By Emiko Perea
Each year, the women’s division of Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Mongolia celebrates "International Children's Day" with their "Every Child is Cute" gift campaign in Ulaanbaatar city and Darkhan city. Youth from My Club Online Community, families, and other citizens volunteer their time in this activity to uplift the spirit of children from difficult backgrounds and remind them of their value. For 11 consecutive years, the campaign has donated clothes, toys, books, and other gifts to children from 2-14 years old in six parts of Ulaanbaatar city. This year, teams of volunteers were sent to two additional areas in Ulaanbaatar city, expanding the reach of the campaign.
According to the General Coordinator, D. Serdaram, volunteers called 150 contacts to ask for donations for the project. From May 23-31, volunteers collected 4,477,000 tugriks (over 1,500 USD) from more than seventy donors. While there was some concern about the increase in prices for gifts, the volunteers ensured that they could bring joy to as many children as possible. By June 1, they distributed over 500 gifts across the city.
The volunteers of the project shared their passion for helping others, many of which have participated in the event for multiple years in a row. “I am a member of My Club online community and I had been participating in the Every Child is Cute event for 4 years,” said U.Tsolmon, a student volunteer, “I am very happy to take part in the event, where volunteers give joy to the children with difficult living conditions every year. It is painful to see that poverty is increasing and parents’ care for children is decreasing. I will happily participate in the event next year.”
S. Undrakh, who looks after homeless children from Uliastai district, said, “I have heard about this volunteering activity. It is very exciting that this year you came and gave joy to my children. I have been looking after 5 children for 2 years now, because of the neglectful behavior of their biological parents. In this period of time, no other volunteer organization came to me and my children but your organization. Thank you very much for coming to us.”
Organizations and volunteers involved in the “Every Child is Cute” campaign came together with mutual compassion for children from difficult backgrounds. “My husband, daughter, and brothers participated in the event. We delivered presents to the children in the hospital where my younger brother received treatment,” said T. Undrakh, “ I personally understand the pain and difficulties of the children patients, so with the recommendation of physicians and nurses, we chose to give candies, cookies, and drinks as presents and selected the best toys which we received from our donors.”
GPF volunteers like T. Undrakh and her family make passionate efforts to support family-based campaigns like this one and are the reason this program could maintain its success for the past 11 years.