Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Dzud/Zud (It Rhymes with Wood)

From an e-mail Richard sent to his brothers and sisters, "A severe drought last summer followed by a severe winter has left over 2.2 million livestock dead here in Mongolia with a projection of many more dying before warm weather and summer grasses come in May.

Through Deseret International Charities (DIC), we requested and received disaster relief funds from the Humanitarian Fund and have distributed those funds to help repair broken heating systems in 10 kindergarten-school/dormitory complexes in four aimags (Mongolian states) which house the children of herder families who stay in these school so they can get an education while their families are out on the plains with their herds. DIC is also supplying funds to three other aimags to buy food, fuel, medicines, and sanitary items for the herder families who are suffering from hunger and malnutrition.

Here in Ulaanbaatar, things are not that bad and you would never know there was a disaster. We have been attending meetings with government agencies,  and other international non-governmental organizations like DIC, so we can coordinate DIC's disaster response.

We are doing well ourselves and hope all is well with your families." 

The Dzud has turned into a disaster in many of the Aimags in Mongolia.  It's really heart-wrenching to see news reports of Mongolian herders surrounded by carcasses of their dead animals and to know that many of the herders are suffering, too.  As they lose their animals, they also lose their livelihood and for many of them their traditional way of life.

An NGO acquaintance sent us the following link on YouTube to a recent Sky  video at:
He also sent us the following updated Zud reference in Wikpedia at:


  1. Your humanitarian work continues to amaze us! How much joy you must have to be able to serve the Lord and serve these people in ways that truly make a big difference in their lives! How thrilled we are to learn more, through your blog, about the amazing ability of the Church to provide needed relief and humanitarian aid. There has been such a great focus on the Church's humanitarian efforts in Haiti, rebuilding after the earthquake in Peru, help after the tsunami, and other major disasters, but we often do not know about the "quiet" disasters, such as the current one in Mongolia, where the Church is making a significant difference. Thank you for helping us become more aware. And, thanks for sharing wonderful experiences and miracles that are taking place one by one in the lives of your Mongolian friends.

    You are continually in our prayers and we love hearing all the ways you are able to be instruments in the Lord's hands to bless lives.

  2. Mom & Dad,
    Some how I missed some of your posts below! I love them. It's so fun to see all your pictures and read your stories. You are always in my prayers (along with the Mongolians). I'm so happy they have you there to help look after them and get so many impactful projects going. I love you so much and am so thankful for your example and love.
    Love always,
    Karie Lee