One of Gaana’s first campaign activities was to officially launch his campaign in all six soums along the Onon River. This was done by hosting back-to-back events with children and adults in the town center (all events followed a similar agenda with some surprises thrown in). Here’s a brief look at Gaana’s very successful launch events that people are still talking about:
Announcement banners go up in the soum centers several days before the event takes place. It is very unusual to see these types of things, so they can reach almost every person that comes into town.
Due to the unusual nature of these events, attendance tends to run pretty high. With this one event, Gaana had great reach among the entire general public audience.
Each event included a community theater skit performed by the local soum’s eco-club. The script was written by Gaana and his team and told the story of a father who felt pressured to catch taimen (Gaana’s campaign is centered around protecting this fish) and as a result began to dream of being visited by a giant taimen who convinced him to change his ways. Many people in the audience said they could relate to the father’s stress and found the performance to be very powerful.
There was so much excitement around the giant taimen that it was necessary to have a photo-op directly following the community theater performance. Adults and Children alike couldn’t wait to have their picture taken with the biggest fish they’ve ever seen.
To test everyone’s knowledge of taimen, Gaana conducted a “create a taimen” contest where children and adults could use paper, glue, scissors, markers, tape and more to make a taimen of their own. It was hard to tell if children or adults were better at this competition!
Gaana invited guest speakers to talk to the audience, some were fishermen who have already changed their behavior, practicing only catch-and-release of taimen.
And as with any Mongolian event, singing and dancing is mandatory. See videos at bottom of blog!
And the few surprises? Well, there was a woman who came to an event wearing her own taimen hat; a community group that presented Gaana with a hand-made, wood-carving of a taimen eating another fish; and a snow storm that forced the WWF team to shovel tracks for the Land Cruiser to travel from one site to the next.
A big congratulations to Gaana for 6 (really 12) successful launch events!