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HFH Mongolia Celebrates Helping Its 1,000th Family

Family In Erdenet Thankful To Own A House After Years Of Renting

ERDENET, Mongolia, 18th December 2007: A piercing wintry chill greeted those present at the dedication ceremony of Habitat for Humanity’s 1,000th house in Mongolia but the palpable joy of home partner Batbold and his family soon drove the cold away.

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Happiest day: (Back row, from right) Batbold with his son Taivanbaatar, wife Otgontsetseg, and daughters Bolorcimgee and Bolortsetseg inside their new home, the 1,000th house built by HFH Mongolia.

More than 80 guests attended the recent ceremony in Erdenet city, northwest of the capital Ulaanbaatar. Among the guests were other Habitat home partners, HFH Mongolia staff and Erdenet government officials. A local pastor gave thanks for Habitat’s work in Mongolia, followed by the handing over of the house key and a bible to Batbold. Another 80 families also received keys to their houses.

The freezing cold had everyone making a beeline for the warmth of Batbold’s house. Together with his wife Otgontsetseg, two daughters Bolortsetseg, and Bolorcimgee, and son Taivanbaatar, Batbold  played host around a table laden with sweets and snacks. The special occasion was marked by a beautifully sung Mongolian song and music played on the morin khuur, the two-stringed horse head fiddle, signifying good wishes for the family.

Forty-year-old Batbold, a carpenter, and his family had been living in a rented place for many years. Having helped to build his own Habitat house, along with local and international volunteers, Batbold said: “This is the happiest day in our lives and we wish that many other families in need may have a house like this.”

Set up in 1999, Habitat for Humanity Mongolia has been operating through affiliates in Ulaanbaatar, Darkhan and Erdenet, and seven program centers across the country. In Erdenet, Habitat has served over 230 families with secure and affordable housing.