Achlal Children's Center Library - Mongolia
(click to enlarge)
Children playing in the courtyard at Achlal Center
Design for library and study space
Library awaiting books donated by the Asia Foundation
Eager readers in the new library
Library tables fold away to free up space for reading nook
Volunteer English teacher giving a lesson in library
Enkhbayar and his son begin making benches 8 weeks earlier
How we communicated without being able to speak each others' language
Kids celbrate with their teachers, Sarantuya and Munhtungalag.
Children, teachers and friends say cheese after opening party

Children who, for various reasons, cannot go to public school in a Ger District of Ulan Bator, the capital of Mongolia, have found an oasis of 'achlal', Monglian for caring kindness, in the midst of this chaotic shanty town surrounding the city. Founded 10 years ago by social worker Azzaya Devadaam, the center, with help from small donations from all over the world, has provided basic education, meals and family support for 100 children each year.

During the summer of 2007 Schoolworks helped furnish an empty library building donated by Asian Rotary Clubs - see "News". Parents, teen students, teachers and neighbors provided labor to build library and study areas as well as indoor play, arts and crafts and theater spaces.

Funded by a small NGO called Amistad International, this project was less a community built effort than a family built one. By a happy coincidence, the school's next door neighbors are a skilled cabinet maker and his family. Enkhbayar, his wife and children, who once played at the Children's Center and his brother-in-law all chipped in to make this a unique educational environment in the middle of a neighborhood very few UB residents ever visit.

For more photos go to "Achlal Children's Center - Play Space and Art Room"