Documenting 30 years of partnership for prosperity through photography
To commemorate the 30th anniversary of its partnership with Mongolia, the World Bank Group (WBG) launched a Photo Contest themed “Making History Together” in March 2021. The Photo Contest provided an opportunity for grantees, implementers and development project partners to share memorable moments of the Mongolia-WBG partnership and tell the common story through photography.
The contest received more than 70 entries from the city of Ulaanbaatar as well as rural areas. The photos highlighted the results and impact of World Bank-supported projects on people and communities in areas ranging from education and labor to the energy and transportation sectors.
At the center of the first place winner is a family of herders in Khairkhandulaan soum (district), Uvurkhangai province. Taken by Sereenen Chinbat, the photo places a young boy in the middle, diligently learning from his book, while his mother and father take a moment from their daily chores to invest time in their child’s education. It is part of their daily routine to prepare their son for school.
“The families of nomadic herders move 4 to 5 times a year in search of better pastures for their cattle. Therefore, their preschool children cannot attend traditional kindergartens,” says Mr. Sereenen. “To solve this problem, a World Bank-supported project has provided ‘mobile’ educational kits of books and toys that can be used at home. The project has helped herdsmen’s children get an early education and has also helped reduce school dropouts and the number of children who have never attended school.
（Grand Prize Winner Sereenen Chinbat (left) with World Bank Country Director Andrei Mikhnev）
Known as the home-based early childhood education program, this approach was developed and implemented under a World Bank project funded by the Japanese Social Development Fund from 2012 to 2017. The program has benefited more than 8,500 children from the most remote rural areas aged 5 years. -10 in four of the worst performing and educationally underserved provinces. After the project is completed, the home education program, with its educational toolkits, continues to be used not only in the project soums (sub-provinces), but also reproduced in all the other soums from the provinces of Uvurkhangai, Dornod and Sukhbaatar.
The three finalists also have their unique stories.
In a photo titled “Renewable Energy Going Non-Stop through Snowstorm,” photographer Avirmed Batdelger showcased the Salkhit Wind Farm, Mongolia’s first large-scale renewable energy project. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, invested in the 50 MW wind farm in 2012, helping to create additional jobs and paving the way for renewable energy development in the country. .
“This new way of meeting our energy needs without traditional resources such as coal has provided an opportunity to better understand the benefits of renewable energy and paved the way for the start of many more [renewable energy] plans for the future,” says A. Batdelger.
Another photo, titled ‘Children’s future begins with education’, photographed by Jambal Batbaatar, shows a teacher from Dundgovi province and her students during their lesson. They are among thousands of beneficiaries of the education quality reform project implemented in 630 secondary schools across the country. Since 2015, the project has helped improve the quality of professional teacher training, improve learning outcomes for primary school students, and strengthen school-level planning through a school grants program.
Finally, a moment capturing bright lights contrasting with a serene winter night scene in front of the Bayan-Undur mountain in the Orkhon province made Gantulga Burentsogt one of the competition’s finalists.
“Through my photo, I wanted to highlight investments to improve the electricity transmission capacity in my city. The second World Bank-funded energy project is helping to rehabilitate and expand the 0.4 to 6 kWt electricity transmission system of the city of Erdenet,” says Gantulga Burentsogt. “This includes renovations to 0.4 kWt power transmission lines, the installation of electronic smart meters for commercial and residential use, and the construction of nine electrical substations.”
“Over the past 30 years, the World Bank Group has supported a wide range of projects worth more than $1.3 billion,” said Andrei Mikhnev, World Bank Country Director. “We are pleased to have received many stunning photos for this competition capturing historic moments of our partnership and showing the impact of our projects on people’s lives. Above all, these photos depict the aspirations of the Mongolian people for a better future for their country.
To visit World Bank Mongolia on Facebook to learn more about the winning photographs.