Be part of a bigger travel philosophy

by Eternal Landscapes Mongolia in Mongolia

Be part of a bigger travel philosophy

£4,118

raised of £5,000 target

71

supporters
82% 20 hours left
Flexible funding – this project will receive all pledges made by 6th July 2020 at 3:00pm

Help us provide Covid-19 support by making a donation, buying gift vouchers or choosing a reward. Be part of a bigger travel philosophy

by Eternal Landscapes Mongolia in Mongolia

Why are we crowdfunding?

For each person in the photo below. This is not just a random selection of photos put together. Each person or family represented here is someone we provide long-term support to through the trips we run in Mongolia. And each person below has been impacted by Covid-19.

We’re more than just a standard tour company focusing on profit. We're a registered social travel enterprise and look to make sure we work responsibly within tourism and that our work benefits the local people and communities of Mongolia as much as it benefits our guests and us as a business. We focus on creating local community partnerships that offer long-term support to local people, families and Mongolian projects - encouraging their own sense of enterprise.

The money we are raising is not to cover wages. It is not for covering our running or operating costs. It is not to pay the bills. All that we have done or are doing through our own savings and overdrafts (we don't qualify for loans or grants). The fundraising money is to provide an element of support during these challenging times.

We’re proud of our commitment to making a positive difference in Mongolia. That's why we invite our guests to be part of a bigger travel philosophy. We support a wide spectrum of people on purpose  – whether they are herders, musicians, teachers, philanthropists or Kazakh eagle hunters - to help break the typical tourism stereotypes and clichés of Mongolia. The support that we provide helps families to buy school uniforms or textbooks or covers university fees or emergency surgery costs. It allows the herders we support to pay for winter feed for their livestock. It allows a local NGO to provide financial support to women in need or allows a local project to provide free education & support to kids. It allows us to give interest-free grants or loans and provide a free training and development programme for Mongolian women.

Our business represents years of hard work, dedication, sleepless nights, angst, worry and stress but also a belief in something bigger. When travel is done right and responsibly it is a celebration of culture and people and landscapes. It connects us to each other and creates memories and connections that last a lifetime. 

Why not use our own money?

We have. 

We're an established business (2020 is our 10th year of operating - with 15 years based in Mongolia. It was going to be a summer of events that we would host for our guests and team but this is all on hold.) and like most tourism businesses, we have been hit hard by Covid-19. But we're proud that we've been giving support to our 2020 guests including 100% refunds. We've also managed to cover all of our operational costs from savings and overdrafts. But because of how we are set-up we don't qualify for the grants or loans currently on offer so that's why we asking for help in 'paying it forward.'

Our campaign 

We have received many kind messages and know that we have some loyal support. That's why we are reaching out to our beloved community to help support us as a social travel enterprise - allowing us to continue to provide our extended support. We're asking for a funding target of £5000 but it is a stretch target and if we raise more then it all helps.

We have put together a range of, what we hope, are great rewards suited for a range of budgets as well as the option of just making a donation or turning your donation into a gift voucher. We also have pledges with a charitable element to help us spread our support further.

We understand that Covid-19 has created a very uncertain landscape for millions of businesses and we are just one of many. We also appreciate that you may personally have been affected financially by the pandemic and are not in a position to donate. We also appreciate that there are many other organisations and businesses also going down the crowdfunding route. If you're not comfortable with donating, that's OK.

But for those able to, please pledge what you can. Every little bit is hugely appreciated and goes a long way. It helps keep us determined to get through this.

Thank you for being part of the EL story and for being part of a bigger travel philosophy. Keep safe and take care.

Love, Jess & the team  x

Introduction to our Mongolia

For those who have yet to visit Mongolia, we have (attempted to) bring our beloved Mongolia to you. Here's our introduction to Mongolia - a country which is so much more than its stereotype of Genghis Khan, nomads and untouched wilderness. 

How does tourism help? 

Here's an introduction to some of the people and projects that we work with and how our form of tourism helps to provide them with support.

Bashakhan - Kazakh Eagle Hunter


Bashakhan is 57 years old and lives in the district of Ulaankhuus in the Altai Mountains in western Mongolia. As well as being a herder he is also an eagle hunter. He lives with his wife, son, daughter-in-law and his four grandsons. Working in tourism helps him to survive financially so that he does not have to migrate to Ulaanbaatar. In his words,' Eagle hunting is not a job that every single Kazakh can do. We have inherited this from our ancestors and it is our responsibility to educate our children to continue the inheritance (continue the eagle hunting). I can't live without an eagle. If I have free time, I like to go to the mountains. It helps - riding, hiking, running and going hunting. There is no stress.' 

