Nomin’s husband died in 2014 due to ongoing alcohol abuse, a common problem amongst 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 three younger children. At this time the family lived in an old shed that the husband used for his carpentry work. The space was cramped and run-down but provided some form of security, and protection from Mongolia’s notoriously harsh winter months.
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 four children 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 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 a 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.
She explained to us that in the past when life was extremely tough for her and her family, she used to tell her children to close their eyes at night and dream about their biggest wish. Since living at the ger village Nomin's son has been taking part in art classes and we are planning to display his beautiful work in an exhibition at the end of the year. Recently he said to his mother 'Mummy, my dream came true. I always imagined that one day my art would hang in an exhibition for everyone to see. Now that it has come true do I need to think of another wish?'
As the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation’s mission is to help families lead independent lives wherever possible, we intend to give Nomin a Ger through our ‘Give-a-Ger’ Programme at the end of her two year contract with us. Our team feels privileged that with the love and support of our donors we are able to help fulfil Nomin’s dream to finally have a home of her own.
Find out how you can support families like Nomin's today at www.cncf.org/imatter. You can help to give those desperately in need, a brighter and safe future. Because Every Child Matters. Our promise to you - 100% of your support will go directly to our childcare services.
*Names and identities of those pictured have been changed for protection