Yesterday we visited the Lotus Child Center to learn about the problems that children face here in Mongolia. There was a variety of reasons that children were left here of course. They range from simple abandonment to parental alcoholism or incarceration.The children sometimes return to the family even if the circumstances are not good because the home can not take official custody of the child. If the parents want a child back to beg on the street, the center has no choice but to release them.
The home is run by the same organization that runs Baan Unrak, the home we volunteer with in Thailand. Owing to their state controlled past, the Mongolian government has much tighter controls here. I guess that can be a good thing, but the controls seem to be used to collect bribes instead of protect the children. Either way, an interesting day.