In this new feature on Rising Voices, we will begin to feature some of the new bloggers being trained by the projects in the Rising Voices community.
As an editor and interpreter for Mongol TV in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, Shinetsetseg (Shinee) Sukhbaatar has always been concerned about the preservation of the environment in her native country. In a recent interview with Rising Voices, she said:
There are variety of issues concerning natural resources, human rights, air pollution, water pollution, disease, illegal actions, agriculture, livestock etc… In the last few years, we have been breathing polluted air. It is harmful to human beings and animals as well, you know. Our rivers are dried out, and people treat rivers, lakes, and springs so cruelly. I can't stand it. Water and air are the main resources for our young generation, aren't they? We throw litter away everywhere. It is so bad. We must respect the environment. Environment means everything.
Much of this left her frustrated, “I didn't know how to protect it and fight against illegal actions.” However, when she heard about the Nomad Green project from her father, she decided to join. As one of the projects supported by Rising Voices, Nomad Green has been teaching Mongolians how to use citizen media to shine a light on some of the environmental issues in the hopes of raising awareness. Shinee said:
I hope that if more people read and understand our situation, our environment and its pollution, then more people will join us and develop together holding our hands. As for our beautiful country, it is rich in natural resources, which attracts many foreigners, our population is warm-hearted and very friendly. It is endless, if i write it down here. I am proud of living in this country.
She has been one of the more active bloggers in the Nomad Green project, and has drawn rave reviews from the project's coordinator, Portnoy Zheng, who stressed that Shinee is a big part of the success of the project:
Shinee is an active citizen, a very good writer, and a even better translator. I first met her in last October, but that was already her second time participating in NomadGreen's workshop. She was very kind and sincere in every email exchange between us, and when we first met in the workshop, she actively helped and gave instruction to another older participant who were not familiar with keyboard and mouse. Recently she helped the old participant publish his first article. It is really wonderful to see the community building itself, and Shinee is of course playing a key role.
When asked about her favorite blog post she has written to date, she mentions a recent interview she conducted with Mrs. Altantogoo, a street sweeper in Ulaanbaatar. The idea came from reading a short news article about the conditions in which street sweepers work, and who are employed because of the amount of litter that is thrown out into the streets on a daily basis.
Shinee conducted the interview (her questions are in bold) and translated it into English to reach more readers:
What time does your work start and finish?
Well, at 5:30 in the morning I have to be at my working place. I finish my work at 18:30. But in winter, we have to work for 24 hours a day, because of heavy snow.
Well, your working hour continues from 5:30am to 18:30. It means you work for twelve hours and thirty minutes a day. Is that right?
Well, we have lunch break between 11am-13pm. Right after 13 clock, we get to work again. But sometimes, we work in group,
You say that we work hard and for 24 hours a day. This exceeds working hours /8 hours a day/. Do you get extra wage for it or do you have bonus for this occasional condition?
We don’t get anything. But we get our salaries on time. I have never get an extra money for extra work. During last two weeks, we could not rest at all.
How do you think that our citizens and population of our city respect your work? Do you think we respect and understand you people? I think it is horrible to throw waste away right after you sweep?
People are so strange. They throw their waste all over the street. It doesn’t matter where they are. Our company do have a waste tracks which have certain direction to collect waste and trash. People should not throw their waste away in street. If they throw it away open, then some homeless people dig it and it looks so bad. We have to sweep and clean roads and streets everyday because of irresponsible people again and again. It is too bad.
Thank you very much for your time and for the interview. What would you like to say to our readers and all people in Ulaanbaatar city?
Do not throw your waste open, please. Particularly, some rude drivers throw their waste through their car window. I think there is little box to put his/her waste in their cars. It is so bad and I get hurt when drivers throw beverage bottle, handkerchief, rest of cigarets through their car window, right after I sweep and clean roads and streets. Sometimes I can not stand it and say those drivers “Just do not!”, but they just ignore me. They have to be responsible for their environment and care for others, I think.