Hesperian congratulates Oyuna on her recent election to the Mongolian Parliament! As an experienced organizer with a passion for health, the environment, and women’s rights, she will be a powerful leader for change.
Oyungerel Tsedevdamba found Hesperian’s resources in a Google search when someone came to her nonprofit, Local Solutions, to ask about composting toilets. She was so inspired by what she found that she asked to translate Hesperian’s book A Community Guide to Environmental Health into Mongolian. With a grant from Hesperian’s Translations program, she hired a typist, sat down to do the translation—and translated all six hundred pages in forty days.
When the book was published, she worked tirelessly to make it available to those who needed it in every soum (county) in Mongolia. Thanks to her efforts, people around the country created projects to improve the environment of their communities: miners educated their communities on the health risks of mercury, and schools built composting toilets. Oyuna obtained an endorsement from the Mongolian president, and the book stayed on top of Mongolia’s best seller list for two months!
The Mongolian economy has experienced significant growth over the last few years, which has also led to significant challenges: most of the growth is been based on mining, which is damaging the country’s environment. Like most wealth derived from resource extraction, it is very unevenly distributed, adding to the problems of Mongolia’s poor. Oyuna’s advocacy experience and commitment to health will make her an incorruptible people’s representative and a strong leader in addressing these challenges.
Hesperian wishes Oyuna the best in her new position and looks forward to continuing to pursue our common vision of Health for All!