Khongorzul ‘Zola’ Amarsanaa

💼 Co-Founder and Chairperson, Beautiful Hearts Against Sexual Violence

🎓 MSc Social Research Methods, University of Sussex (2015)

Zola has dedicated her life to eliminating violence against women and children in Mongolia, especially child sexual abuse.

Zola is a qualified psychologist, specialising in trauma-informed psychotherapy caused by domestic violence and sexual violence. She worked as a coordinator for the Centre for Human Rights and Development in Mongolia, running a community-based development programme to empower local communities with regards to asserting their political rights.

In 2012, she co-founded Beautiful Hearts Against Sexual Violence, an NGO based in Ulaanbaatar with the goal of ending child sexual abuse in Mongolia by lobbying policy makers and raising awareness among parents, schools, and the wider community on the dangers of sexual violence. The organisation has taken the unique approach of using various forms of art, including music, dance, painting, storytelling, and photography, to provide psychosocial services to survivors and to spread their message. They have reached more than 35,000 girls in Mongolia to date.

You are holding your future, therefore do not limit yourself.

Khongorzul 'Zola' Amarsanaa

What were you doing before Chevening? What were your career aspirations at the time?

Prior to applying for Chevening, I was running my NGO, Beautiful Hearts. My career aspirations were to influence more intersectional, evidence-based policies, and educate the younger generation about cutting edge theories and practices in Clinical Psychology. In this way, I felt that I could bring about substantial and sustainable change, by educating the next generation of Mongolian professionals.

I felt that studying in the UK, with the support of Chevening, would provide a stepping stone towards achieving my aspirations and advancing my career. I wanted to be exposed to the cutting-edge theoretical and practical knowledge taught by the many leading, global academics who teach in UK universities.

How do you feel your Chevening experience has influenced where you are now?

Through Chevening, I formed lifelong friendships with people from all around the world. The experience was delightful and rich. It was about opening my horizon into the ocean, where all of us who are Cheveners became Chevening Alumni for life.

What message would you share with the next generation of Chevening Scholars?

Your future is not in the future — it starts right here, right now. You are the keeper of your future, therefore do not limit yourself. Believe in yourself! Chevening will expand your horizon through its cutting-edge academic possibilities as well as amazing life experiences. You will get to meet fellow leaders from around the world, which will give you the unique chance to grow your network of friendship. Seize this opportunity!

Follow Zola on Twitter