Friday, December 3, 2010

The Mongolian Helmet Project Continues!

It has been far too long since a post has made and I apologize for that! It has been the off season for this project so we've been working on some other projects. However, this project is continuing on!

Currently, we're researching ideas for raising $660 in order to ship a huge batch of helmets sitting in somebody's garage in America to Mongolia. If you have any ideas about this, please let me know! (

We'll also be working on finding new ways of getting helmets into the hands of child jockeys.

Sorry it's such a short update, but more info to come later! Thanks for following this project!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Audio Slideshow: Child Jockeys Train for Mongolia's Naadam Horse Races

Here's a cool audio slideshow made by a freelance journalist living in Hovd, a province in the far west of Mongolia:

Saturday, July 24, 2010

More About Distributing Helmets at Naadam

As you can probably discern from the pictures in the previous post, the distribution of helmets for the Naadam festival in the Arkhangai province was very successful! Here's a little more about how it went...

Naadam is a two-day event in Arkhangai and the day before the first set of races began my coworkers and I loaded up an SUV with all of the helmets. Then we drove around, meeting up with previously contacted horse trainers and the family members of jockeys. My coworkers led the entire process (which I couldn't do anyway with my limited Mongolian language skills) by talking to them about the importance of the helmets and how to wear them. They also collected people's contact information so we could recollect the helmets after the races concluded, to be used again next year.

The next morning we rose early to meet all everybody at the start of the race at 6:00am. My coworkers were also responsible for registering the children and their horses for the race. As children start arriving, I was delighted to see that many of them were wearing helmets!

The races continued on through that day and onto the next. Admittedly, it was still a rather small percentage of children who wore helmets. There still needs to be more education and awareness raising about this issue. However, the idea for this project stemmed from my coworkers and they are all very dedicated to the cause. In the Peace Corps we talk a lot about making our projects sustainable, and I feel very confident that my coworkers will continue their strident efforts to protect children and keep them safe through this project.

Also, one of the reasons many children were not wearing helmets is because they came from outside the provincial center and my coworkers hadn't been in touch with them. Next year we will make a better effort to reach these children who are from even more rural parts of Mongolia.

As for the continuation of this project, I need to talk with my coworkers about it some more. I would like to work on getting helmets donated for children in other provinces and continue to raise awareness about the importance of riding safely with more and more people. Each province has their own branch of the Department for Children (the organization I work with) and we could work alongside them. More information to come!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Pictures from Naadam

Here are some of the pictures of the helmets being distributed, horse race prep, kids wearing helmets, kids not wearing helmets, jockeys and horses crossing the finish line, and the winners!

Sunday, July 11, 2010


I just got home from taking part in two full days of the Naadam festival here in Arkhangai! This is the big annual event that occurs every year all over Mongolia. It involves three sports: wrestling, archery, and horse racing. It was these horse races that the helmets were primarily collected for. This is just going to be a brief summary, but I'm happy to report that helmets were distributed amongst kids and many of them wore them in the race! A longer description and more pictures will be coming soon...

Again, thanks so much to all of you who donated time, energy, money, and your helmets to this project!

For now, here's one teaser picture of some adorable kids wearing their helmets, getting ready to start the first horse race.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Naadam is this weekend!

That's right, Mongolia's biggest festival featuring three sports (wrestling, archery, and horse-racing) is this weekend! The festival is celebrated at provinces throughout the country. It will be on July 10-11 here in Arkhangai. I'll go with my coworkers at the beginning of the festival to check out helmets to kids. I'm really looking forward to it!

Come back to this website sometime after Naadam to see pictures of all the kids in their helmets!

Friday, June 4, 2010

T-Shirts for Sale!

Indie designer Elektra has designed a t-shirt to help raise money for this project!

She will donate a portion of the proceeds from each shirt to this project so that we can purchase more helmets for kids!
Elektra is also a returned Peace Corps Volunteer and according to her Etsy page, a " design graduate with a silkscreen printing addiction, a passion for entrepreneurship, and an insatiable appetite for urban design." Her clothing has been worn by Madonna on multiple occasions and in April, Sarah Jessica Parker ordered custom apparel and art from her!

Check out the images below and for more information go here (unisex version) and here (women's version)!