Yesterday, I visited the Christina Noble Foundation’s clinic and ger village on the outskirts of the city. The Christina Noble Foundation is a UK based charity with strong Irish links. Christina lives in Lucan and was a street child in Dublin in her youth. The foundation in Mongolia is headed by Eamon Thornton, another Dubliner. He has been in Mongolia for the past eight years. All of the other staff are Mongolian.
I was really impressed by the work that is being done by the foundation. They provide services to hundreds of street children including a school, well equipped medical clinic, an education programme in the children’s prison and a team to tour the manholes providing food and clothing to children who live between the street and sewers. The Ger village houses about sixty children who have run away from home, were orphaned or have been abandoned by their parents. Each ger is headed by a homeless woman employed by the foundation.
Many of children were subjected to horrible abuse before they were rescued by the foundation. Three children were abandoned in the city dump and were covered in lice and scabies when they were found. Another boy was abandoned in the main market by his father. Many of the children suffer from the consequences of malnourishment such as rickets and short stature. Some of the children rescued by the foundation do very well. One is currently working as a translator. Another is at medical school.
In the evening, I had dinner with the new volunteers from the Phillipines and the Britain. They are about one week into their five weeks of language and in-country training. Most of the new volunteers will be working in the education sector. I am not sure if could make the commitment to stay for two years in Mongolia as they have.