Saturday, May 21, 2011 was Arkhangai Aimag’s First Annual Health Fair! This event was made possible thanks to funding we received from the Millennium Challenge Corporation and from wonderful people in America who donated to the cause. A big thanks goes out to those who donated, particularly Mark’s parents.
We’d been talking about this fair with our counterparts for months and months but as things often happen here in Mongolia, much of the planning came down to the last minute. We were scrambling the week of the event to get everything ready. But in the end, the event happened and went pretty well.
The event included 4 main events:
1) 5K Community Walk and Run
This ended up being a little less than 5K, as we just used a course the PE teachers already knew about and could easily explain to everybody. It also just ended up being a run, rather than a big community walk, but that’s okay. We had adults and students participate (separately) and it was a lot of fun. And everybody who participated got a t-shirt custom printed for the event!
|Lining up to sign up for the 5K. It was all about matching track suits.|
|Pointing out the course|
|And the adults are off!|
|Part of the race involved avoiding yaks. Yak-attack = disqualification|
|The finish line|
2) Poster Contest
We invited students to submit posters that were related to the theme of tobacco and alcohol use and the effects the use of these substances can have on people’s lives. The submissions were really great. The winning poster will be printed on a bigger poster and displayed in town.
|Two of the winners|
|This one was pretty, and supposedly it was supposed to represent an alcohol and tobacco free life, but it was a bit of a stretch. It also looked like they just copied it from a book. But it was so pretty...|
3) Nutrition Trivia Contest
Students were invited to participate in a trivia contest about nutrition and healthy eating. All 10th grade students have learned about this material in lessons throughout the school year.
4) Cooking Contest
All schools were invited to participate in a healthy cooking contest. The school cooks were asked to involve students in this as well. This was the least successful part of the event, as fewer schools turned out than we had hoped. The date of the entire Health Fair was changed from May 14 to May 21 at the last minute and some of the schools had prepared to compete on May 14 and were unable to participate on May 21. Though our counterparts were able to deal with so many aspects of last minute changes, this is one part that suffered. Hopefully they can do this next year with fewer last minute changes and better communication to all schools.
|Event planners and winning cooks|
Overall the event was a lot of fun. Again, thanks so much to our donors for help making this happen! We hope it’ll happen again next year too.