A group of about 10
children live in this district heating hole. keeping up appearances.
Surderdene og Badamsuren, The two girls in the group are doing their
With the breakdown of communist rule in Mongolia
following the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, the first
generation of street children was born. An effect of the abrupt transition to
a market economy was unemployment, since numbers of state owned businesses
were forced to shut down. For many families this meant the beginning of a
social deroute of alcoholism, violence and abuse. The children of these
families have largely been left to their own devices because of the lack of a
proper social safety net.
The police estimate that more than one
thousand children live in the streets of Ulan Bator but nobody knows the real
number . In the coldest months of the year when temperatures drop as low as -45?c degrees, many street children survive by
staying in the channels
of the district heating system underground.