Monday 31st August
Ven. Rinpoche was invited to the State orphanage centre of Ulanbaatar in the morning. He was
invited as one of the chief guest for the opening of the new academic year; 2015. This is the only
orphanage organisation in Ulanbaataar. Asral works closely with the orphanage centre. From time
to time, Asral organise a course or workshop with the staff to help with new skills and a better way
of looking after the vulnerable children, especially the orphans. Asral also helps the school with
getting sponsors for few children as well. The director thanked Rinpoche for his valuable support
for their school over the years, and he gave a report of the school. The school also has a lot of
student exchange programmes. They have sent students to Japan, China and Inner Mongolia.
This kind of program really brought a lot of the benefits to the children. They also send their
teachers to other countries to learn new skills. They have started to send some of the teachers to
European countries, such as Germany. These programmes brought a lot of benefits in terms of
the overall progress of their students, as well of the staff. This is the home for over one hundred
children at the moment. Ven. Rinpoche was requested to give a speech and he thanked all the
staff of the school for providing such a nice environment for the children. He advised the children
to make the best use of their time by studying hard and to become a good member of the society in
the future. The children took part in a performance, which included many beautiful songs, dances
and traditional Mongolian musical instruments. Ueli Minder, one of the board member of Asral,
goes occasionally to help with psychological and spiritual aspects for the teachers.
After the function, the director and the school staff requested prayers and blessings from Ven.
Rinpoche. The local police group who support the orphanage also came to attend the blessing
Tuesday 1st of September
Today Ven. Rinpoche paid visit to Gachuurt. Gachuurt is a former commune from the Soviet time.
It is 30 km north east of the city. Ven. Rinpoche was invited to the local hospital. He was
welcomed by the director and the staff. Ven. Rinpoche had a meeting with the director of the
hospital and she presented a detailed report of the hospital to him. They have four doctors and 21
members of staff in total. Asral has sponsored their kitchen with modern cooking facilities which
made a huge difference in terms of the preparation of the food and also the hygiene of the hospital
and the patients as well.
They can accommodate 17 inpatients and they have recently installed 24 hours emergency
services. They cover 6000 people of the Gachuurt community . They do have an ambulance as
well. They have plans to rebuild a new hospital on the grounds of the old hospital. They requested
the government to provide the funds, which they now have provided. They will be using a part of
the local school space as a temporary hospital while the new hospital building is in progress. They
are expecting to complete the new hospital by September of next year. They currently have
around 8 patients.
The director suggested that it would be of great benefit for the local community if they can initiate a
hospital staff or doctor exchange program with Western countries. They are hoping that it will bring
more knowledge and skills which will eventually help to improve the services and conditions of the
hospital. Rinpoche suggested that, if possible, we will try to bring some Western doctors to interact
with the hospital staff of Gachurrt. Ven. Rinpoche gave blessings and said prayers for all the staff
and patients at the hospital. They have requested Ven. Rinpoche to support them to set up a
vegetable growing project at the hospital,l but due the plan to rebuild the new hospital, they were
unable to initiate it yet. However, the director is planning to start this gardening project next year
once the new hospital building completed.
Asral invites Buddhist teachers to visit the hospital every month to give teachings and guidance for
the staff, patients and for the local community. Ven. Thuksay Rinpoche has been going there
every month for a long time.
Ven. Rinpoche then visited Asral’s vegetable growing project, which aims to create a sustainable
future for the local community. Asral is currently supporting 17 families by providing them with
annual training in organic vegetable growing at the training centre. Seeds, tools and equipment
are provided. Asral provided 30 kilos of various seeds to each of the 17 families. A permanent
greenhouse was built and a full time training manager is employed to oversee the projects. A well
was build many years ago to help with the gardening, but unfortunately the well dried up and since
then they have been experiencing huge difficulty with water for their gardens. They have been
buying water and getting it delivered to the garden. The price has doubled now and the people
involved in this project are expressing huge concerns with this problem. They are requesting an
alternative way of getting a supply of water to the garden. They have already harvested the major
crops for the year and there are still a few vegetables, like potatoes, basil, cucumber, sweet
peppers, lettuce and tomatoes in the greenhouse.