On Thursday, November 17, Australian Ambassador to Mongolia John Langtry presented grants to ten organizations selected for support from the Direct Aid Program (DAP). The projects selected included initiatives focused on youth development, women’s empowerment, the environment, public health, poverty reduction, agriculture, and improving governance.

The organizations will mainstream disability inclusiveness and gender parity in their projects to ensure that the grants equally benefit people living with disability and women.

According to the Australian Embassy, since 2003, over 100 Mongolian NGOs and organizations have implemented a total of 114 DAP projects. A total of 120 applications were received for the 2016-2017 DAP grants.

“DAP is a good opportunity for Mongolian organizations, particularly civic and non-profits, to address social and environmental issues. Demand for this competitive grant is getting higher as the number of organizations applying for it has been increasing. I congratulate the organizations who won the grant for 2016-2017, and I am sure that they will do a great job. In the meantime, I thank all the organizations that participated and urge them to apply for the next round of DAP in June 2017,” Ambassador Langtry said at the grant presentation ceremony.

Tsenguun Tumurkhuyag, program manager for the Mongol Ecology Centre, said, “We are happy to receive the Australian government’s funding to implement our Junior Ranger Program. Two hun- dred 4th through 7th grade students from Hatgal and Khankh secondary schools will learn to protect Mongolia’s environment and learn about the natural history of the Khuvsgul area, its geological features, biological diversity, hydrologic cycle, forestry, soil composition, and the impacts of climate change.”

The 10 projects that were awarded grants are as follows:

• Establishing a Classroom for Orientation in Surroundings at School #116 for Visually Impaired and Blind Children

• Expanding Paper Craft Production Using Waste Newspapers

• Human Papilloma Virus in Mongolia

• Enhancing the Capacity of Mongolian Scouts to Support Youth

• Engage Future Stewards of Conservation by Developing a Junior Ranger Program in Gateway Communities of Lake Khuvsgul National Park

• Partners for Protection Network

• Hope for the Future

• Providing Rights of Well-being and Playing Basketball with Local Youth

• Green Way Waste and Recycling Education Centre

• Improving Public Services Through the Check My Service Mobile Application