The Mongolian Association of State Alumni (MASA) organized a highly successful fundraising event on May 13, 2011 – raising $15,000 to support the upcoming summer program of "TRY Asia in Mongolia."
TRY Asia is an international event that promotes social awareness and acceptance of disabled people. This annual program has previously taken place in seven different Asian countries, and this year will be hosted in Mongolia by The Universal Development Independent Living Center for Disabled, an NGO headed by Mr. Undrakhbayar, an alumnus of a U.S. State Department Voluntary Visitor Program in 2010. The NGO is expecting 76 people to attend from seven Asian countries including Mongolia (38 disabled participants and 38 volunteer assistants). The group will travel around Mongolia for a total of 10 days during which they will travel on public transportation and visit schools, businesses, government agencies and public institutions to raise awareness of disability issues. They will also give public presentations to promote realistic and positive understanding of people with disabilities and their rights, skills, talents and desire to contribute to society.
Paintings for the silent Auction
The TRY Asia program fits perfectly with MASA's long term goal to promote “equal opportunities for everyone” in Mongolia and help to create an inclusive and open society in their country. Considering TRY Asia in Mongolia to be a very important and potentially effective awareness raising program, MASA members were happy to collaborate on this worthy initiative from a fellow alumnus.
The members of MASA's Board of Directors organized an evening social event, raising a total of $15,000 to support TRY Asia and Undrakhbayar's NGO. Held at Khan Bank Auditorium, which donated the space, the event included food and entertainment. Some of the total funds raised came from the ticket price for the event, but the bulk of the support was donated by private companies. In addition over 20 donated art pieces (paintings and sculptures) were auctioned during the event.
U.S Ambassador Jonathan Addleton gives speech 2010 VolVis program alumnus Mr.Undrakhbayar, Volvis alumna Ms. Enkhtuya with Mr. Avirmed
Mr. Jargalsaikhan, President of MASA, noted during his speech that “real development comes only when everyone has an opportunity to participate. Physical and conceptual barriers should be fought in order to ensure diversity and democracy in our society. And we as Mongolian U.S. alumni should be the one of the first to raise this issue and take a step.”