Stationery materials distribution

Stationery Kit distribution took place in June 2018 for 519 students of five schools of ward number 1 (Bhirkot village), Tamakoshi Rural Municipality, Dolakha. This area was badly damaged during the April 2015 Nepal earthquake.

The students were from ECD (Early Childhood Development) class to grade 12 of the following five schools:

  1. Narayani Secondary School
  2. Ganesh Basic School
  3. Bhimeshwor Basic School
  4. Indrawati Primary School
  5. Budhichandika Primary School

The stationery kit included school bag, copy, pen, dot pen, eraser, sharpener, geometric box (only for students from Grade 7 to 12) and calculator (only for students from Grade 9 to 12).

The supported stationery materials helped the students and their families, as their families are still struggling financially to rebuild their damaged houses. The provided materials were also a motivation factor for the parents to send their children to school. They were relieved and glad that they now do not require to spend their money to buy stationery materials for their children.

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Use of Tulip Siphon filter: A step towards safe drinking water

IMG_1278IMG_20180504_080037Jajarkot, a hilly district located in Mid-western region in Province-6, is considered to be a remote district having very limited access to electricity, telephone and other basic facilities. The road facilities are only up to the district headquarter.

Due to lack of knowledge about domestic water purification techniques, various water borne diseases (like diarrhea, dysentery, typhoid) are widely seen in the village leading to death of people in the past. Only 50% people have access to piped water nearby their houses, and the villagers have been suffering every year due to the lack of safe drinking water and good sanitation practices.

ECCA provided Tulip syphon filter (manufactured by Basic Water Needs, Netherlands   http://www.basicwaterneeds.com/) to the local residents. This water filter is fitted with Tulip ceramic candle, which is treated with nano-silver, contains activated carbon and has lifespan up to 7,000 liters. This candle purifies the water of bacteria, parasites and turbidity. This candle removes bacteria 99.995%, turbidity 99%, protozoa 99%. The use of such water filter will help to reduce the water borne diseases.

Shrijana Singh, one of the beneficiaries, shared “whenever we have an epidemic in village, government and social organization used to distribute chlorine tablets and liquid water purifier, but when such tablets are finished, we don’t have idea what to do. Now, with this Tulip syphon filter, we are able to have safe drinking water for many years”.

 

Reducing carbon emission & Improving rural lives through ICS

One of the significant programs of ECCA targeted towards vulnerable people in rural Nepal has been Improved Cooking Stove (ICS) distribution program in Dolakha, a major earthquake affected area. To help people attain better indoor environment and better health through use of more environment friendly technologies, ECCA distributed over 1500 Improved Cooking Stoves in different Dolakha villages in past few months with the support of Climate Change Center.

One of the recent ICS distribution included distribution to 200 households in Bhirkot village in Dolakha district. The beneficiaries belong to Majhi and Dalit communities, which are categorized under highly marginalized category in Nepal.  According to the villagers, all the households of the community had been previously using traditional firewood stoves.

“Using traditional stoves was really hard for IMG_1818us. The smoke from traditional firewood stoves made it hard to breathe while we were inside”, says Rishma, one of the beneficiaries.

She added, “Also, the forest is off limits for wood collection, and we had to struggle for wood collection for hours, but with use of new stove (ICS) has turned out to be beneficial for us.”

The distributed improved cookstove has many advantages for community people and the environment, as it consumes less firewood and saves cooking time by 50%.

“The support has been a huge relief for Majhi and Dalit community. This support has enhanced their living standard to an extent”, shared ward president.

According to the villagers, there also have been frequent cases of people suffering from Tuberculosis, asthma etc. in the past. So, the use of ICS in a long run will also reduce indoor air pollution thereby improving the health of those who work in the kitchen, especially women and children.

Additionally, this initiation is also expected to bring awareness among villagers to use more environment friendly technologies.

-Upama Tamla (Rai), ECCA

A Change is born!

image001Anita, a seventh grader at Ganesh Basic School, Bhirkot Dolakha, is thirteen and her menstrual cycle began when she was twelve years old. She recalls, “I was very afraid on the day when I got my first period. I got confused on what to do and whom to tell.  I had very limited knowledge of menstruation as I was shy of discussing the issues with anyone”.

