Asral NGO was founded by Ven. Panchen Ötrul Rinpoche in 2001, and is supported by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Asral’s main aim is to keep families together and prevent children from going onto the streets. Since its foundation, Asral has helped combat unprecedented levels of poverty and social problems in Mongolia.
One-third of the population experiences extreme poverty, unable to afford basic food and shelter. Asral works closely with local government and community leaders to develop self-sustaining livelihood options, to provide access to education, skills training, medical care and family support, especially for women.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, thousands of herders and their families have lost their livelihoods. For decades, up to thirty thousand people migrated to Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar, each year. Asral’s core aim is to provide viable alternatives, to prevent families from migrating into the city’s vast shanty areas.