Trip to Ondorshil in the Gobi Region of Mongolia
Ven. Rinpoche arrived at Ondorshil, 350 kilometres from Ulaanbaatar city, in the Gobi
region of Mongolia. He was received by the local governor, representatives of the local
government, people of the village and the staff of MIM (Made in Mongolia), who waved
scarves and made traditional offerings.
Asral has supported this impoverished village for many years, building a maternity wing for
the hospital with the support of ElectricAid in Ireland, to help prevent pregnant women
from getting infections. Asral set up a language lab in the local school that enabled 130
children to receive English classes, and with support from Ireland and the Dutch
Government, installed a well and water purification system, the first of its kind in Mongolia,
making a major impact on the overall health of the community. Over 250 families in the
village are now benefitting from clean, filtered water.
After a short rest in the evening Ven. Panchen Ötrul Rinpoche was invited to Ondershill community centre for a public teaching where he me the local villagers. The district governor welcomed Ven. Rinpoche and all the residents of the village. The local governor expressed his appreciation for all the work that Ven. Rinpoche has done and thanked him on behalf of all the people of the village. Ven. Rinpoche gave a brief history of his humanitarian works in Ondorshil over the past 20 years. He then gave the public teaching on basic buddhist teachings and advice on how to live a meaningful and healthy life. Rinpoche also thanked the local governor and the local council members to for supporting his projects in Mongolia.
Burmaa, director of Asral, thanked the local people’s representatives for their many years of collaboration with Asral to support and help the poorer people of Undershil.
Ven. Rinpoche then said prayers and gave blessings to all people attending the teaching.
The local governor expressed his appreciation on behalf of all the people of the village for
the work that Ven. Rinpoche has done over the years to help their community,
Today Ondorshil villagers celebrates a special Nadam festival dedicated to the older people of the village. They invited Ven. Rinpoche as the chief guest of honor Traditional dances and songs were presented at the beginning of the festival. The Local governor then introduced Ven. Rinpoche and presented a traditional silver cup to him to show their gratitude. They also presented silver cups to all the elder people who are over the age of 85. Events like horse racing and mongolian wrestling were performed.
Rinpoche spent the afternoon visiting some of the children and their families in the village who participate in the Sponsorship Programme. He enquired about their heath, their studies and about any difficulties they may be having, and later shopped for groceries for families who were struggling. He also distributed clothes sent from Ireland to children in difficulty.
Ven. Rinpoche visited Ondorshil hospital. It has 20 members of staff, including three senior and three junior doctors, who gave a brief report of the hospital’s work and the general health of the community. The hospital presented a medal to Ven. Rinpoche, in appreciation of his continuous support.
16th & 17th August
Ven. Rinpoche spent the last couple of days meeting children who are benefitting from the Irish Sponsorship programme, Hot Meals Project and the other support from Asral Charity. He asked each of the children about their health, studies and family situation, said prayers for all the children and distributed clothes donated by Ven. Rinpoche’s students in Ireland.