“But the situation is different now”, says she, with a sparkling smile on her face. As ECCA  provided the training of Menstrual Hygiene Management with support of action medeor e.V. from November 28 – 29, 2017 at schools of Bhirkot including hers, she knows well what menstruation is, how it occurs, and why it occurs.

 “I can manage my menstruation hygienically to maintain my health, which includes making, washing, drying and disposing of re-usable sanitary pads safely”.

She says, “It is especially important for preparing younger pre-adolescent girls for understanding menstruation by educating the women and menstruating girls with information on good menstrual hygiene practices”.

She also confirms that her school should address the barriers related with water and sanitation for the hygienic management of menstruation with privacy and dignity. “After this training, we are now motivated and excited to contribute in menstrual hygiene management at school and community by challenging negative attitudes and perceptions” adds the motivated soul.

– Ashmita Rai, ECCA Counselor (during her journey of facilitating MHM Training at Ganesh School)

NEPAK Partner Dialogue: WASH and Finance Workshop

NEPAK Partner Dialogue: WASH and Finance Workshop was conducted by action medeor in association in Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness (ECCA) from October 28 – November 2, 2017. The workshop aimed to provide a sharing and learning platform for Nepalese and Pakistanis partners of action medeor’s on WASH related issues as well as provide guidance on efficient financial accounting and management.

The workshop had 22 participants; Nepalese participants were present from ECCA and phect-NEPAL while Pakistanis participants were representatives from Participatory Village Development Program (PVDP).

As participants were encouraged to share WASH tools and interventions during the workshop, there was also spontaneous sharing of knowledge, experiences and challenges. Through different exercises, participants explored approaches and WASH interventions that could be applicable in their own areas.

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Ms. Kathiran WIlkins, Head of Asia Team from action medeor with the participants

“With our project areas being a desert region and so different from Nepal, the workshop was a great opportunity to learn from Nepalese scenarios”, shared Zahid Ali, from PVDP.

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From left- Yogendra Chitrakar (ECCA), Zahid Ali (PVDP), Shamim Ara (PVDP)

“Also, I have learnt that the need of meaningful feedback mechanism is vital to any program”, added Yogendra Chitrakar from ECCA.

WASH team also visited a project school of ENPHO and ENPHO office itself to gain more information regarding a fellow organization’s contribution to WASH.

With finance team also experiencing intensive sessions on efficient accounting, the workshop concluded with positive vibes blooming within the participants. The workshop was indeed an informative platform for all participating organizations and an opportunity to practice their learning into actions.

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Certificate distribution from Dr. Margret Müller (left) and Ms. Lioba Oltra-Gonzales (center) from action medeor

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Group photo on the final day

-Upama Tamla (Rai), ECCA

Building a greater science society | ECCA hosts GLOBE Expedition to Nepal

GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) Learning Expedition was conducted from September 10 to September 16, 2017 at various places of Nepal. GLOBE Asia Pacific Regional Coordination Office conducted the program in association with Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness (ECCA) which has been working to implement GLOBE program in Nepal. ECCA hosted the program with initiation of Mr. Yogendra Chitrakar, GLOBE country coordinator for Nepal and Executive Director of ECCA and Dr. Desh Bandhu, coordinator of GLOBE Asia Pacific Regional Coordination Office.

The main objective of the program was to create a platform for exchanging learning and
experience related to the GLOBE program along with cultural knowledge exchange. The
expedition welcomed 37 participants from 4 countries (Oman, Thailand, Nepal and India) of the world. Students, teachers, country co-ordinators and trainers received an opportunity to conduct GLOBE protocols together in Pokhara, the City of Lakes.

Major Activities of the expedition included hydrology protocol study by participants at Trisuli River and Phewa Lake, Pokhara as well as soil study and cloud cover study. Participants also visited ICIMOD office later to gain an idea on Nepalese participation on remote sensing and use of scientific advancements for analyzing and conserving
HKH regions.

Experience sharing, Certificate Distribution and Closing Program were held on September 15.

“I really liked the hospitality of Nepal along with sharing of our GLOBE related knowledge”, said Chusma Trisuriyatumma. a student from Thailand.

Along with certificate distribution, experiences were shared by the participants. Ms. Sara Litke from US Embassy and Mr. Jay Pal Shrestha also attended the program and encouraged all to continue being part of scientific world and learning.

