struggle.
After discussion among the team a unanimous decision was made to help the family by giving them a warm, safe and beautiful new home. The family couldn’t believe it and it was clear to see from their faces that receiving such kindness without expectation of anything in return was a new and bewildering experience.
On the day we arrived to erect the ger, Myagmar, Anujin and their five children were eagerly waiting at their new plot of land, bursting with excitement and enthusiasm to embark on this new chapter; a chapter filled with possibility and hope.
Our social worker team, the ger construction company, and all of the family worked together over the course of the morning to put up their new home, and within a matter of hours the destiny for seven deserving people, simply in need of a little bit of help, was transformed forever.
The gers given by the Foundation on behalf of our donors are of the highest quality. Temujin’s family’s ger is a 4-section ger and came complete with two sofas with expandable beds, cushions, table, chairs, kitchen unit with sink, large wardrobe, chest of drawers, mirror, and the all-important ger stove which is used for both cooking nourishing meals and keeping the family warm in the harsh winter months.
As is always the case when we give a ger to a family so desperately in need, it was a truly special and heartwarming experience. To see newfound faith alight in such tired and broken eyes was beautiful to watch, and is the essence of what our Give-a-Ger Programme is all about.
Since receiving their new ger the family’s luck has continued to grow. Myagmaa has found work on a nearby construction site and now – with a safe and secure home and a steady income – their lives are beginning to blossom into the vision they had once dreamed of.
Through the love and kindness of just one caring donor, this family’s whole world has changed. They are finally able to embark on a new and beautiful journey together.
*Names have been changed for the protection of the children and their families
By taking away the enormous pressure of surviving without the most basic necessity – a home, we offer the whole family a platform from which to flourish, freeing their energy and minds to embark on a rewarding and constructive future, one where the parents are happy and the children are able to go to school.
It is with thanks to the love and support of all of our donors that we have been able to give hope back to these families and set them on a journey towards a beautiful and bright future.
We currently have a waiting list of eleven families urgently in need and who are hopeful that someone, somewhere wants to be the person to change their whole world.
One person can make a big difference. YOU can be that one.