In September 2008, the Shine Zamnal (New Way Life) NGO was able to purchase a permanent facility for the Mongolian Quilting Center. I headed a capital campaign in the USA, administered through my church (St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, Bainbridge Island). We raised $83,000 which was enough to buy and redecorate the place. In 2009, I went to Mongolia to see the new Center and to celebrate. There is a shop, a classroom, small office and a tiny bathroom. It is an excellent location, just 10 minutes walk from the city center and easy for the women to reach using public transport. BD’s Mongolian BBQ is just across the street and is one of the best places to eat in town.
The picture on the left was taken in 2009 and shows the street. The playground has been upgraded and there are some new businesses that also occupy the street level spaces. The other picture was taken this summer (2014). They were able to expand slightly, pushing out at the front making more space in the office. As you enter the building there is a small porch and then you are inside the shop. I was excited to see the new counter and shelving built recently by Selenge Tserendash’s brother’s furniture company.
The Mongolian women are creating new products all the time and it was wonderful to see them so nicely displayed.
The classroom is through a doorway at the back of the shop. In the days leading up to our quilt show,the space was used for our preparations including pricing the products and packing up bundles of silk to sell. The Japanese ladies were a tremendous help with this and we all worked together in the chaos!
Recently, the Department of Social Welfare has been providing a more spacious classroom for use by the Quilting Center when they teach Government sponsored courses to unemployed women. This has helped tremendously as the Center classroom can only accommodate 8-10 students comfortably and these classes often have as many as 20 women. The office was also a hive of activity during our quilt show preparations.