Having been to Mongolia in 2005, Ruth is one of the founders of BOOKBRIDGE foundation and takes care of marketing and public relations at BOOKBRIDGE. We talked to her about her motivation to co-found BOOKBRIDGE and what makes working for it different from other jobs.
Ruth, you co-founded BOOKBRIDGE FOUNDATION in 2010. Why?
Because I saw that out of an international scout exchange something had developed that tried to reach beyond collecting books and sending them to Mongolia. I´ve known Carsten for a long time so I was used to him doing crazy things but I also knew that he would pursue them until the small had grown big. That´s why I decided to invest money in the foundation. When I now look at what our Community Heroes (like Uuganaa) have achieved so far I know that my contribution was very little compared to theirs.
You are responsible for marketing and PR at BOOKBRIDGE. At the same time, you also work for a German IT service company. What makes the work at BOOKBRIDGE different?
The people! The core of BOOKBRIDGE is an incredibly motivated and committed team made of very different, very gifted people. It´s not a dream team as we do have conflicts and keep on doing mistakes but the level of reflection and will to improve is stunning and a lot higher than in any other company I have worked so far. I love working in IT as I am a fact-oriented person and not good in working with people. But IT is so full of money spent for huge projects that never end and always get more expensive that I oftentimes wish it would rather be spent for projects that really make a difference. I guess by working for BOOKBRIDGE I try to re-balance my work life by doing something that is really meaningful.
You have been supporting Uuganaa and our learning centers in the last 3 years in many blog article, facebook posts and even created an own website for each one of them. What was your personal highlight when you think of our learning centers in the last 3 years?
The moment I learned about Uuganaa’s way of doing business. She doesn´t teach her students, she coaches them. What makes Uuganaa’s learning center different from other educational institutions is that she is committed to every child and student. As we say at the scouts: “Look at the girl, look at the boy!”. I have been a scout leader for many years trying to give my kids more than just 2 hours of fun every week. I tried to look at their strengths and motivated them to learn and try new things to reach beyond their borders. They were not just kids to me but astonishing little personalities that just needed to be encouraged to grow and develop. Uuganaa is doing the same. She looks at every students, documents their progresses, their strengths and weaknesses and keeps in contact with the parents. She gives older students responsibilities for younger students so that they can personally grow instead of just studying perfect English. When I heard about this I knew why her learning center is so successful: because she takes young people for serious. She knows that the youth is our future and she invests in it. It´s so smart yet simple and the key to her success.