Australian Awards alumna is helping the marginalised group
Ms Uyanga Tsogtsaikhan completed her Masters degree in Employment and Relations Law at the University of Melbourne in 2016. Her contributions to Mongolia’s development since graduating and returning from Australia have been significant.
Prior to studying in Australia, Ms Uyanga worked at the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Mongolia, a German NGO operating in the social welfare sector. Ms Uyanga worked with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Mongolia for 5 years. Her work enabled her to gain direct experience in instigating amendments to Mongolia’s employment law in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, the Confederation of Mongolian Trade Unions and the Mongolian Employers’ Federation. As employment issues can be quite sensitive in Mongolia she wanted to enhance her career and understanding of employment law by specializing in Employment and Relations law in Australia.
After successfully completing her master’s degree in Australia, Ms Uyanga decided to follow one of her passions-working with children in her spare time, and until recently she worked full time as a Communications and Fundraising Manager at Christina Noble Children’s Foundation Mongolia to contribute in making positive changes in lives of children living in extreme destitution. The Foundation is an international NGO which has been operating in Mongolia for 22 years and is dedicated to serving the physical, medical, educational and emotional needs of vulnerable children in the poorest areas of Mongolia. As an NGO it does not generate its own income, but through significant efforts, raises funds from supporting organisations and individuals.
This requires excellent communication skills and an ability to adapt within different environments to successfully allow the organisation’s work to continue. Ms Uyanga’s skills gained during her time spent studying in Australia has played a significant role in allowing her to perform her duties today. Ms Uyanga highlighted that Australian diverse culture has had a direct impact on increasing her ability to communicate with diverse groups of people.
As part of her role as Communications and Fundraising Manager, Ms Uyanga has developed personal development plans for each individual within the organization and set up an internal Communication Code of Practice to provide smooth communication with Christina Noble Children’s Foundation’s international branches. Currently Christina Noble Children’s Foundation provides a happy home and caring service to orphaned, homeless and at-risk children from the vulnerable part of the population in the Bayankhoshuu area of Songinokhairkhan district. Providing special care for disabled children is an integral part of the Foundation’s operation as well as taking care of the physical and mental health of sexually abused teenagers who have been referred to the Foundation.
Currently we have over 45 orphaned children aged between 2-17 years of age in our Blue Skies Ger village. We take care of these children 24/7. Our children attend surrounding public schools and we provide additional tutoring service to enhance their education level and other extracurricular activities to develop their other skills. It is very helpful that local and international volunteers come to support our work on regular basis. In summer, we grow our own vegetables and salads where our children help with planting and watering in shifts. Overall, we aim to enable our children and provide a happy, healthy and warm home with lots of opportunities to develop their skills and talents. This is why we have built so many facilities within the Ger Village such as a library, art class studio, bakery, and greenhouse.
Ms Uyanga’s contribution is not limited by raising awareness of the needs of those children with the community and raising necessary funds, but she is also keen to guide and encourage young adolescents to find ways to become independent and positive-minded adults. In doing so, they develop their communications and networking skills by learning from her knowledge and experience gained during her time in Australia.
She shared some of her future plans with regards to Christina Noble Children’s Foundation’s development. Currently funding is solely provided from external sources and if at any point those people stop supporting the Foundation, their operations will be at risk. Therefore, Ms Uyanga is planning to diversify sources to generate additional income by developing a social enterprise within the Foundation with the help of skilled but unemployed parents of the enrolled children there. As it is the Foundation’s mission to encourage and empower young adults to lead happy, emotionally rich and independent lives, guiding them onto their professional path is a crucial part of its operations. Thus, Ms Uyanga wants to establish official and solid partnerships with corporate entities and individuals to provide part-time paid jobs for students at the Foundation, and a reliable workforce for the employers.
In 2019, Ms Uyanga also participated at the Australia Awards in Mongolia Women’s Leadership Program (WLP) and worked as part of the team to set up a community project called “Beyond Books”, the first ever community library in Mongolia providing a safe, creative, child-friendly educational environment for the residents living in 17 and 18 Khoroo of Chingeltei District. This project aimed to close the existing education gap between students living in poor areas of Ulaanbaatar and those who attend schools in the city centre as much as possible.
She welcomes any individuals and organisations with similar goals for cooperation to make a positive impact on ‘little’ lives together.