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Mongolian and Mexican students share how they served their people from afar

Ganbaatar is given something in a white scarf by a woman wearing traditional Mongolian clothes in a yurt.
Tamara Tsedenbaljir is welcomed to her new home by the fiancé, Bekhtuvshin, of the BYUH student who did the fundraiser to build it, Bayartsetseg Ganbaatar.

Students from Mongolia and Mexico noted how they helped people in need through various fundraising and business projects. Bayartsetseg Ganbaatar, Carolina Beristain Cruz, Tsetsgee Enkhbold, Nasanbold Sukhbaatar and Ganchudur Batgerel shared their experiences of how they raised funds to help women and children in their countries.

Caring for the homeless

A white mongolian yurt with a light wooden carved door with green hills in the background.
BYUH sophomore Bayartsetseg Ganbaatar raised enough money on Facebook to purchase Tamara Tsedenbaljir a traditional Mongolian roundhouse.

Bayartsetseg Ganbaatar, a sophomore from Mongolia majoring in finance, raised funds to help an elderly woman to have a new house. Ganbaatar said Facebook suggests people do fundraising on their birthdays, so she wanted to help someone in Mongolia on her birthday.

Ganbaatar searched for someone who needed help and contacted Tuvshinjargal Gombo, a director of the Service Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Mongolia.

Gombo connected Ganbaatar to Tamara Tsedenbaljir, an elderly lady who shelters homeless people every winter. Ganbaatar explained Tsedenbaljir recently lost her house because of strong winds.

Ganbaatar said traditional Mongolian roundhouses cost around $1,000, so her goal was to raise at least $980 through Facebook.

She raised $1,200 within four days, so she could buy a bigger house than she planned. Ganbaatar shared, “Tamara was very happy to have a new and bigger house.”

Many people helped her do this project, Ganbaatar said, including generous donors and her friends who purchased the house for Tsedenbaljir. “Seeing people happy was such a pleasure to me, so I plan to do other projects in the future.

“To be able to help more people, I have to be more educated and self-reliant. It motivated me to be more diligent in my studies.”

Supporting local women

Photo of Mexican woman stands in an embroidered shirt with a house in the background.

Carolina Beristain Cruz, a senior from Mexico majoring in supply chain operations, helps underprivileged Mexican women have employment opportunities through her hand-embroidered, Mexican-style dress business.

Cruz shared ever since she was young, she loved fashion design. She knew many women who were talented at making traditional Mexican costumes and who were living in humble situations.

“Traditional Mexican costumes are very fancy and cannot be worn on a daily basis, so they cannot provide enough employment opportunities.

“My idea was to create a new design that reflects the traditional designs but more comfortable to wear daily,” Cruz explained.

She raised funds through dress sales and participated in BYU–Hawaii business competitions.

Cruz said she won second place in both “Great Ideas” and “Empower Your Dreams” in 2018.

With the money she won from the competitions, she expanded production and worked with a sewing company to produce more than 300 dresses and sent them to Mexico to the embroiderers for handmade embroidering, Cruz shared.

An earthquake hit the area where the embroiderers lived, and they lost their homes, she said. With the employment opportunity Cruz provided for them, they could rebuild their homes, Cruz explained. She helped raise $4,000 for 30 women.

Cruz is continuing her business and said talents from the Willes Center and her friends from around the world are helping her empower Mexican women.

“I didn’t want just to give away money, but I wanted to provide an opportunity for them to be self-reliant through their talents and skills,” Cruz commented.

Caring for children

Tsetsgee Enkhbold, a sophomore from Mongolia majoring in human resources and psychology, helped Mongolian children get warm winter clothes. She said her family started the “I love Mongolia” charity project and raised funds through online fundraising and their family business.

Enkhbold’s family owns a business called “Oyo Tie” that provides employment opportunities for women in underprivileged communities in Mongolia and represents Mongolia through high-quality, handmade neckties.

Their business won second place in the “Empower Your Dreams” competition in 2019 and donates 30 percent of their yearly income to the “I love Mongolia” project, according to Enkhbold.

Enkhbold shared her mother’s hometown, Tumentsogt, Sukhbaatar, was damaged by a fire a few years ago, and since the town is located on the far east side of the country, not many charity projects reach there. Some of the children lacked warm clothes and could not go to school due to extreme cold in winter.

The Enkhbold family has helped 20 children, including a few orphans. Enkhbold said they contacted the town’s school and kindergarten supervisors and found children who needed the most help and bought full winter clothes for them.

“I have learned there are many generous people who have big hearts for total strangers. I felt the help reached the children who exactly needed it, and I am very happy about it.”

Nasanbold Sukhbaatar, a BYUH alumnus from Mongolia, raised over $3,000 by fixing around 50 bikes and receiving donations from running a Honolulu marathon in 2019.

With the money he raised, he helped more than 300 children in four different Mongolia areas have new warm winter clothes. Sukhbaatar said, “Mongolian winters are very cold and harsh. When I was young, I used to get cold a lot during winter because I did not have enough warm clothes every winter. So I wanted to help children as much as I could.”

Sukhbaatar was an employee at BYUH’s Sustainability Center, where he learned to fix bikes and utilized his skills to raise funds to help children.

Sukhbaatar said his friends in Mongolia helped him to find children in need. Then his friends purchased and delivered the clothes to them.

COVID-19 inspired charity project

Batgerel stands side view wearing a red and blue Hawaiian flowered face mask.
Ganchudur Batgerel raised money by selling face masks to help a family in need.

Ganchudur Batgerel, a senior from Mongolia majoring in supply chain operations, raised funds by sewing face masks and helped a family in financial need. She sold her handmade masks for $5 each and raised $220, Batgerel said.

“I helped first a family who needed help. The father of the family got into a car accident, and his brain was injured, so he could not work anymore.

“Their children needed some school supplies,” Batgerel added. “I donated my first fund of $220 to the family. The mother of the family was so happy with my small service. It means a lot to me. I love to serve others because it makes me more happy than anything.”

Batgerel shared she just received her next big order. A lady ordered 125 masks for IWORK donors as a Christmas gift, she said. “That order is so special to me because I felt that God is helping me with this project during this hard time. I hope I can help more families through this small project.”

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