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Do Good Friday - Mongolia

Do Good Friday

Every year, the pressure of participating in Black Friday looms over small businesses including us. However, Black Friday symbolises consumerism, a concept in stark contrast to our company values.  As a social business, our commitment extends beyond financial considerations and engaging in heavy discounting to rival our larger competitors doesn’t align with our ethos.

While responsible profit-making is not amiss, there exists an opportunity to make a stand against the dominant narrative of Black Friday. Advocating for Do Good Friday as an alternative, we’ve spotlighted four of the local Mongolian initiatives that we support and that are striving to uplift and transform their communities for the better.

Shop Ethically

Asral is a Mongolian-based Buddhist NGO – founded by High Tibetan Lama, Ven. Panchen Ötrul Rinpoche. The core aim of Asral is to help keep Mongolian families under stress together thereby helping to prevent children from ending up on the street – whether they are running away from their home life or they have no home. Asral’s multi-purpose centre, located in the Bayangol ger district of Ulaanbaatar, houses many of Asral’s social initiatives, training projects, and community activities.

This includes the base for Asral’s Made in Mongolia (MIM) initiative established to create employment for women and to provide wider support for their communities. Women are trained by the MIM Project in sewing, embroidery, and felt making in Ulaanbaatar and Underschil in the Gobi Desert. The Asral Centre in the Bayangol district has a designated space to house the felt-making and sewing project; products include slippers, cushions, tablet or laptop holders, and fabric toys. All proceeds go to the work of MIM and Asral.

Made In Mongolia - alternatives to Black Friday Mongolia

Buy A Book That Helps To Support Conservation

 

The Lost Khulan In The Gobi - World Wildlife Day Mongolia

The Association Goviin Khulan is a Mongolian NGO focusing on the protection and conservation of the Mongolian Wild Ass – the Khulan (Equus hemionus hemionus). It is one of the five recognised sub-species of the Asiatic Wild Ass and represents the largest population of this species in the world. As a result, Mongolia is a significant place for the conservation of this species.

The NGO also understands that the long-term success of a conservation project of an endangered species requires educating the local population. As part of their educational programme, the Association Goviin Khulan has written and published a conservation-based book The Lost Khulan of The Gobi with illustrations by a Mongolian artist Zolboo O. The funds of this book go back into conservation education carried out by the organisation in Mongolia. You can find out more here.

Buy Upcycled Clothing

The Mongolian Quilting Centre - a good alternative to Black Friday Mongolia

The Mongolian Quilting Centre is known more formally as the New Way Life NGO – established in 2005 to make a difference to the lives of disadvantaged and unemployed women.  They are trained in the art of quilting, textiles, and embroidery and use their skills to generate income for their families by crafting products to sell. Not only do the women of NWL make everyday items such as tote bags (including our company welcome bags) and tablecloths but also individual pieces of fabric artwork made from discarded and recycled material such as their stunning quilts. They also make unique clothing in small batches – often through upcycling – perfect if you want to wear something a little bit different. Find out more here.

Spend Your Money Helping Nature

Use the money you would save on any discounts to support a local nature programme or tree planting projects. World Garden Mongolia is a non-profit organisation established in 2011 by Mongolian Dulamjav Erdenekhuluun.

Tree planting projects in Mongolia

Committed to the preservation and increase of Mongolia’s forests for the benefits they bring to Mongolia’s nature, environment, and protection, the main focus is the reforestation on the Bayanzurkh Mountain on the eastern edge of Ulaanbaatar with 13,000 trees having been carefully planted and maintained (the neglect of seedlings and unskilled planting are both common in Mongolia). The holy mountain of Bayanzurkh was almost completely forested with the naturally occurring tree species (larch) until 1989. In the course of the growth of the city of Ulaanbaatar and the increased use of resources it has been cleared with heavy cattle drives and forest fires preventing natural reforestation. (The boreal coniferous forests of Siberia extend over the northern parts of the country. The larch is the tree species that characterizes the landscape along with pine, birch and poplar.)

Jessica Brooks
Jessica Brooks
I’m Jess Brooks. I am the founder of Eternal Landscapes Mongolia - a registered Mongolian business and social travel enterprise that focuses on providing travellers with a real 21st Century insight into Mongolia. I have been based in Mongolia since 2006 and together with my beloved Mongolian team, we focus on tourism that makes a positive difference. I'm also a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society - awarded for my work in Mongolia and a published guidebook author - having worked together with World Adventure Guides to produce a digital interactive guide to Mongolia. http://www.jessbrooks.co.uk/
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