Supporting the Local Communities through the Gobi March (Mongolia)
At every race RacingThePlanet does something to support the local communities along the course.
These are the people that live very simply, have a very low income level and aren’t supported by bigger charities.
Small things that we can do make a huge difference to their lives.
Sponsoring a Herding Dog in 2022
In 2020, during the pandemic, we held a virtual Community Challenge and in doing so also raised some money for the local communities at each of our main races (Mongolia, Atacama Desert in Chile and Namibia). The donation for Mongolia sponsored a Barkhol herding dog which protects the herds and families from prey (wolves, foxes, etc.). Read more about this project, how important the dogs are and the family who received the dog from the RacingThePlanet community in this feature: Community Challenge: Mongolian Bankhar Dog Project.
This year we donated the following to nomadic families along the course:
- Solar batteries
- Clothes, pens and colouring books to the children
Nomadic farmers are completely off grid. Their only source of power is solar, but solar batteries to capture, store and make use of the solar power are expensive. In 2020 the Mongolian government had a push to provide solar batteries to nomadic farmers but still only about 70% of them received one.
- During the Gobi March 2023 RacingThePlanet donated 30 solar batteries to families that did not receive one. They were personally delivered by checkpoint and course team staff.
Watch this video of our course director, Carlos, donating a solar battery.
Mongolia is a vast country (ask any of the racers and they will agree!). Nomadic farmers have herds of sheep, cows, horses and camels to survive and make a living. In such a vast area these animals can stray for miles. Monoculars are used over binoculars because they are lighter weight, smaller, more durable and enable you to see further. They are also easier for herders to use while travelling on a motorbike to round up their herds.
For nomadic herders in Mongolia, binoculars are not an option; they are essential.
- During the Gobi March 2023, RacingThePlanet also donated 30 monoculars to families along the course.
Clothing, Pens and Books for Children
One the RacingThePlanet alumni and 4 Deserts Club member, Jacqueline Eastridge, gave her career in law in the United States to volunteer around the world for the Peace Corps. One of her assignments was teaching in remote schools in Mongolia. Over her extended stay in Mongolia she did more than just teach children she enhanced their lives now and for the future by giving them simple essentials and little luxuries while broadening their horizons about the world.
Knowing what would be truly appreciated by the children and families in these remote areas we put out a request to racers and staff to bring a small amount of clothing, pens, colouring books and books. The response from the participants was enormous and the appreciation from the children who received some of these donations equalled that.