THE HISTORY OF LOTUS
Founded in 1995 by Didi Ananda Kalika, the Lotus Children’s Centre has been up and running for 25 years.
Didi (which means Sister), who trained with Ananda Marga as a yoga and meditation teacher, came to Mongolia in the early 90’s to teach yoga and meditation, was moved by the plight of the children on the streets of Ulaanbaatar. Starting from a single apartment Lotus has grown to having housed, fed, cared for and educated hundreds of children. At one stage Lotus was caring for around 150 children including many abandoned babies. Now the economic situation in Mongolia is better and young children and babies are abandoned less and less. This is reflected in that we now care for just 65 children directly, mostly young teenagers. The age of the children in our care today ranges from a few months old up to 18 years.
From providing basic care for vulnerable and abused children, Lotus has now developed and also focuses on providing a good education, independence and life skills training to secondary school children as well as continuing to provide primary care. In Mongolia family links are very important in growing-up and becoming an adult. These links are used to find work and accommodation, to fund university and for every kind of support. Orphans in Mongolia receive very little support from the government after turning 18. Lotus focuses on ensuring that the children who have lived in care since they were babies have a good chance at life, so we endeavour to support them into young adulthood for as long as support is required, much like a normal family.