They risk their lives – One of the world’s most dangerous ways to school – Mongolia

The ice covering the river is treacherous and ever-changing in appearance. Despite this, Tuguldur has to find a suitable point at which to cross the river. The 10-year-old nomadic boy rides his horse alone to school and each time must cross the frozen Tunkhel river in the north of Mongolia. His school day begins in the afternoon. Because the sun has softened the ice on some parts of the river’s surface, he cannot trust the ice everywhere. One wrong decision and his horse could slip on the ice – with him on its back – or break through into the cold water below. Even if he were to remain unhurt in such a situation, little Tuguldur would not manage to get back on the horse’s saddle by himself. For nomadic Mongolian girl Delgertsetseg, the route to school is equally difficult. The 12-year-old starts school early, when the thermometer at her home shows -30 degrees Celsius. Her father delivers her into the village under moonlight, through deep ruts and slippery snow slopes. Due to the possibility of sliding on the ice and the obvious associated dangers, the police have banned the use of motorbikes in villages during the winter months. However, Delgertsetseg’s father has no other choice – he does not have the money for a safer car. What these two nomadic children have in common is their eager anticipation for the warm and ice-free spring, even though they have to overcome the hardships of this school route the day before the traditional Mongolian New Year. Source

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