Caritas Mongolia began its work helping marginalised people and providing emergency relief in 2001 after an Indian priest, Fr. Yvon Ambroise, visited social services projects following a dzuud, or severe long winter. In 1999-2000 this had directly affected 450 000 herders and killed about 3 million animals. Many herders, after they lost their livestock, moved to urban areas where they struggled to find work and shelter.
Collaboration with other Caritas organisations has been vital to the work of Caritas Mongolia. It has allowed it to expand its programmes to include education, social and humanitarian assistance, migration and the rebuilding of livelihoods. Reducing the impact of natural disasters has also been a priority.
In 2012, working side by side with Caritas Czech Republic, Caritas Mongolia began working on improving conditions in detention centres. It collaborated with Caritas Belgium to integrate immigrants by providing training, health care and income generating activities. With funds from Caritas Poland, 3 dormitories and 15 wells for herders scattered over the steppes were repaired.
Caritas Mongolia also addresses the prevalence of family violence in the country, especially against women. Community-building projects empower them to change society at a family level. A mobile medical unit has been set up to provide people living in remote areas with basic health care. Caritas Mongolia also supports several vocational schools in reforming their curriculums and in pre-school education and is mapping the distribution of water in the north Mongolian town of Mörön.
Caritas Mongolia’s main office is located in Ulannabaatar and has 10 staff and 30 volunteers.