In November 2019, we were approached to be fixers by Sam Potter - a writer and director who was tasked by Beautiful Destinations to create a short film on the Kazakh eagle hunters of western Mongolia. Take 11 minutes to travel to western Mongolia and get to know Bashakhan in person.

Mongolian Quilting Centre

Meet Selenge Tserendash - the founder. 


The Mongolian Quilting Centre is known more formally as the New Way Life NGO – established in 2005 by Selenge Tserendash to make a difference to the lives of disadvantaged and unemployed women based in Ulaanbaatar and in rural areas. Women are trained in the art of quilting, textiles and embroidery and use their skills to generate income for their families by crafting products to sell. The Mongolian Quilting Centre creates the EL tote bags that we provide as a free welcome gift to our guests. 

Nogoon Nuur Community Project

Meet the founder Ulziitogtokh Sodnomsenge – or Ulzii, as he is known. 

There are few safe community spaces within the ger districts of Ulaanbaatar  – especially community spaces where children can play – but the Nogoon Nuur Comunity Project is bucking this trend.  We include a visit to Nogoon Nuur on our free city walking tour of Ulaanbaatar and make a donation per person that visits.

In the words of Ulzii, 'The kids in this area often have a very hard life. I want to give them somewhere to play.’ In the summer, he offers pedalo boats for children (and their parents) to use. In the winter, it converts to an ice-skating rink. Both experiences are affordable for local families surrounding the project. Ulzii also provides free ongoing educational support including access to computers, a small library and even music lessons.

Nergui and family

Nergui is a herder from the community of Erdenedalai in Mongolia's middle Gobi - a region frequently overlooked by tour companies as they focus on the highlights of the southern Gobi or western Mongolia. We focused on this region as it meant our support would have more impact and helps prevent urban migration - we work side by side with the family making sure our experiences are put together in a way which benefits the families, rather than disrupting their lives. 

The EL Team

We don’t employ what other companies describe as being 'the best.' Instead, we provide long-term training, support and employment opportunities to those that want the opportunity to aim to be the best they can be. We invest in our team and call ourselves 'manaikhan' – ours or our people in Mongolian.

When EL  was first created, it was just Turuu and I as a driver and guide. It was easier then as it meant we could micromanage. But we wanted to put more back into Mongolia. This has led to the formation of our low season training programme for Mongolian women that want to work in tourism but other companies won’t take as they don’t fit the stereotype or have the professional qualifications. Our female Mongolian trip assistants are dynamic women who are searching for an opportunity to learn and develop and we provide that long-term opportunity.

To counterbalance that, our drivers are all male. We only employ 10 drivers and we know each one and their family personally. They are not modern city men – they are more traditional men often now overlooked by other tour companies who prefer younger more international Mongolians who speak English.  We wanted to provide equal opportunities and so as our trip assistants are female and typically younger with a more modern outlook, so our drivers are all male, older and from more traditional backgrounds. We find it is a partnership that works brilliantly well.

They work in tourism for the financial support it provides but also for more personal reasons ...

  • 'It gives me freedom. Also, since I started to work in tourism, the life of my family has improved. It also gives me opportunities, lovely colleagues and lots of new experiences in my  life.' - Odnoo
  • 'Working in tourism has given me a lot of chances, opportunities, benefits, a lot of friends, a lot of memories and life experiences. I have experienced many different lifestyles and have learnt a lot of things from the local people. Working in tourism has helped me to find my inner person. Working in tourism has helped me to find who I am.' - Pujee
  • 'Working in tourism helps in how I communicate, it helps with my personal learning, and in improving my language.' - Tuya

Thank you for your support - now and in the future. For more on our work in Mongolia - https://www.eternal-landscapes.co.uk/

We ask project owners to honour their rewards wherever possible but please note that all pledges are donations and there is no guarantee that you will receive any rewards from the project owner. Please see Crowdfunder's Terms of Use for more information regarding rewards for pledges.

