The Lotus Children’s Center is a Mongolian non-profit, non-governmental organization working with vulnerable children and families in Ulan Bator to provide the basic human rights of shelter, food, and education. The goal of the Lotus Center is to provide primary care to all attending children, including food, healthcare, clothing and accommodation, and to provide developmental care so that they can break free of the poverty cycle. As such we aim to give each child a quality education, counseling, tools for building self-esteem, and access to life skills.
- Lotus Children’s Home
- Kindergarten and Primary School
- Housing Project
Lotus Children’s Home
In 1993, Didi Kalika, an Australian yoga teacher living in Ulan Bator, was effected by the plight of children living on the streets. She founded the Lotus Children’s Center, which is now home to up to 150 children at any one time. It carries out many children and family support activities targeting personal and community resilience and sustainable poverty alleviation.
Kindergarten and Primary School
The Lotus Center views education as one of the most important tools in breaking the cycle of poverty. For this reason, Lotus Center founded its own kindergarten in 1997. The kindergarten evolved into a primary school program in 2004, which enabled Lotus to provide a comprehensive academic education for all children in its care up to fifth grade. The school incorporates a program for children with special needs, as well as a vocational training program. After fifth grade, Lotus children are encouraged to attend different high schools in Ulan Bator depending on their individual skills and interests.
The Lotus Solving Housing Cooperative project is an effort to engage the young adults at the Lotus Center to start building an independent and empowered life for themselves. The initiative involves a sustainable housing project to secure the livelihoods of young adults at the Lotus center; additional skill-building activities are offered to the older children such as carpentry skills, logistical help related to home ownership, and motivational training to encourage them to find and maintain a job that will allow them to finance a home. The most important aspect of this program is working with young adults to increase their self-esteem so they can perceive what is achievable and become role models to younger children.