Mongolia is a landlocked country between Russia in the north and China in the south, with particularly difficult climate conditions. In the winter, the temperature can drop to minus 40°C in some areas, while in the summer, the heat can be unbearable, exceeding 40°C.
Almost half of the country’s population – 3 million people – live in the capital. Rural-urban migration is a major problem in Mongolia, generating entire neighborhoods made out of yurts on the outskirts of Oulan-Bator. Unfortunately, migrants have very few job opportunities and live in extremely precarious sanitary conditions.
According to the Mongolian National Statistics Office, in 2016, 29.6% of Mongolians were poor according to the national poverty line. This represents an increase of 8 percentage points compared to the poverty line in 2014. Comparisons between rural and urban households living standards show that poverty has increased in rural areas more than in urban areas.
Lack of economic opportunities, adverse weather conditions, disease, poor housing… the poorest people in Dornogovi face a variety of complex challenges. It would be a mistake to address only the issue of income! Partial assistance, which only addresses one cause of poverty, is not a sufficient solution to overcome it.
Economic and Community Development FXBVillage program initiated in 1991, allows us to provide, in three years, a complete response to the fundamental causes of poverty by simultaneously acting on its predominant factors.
Fighting poverty also means fighting gender discrimination and balancing relations between men and women so that women, who are more exposed to poverty, can have access to the same economic and social opportunities.
1 – Develop the socio-economic capacities of families
- Establishment of Saving, Credit and Support Groups to provide services to beneficiary families who do not have an easy access to formal financial services. The Saving, Credit and Support Groups help create social bonds, provide space to share challenges and solutions and foster participants’ entrepreneurial spirit
- Comprehensive training in financial management and entrepreneurship.
- Training of participants in the creation of more productive and sustainable livestock and agricultural systems, through the creation of greenhouses.
- Donation of a seed capital of $250 to each family in order for them to launch an economic activity in agriculture or another field of their choice.
- Accompaniment of families to develop, diversify, and ensure the sustainability of their economic activities.
2 – Restore the psychosocial status of participants and improve their resilience capacities
- Psychosocial support to help families deal with the consequences of poverty, alcoholism, disabilities (many in the region), or various gender-based violence and domestic conflicts.
- Creation of youth clubs in order to prevent young people from falling into delinquency. Such clubs are also useful for raising awareness on specific issues affecting young people such as sexual and reproductive health, vocational guidance, drug and alcohol abuse, disease prevention and gender-based violence.
3 – Improve the professional skills of women and young people
- Targeted vocational training for women and adolescents by creating a network of different stakeholders in Dornogovi, FXB bridges the gap between labour needs and the supply of skills in the community. In addition, FXB ensures that families are aware of all the resources available locally in terms of employment opportunities and support.
4 – Reinforce participants’ knowledge and encourage behavioural changes
- Awareness-raising campaigns and group trainings related to a healthy nutrition, early childhood development, children’s and women’s rights, gender-based violence, disease prevention, sexual and reproductive health, hygiene, water and sanitation, and prevention of alcohol-related dangers – are organized throughout the three years of the program to address the lack of basic knowledge and to bring about behavioural and practice changes
- Participants learn how to manage their family budget. The aim of this strategy is to ensure that they have a correct vision of their income and how they will use it to cover all the costs related to the specific needs of the families. Simultaneously increasing income, improving capacities through education and instruction, and helping them manage their family income ultimately results in a substantial improvement in their quality of life.
- The 500 participants are trained to manage their family budget. The aim of this strategy is to ensure that they have a correct vision of their income and how they will use it to cover all the costs related to the specific needs of the families. The simultaneous increase in income, the improvement of capacities through training and instruction, as well as assistance in the management of family income will ultimately result in a substantial improvement in their quality of life.
FXB provides an ongoing coaching and mentoring activity throughout the three-year program to ensure that participants develop their confidence and empowerment and acquire the economic and social skills necessary to successfully move out of extreme poverty.