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£15 or more

General donation towards our ongoing support

A general donation that we can put towards our continuing support of our Mongolian team & the projects and families we work in long-term community partnership with through whatever challenges COVID-19 continues to send our way. We'll also send a personalised thank you from Mongolia.**Make sure you leave the correct email so we can get in touch for your postal address.**

£10 or more

A guide to Mongolian Stories & Proverbs

Mongolia's literary heritage has been greatly influenced by its nomadic oral traditions. Enjoy learning about Mongolia's stories, legends and proverbs in our exclusive PDF guide written by Jess specifically for our Covid campaign. ** We'll send you the PDF link by email so make sure you leave the correct email address so we can get in touch.**

£15 or more

Eternal Landscapes Mongolian Culture Guide

Enjoy learning about Mongolia's culture in our exclusive 54-page PDF guide introducing different aspects of Mongolia's culture. This guide has been written by Jess specifically for our Covid campaign. Includes an introduction to Buddhism in Mongolia, an introduction to Mongolia's music scene as well as recommended books & films. ** We'll send you the PDF link by email so make sure you leave the correct email address so we can get in touch.**

£20 or more

Eternal Landscapes Mongolian Recipe Guide

Enjoy learning about Mongolian cuisine in our exclusive 24-page PDF recipe guide. This guide has been written by Jess specifically for our Covid campaign. Includes 'how-to' links with recipes to some of Mongolia's most famous dishes. You'll also have the option of asking one of our female trip assistants for advice via Facetime or Skype (at a pre-arranged date & time. Limited to 15 minutes of advice). ** We'll send you the PDF link by email**

£25 or more

Guidebook To Mongolia & project donation

Receive an eBook copy (Apple device only) of our Interactive Guidebook to Mongolia. At the same time, we'll make a £10 donation in your name to two projects we provide long-term support to (£5 donation to the Nogoon Nuur Project and a £5 donation to the Mongolian Quilting Centre). ** We'll send you the guidebook link by email so make sure your email address is correct. This is an eBook for an Apple device only.**

£30 or more

9 of 30 claimed

Photography book - The Kazakh Eagle Hunters

Marios Forsos is a travel & special assignment photographer & educator. Marios was a guest of EL during his time in western Mongolia. In his words: 'I never expected such a harsh - but very beautiful - country to have some of the warmest & most hospitable people I've ever met. Or that spending time with the families of the eagle hunters literally defies explanation or description.' **Make sure you leave the correct email so we can get in touch**

£35 or more

Eternal Landscapes Gift Voucher & project donation

Buy yourself, your friend or a loved one an EL gift voucher. It can be used against the cost of a trip or against an EL experience (such as an archery day). **There is no cut off date.** At the same time, we'll make a £10 donation in your name to two of the projects we provide long-term support to (£5 to the Nogoon Nuur Project and a £5 donation to the Mongolian Quilting Centre). ** Make sure you leave your email address so we can get in touch**

£35 or more

One hour online Mongolian language lesson

Get to grips with the Mongolian language during one hour of informal language tuition. We'll connect you up to one of our female Mongolian trip assistants via Skype or Facetime - taking the time difference into consideration. Prior to your lesson, we will send a free PDF guide to the Mongolian language written by Jess specifically for our Covid campaign ** Please note, the lesson might take time to arrange due to the commitments of our team.**

£75 or more

Ulaanbaatar City Nights

Experience the vibrancy of Ulaanbaatar on an evening hosted by members of the EL team. This (approximate) 4-hour informal & relaxed experience will allow you to connect with the local atmosphere of Mongolia's capital city as you enjoy dinner & drinks in a couple of our favourite places as well as a few surprises. *The experience can be arranged as a gift for someone else. There's no cut off date. Leave your email address so we can get in touch.*

£75 or more

An exclusive 10% discount off any EL trip

This 10% discount can be added to any EL trip either for yourself or a member of your family or a friend. There is no cut off date and it can be applied to any trip. It can also be added to any additional discounts we are offering at the time of booking (such as our early bird or low season discount. **The discount can be arranged as a gift for someone else. There's no cut off date. Leave your email address so we can get in touch.**

£100 or more

1 of 10 claimed

Raffle for second-class Trans Siberian tickets

Feeling lucky? Enter our raffle competition. We have two separate second-class tickets available (either Ulaanbaatar to Irkutsk or Ulaanbaatar to Beijing (your choice) on the Trans-Siberian in 2021 although the date can be extended if needed). Those that don't win a ticket will receive a surprise Mongolian gift **The tickets can be arranged as a gift for someone else. Leave your email address so we can get in touch.**

£50 or more

10 of 10 claimed

Limited-edition hand made in Mongolia silver ring

A limited-edition silver ring engraved with a Mongolian khulan will be created for you by the Mongolian artist Tsagaana to help raise awareness & funds for the work of Association Goviin Khulan which works to protect the threatened Mongolian khulan & its natural habitat in Mongolia's Gobi Desert. **Make sure you leave the correct email so we can get in touch for your size and postal address.**

Let's make 'Be part of a bigger travel philosophy' happen

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