Hope and Resilience at the OneSky Family Center in Mongolia
Written by Stephen Chipman
Former CEO Grant Thornton LLP | Board of Directors at OneSky
Originally published on LinkedIn.
Last month, I had the opportunity to travel to Ulaanbaatar (UB), Mongolia with members of the OneSky global team to meet the local staff and see OneSky’s programs in action and meet with Mongolian Government officials.
If you stay in the middle of UB, you might never see the 800,000 people living right on the outskirts in ger (yurt) districts, sprawling communities that live without running water, electricity or a sewage system, in what were once considered temporary homes. But no one is going anywhere, and more people keep migrating in, looking for jobs in UB. Many men then leave their families for days, sometimes weeks, at a time to go work in the mines.
That is where OneSky comes in. The OneSky Family Center is situated within one ger district and welcomes parents with young children, ages birth to four. The center, consisting of two attached gers, has become an integral part of the community while also being an oasis for parents—mostly mothers—to come and receive training in OneSky’s responsive care and early education approach.
The program has reached more than 1300 parents and benefited almost 2,400 children since it began in 2018.
Seeing these young children and their caregivers gives me hope—hope in the resilience and strength of the families and hope in the realization that OneSky’s model can be shaped to effect change in other countries, too. From a business perspective, the long-term benefits for the communities and well beyond are also clear: improving life outcomes for children, empowering women to build their skills while lowering stress in the home, and creating a more stable workforce and spurring on economic growth.