During the first three years of pioneering the ‘Sergelt’ project beautiful and meaningful moments have gone hand in hand with heartbreaking and difficult ones. We have witnessed people’s lives and attitudes improve and with some we could take steps towards breaking their cycle of homelessness and addiction. Others have received encouragement from our presence. Treating their wounds or giving a haircut helped many feel valued and human again. Others received comfort while they were in hospital or during the last moments of their lives.
Sadly we have seen many persons’ lives also going from bad to worse and many lost their lives due to dangerous living conditions on the street and addictions. It is not easy to deal with the suffering we see, or to watch how someone makes a wrong decision again. We want to see all of this fixed but the harsh reality of life shows that not everything is solvable. Due to the complexity of problems, external factors and an insufficient social care system, there are simply no lasting and certainly no easy solutions for the vast majority of homeless people.
In July this year we received a visit from our coach Sjaak Monster from ‘De Hoop’ Addiction Care, The Netherlands. Together we reflected over the past years of ‘Sergelt’. In order to bring the project to the next level and continue in a healthy and long-term way, we realized change is needed. The work on the street has been put on a temporal halt as to prepare for the future. Though it seems we are inactive, new things are developing behind the scenes!
As manager of ‘Sergelt’ I took the time for orientation and study by visiting similar projects in other countries, to learn about leadership and teamwork, and about a methodology fitting for our work among the homeless. Now back in Mongolia I prepare to implement these things in our project. After a new team has been formed (likely this will happen in January) we plan to pick up the actual work again from February onwards with the use of our drop-in bus. We will keep you updated!
A Christmas Celebration for our homeless contacts is planned for Wednesday 27th. Many friends have volunteered to help (thank you!) and we are looking forward to a special time of fellowship and celebrating the Gift of Christmas.
To all those who have been involved in ‘Sergelt’ and those who still are: Thank you so much for standing with us and making it possible for us to be there for the homeless community!
Corrie van der Esch
‘SERGELT’ | Good Neighbor Society