Life is frequently tough in Mongolia. And life got very tough for Darsuren when her husband who was a truck driver died in an accident leaving her with four young children to care for and provide for.
After her husband’s death, Darsuren, who is a Buddhist, decided to bring her family from out west where they lived to Amarbayasgalant Monastery in Mongolia’s northern Selenge Province so that her middle son could be educated as a boy monk at the monastery.
The monastery is located 35km from the nearest asphalt road and 60km from the nearest town. And in times of adverse weather, the dirt road connecting the monastery to the asphalt road turns into a mud track that becomes a fight between the driver and the road. This remoteness is one reason that Amarbayasgalant is used as a training school for young novice monks. They have less distractions.
For many rural and more traditional Mongolian families, including Darsuren, sending their son to a monastery was and remains common practise. Not only is free education guaranteed but it is also a ticket out of poverty with meals being provided.