MONGOLIA: The Past Pupil Center with Don Bosco Technical and Industrial Training Center is launching initiatives to help support current students
(MissionNewswire) Salesians in Mongolia have focused their work on providing opportunities for children and families struggling to improve their lives. Salesian programs aid students who are having difficulty coping in traditional high school settings and families who are arriving in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar in desperate need of employment.
Since 2001, youth who have not been able to complete a traditional high school education have found educational opportunities at the Don Bosco Technical and Industrial Training Center in Ulaanbaatar. The training facility started with 30 students and today has more than 300 gaining skills in car mechanics, tailoring, secretarial services, welding and construction.
“Nearly 90 percent of the students at Don Bosco Technical and Industrial Training Center can be defined as school dropouts and come from very poor families,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Students receive training that is critical to their success and to guarantee the best opportunities after graduation, courses are structured in collaboration with local industries.”
In the last two years, the past pupils of the Don Bosco Technical and Industrial Training Center have committed themselves to strengthening the sense of belonging between the past pupils and the Salesian family. In recent times they have also produced a brief institutional video in which they present several testimonials about the great education they received.
“We are pleased to share this simple presentation that drives home how lucky we all feel to have been educated at the Don Bosco Training Center. In the future we intend to work together as a family and for our school,” explained MB Boloroo, the secretary of the local Past Pupil Center.
The first official meeting of Don Bosco’s past pupils in May 2017 brought together 400 graduates and was the starting point of a movement that does not intend to stop.
Another past pupil, Mr. Bayartsengel, has said, “We want to contact as many Don Bosco past pupils as possible through the various channels available, raise funds for scholarships for needy students, volunteer with families in difficulty and support the center’s students in the workforce. In addition, our goal is to find the best internships for their needs and also prepare psychological counseling meetings to help young people with separated or divorced parents, a growing phenomenon now in Mongolia.”
The Past Pupils Center has already started its work. To date, it has gathered data from around 80 graduates from the Don Bosco Training Center, identified a young scholarship recipient and launched sporting competitions to bring awareness to Salesian education.
Close to 28 percent of the population in Mongolia is living at or below the poverty line with a significant jump to 35 percent for those living in rural areas. Herders in the countryside struggle to survive as their traditional livelihood dissolves, and there are few job opportunities for young generations. Prior to 1990, the country received nearly 30 percent of its gross domestic product from the former Soviet Union and had a centrally planned economy with the government providing basic goods and a full range of public services. As a result, poverty in the country was very low even in rural areas.
According to the World Bank, the poverty rate jumped to nearly 60 percent after 1990, which was directly linked to the country’s transition to a market economy after the breakup of the Soviet Union and the collapse of Mongolia’s centrally planned economy. Today, in part due to Mongolia’s vast mineral resources and mining, the country’s economy is rebounding and the poverty rate is in decline, having decreased from 38.7 percent in 2010 to where it stands today.
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Salesian Missions – Mongolia
World Bank – Mongolia