Oxygen Cocktail, Anyone?
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Oxygen Cocktail, Anyone?

Grand Circle's Mongolian team provides nutrition-boosting beverage technology for local orphans

Traditionally a nomadic country, Mongolia has seen a huge demographic shift since trading communism for democracy 20 years ago. Though it is roughly three times the size of Spain, it is home to only about three million people (comparable to the state of Iowa). Almost half that population lives in the capital city, Ulaanbaatar—up from 5% since 1940.

The city's economy has had difficulty sustaining the population boom. When parents are not able to provide for their families, children are often abandoned. State orphanages have been established to help care for these most vulnerable citizens, many of whom have special needs or are physically and mentally disabled, orphans, or street or working children.

For their community service event, the team at Grand Circle's regional office in Hong Kong wanted to do something to improve the lives of these children. They decided that one way to do that was by enhancing the nutritional intake of children at the Ulaanbaatar State Kindergarten for Orphanages.

In the late 1960s, Soviet professor N.N. Sirotinin developed a technology to boost patients' oxygen levels by injecting oxygen into a foaming beverage. Oxygen is vital to the human metabolism, and in the 1970s, a basic recipe was developed for a so-called "Oxygen Cocktail," which consists of juice, milk, or syrup, infused with oxygen and a foaming agent (usually egg whites or licorice). Popular with Olympic athletes, among others, this Oxygen Cocktail has proven effective not only for improving metabolism and blood flow, but also for detoxifying the liver, boosting energy, improving the immune system, reducing fatigue, optimizing physical performance, and enhancing mental clarity.

Grand Circle's Mongolian team purchased an Oxygen Cocktail-making machine for the orphanage and kindergarten, and on April 29, three administrative associates and twelve OAT Trip Leaders traveled to the kindergarten to deliver it. "This will help to improve the orphans' health, particularly during winter, when the children cannot go outdoors due to heavy air pollution in the city," says Elaine Yau, Regional General Manager, North Asia, based in Grand Circle's regional office in Hong Kong.

The orphanage and kindergarten serves roughly 120 children between the ages of three and six, who are separated into five classrooms by age group. The Grand Circle team spent an afternoon with the children. In addition to the oxygen machine, they delivered a toy car and toy donkey to each classroom and 15 boxes of apples for the school. The associates quickly learned, however, that "fruit and toys are not the things the children really want," as Elaine describes. "They want love. We hugged them, kissed them, and played with them. One child even told one of the Trip Leaders, 'You are my dad!'"

With feedback like that, the event proved as rewarding for the Grand Circle team as for the children. "The event was an unforgettable experience for the Mongolian Trip Leaders," Elaine says. "They were touched. And we believe the children had a good afternoon with us."

Featured in our June 2012 E-Newsletter. Read the full issue here.