Enkhtuul’s Story

Cash Assistance Creates Better Conditions for Families Affected by Covid-19 

I feel really lucky that ADRA has chosen to help my family. I know many families like mine who are going through a hard time, so I’m appreciative for the help we’re receiving.” – Enkhtuul

Even without a global pandemic affecting Enkhtuul’s family income, her family was making just enough to support their basic needs. In a household of seven people, only her and her mother worked part-time jobs to support Enktuul’s four brothers and sisters, and her grandmother.

Enkhtuul lives in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. Currently, as of April 2020, in Mongolia there 38 imported cases of Covid-19 and no community transmission. This is largely thanks to the government who took extreme preventative measures as early as mid-February. However, though many people’s health is not being implicated, they are being implicated financially as a result of these measures.

At 19 years old, Enkhtuul is in her second year of university where she is studying Korean language and culture. Her first year she worked while studying in order to contribute to her family’s income and help pay for her tuition, but this proved to be too much to manage. This year she decided to not work while studying, but after her first semester it became apparent that she would need to work again in order to help her family.

She began looking for employment, but there were no jobs available to her. As a result of government restrictions and its attempts to promote social distancing, many workplaces have had to reduce working hours or let people go entirely. Enkhtuul believes this is why she isn’t able to find work. This also affects her mother, who earned a living working odd household jobs for people. Because of social distancing, families have stopped offering her employment.

Currently, Enkhtuul’s family’s only source of steady income comes from her grandmother’s pension and the government’s child support money given to her mother. Enkhtuul has had to drop out of school this semester because this amount is not enough to cover her tuition costs.

She is thankful because the $100 USD she received from ADRA Mongolia and its partners* is equivalent to her grandma’s monthly pension, this means that for at least one month she won’t have to worry about her family.

Despite her challenges, Enkhtuul dreams of a bright future. After the government restrictions are lifted, she will work hard to finish university and go to Korea, where she wants to attend grad school and work to support her family. Though she has many dreams for herself, her biggest dream is to be able to financially care for her loved ones.

Enkhtuul’s family is one of the 90 households selected by ADRA Mongolia, with the help of the Seventh-day Adventist Mongolia Mission. This response to Covid-19 in Ulaanbaatar, though small, is helping vulnerable families make it through these economically uncertain times.

The CAMo project is made possible through funding and support provided by ADRA Poland, ADRA Asia, and the Mongolia Mission of the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

Author: Andrea Lavy, ADRA Mongolia