WHAT IS MAPP?
MAPP (Mongolian Air Pollution Project) is a collaborative project based in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital. It brings together participants from the Mongolian Red Cross Society and the Health Sciences University of Mongolia as well as teams from the target schools. These two key agencies each have a long history of working to improve the quality of life for all Mongolians and a focus on the challenges faced by those who are especially vulnerable (such as impoverished children).
The high rates of air pollution is a relatively new issue facing those who live in Ulaanbaatar. It's been rated by the WHO as the second worst in the world – this challenge is most pronounced during the winter months when it can be -40C outside and many families are forced to burn ‘mixed rubbish’ in order to keep warm! The pollution has reached an alarming rate in the last few years and residents of Ulaanbaatar have very little information on the issue.
We are focussing our campaign on children in a number of schools in impoverished areas with the aim to link in with their families and the community more broadly. Our project looks to empower these communities through education and awareness around air pollution, it's effects and prevention. Students will have the opportunity to participate in a number of activities that aim to make mask-wearing less of a chore and more a chance for some fun.
Photo Credit: Lauren Knapp
- To introduce appropriate masks for protection from PM Air Pollution to the Ger Districts in Ulaanbaatar.
- To deliver an Air Pollution educational program in schools through trained youth volunteers
- To acquire data on health impacts and consumer interest to be used to create market demand for the appropriate masks in Ulaanbaatar
- Have some fun!
At this stage, it is hard to guess what the impact of this project will be as no one has done anything like this here before – that said, we do know some thing already:
- WHO estimates that between 9% (direct) and 15% (indirect) death in Ulaanbaatar can be conservatively linked to air pollution, with the costs projected by the World Bank to be roughly $US500M or 20% of the Ulaanbaatar GDP each year.
- The masks we are introducing to the community will screen out 95% of the harmful particles in the air and we are been able to bring them into Mongolia at a price that most families would be able to afford during the winter months
- Schools have traditionally been a successful way to introduce new ideas and practices to Mongolia people as well as a place where social concerns (like air pollution) are regularly discussed by the families that meet there.
We see this project as an important first step in improving health and well being throughout the city. The reality is that bad air has major long term effects on the children of our city and today’s children should not have to wait for some improvement in the future if they can safeguard themselves now!
WHAT WE NEED & WHAT YOU GET
For our project to run, we need $US 5500 or just over 9 000 000 Mongolian tugruks – there is a detailed budget but, roughly, the money would be spent in these ways:
• 6% for Training - our volunteers will get instruction on air pollution matters, basic research methods and child-safe volunteering methods.
• 36% for Project Roll-Out – this will cover the activity supplies, prizes for students, logistics for our volunteers and, of course, the masks!
• 15% for Products – this project has a number of information and research materials to be distributed to our participants and possibly for future projects...
• 7% for Medical – we will be using a mix of medical testing equipment resources for a more accurate picture of the effect of our masks
• 36% for On-Costs – this includes costs for translation, shipping costs and fees incurred (bank & Indiegogo)
For those who are able to contribuite financially, we are will include recognition of donors as part of the final report on the project when it is completed – this will be published by the Health Sciences University of Mongolia, and sent out as a "Digital Report Package" to those donors who donate over $50.
We are confident we will reach our funding target so we encourage you donate soon to be part in this landmark community health project!
OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP
We understand that not everyone is in a position to help financially with projects like this – in that case, we would ask that you let others know what we are trying to achieve and how they can contact us. Also, if you know of organisations that might be interested in making a contribution, we would be grateful if you could encourage them to contact us as well – sadly, there is little scope for taking ‘in-kind’ donations for this kind of project in Mongolia!
Please be sure to share this through all your email and social networks.