Kiva Fellow Beth Ritchey blogged again today about gers in Mongolia. Some fun facts from the article include:
- Ger etiquette involves women staying to the right of the stove, with men to the left, and the head of the household always sitting at the northern end.
- Visitors in a ger should always remember not to linger in the doorway and never to lean on the support frames.
- It is estimated now that 90% of Ulaanbaatar is made up of ger districts.
While gers suit nomadic life and work very well in the countryside, ger districts lack a formal sanitation system and pit toilets have contaminated local water sources. Kiva’s Mongolia partners, Credit Mongol and XacBank, are helping to fund loans for Mongolians to move out of the ger districts and build more permanent homes. While I love supporting the ger lifestyle, this solution seems more sustainable, both for residents and the environment.
Not familiar with Kiva? Kiva is a fantastic nonprofit that connects people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty. It is the world’s first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend.