Women in Construction doing GEReat things for Children in Mongolia

2015 has been an exciting and diverse year for two enterprising National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) members.

Justine Lester Jameson, Managing Director and Co-Owner of Cloudhouses Ltd was the donator of a special charity raffle prize at the NAWIC Summer Ball 2014 which involved a lavish free weekend stay in a Cloudhouses Yurt (or Mongolian Ger) at this year’s Cornbury Festival in Oxfordshire with a free festival ticket donated by the Festival owner Mr. Hugh Phillamore.

The proceeds of the charity raffle were raised for the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation charity which provides support for Children and their families living in Mongolia and Vietnam. As in many countries housing for the poor is an expensive part of a family’s budget and is often inadequate for the climatic conditions in Mongolia which can remain at -30C for weeks on end and can sometimes go as low as -40-C. The Christina Noble Children’s Foundation has a number of projects including the Blue Skies Ger and the Give a Ger programme. Gers (often known as Yurts) are the traditional round nomadic tents used in Mongoila for over a thousand years. Justine Lester Jamesons said;

“We were honoured and delighted to be involved in this charity raffle and as a result of donating this prize we now hope to become more involved in the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation. As our Cloudhouses business specialises in providing the whole “Mongolian Style” Ger experience we are delighted to be able to work with CNCF to help them with their projects in Mongolia and will be looking forward to working with them in the future”

The winners of the prize, Mr. Kevin Turnbull and his wife described, their stay as “a most amazing experience very difference from anything they had ever done before” and they were delighted with the whole weekend from start to finish.  The owner of Cornbury Festival, Mr. Phillamore said;

“Here at Cornbury we are honoured to have been involved in such a prestigious and worthy cause and we are proud that our festival has enabled Justine to work with the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation in the future”

Tanja Smith is another NAWIC member who is also involved with the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation.Tanja who is the Technical Director of Gradon Architecture based in Ryton and was involved in the initial NAWIC Charity Fund raising for CNCF due to Gradon’s direct links to Mongolia, knows only too well how important the above project has been in raising awareness and valuable funds for the Mongolia Project. Tanja has since moved to Mongolia to manage Gradon Architecture’s office in the capital city Ulaanbaatar where the company continues to provide excellent architecture based upon life experiences with care and efficiency. Their belief is that the quality of surroundings has a direct influence on the quality of lives, whether it be workplace, home or in the public realm and it is these life experiences which influence their ability to produce innovative, sustainable and high quality design. Tanja said;

“Seeing and experiencing first-hand the harsh conditions that children in Mongolia have had to endure has been eye-opening. It’s enough for someone with means to have to tackle the extreme climates as well as the really bad air pollution in winter but for someone who is homeless, even more so a homeless child or one living in very difficult conditions in a poverty stricken home, really highlights the extremely important work of the CNCF. We are proud and honoured to be given the opportunity to work with the charity in my time here. More recently we have assisted with the ongoing build programme at the CNCF Ger village, including the construction of interlinking Gers for new kitchen and dining facilities, upgrade of existing washing facilities. I am sure that Justine and her crew would be immensely proud of my efforts of trying my hand at this following their demonstration in the UK of how the principles are done.”

To find out more about the work that Tanja is doing in Mongolia, on behalf of Gradon Architecture, contact Tanja Smith on TSmith@gradonarchitecture.com

To find out more about the work of Justine Jameson of Cloudhouses (Home of Yurts and Squrts) on Justine.lester@yurtsandsqurts.com