Ecosoum is the fruit of an initiative by a French-Mongolian couple from Khishig-Undur. Since the association's creation in September 2018, its members have been working to develop a community dynamic around Ecosoum, in order to involve as many volunteers as possible among the inhabitants of the soum.
CO-FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT
After spending her childhood in Khishig-Undur, Nara went to the capital to study International Relations. After this she spent nearly three years in Jerusalem, from where she returned to Mongolia with a Master's degree in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies. Having also worked for ten years as a tour guide, Nara discovered her country as much as she could and she has been dreaming of contributing to the solutions for the challenges she has always witnessed in rural Mongolia. Her encounter with Pierre then led her to France, where she completed her studies at IRIS Sup' with a Humanitarian Manager Master’s degree. After five months of internship at Action Against Hunger’s headquarter, she was finally ready to go back to Khishig-Undur in order to found Ecosoum.
CO-FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR
Pierre started his professional career in an environmental engineering company. Three years later, he left his native France to embark on long journeys around the world. The ecological and socio-economic problems that he observed everywhere, including in Mongolia, led him to want to reorient his activities towards international development and solidarity. Upon his return to France, Pierre joined IRIS Sup's Master’s degree in International Programs Management, at the end of which he returned to Mongolia for a few months in order to join Nara and write a thesis on the Mongolian agro-pastoral system. He then worked in Paris at Doctors of the World’s headquarters and participated in the writing of a book about food and agriculture policies for over a year before to finally return to Khishig-Undur with Nara to launch Ecosoum.
TEACHER IN CHARGE OF THE SCHOOL'S ECO-CLUB
Saran has been living in Khishig-Undur most of her life and she has been working as a physics teacher at the soum school since 1994. Lately, the establishment has been participating in an international programme called « Eco School » and, in this context, an « Eco School » was founded to give the soum’s children a framework in which they could get involved with sustainable development activities. As the head of this club, Saran has been very active within the school to raise children’s awareness regarding environmental issues. Since Ecosoum was established in Khishig-Undur, Saran and the Eco Club decided to join the association in order to tackle these challenges together, starting with the tremendous issue of waste.
ASSOCIATIVE FARM'S CHIEF AGRONOMIST
Born in Khishig-Undur, Baasandorj completed his secondary education in the village before leaving to study agronomy at the Mongolian University of Life Science in Darkhan. He then worked as an agronomist in various regions, mainly in Dundgobi province as well as Ulaanbaatar, successively for the State and several private agricultural enterprises. With these many years of experience, Baasandorj decided in 2016 to come back to settle down in Khishig-Undur, where he started his family business of vegetable growing in greenhouses. At the beginning of 2019, he finally joined Ecosoum as chief agronomist to manage the "model" associative farm that he helped setting up, in order to share his knowledge with other local farmers and contribute to the agricultural development of the soum.
ARCHITECT SPECIALISED IN ECO-CONSTRUCTION
Mandakh was born and grew up in Khishig-Undur. After she finished high school in the soum, she left to follow her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in architecture at the Mongolian University of Science and Technology in Ulaanbaatar. While completing her second degree, she decided to focus her future studies on sustainable construction that benefits both the environment and humans. She published her studies on the subject and continues to research further. At the moment, Mandakh works at the Building Energy Efficiency Center in Ulaanbaatar but she was very motivated to join Ecosoum in order to contribute to the development of her hometown. She has been very active in the search for solutions to improve energy efficiency of Khishig-Undur’s buildings, as well as in the design of the soum’s waste management platform.
RANGER IN CHARGE OF ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION
Ganbold was born in Khishig-Undur in 1965. He graduated from the soum school in 1983 and went to attend Darkhan Polytechnic College during 2 years. After serving the army for three years, he completed his education with 4 additional years at the Mongolian State University of Agriculture. He has been working as a ranger at the local administration since 1996. He's in charge of protecting the environment and makes sure that the local natural resources are used properly. Since he realized that he had the same value and principles as Ecosoum and went for the same goals, he decided to join us and contribute with his knowledge and skills in environmental protection. Very interested in reforestation and revegetating the soum center, he's been helping Ecosoum to design a proper forest management project.
HEAD OF ECOSOUM'S "UB-MEMBERS" GROUP
Dulguun spent her entire childhood in Khishig-Undur. After finishing her high school there, she completed her B.A in Management and International Trade at the National University of Mongolia in Ulaanbaatar. Her topic of research was “Developing small and medium businesses and attracting foreign investment”. Although she started working in a private business organization, she wanted to be involved in the humanitarian sector. Thus, she redirected her career and has been working for the NGO World Vision Mongolia as a development officer on projects to improve the livelihood of young families, child care, and health. She has joined Ecosoum, as the head of Ecosoum's active members living in Ulaanbaatar, to contribute to the development and bright future of her hometown.
WATER, ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT ENGINEER
Simon is a young French engineer in love with nature. He participated, through an association of which he was President, in the construction of an artisanal wind turbine in the small school of a remote village in Morocco. After working in Madagascar and Reunion Island on hydraulic issues and volunteering in Iceland for various environmental projects, he completed his studies and worked on waterways restoration. Driven by solidarity and eco-responsible values, he decided to put his knowledge, skills and experience at the disposal of Ecosoum. His primary objective is now to teach Khishig-Undur soum's inhabitants how to build, install and maintain a locally made wind turbine, while seeking sanitation solutions adapted to the local context.
Want to join? The door is wide open, we're waiting for you.