Following the tradition of Don Bosco, once we arrived, we started to look for the youth, so we started the daily oratory and invited the youth and children to come and play with us. In this way, we started the daily oratory and it has been running well up to now. Everyday, we played with the children and youth after they finished their lessons in school; at the end of the playing time, we gather them and gave them some simple moral teachings, slowly we started to invite them to pray with us together and started to talk about faith. This was really the flower-bed of the mission here.
Nowadays, the oratory opens at 4:30pm.; the youth can come to play until 6:00, for after that we have mass in parish. On Saturday and Sunday, the opening hour is longer so that the youth can enjoy more playing with us.
Seeing that English was not yet promoted in schools, the Salesians thought of starting English to the children in Darkhan. Thus in 2006, we got the official permission from government and started a Study Center, in which we provide English and computer courses to children and young adults as well, and later we also started the courses of Art and Music.
We observed that since most people are poor here, they do not have “extra” money to buy books, not even text books; we set up a library so that the children can come to read books there. In library, we provide different kinds of books and magazine which was somehow only a dream for them before. Besides, for those children who live in Gher (traditional Mongolian tent) cannot even do homework insides the gher for it is too crowded and dark that they can only write or draw on the floor or on the bed! So a library with good lighting is very welcomed here.
Besides studying, we also invite the children and youth to play in our daily oratory; we also organize a lot of joint activities together with the oratory.
Publishing is also a very effective means for evangelization, so the Salesians also started a very small printing shop in Darkhan, in which we translate and print some useful books and materials about Catholic faith.
In Mongolia, the citizens have no need to pay to the doctor if they go to public hospitals, but they have to buy medicines by themselves! So we also set up a small “clinic” so that the poor people can get fee medicines from us after they got the inscription of the doctor.
Besides that we also act as a bridge for the medical department and the Korean Catholic medical Association that the Korean doctors and nurses come here 2 or 3 times per year to serve the patients and to train the doctors and nurses in local hospital.
There are some youth from poor families who are capable to study in university but have financial difficulties; we subsidize them up to one half of their school fee. In some special cases we also subsidize 100% of their school fee.
Building House for the poor
With the help of Korean volunteers, every year we choose one or two poor family who are still living in Mongolia traditional tent, or say “Gher”, to build house for them. In this year we also chose one family and built a small house for them.
In case of some special or emergency cases, e.g. fire, accident, funeral, etc., we collaborate with the district government to help the poor who are in need.