Calling in from the Soup Kitchen in Ulaanbaatar where we have experienced a decrease of beneficiaries over the past 3 months - from 80 to an average of 50 per day. This was partly because this period was the summer of Mongolia when the conditions are less extreme. However, we anticipate this number will increase in this next 3 month period with the onset of the extremely harsh Mongolian winter. The nomads are predicting that we are in for an unusually cold winter due to a wet summer! Following on from the advice of the Nutritionist from the US Embassy, we have been able to maintain serving a full bodied and considerably more healthy hot soup meal. We are thankful that some Mongolians continue to donate much needed ingredients from time to time and, more recently, kind donors from Singapore gave funds to a well known Mongolian bread company to donate 40 pieces of fresh bread two times per week for up to 4 months. This is being very well received. During this period we have received approximately USD1,500 from various donors and have distributed this towards the soup kitchen, free health clinic and children's development project. In August, a volunteer medical team from Malaysia comprising some 15 Doctors and Nurses visited Lamp of the Path and generously donated their expertise and basic medicines to the underprivileged people mainly in the Byanzurkh District, the location of the soup kitchen and medical clinic. LOP received approximately USD 3000 as a result of this activity. Our South East Asian brothers and sisters were very moved from this direct interaction with the poor in UB. The soup kitchen receives it's water from a well at the front of the property and late last winter due to some water pipe problems, the pipes froze and we had to carry the water quite some distance on foot. This resulted in having to spend the past month doing some major works to repair the pipes and instal a new thermostat. US Embassy staff have assisted us greatly with this work, providing advice, tools and skilled trades people and we are pleased to report this work was successfully completed last week ....... Just in time as the night temperatures are now dropping well below zero Celsius! The Embassy staff also uncovered some unsafe electrical wiring and installations in the soup kitchen and have offered to assist us in making these safe in the near future. Looking to the horizon, we aspire to fulfil a "meals on wheels" service taking hot meals to people in the poor ger districts of UB - for those not having the means to travel to the soup kitchen - there are many people young and old in need of this assistance. Heartfelt gratitude to all our past and present donors. Please keep the homeless of Ulaanbaatar in your heart and continue to support us in whatever way you are able to.
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