August hay month!

Summer 2023

 

August hay month! Myrzabeck Huan is haying on last year’s fenced and prepared communal grassland. He is 26 years old and lives with his parents and four sisters between the two nearest villages, near the mountains. His family is selected to farm and harvest the grassland with twenty other families. Myrzabeck is helping his family preserving the traditional shepherd culture and getting a better income so that in the future (the children of) siblings – who do not want to become shepherds – can go to study.

The life of a shepherd is hard and challenging in the extreme Mongolian climate where many animals die every winter from cold and malnutrition. Animals are the main source of income for shepherds and nomads; they provide milk, meat, and their skin is used for (wool and felt) clothing and insulation material. Myrzabeck is hard at work, and the freshly cut grass is transported on camels to his parents’ house. It is going to dry there and will be given to the animals in winter when snow has covered the area and the animals cannot graze. Communal grassland is very important for people ànd animals’ future!

Ben walks the Nijmegen Marches for preschoolers

June 2023

Hello, my name is Ben, I am 13 years old and I live in Nijmegen Lent. Last year I walked the Nijmegen Marches and participated in the Marches Sponsor Run. Money was raised for a vegetable greenhouse then. That was a lot, more than 1600 Euro, I was super happy with it!

This year I want to raise even more, my goal is 2000 Euro. If we can achieve that, I will be extremely grateful to you for supporting me and the children of the steppenomads. This time I am running for a kindergarten in Ulaankhus who need cots and blankets for the toddlers’ afternoon nap. As you can see they are lying on the ground without cots, although on a thick mat but of course a cot is much nicer. They also need more toys.

Will you sponsor me and the toddlers? please click the donate button below!

This year we are not doing it through the Four Day Sponsor Run because last year it took a lot of time and headaches to get the money transferred to the foundation. What went wrong we don’t quite know, but we are now doing it through the donation page of this website https://steppenomadenmongolie.nl/doneren/. This was set up especially and temporarily for my sponsored run, so you can be sure that your contribution goes directly to the preschool. And absolutely awsome: Soon the foundation will enter into another cooperation agreement with Wilde Ganzen. That means that any amount you sponsor me with will be doubled by Wilde Ganzen!!!

I will walk 30 km each day, 4 days from 18 to 21 July, wish me luck!

You can contact me via mail@steppenomadenmongolie.nl – 

10 June 2023

Lena, the director of our partner organization, was in the Netherlands!

We were very happy to see her again. With her and her fellow board members of Source of Steppe Nomads Mongolia we have a long-term relationship based on trust, equality and friendship.

The timing of her visit couldn’t be better because we are in talks with Wilde Ganzen about a multi-year program aimed at community development. Linda van der Hoek, project advisor at Wilde Ganzen, sacrificed her Saturday afternoon to receive our chairman Haaije with Lena and to talk about the content of the program and the support of Wilde Ganzen. We hope to start the collaboration with Wilde Ganzen soon and to once again be able to contribute to the development of sustainable and resilient nomad communities in Mongolia.

After the discussion with Linda, Haaije and Lena managed to visit Haaije’s mother Sietske Haisma, the wife of our founder Geert Postma, from whom Lena received a lot of advice in the first hour of her appointment as director and who she ‘second father’ ❤️

Projects visit

October 2022

Our chairman Haaije Postma – with ambassador Tamar Valkenier and volunteer/son Tom Postma – spent more than a week in our project areas in Western Mongolia and was able to observe the status of the projects. Of course he had the opportunity to speak with board members of our partner organization, with implementers of the projects and of course with stakeholders. Lena, the director of our partner organization, showed them around and did the translation work from Kazakh and Mongolian into English. It was a busy program, below a summary of all visits and meetings.

  • province capital Ulgii:
    • dentist Dagvaa receives the mobile dental chair from the Dhampus Foundation in Nijmegen; this can be used well during the dental camps at the (nursery) schools
    • the center for vocational and vocational training; the only one in the entire province of Bayan-Ulgii. Here are the following crafts to learn; plumber, electrician, car mechanic, machine operator, seamstress, woodworker. An extension of training courses is planned in the same centre, unfortunately no expansion (an annex) to a district within the province is (yet) being considered

  • district town Ulaankhus
    • joint piece of land belonging to two families who have been able to set it up for growing (animal) grasses. These families lost their land during the mudslide that hit Sogoog in 2020
    • the Mongolian and English language and training center; there is still a need to expand and a proposal will be made in November
    • the recently added part of the hospital; the hospital has been renovated and looks very good and we were asked for a budget for the construction in the project application of 2022, but we were unable to grant
    • a family vegetable garden and greenhouse that we also visited in 2019; a diligently working man and woman, originally from Dayan, who have come to (the city of) Ulaankhus after losing their animals in winter. They have received financing for this vegetable garden and greenhouse, and have planted another twenty young sea buckthorn trees. The man proudly showed his sizeable potato harvest
    • kindergarten in Ulaankhus; former director and board member of our partner organization, Aigul, is again director (this happens in Mongolia after political party changes in the government). the building and the furnishings look orderly and neat, and the vegetable greenhouse is in good condition. A new building for 100+ toddlers is being built, which means a considerable expansion of capacity. There is also a kindergarten annex built on the north side of Ulaankhus. It was commissioned last year and looks very good.
    • the communal field, co-financed by the community development project with Wilde Ganzen; the field (about 12 hectares) is located about 5 kilometers from Ulaankhus, in the direction of Sogoog on a bend in the Khovd river. It looks very good; the iron posts are all anchored in concrete and fitted with barbed wire. They also have good ideas about the irrigation of the area.

  • nomadic community Dayan (district Ulaankhus):
    • the pilot vegetable greenhouse consists of a double-walled inner wall, an insulation layer and a concrete brick outer wall. The soil in Dayan is very fertile, and despite the cold (around freezing point) growth can still be observed. The plants have a high yield (15-18 kg cucumbers) per plant. Diluted horse and cow manure is used to spray the plants and thus keep them free of insects. This seems very effective. A second vegetable greenhouse was built this year.
    • The production and problems of (cashmere) wool were discussed. People are now dependent on a dealer who may or may not come to buy it up and in the future they would like to process the wool (not cashmere) into semi-finished products or even end products for insulation material/inner lining of gers, for example.
    • the animal stables financed by us (some in collaboration with Wilde Ganzen look identical in construction and design. Materials are becoming more and more expensive. Horse manure is used as feed for the goats and sheep.

  • in- and around Sogog (district Ulaankhus):
    • vegetable harvest of potatoes and turnips by four and five year olds from the Bal Bobek KG. It was wonderful to see the children harvesting in the garden during their school days under the watchful eye of their teachers
    • Bal Bobek kindergarten; This, unlike the last time when it was opened by us in 2019, is of course fully in use and looks fantastic. it seems that the new director is doing a very good job. At the time of the Covid-19, the teachers made different teaching materials by hand. The kindergarten in Zastap (dependance) including the vegetable greenhouse and garden looked well cared for. There is a need to furnish another annex in the direction of the Altai National Park
    • museum; because the secondary school has been given a two-storey extension, the museum building has had to make way. The museum has moved to the (new) dormitory complex, and has been assigned a room where the museum objects are displayed
    • meeting with the board of partner organization in Sogog; after a warm welcome, the intention of a multi-year agreement with Wilde Ganzen was discussed, which will soon be followed up with a proposal from the board
  • in Nogoon Nuur:
    • kindergarten; support has been requested to improve the basic design of the school