Rare has a campaign to protect gazelles in the Eastern Steppe in Mongolia by working with local hunters to become aware of and follow all hunting regulations in order to reduce the threat of illegal hunting. Rare Pride Program Manager Brooke Sadowsky has been visiting the campaign site. Here is a dispatch from her:
The Maazahai “Gobi Bear” program, featuring the new baby gazelle character, now airs on Saturdays at 10:30a.m. (the show features a baby gazelle to help inspire conservation of the gazelle, thanks to the hard work of Rare Pride Campaign Manager Bogii). On April 3rd, Bogii and I were invited to the Batsukh family’s home near the city center of Choibalsan to watch the program with their three daughters.
Bogii entering the front gate of the Batsukh’s family home.
Inside the gate is the family’s ger with a wooden entrance (closest structure) that helps keep the ger warm during the winter and stores wood/coal nearby. The far structure currently holds food (similar to a fridge) and is used as the summer home during warmer months.
Inside the ger. The stove is the central element of a ger, and it warms the entire room. The whole family stays in one ger (there are two single sized beds not seen in the picture), and almost all household activities are done in this space.
Anytime a guest enters a ger, even if they are complete strangers, food is offered. This is a traditional offering: milk tea, fried bread, candies, dried milk, and homemade butter.
Mongolian idol came on before the Maazahai show. This is a 12-year-old boy who sings with an opera-level voice. His dad was a very famous Mongolian singer who recently passed away. This was a very emotional performance for the boy, and the judges who all knew his father well.
Bogii gives the girls a sample of her Pride materials. The girls mentioned they watched the hunting law program Bogii recently hosted on the local TV channel and already knew her campaign slogan. Unprompted recall of the campaign!
The Maazahai program includes a “how to” segment – this week it’s how to make a school bus out of paper. The middle child quickly ran to find a piece of paper and copied every step and hers looked just like the TV example. This shows that kids are playing close attention to the program and the potential influence it has on them. Her mother was engaged every step of the way, so the show is a way to reach adults as well.
Remember this woman? We met her during our tour of MNB. Not only does she edit the show and wear the Maazahai costume, but she also runs various segments on the show.
A captive audience. The girls said they watch the program every time it comes on TV. The 40 minutes of this show was the only time during our two hour visit that the children stayed in one place. This is great for Bogii’s campaign as we can see that information provided by her gazelle character will reach an audience that is receptive and engaged.