Following the collapse of the former Soviet Union, the terrible economic and social conditions in Mongolia became apparent. Therefore SOS Children's Villages decided to start working in the country. The economic instability led to an increase in the number of children who had lost parental care and were living below the poverty line. Over the past decades, SOS Children's Villages has expanded and adapted its activities to meet the changing needs of children, young people and families.
At present there are two SOS Children's Villages in Mongolia, one SOS Youth Facility and one SOS Social Centre (Family Strengthening Programme).
There are several hundred orphans in Ulaanbaatar alone, who are not provided for through the extended family system and are living either in orphanages or in the streets. That is one reason why it was decided to build the country's first SOS Children's Village in the capital. A suitable, 2.7-hectare plot of land was found on the eastern outskirts of Ulaanbaatar. The SOS Children's Village consists of fourteen family houses, the village director's house, a house for the SOS aunts (family helpers who support the SOS mothers), a multi-purpose hall, as well as an administration and service area.
The children from the SOS Children's Village attend state kindergartens and schools. Additional English classes for children and mothers are taught at the village in order to improve their language skills. Tutors help children who have problems at school. An educational co-worker visits the schools regularly in order to get the teachers' input about the children's performance. Teachers of gymnastics, chess, checkers, table tennis, accordion, dance and folk songs organize classes for children, and the village hall is always busy with activities.
In 2008, an SOS Youth Facility became operational in a rented building and construction of an SOS Social Centre started. The centre consists of training workshops, a room for medical treatment, two rooms for child educational activities, a kitchen and an administration area. The family strengthening programme offers community support, health counselling, counselling & psychological support and training workshops with the aim to build parental skills and increase awareness of children's rights and to help the targeted families to be self-sufficient and to provide their children with a proper education.
Within the village premises, there is also an SOS Vocational Training Centre for mother and staff training. The training room has a capacity of up to 30 trainees per course.