Awesome Mongolia Underway!

May 23, 2012

The members of Awesome Mongolia are extremely excited to tell you about the formation of our first chapter, Awesome Sukhbaatar! The idea has been really popular in our small town of Baruun-Urt, located in the Sukhbaatar province of Mongolia.


Former Peace Corps Volunteer Travis Hellstrom and I started our group slowly with a couple of key local leaders who we knew would be interested and are always motivated to help the community. They expanded it quickly and we had our group of 10 in no time, not to mention the support of the local government, media, plus a few other interested members waiting for openings or even a second chapter! I will act as the co-dean for the next year with Aldarmaa, our province’s educational department foreign language specialist.

To get our first project going, we decided to introduce the idea to the community through an essay contest hosted by the Education Department. The topic was “If I had 200,000 tugriks I would…” On Children’s Day, a major holiday on June 1st here in Mongolia, we will announce the winner and award the student with the prize (roughly $200 US) to make their awesome idea happen! Later, we’re also going to be starting an Awesome Kids chapter, bringing together students from our two schools to encourage creative thinking, teamwork, decision making, and all the great skills that come from being a part of the Awesome Foundation!

We have had to make some adjustments to make the Awesome Chapter happen here (i.e. lower monthly dues and less reliance on the Internet for publicity), but the spirit of community giving remains the same. Even more exciting, we have international members who want to be part of our group! Instead of deciding which projects to award each month, they are going to head up the Awesome Prize (think X-Prize on a community scale for Mongolia!). Our first project will be the Awesome Wind Prize and we will award the first community member or team that comes up with a wind energy idea that can be replicated in homes in our community.

We’re excited to see how this idea will grow in our town- so far we’re off to a great start! Aldarmaa will actually be joining you all in America before I will; she was selected by the US Embassy to study this summer at Amherst in Massachusetts and will attend the Awesome Summit in July to tell you more about our chapter then! Thanks for the support from the Awesome Global Community!


This article was written by Bonnie Nelson who is currently serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the eastern steppe of Mongolia. Bonnie is Co-Dean of Awesome Sukhbaatar.