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Concerned about the plight of the growing number of street children in their country, World Vision Mongolia has set out to help these children. One of the main services they provide is the Light House, a home and drop-in centre for street children in Ulaanbaatar. New Zealanders Peter and Sue Bryan came to Mongolia to set up the centre.

At first the Bryans had trouble finding a landlord prepared to allow street children in their building, but finally they found two ground floor apartments in such a run-down condition that they could only describe them as being in a “condemned state”. After many assurances from the Bryans, the landlord agreed to let them use the apartments, and even offered to repair the rotting boards, leaking pipes and non-functioning plumbing to make the centre barely liveable. Some of the street children helped to clean the apartments, and on the 15th of December 1997, the Light House opened with its first 20 residents.

The next step was furnishing the new centre. The National Children’s Centre (a Mongolian government agency) provided bedding and simple iron beds. World Vision bought a small cooker, fridge, pots and dishes, and is slowly getting tables and stools made. These double as desks and dining tables.

With a total area of 20 by 20 metres, the centre has space for 30 children, but usually holds 45. It’s hard to turn children away when it’s –20 degrees outside. There are three bedrooms in the summer but with the extra children in winter the schoolroom/dining room becomes a fourth bedroom at night.

 

HOW DID THE LIGHT HOUSE START?

How did the Light House Start | Why is it Called the Light House
Daily Life | Preparing for the Future | Peter and Sue | First Encounter
Street Children's Stories | Where the Money Comes From