IYSH Memorial Encouragement Prize Awarded to ITC Participants - 31 Jul 2008
UNCRD is pleased to announce that the Third IYSH Memorial Encouragement Prize* was awarded to the Urban Development Resource Center (UDRC), which was established by past participants of UNCRD's International Training Course in Regional Development (ITC), in July 2008.

UDRC is an NGO set up in August 2005 as part of Ms. Enkhbayar's efforts of implementing her action plan formulated as an output of UNCRD's ITC 32, with the aim of poverty reduction through improving the living environment in Ger** areas in Mongolia based on active community participation and efforts. In order to further support her activity, UNCRD also trained UDRC members, Ms. Tsend-Auysh Baldandorj Borjigon (ITC 33) and Ms. Tuya Zorig (ITC 34), and organized ITC follow-up seminars for them in Mongolia in 2004, 2005, and 2007.

UDRC, which consists of civil engineers, architects, urban planners, and financial managers, provides services including consulting, research, training, assistance to the planning, designing, and construction of the urban environment, and sharing of information on urban development, building, infrastructure, and housing. Special emphases are on helping low-income households and communities to improve their living environment and to build affordable and energy-efficient houses as well as to form savings groups in order to gain access to housing loans.

Its major achievements for the past two years include:
- Establishment of seventy-eight savings groups with 798 members in twelve provinces and Ulaanbaatar City;
- Total amount of savings accumulated by savings groups: 23.8 million Tugrug (US$20,400);
- Total amount of loans made to savings groups for improving their living environment: 18.2 million Tugrug (US$15,700);
- Eighty training sessions conducted for about 6,000 residents to encourage their active participation in improving the living environment and savings activities;
- Forty-two small-scale Ger-area improvement projects initiated; and National Forum on Community-based Ger-area Development organized in collaboration with the Government of Mongolia, ACHR, UNDP, and UNESCAP.

The prize is accompanied by a grant of JP\500,000 to financially assist UDRC in its future activities. UNCRD will continue to support UDRC's activities and efforts toward improving the environment improvement and empowering low-income Ger-area communities in Mongolia.

Ms. Enkhbayar Tsedendorj, Award-winning participant
On behalf of the communities and my staff, I would like to express our deep appreciation to the Japan Housing Association and UNCRD for awarding the 3rd IYSH Memorial Encouragement Prize to our organization. Upon receiving the great news of having received this prize, all of us, who are involved in community-based living environment upgrading activities in the poorest communities of Mongolia, feel even more invigorated to broaden our activities so that we will be able to include an increasing number of communities in the future. We fully understand that it would be encouraging to others if we replicated these kinds of activities in more areas and expanded its beneficiaries. Thank you very much again for your strong support and encouragement. We will continue to do our best.

* The IYSH Memorial Fund was established by the Japan Housing Association in commemoration of the International Year for Sheltered Homeless in 1987, and it has since been carrying out various activities for promoting international exchange and cooperation in the area of human settlements. As one of its activities, the IYSH Memorial Prize and Memorial Encouragement Prize are annually awarded to distinguished individuals or organizations that have made an immense contribution to the field of "Housing" in developing countries in order to encourage their future work. The IYSH Memorial Encouragement Prize, in particular, targets fledgling and promising organizations, including NGOs and CBOs, which are highly expected to make further contributions and achievements.

** Ger is a traditional house for nomadic people in Mongolia. It has a wooden frame covered with felt and is highly mobile. Please refer to photos.
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