Clothes donations from the Finnish Red Cross travel to Mongolia by train
Railways are the best transport option to Mongolia and other Central Asia countries. Nurminen takes the Finnish Red Cross clothes donation to Ulan Bator in its carriage once again.
The Finnish Red Cross has been aiding Mongolia for many years already. It sent two Nurminen carriages of used clothes for those in need in the spring, and now there’s another carriage in the autumn.
– Mongolia faces problems similar to those in many other Asian and former Soviet Union countries. Economic inequality becomes more pronounced and people move from the countryside to cities, and not everyone has the same opportunities. Many lose their livelihood in the countryside if cattle die, for example, during a hard winter. The Mongolian Red Cross helps people in the most desperate need by means of help sent from Finland, says Tanja Lumme-Lahti, programme assistant for the Finnish Red Cross.
The Red Cross has a well-functioning logistics system in Mongolia, which is based on the collection of relief aid in a storage near the railway station in Ulan Bator, the country’s capital. Red Cross employees and volunteers then distribute the help to those who need it.
– We get a delivery plan from Mongolia, indicating where the help is shipped to from the warehouse. When a clothes donation arrives in the warehouse, Mongolian Red Cross employees and volunteers collect parcels for a specific family in a specific village and then deliver it by traveling from house to house – or from yurt to yurt, this being Mongolia, Lumme-Lahti explains.
In Finland, clothes donations are baled and cling-wrapped on pallets at the Finnish Red Cross logistics centre in Tampere and in the sorting centre in Joensuu. In Finland, the Finnish Red Cross employs long-term unemployed people and people who are difficult to employ, thereby giving them an opportunity for employment. The clothes bales are picked up to Nurminen’s terminal at Luumäki and then transported by rail to Ulan Bator. This year, the Finnish Red Cross will have sent a total of 27,830 kilograms of clothes donations to Mongolia with Nurminen.
– We have to arrange competitive bidding for transport, and we chose Nurminen because it offered the most economical price, Tanja Lumme-Lahti says.