Missionaries worldwide answer the call to give of themselves and to provide a kind hand to those most in need. The Don Bosco Caring Center in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia—a partner ministry of Catholic Mission—is a great example of this, offering a safe and loving home to children left to fend for themselves on the streets of the world’s coldest capital.

Established in 2003, the Caring Center is dedicated to providing a secure environment and shelter for some of the approximately 4,000 children who are currently experiencing homelessness in Ulaanbaatar.

Namdag Ivgeelt, a social worker at the centre since 2021, knows the profound impact this haven has on the lives of so many children, providing not just shelter but a chance for a brighter future.

‘Besides the legislation for the care and protection of children, what we really need are childcare centres. In the absence of such centres, the children will end up on the streets without any supervision. For children whose rights have been violated, abandoned or rejected by their parents, our centre becomes their second home,’ Namdag says.

Namdag explains that care and welfare centres such as the Don Bosco Caring Center are one of the most effective ways to meet the needs of children living on the streets of Ulaanbaatar.

‘Those children who came to our Don Bosco Caring Center when they were little are now learning, maturing and having their safety protected,’ Namdag says.

Nothing is more important than the safety of children like Otganbayar,* who was abandoned on a harsh winter’s day at only seven days old. Undernourished and cold, he could not be traced to any parents or relatives. Unfortunately, situations like this are far from uncommon in Mongolia.

Otgonbayar stayed in the state’s care for four years before he was brought to the Don Bosco Caring Center. At first, he was apprehensive and quiet, but in just a year, Otgonbayar grew to be more confident. He learnt how to openly express himself and even started to dream about what he’d like to be when he grows up. He had finally found a home.

Supporting the Don Bosco Caring Center means contributing to a cause that goes beyond immediate needs, echoing Pope Francis’ message for World Mission Day 2024: ‘Go and invite everyone to the banquet’ (Matthew 22:09).

This is why as we approach the end of the financial year, making a tax-deductible donation to the Don Bosco Caring Center is a way to offer a kind hand to the children who need it the most.

To support the missionaries proving a kind hand to homeless children in Ulaanbaatar, donate here.

*Name changed to protect his identity.

Banner image: A child from the Don Bosco Caring Center draws his hopes for the future. (Photo courtesy of Catholic Mission.)