Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Bayan Adraga and DED

Time has flown, since the VSO leavers workshop on 17 April kickstarted my reference and job search preparations. The weekend following, I met with Ariunaa, my translating colleague at CTC, and her English student and Land Lawyer, Tsetsegee, also from Bayan Adraga in Khentii . I have been voluntarily teaching English to three townspeople including a cosmetic surgeon Zolzaya. The lawyer commissioned a Mongolian Deel as a gift for me. We discussed the plan for a new urban park in the town centre of Bayan Adraga. A landscape designer had provided a colourful geometric layout with 75 trees, two fountains and shops on a set on one hectare (10 000m2), which I discovered (without a map) is to be located near a school and the hospital. I suggested people from these communities be engaged or consulted for the benefit of sharing ownership, responsibility, fundraising, construction (perhaps an edible garden maintained by schoolchildren?) and maintenance. To this end I suggested Julia Udall's case studies of Sharrow, Sheffield (2007, pp32-45) and community gardens in the Urban Act handbook. The project might be sustainable with the involvement of community gardeners, I suggested.

On Tuesday 22, a collegial visit to CTC by former Deutsche Entwicklungs Dienst (DED) architectural trainer Sara Schneider made some teachers very happy. One elderly professor, on the way home drunk at 11am, unfortunately joined in to the meeting until he could be extracated. The remaining, all young female teachers, were given a laptop CV presentation and asked questions, with interpretation about NGO work in Mongolia, construction education, learning styles and careers in Spain, Italy and Germany. They analysed the illustrated CV, and had a discussion about computer programmes, Habitat for Humanity, and DED, which might be described as a German VSO.


nomadologist said...

Barbara from Treetour(Reforestation of Northern Khentii) wrote in an email;
"I'm delighted you remember me from UB last year.

Actually, our project is just starting out as well, and we are also in the planning stages. I'm just finishing an International Development program at a college here in Toronto, and I'll be coming to Umnudelger in a few weeks for an internship. I hope to do a lot of research and project planning over this summer. The research will include the types of things you describe in your blog re: consultation with key community members about involvement and stewardship, and hopefully an inclusion of tree care and gardening for schoolchildren, as our project manager is the retired director of the soum school.

Where we may be lacking in research is on the scientific side, and building formal relationships with forestry researchers will have to become one of our priorities as well.

Outside of the soum centre, we have had some commitments from herders, who could potentially care for planted trees. We have to establish those relationships formally as well.

Ariunaa, I would very much like to hear more about the details of the project in Bayan Adgraga. It's exciting to hear about the same important initiative in another Khentii soum."

Reforestation of Northern Khentii
Umnudelger Soum, Khentii Aimag, Mongolia
Tel: +976 9665-2798

samraat said...