On November 21, the U.S. Embassy and Mongolian Association of State Alumni (MASA) organized the third national alumni conference of Mongolia themed “Highlighting Volunteerism.” Mongolian Association of State Alumni (MASA), also known as Ambassadors for Development, is a non-profit NGO devoted to democratic social development and promoting equal opportunities in Mongolia.
Opening the conference, U.S. Ambassador Jennifer Zimdahl Galt complimented the outgoing MASA board’s dedication to fostering a volunteerism-minded membership. She related the importance of volunteerism in American society and described some of the volunteering experiences of MASA members during their time in the U.S., as well as recent MASA endeavors.
Former MASA president D. Jargalsaikhan delivered a keynote address highlighting volunteerism, saying that, “We should not wait for others such as the government, NGOs, and international organizations to resolve the issues… When solving such problems, we need to utilize our own resources, help each other, and join efforts. Volunteerism plays an important role in a country with a population as small as Mongolia.”
At the conference, over 100 alumni of U.S. government scholarship programs and Mongolian graduates of U.S. universities heard MASA’s report on activities from the past two years. They then participated in open discussions on three topics related to volunteerism: Promoting Youth Volunteerism, Engaging Retirees, and Activating Professionals. The day concluded with the introduction of MASA’s new board members.