09 April 2018

PHOTO ESSAY: Innovation experts set to reinvent Mongolian Ger

Ulaanbaatar – home to half of Mongolia’s three million population
– has the most toxic air in the world during winter.

09 March 2018

Designing the 21st Century Ger Project launched

Ger disctrict of Bayangol and Songinokhairkhan districts, Ulaanbaatar city, Mongolia. 8th March 2018
In the beginning of March, a group of international experts, including researchers from Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania and KieranTimberlake architecture firm, arrived to Ulaanbaatar to discuss the possibilities of ger redesign and find ways to better insulate the traditional Mongolian housing. The 21st Century Ger Project, launched by UNICEF Mongolia as part of its work on air pollution, hopes to reduce both the fuel costs for local families and toxic air in the capital.

01 November 2017

UNICEF gives Tuvan children a better chance to learn with mother-tongue textbooks

Uudoo is rehearsing the poem she wrote in Tuvan that she will recite at her graduation ceremony.
Nearly 1,800 kilometres from Ulaanbaatar on the western-most edge of Mongolia, remote Tsengel soum in Bayan-Ulgii province is probably the only place in the entire country where children grow up speaking three different languages – Tuvan, Kazakh and Mongolian. Tuvan children speak their native language at home and learn Mongolian when they start school. Some also learn Kazakh from their friends in the neighbourhood, which is predominantly Kazakh, or from their classmates when they start secondary school, which is also attended by Kazakh children.

15 October 2017

Improving mental health for Mongolia’s young people

As a school physician, Dr Naran regularly holds health lessons for children.
Dr. Naran works in a school in remote Ulaan-Uul soum in Khuvsgul province, more than 900 km away from the capital, Ulaanbaaatar. As well as looking after the physical well-being of the children under her care, she has recently been trained to provide counselling.

10 September 2017

Curbing malnutrition is a community effort in Mongolia

Bujinkhuu aka Bujka posing with his puppy for the photo op outside his house.
©UNICEF Mongolia/2017/ Mungunkhishig Batbaatar
“Thank you, doctor! See you next time, doctor!” politely says 4-year-old Bujka while a local nutrition counsellor is readying up to leave after her weekly house-to-house visit. Living under the poverty line in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the nation’s capital, Bujka kept getting sick and was hospitalized four to five times every year until 2016. Although he has never attended kindergarten due to his health conditions and familial concerns, Bujka optimistically says “This year I won’t be sick… And I will never go back to a hospital again.” 

04 August 2017

Tackling nutrition during natural disasters

Twin boys Tseveensuren and Tsendsuren love their new sunglasses
© UNICEF Mongolia/2017/Ariunzaya D.
Twin boys Tseveensuren and Tsendsuren, aged two and a half, are all smiles as they don their cool new sunglasses. Tseveensuren, the older of the two, gently puts his arm around his little brother’s shoulders as they pose for the camera. Their mother Otgonsuren, 37, is a single parent who also takes care of her elderly mother. “My boys are like two peas in a pod”, she says, kissing them both on the cheek. “They like the same things and do everything together. And they’re so energetic and active, they don’t sit still for a moment!”

The family lives in Bayanbulag soum (district) in Bayankhongor province, southern Mongolia. Situated 2,200 metres above sea level among magnificent, snow-capped mountains, Bayanbulag soum has a subarctic climate with mild summers and extremely cold winters.

31 July 2017

Learning at home

“The name Amina comes from an ancient Arabic word which means honest and helpful”, says mother Maral Khuandag.
© UNICEF Mongolia/2017/ Mungunkhishig Batbaatar
“When I grow up, I’m going to have three jobs – a policewoman, a doctor and a teacher!” says 5-year-old Amina. This ambitious little girl, from a Kazakh ethnic minority family, lives with her parents, brother and sister in Khan-Uul district of Ulaanbaatar, the nation’s capital. In the same breath, she adds, “But I might become an artist because I learned how to sing and draw from the teacher on the TV kindergarten.” Amina, along with more than 2,000 other preschool children, has been following the UNICEF-supported home-based, distance learning programme aired on Mongolian National Broadcaster (MNB), the country’s biggest TV channel. The video lessons are supplemented by a workbook for children and a guidebook for parents, as well as regular counseling and monitoring from local education specialists.

14 June 2017

UNICEF and Khuvsgul province spreading good practices on MHM

New latrines for girls
©UNICEF Mongolia/2016/AmarsanaaJ
In the beginning of July 2016, a pleasant surprise was awaiting girls, who came to “Uran Dush” Summer Camp from different parts of Khuvsgul Aimag (Province) as well as other parts of Mongolia. Located in some 20 km from the Provincial Center, Uran Dush is the biggest and most popular summer camp in Khuvsgul Aimag. The “surprise” was brand new latrines for girls, built in a few meters distance from the old wooden latrines, which seemed to have been there for ages and looked as if they might collapse any time.

31 May 2017

Hygiene education is made more accessible to communities in Murun through home-based sessions

The house-to-house hygiene training is in session for both parents.

Bayanbaatar’s family is one of thousands of ordinary young families living in Murun city. His wife Delgersaikhan, 34, is a teacher at the “Soroban” Abacus Training center. Bayanbaatar (30) is unemployed currently and takes care of their baby girl Zolboo, who was born slightly less than two months ago. Older child of the couple is a 9 year old boy called Myagmar. Bayanbaatar’s family moved to Murun several years ago from Selenge province in search of a better livelihood.

17 April 2017

UNICEF seeks new solutions for sanitation in cold climate in Mongolia

©UNICEF Mongolia/2015/
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia - Poor sanitation and hygiene conditions were estimated to cost the Mongolian economy 35.5 billion MNT (US$ 26 million), or 0.5% of GDP.

With the population of only 3 million people, nearly half of Mongolians live in its capital and in poor and deprived areas around the city. Winter time in Mongolia is long and the temperature can go down as low as -40°C, with permafrost throughout much of the country for most of the year. In these challenging geographic conditions, access to basic social services is limited for the most vulnerable populations, and this is particularly true for water and sanitation.