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The Light House is very basic. The plumbing gives constant trouble, the radiators are not very warm, and the centre is overcrowded, but it’s a lot better than life on the streets.

The Bryans and their team of well-educated Mongolians run the centre. The staff include an assistant director, an educator, a social worker, an administrator and six house parent/teachers who work shifts so that there is always someone there, 24 hours a day. With 45 children to care for, there is always plenty of work to do.

The cooking facilities are woefully inadequate. Staff must cook for up to 50 people with only one small sink, hot plates, a few large pots and a table in a 3 x 3 metre room. Fortunately, the Mongolian diet is mainly boiled meat, a few vegetables and rice or dumplings, so they manage.

As part of their life skills training, the children wash their own clothes in the only bathtub. Sheets and towels go to the local laundry as they need a boiling wash to kill the lice and other parasites. The biggest problem is drying the laundry. Everything that wasn’t stolen would just freeze on an outside line, so they have to string the washing on lines inside. This has the advantage of adding moisture to the dry air, but the clothes take a long time to dry, and as Sue says, the place “looks like the proverbial Chinese laundry”.

Children are free to come and go as they please. Accustomed to the freedom of the streets, it takes the older children some time to get used to living in the centre. The staff keep rules to a minimum, insisting on just a few essentials. While in the centre, there must be no violence, drunkenness or sexual activity, and children are expected to share chores and consider others.

 

 

DAILY LIFE

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