On Tuesday 29 came the long-awaited follow-up meeting for the 'Independent Living' project of the Mongolian Wheelchair Citizens Association, МТИХ. Chuluundolgor had gathered nine people into her office at the Federation (MNFDPO aka Үндэсний Холбоо). Four from МТИХ, including advisor and engineer Avirmed, a new volunteer translator Uyanga (fresh from English speakers' club) and new VSO Aliyyah. Nickson of MNFDPO and myself joined as further VSOs, with Ariunaa translating, and Tsevelmaa (new volunteer recruitment NGO - Windows to Development Хөгжлийн Цонх) I translated from English into handwritten notes and read out notes in English with and on behalf of Nickson, whose offer to train the group in fundraising strategies were frustrated for the time being. An oversupply of opinions and translating made for some tensions and conflicts.
The main outcomes of discussion were that МТИХ would need to plan, organise and fundraise for an Independent Living Centre Project. Despite their reservations, they would need to communicate and cooperate with МТИХ members and other NGOs and stakeholders such as MNFDPO who provide their accommodation. A plan, the first step needed to begin fund-raising, had not yet materialised on paper. Previous advice from myself and a 'needs analysis' had not yet been documented. The need to discuss and develop the plan with the 60 МТИХ members was reiterated in light of an approaching 2 May general meeting. Member support for the plan and steps taken to date, it was suggested, would be vital for the project's future.
While Chuluundolgor and Avirmed are both on the MNFDPO board, they criticise its constitution, financial management and transparency. However their 'own' МТИХ is not demonstrating these 'desirable and essential qualities'. I truly hope that the МТИХ will develop - I am very interested to see how the Independent Living Centre project will proceed, in aiming to help (especially adventitiously) disadvantaged Mongolians to develop independent lives, and I want to pursue ways in which I (and others) might practically support the project.