Behind the scenes of Caritas Czech Republic: Meet Delgermaa, our project manager from Mongolia
April 29, 2022 News

Behind the scenes of Caritas Czech Republic: Meet Delgermaa, our project manager from Mongolia

Would you like to know more about the Humanitarian Aid and Development Cooperation department in Caritas Czech Republic? We launched a series of interviews with our colleagues who will tell you more about our work across the world. This time we interviewed Delgermaa, our project manager who focuses on working with youth in Mongolia.

How long have you been working at Caritas Czech Republic? How did you end up here?

I started working at Caritas Czech Republic in Mongolia in February 2020. I applied for a project called “All for Youth, Youth for all” for the position of project manager. When I saw the job advert, I was immediately interested in the position. The first thing I noticed in the ad was “youth empowerment”. Those two words really indicated that this activity is very human-oriented. It really empowers young people, who make up one in every three people in Mongolia. So it is a privilege to work with such a significant group of the population.

Why do you think it is important to work with young people in Mongolia?

In Mongolia, youth employment and civic engagement are big issues. Statistically speaking, over half of the total unemployed people in Mongolia are young people. It is very hard for them to enter the labour market, mainly because they often lack the skills and experience expected by employers. The engagement of young people in society is very low too. Young people between the age 18 and 22 have a very low voter turnout here. Out of all age groups, young people are the least likely to vote.

What is Caritas Czech Republic doing to support young people in Mongolia to overcome these issues?

We believe that young people have to be given the room or safe space to have their say or voice in decisions or policy. That is why we work on youth empowerment in five locations in Mongolia, the capital city of Ulaanbaatar and four more provinces.

Together with two Mongolian partners NGOs: Center for Citizenship Education (CCE) and the Mongolian Youth Consult (MYC), we support youth civil society organisations. We provide trainings, researches and advocacy to make sure they gain a stronger position in the society. Our goals are, among others, to increase youth employment and enhance youth civic engagement. I am happy to say that we have already activated a youth CSO network that consists of 130 youth civil society organisations. We were also proud to organise a media campaign that reached over 1.5 million people!

In Mongolia, we focus on helping young people

What are your responsibilities as a project manager at Caritas Czech Republic in Mongolia?

I am in charge of leading the project team and resources. My main role is to ensure that we deliver what we have planned according to our calendar and budget. I also communicate with the stakeholder’s and am in charge of some financial matters. 

How does your typical workday look like?

My typical workday is dictated by what I’m going to deliver for the whole week, which is mainly guided by our annual and monthly plan. We try to do things in the best possible and planned way. So my day kind of starts the night before. I have a look at all the tasks, works and meetings and I plan it for the next day.

I have a sticky note on my desktop, where I can see the major things for this week. I try to be result-oriented person so as soon as I can tick those boxes from this sticky note it is good.

What challenges do you face in your position?

What we do at our office in Mongolia is really great and impactful. We have great support from everyone, including our donors, government, our partners and the people we support. But as a project manager, I have these two hats. One is to work on the project, and another is to raise some percentage of our funding. It is a good challenge because I have to divide my time carefully and keep my eyes and ears constantly open, network and promote our project.

Nevertheless, we receive a lot of support from the Prague headquarters of Caritas Czech Republic,  for which I am thankful.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I like working for Caritas Czech Republic because things are very well organized here. I also really like the project that I am part of. I truly believe that our work to empower young people will do good. I took it to my heart and because of that belief; I do things with motivation and dedication. Once you believe in your work, your body and soul follow and you are giving your best to it. Seeing young people attending our trainings is just the greatest reward.

We focus on civic engagement and personal growth

Our two project partners, Center for Citizenship and Mongolian Youth Council deserve credit here. They are both doing an amazing job. On top of that, we have these amazing support and involvement from our donor, the European Union and our colleagues.

What is your best memory of working as a project manager at Caritas Czech Republic?

On March 31, 2021, we held a virtual online activity called “How to convert your business to online”. There I saw everybody working together. No matter the position, everybody was equally and inclusively contributing to the project. It gave me this great feeling of teamwork and spirit. It was a real success!

In addition, last November, we had an unexpected strict lockdown placed overnight. We were not even allowed to leave our house. Yet we kept our project going without any delays and just carried on. That was great.

What are you proud of in your job?

What makes me feel so proud is that I’m part of efforts that empower young people in Mongolia. Knowledge is power, and our project provides knowledge and awareness to people, to young people. I truly take pride in it and I feel I’m part of a bigger effort here. I am very proud that we are giving the opportunities to young people, that we engage young volunteers.

What do you do when you are not at work? What are your hobbies?

I have a son, he is 11; and a daughter, she is 6. So when I’m not working, I spend time with my kids. Sometimes I take my son to some of our work events so he knows how I spend my day. I share my work and accomplishments with him in hopes that he will understand that life is about uplifting others. Someday he will also do a work that he cares about.

Besides that, I’ve been watching BBC news almost every day for the last 16 years. I cannot say it is my hobby but I like to keep up to date with quality news. Otherwise, I love reading and I really enjoy nice movies and some good humor.

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