Temuulen Erdenebulgan ’21 uses music to promote peace and create safe spaces for children in his home country, Mongolia. Erdenebulgan was shortlisted for a Davis Projects for Peace 2020 grant for his project titled “Promoting Peace Through Music: Music is the Language of Magic”. His project was delayed for a year due to COVID-19 but is now operational in the city of Ulaanbaatar.
“The main goal of my project is to create a safe space where children can learn to play musical instruments. I firmly believe that learning to play music can bring some peace, create a sense of community and security, help heal scars, physical and otherwise, and help people cope with the stress and difficulties of their life. Last but not least, I believe that music can help individuals cooperate with others and maintain their own peaceful way of life, ”says Erdenebulgan.
Erdenebulgan has partnered with Lantuu Dohio, a Mongolian-based non-profit organization. Their mission is to eradicate human trafficking and protect children from violence, neglect, abuse and exploitation.
In 2017, Lantuu Dohio started a project called Magic Mongolia 1, where they built a building dedicated to helping abused children in Ulaanbaatar. In December 2019, the organization completed its second Magic Mongolia 2 location in one of Ulaanbaatar’s poorest neighborhoods, where hundreds of volunteers fight to end abuse, poverty and trafficking. human beings at the local level.
“As Magic Mongolia 2 has a library, a kindergarten and a comfortable and child-friendly environment, children between the ages of 8 and 14 often come here to study, socialize and spend their time together away from abuse, poverty. and poor education, ”Erdenebulgan said.
About 50 children participate in music lessons at Magic Mongolia 2. Staff members teach piano, drums, guitar, violin and a traditional Mongolian instrument called “ytga” workshops. Teachers will record instructional videos for children to watch at any time. Erdenebulgan is working on the project remotely from the United States. He meets weekly music teachers and his project partner on Zoom.
The $ 10,000 grant from Davis Projects for Peace was used to purchase 19 instruments for Magic Mongolia 2 and to hire music teachers. Erdenebulgan plans to continue this work by creating the Magic Music for Peace Fund. The fund will be used to connect students to quality music schools in Ulaanbaatar and to support volunteers.
For Erdenebulgan, this project is personal as he attributes its own success to 13 years of piano teaching. “I would say playing the piano made me a nicer and more peaceful person,” he said. “In the long run, I hope that will be the same for these children so that I can live in a place where every child has access to the bare necessities of safety, education and love. Everyone has magic in them, magic to make the world a better place.
Davis Projects for Peace was created by Kathryn W. Davis on the occasion of her 100th birthday to fund selected students with $ 10,000 to create and build peace around the world.
Erdenebulgan graduated from Luther College in 2021 with a degree in computer science.
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