Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Message from Dulaan

Hey everyone. We got the following message from Dulaan awhile ago, and I loved it so I'm posting it here:

Dear Friends of F.I.R.E.,
Mal süreg targan tavtaiyuu (“I hope your livestock are fattening up nicely”) – a polite greeting in the Mongolian countryside.
Greetings to you and your family. Thank you again for your continued support and generous donations allowing the Flagstaff International Relief Effort (F.I.R.E.) to assist the poor of Mongolia since1999.
Since Mongolia embraced a free market economy in the early 1990’s the economic situation of the country has steadily improved. However, the resulting income gap means the poor are being left even farther behind. 32% of Mongolians still live in poverty with over 25% of the population surviving on an income less than $2 US dollars per day. Consistently high unemployment, malnutrition, poor access to clean drinking water, and obstacles to obtaining primary and secondary school educations are continuing to pose challenges to Mongolians.
In 2007, your generosity allowed us to ship 2 containers and ...
Personally distribute 12 tons of winter clothing, including over 17,000 hand knits, to over 5,000 of Mongolia’s poorest children and families.
Assist schools with educational supplies and English books, including 80 computers loaded with English language software for English learning.
Provide $300,000.00 worth of medical supplies to 20 rural hospitals and family clinics in 4 provinces.
Give medical lectures and medical training to approximately 250 physicians and nurses on a variety of clinical and public health topics.
Organize logistics for 10 American volunteers to deliver aid and experience Mongolian culture from a unique perspective.
Here is what two of the 2007 F.I.R.E. volunteers had to say about their experience in Mongolia:

“It was very gratifying and yet heart wrenching to hand warm clothes, and sometimes to actually put clothes right on, shivering, barefoot children and their families standing at the doors to their homes. Their looks of relief and gratitude will remain with me for the rest of my life.”
- Pat Phillips, a F.I.R.E. volunteer

“The doctors and nurses are often scraping by with old Soviet medical equipment, making house calls with minimal to no portable medical supplies. They show amazing resourcefulness working with little to accomplish near infinite goals. Most importantly they are starving for information on how we diagnose and treat various illnesses in the United States. The sharing of techniques, knowledge, styles, and pearls of clinical wisdom was rewarding both for me and for my Mongolian colleagues. I feel like we all learned from each other, and I left Mongolia, a better doctor, and have left a sustainable impact on a handful of rural family clinics in the Mongolian countryside.”
- Jason Prystowsky MD, MPH, F.I.R.E. medical volunteer
F.I.R.E. is committed to expanding its medical aid efforts in Mongolia. Over the past three years, F.I.R.E. volunteer medical professionals have worked together with their Mongolian colleagues distributing urgently needed medical supplies, exchanging knowledge, skills, and treatment techniques in the lecture hall and at the bedside of patients in rural clinics and hospitals.
2008 promises to be an exciting year for F.I.R.E.’s efforts in Mongolia. In September 2008, we are planning on bringing a specialized surgical team, made up of Flagstaff-based surgeons. to perform surgeries in a neglected hospital in rural Mongolia, Tuv Aimag. This team will also provide educational training and surgical supplies to help make this hospital more self sustaining. This will be the beginning of a long term, collaborative relationship with this hospital.
Additionally, we will also continue distributing winter clothing and educational supplies to rural communities throughout the countryside.
Your contributions make this possible. The future of F.I.R.E.’s activities depends on your continued support. F.I.R.E. prides itself on delivering the most needed aid directly to the hands of people who need it most. With your help, we can continue to help the poorest and most vulnerable people in Mongolia.
Only 8% of F.I.R.E.'s cash donations are used for administrative cost. So, as director of F.I.R.E., I can guarantee that 92% of your funds will go directly to support the needy in Mongolia.
A donation of just $20 from each person who receives this letter will take us to half of our total 2008 goal. If you can do more---$50, $75, or $100---your generous gift will help us to help even more Mongolians.
Please think of F.I.R.E. and the people of Mongolia during this time of giving and as you make your end of the year contributions. The more money we receive right now, the more plans we can make for 2008.
(“Thank you!”)
Meredith Potts
Executive Director

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