SOS Children’s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Mongolia).

Darkhan is the third largest city in Mongolia, located in the Darkhan-Uul Province in the north of the country. The city has a population of 97,000. The city was built in the 1960s to ease the migration pressure on the capital Ulaanbaatar. In the province of Darkhan, 33% of the population lives in poverty. Children are most vulnerable to this poverty, as well as being affected by living conditions in the ger (Mongolian tents) districts around the city, and the growing effects of climate change.

Since 2008, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Darkhan.

Of people live in ger districts in Darkhan

Children live in harsh conditions

An increasing number of people move to Darkhan in search of a better life, but 40% of the city’s population ends up living in gers (tents) at the border of the city. They have very limited access to resources and infrastructure. As the gers can’t be connected to the city’s heating system, people heat their gers with coal stoves. Furthermore, they have to collect water at public wells. Ger districts increase inequality in the capital, and many of the people living in the gers are unemployed. Interestingly, Mongolians consider living in gers as part of their culture and are often reluctant to leave these living conditions. But children suffer from the lack of resources and the harsh conditions.

Rise in temperature since 1940

Children affected by climate risks

Temperatures have increased three times faster since 1940 than the global average (by 2.25 °C). Mongolia, due to its ecosystems, is vulnerable to climate change risks, both in rural and urban areas. People burn coal to get through the harsh winters, making the capital one of the world’s most polluted cities. This burning affects emissions, which in turn foster harsh winters, and it becomes a vicious circle. The nomads depend mainly on livestock, which is also highly affected by climate change. Climate change affects poverty, nutrition, education; and children are most vulnerable to these changes.

Your support makes a difference for children in Dharkan

SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to offer a wide range of support that is adapted to the local context. We always work in the best interest of the children, young people and families.
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Children going on an adventure together. Siblings grow up with each other, and often form bonds that last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Mongolia).

How your support helps in Darkhan

Caring for children who cannot live with their families
Some children cannot stay with their families, even with additional support. When this happens, they can find a new home in SOS Children’s Villages. Here the children can build safe and lasting relationships. All the children in our care have access to education and healthcare. Wherever possible, we work closely with the children’s family of origin. If children can return to live with their families, we help them adapt to this change.
Supporting young people to become independent
To help young people become confident and independent, our local team works closely with each young person to develop a plan for their future. We support young people and also help them prepare for the labour market and increase their employment prospects. For example, young people can attend workshops and trainings run by SOS Children’s Villages. They also improve their skills through taking part in different projects with local mentors and businesses.