Slovak makes a change in Mongolia
The sun streams through vast pastures where radiant flowers are woven into green meadows. As far as the eye can see, horses, cows and goats are free. The animals easily outnumber the farmers and their families who care for them. A constant cold breeze carries a foretaste of the long winter ahead. The mountains meet an ever-growing desert.
Here and there villages are scattered, mostly connected by itinerant nomads. In the distance, dim lights shine from distant towns. Mongolia is a land of differences, beauty, resilience and deep-rooted societal struggles.
“Mongolia is one of the countries most affected by the wrath of extreme weather and the global climate crisis,” says Jana Žilková, Head of Mission (National Representative) at Caritas Czech Republic in Mongolia. The ambitious Slovak from Košice decided to take up the challenge of charity work and is now based in the Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar. As head of mission, she takes care of fundraising, HR, organization and everything necessary for the proper functioning of the office. “I have already spent four years here and I see the changes happening in real time.”
Since 2018, when she took office, she has overseen projects on issues ranging from promoting sustainability and inclusion in agriculture and the construction sector, to improving the plastic recycling and waste management, to youth support programs.
“We have two main strategic points,” explains Žilková. “The first is to help address the effects of the climate crisis, such as combating deforestation and desertification. The second is supporting civic activities and communities.
Nomads in danger
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