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(About GLOBE: The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program is an international science and education program that provides students and the public worldwide with the opportunity to participate in data collection and the scientific process, and contribute meaningfully to our understanding of the Earth system and global environment. Announced by the U.S. Government on Earth Day in 1994, GLOBE launched its worldwide implementation in 1995.)

“Team that became a second family”- Yann | Experience of an Environmental Engineer

As environmental engineer working for the Swiss Foundation Antenna, I worked for 3.5 months (mid March – June, 2017) on the safe water program of ECCA. It was my first time in Nepal and I thank the team that became a second family for me and shared both the local culture and their professional experience with me.

I was very impressed by ECCA program in schools where they raised awareness very efficiently among the students and initiated an innovative model where children are used to spread the knowledge among their families. The will to shift from NGO subsidized approach towards social business to ensure the viability of the solutions proposed is very positive as it is the only way to ensure long term sustainability.

ECCA is surely a very good and experienced social mobilizer and I was happy to be able to bring my technical skills to help analyzing the business and strategy. The few months spend on the field were however not enough to see the implementation of the propositions but I hope my contribution will somehow help in the future.

I arrived alone, worked with colleagues, but it is certainly friends I left in Nepal! See you again and thank you for this great experience!
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As Yann provided NRs.25,000 as proposal grant to Kitini Secondary School on behalf of Antenna Foundation during 4th National Child Club Conference organized by ECCA

– Yann Füllemann

3Oth ECCA Day Celebration | Counselor of the Year Award 2016/17

July 22, 2017 was a day of reunion and celebration among all ECCA family members and friends. With completion of 30 years in the field of conservation and development, every celebrant rejoiced with pride and shared happiness.

Fun games and cultural dances had everyone smiling. Old counselors who were winners of the ECCA Friendly Football match held their trophy with utmost pride.

Likewise, announcement of Top 5 counselors of the year was definitely among our event highlights. Mr. Kiran Awale, Ms, Malati Khatri, Ms. Ashmita Rai, Mr. Nitin Maharjan and Mr. Sujan Rajbahak were the top 5 counselors of the year. Ms. Rai  was announced as Counselor of the Year 2016/17. (Congratulations to all!)

With a new excitement and joy, we hope to create even more positive impacts this year in the field of environmental conservation, youth empowerment and community development.

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4th National Child Club Conference | Future Now for Sustainable Education and Environment| ECCA blogs

Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness (ECCA Nepal) organized 4th National Child Club Conference with the theme ‘Future Now for Sustainable Education and Environment’ at Agricultural Development Bank, Training Center, Bode, Madhyapur Thimi, Bhaktapur from June 5 – 7, 2017. The conference, welcomed 103 child club representatives from 6 provinces of Nepal as well as teachers, government officials and observers from different NGO/INGOs.

Inauguration of the conference took place on the occasion of World Environment Day. The conference was inaugurated by chief guest Dr. Prabhu Budhathoki, member of National Planning Commission along with Prachet Kumar Shrestha, Chairman of ECCA. The opening was also attended by guests Mr. Hari Lamsal, joint secretary of Ministry of Education, Ukesh Raj Bhuju, honorary member of ECCA and Anil Chitrakar, founder member of ECCA.

The 3 days event included different activities such as thematic sessions on Climate Change and GLOBE Program, Child Friendly Local Governance, School Environment Improvement through the active participation of school stakeholders, Child Rights and Life Skills.

Conference activities also included documentary shows, cultural program, environmental games, yoga, meditation etc. Last day of conference had prize distribution program for winners of the three competitions as well as KMP. All the competition were organized on the theme of World EnviRonment Day 2017 ‘Connecting with nature’. Roshna Nepal, Subash Shrestha, Ashish Giri, Prajwal Pandey, Pushpa Khadka and Pratiskshya Wagle won the speech competition. Suman Nagarkoti, Alisha Sonaha and Alson Shrestha were the best 3 in poster competition. Wall magazine had 3 groups out of 7 as winner groups.

A participant illustrates his vision of 'Connecting with nature' during poster competition

A participant illustrates his vision of ‘Connecting with nature’ during poster competition

“The way thematic sessions sensitized our roles, rights as well as relevant environmental issues, we feel more capable.. and empowered.” – Sonia, participant

The conference put positive hopes in children as well as teachers.

“It was an opportunity to learn, to realize the potential of our children and motivate them to perform better.”- Rudra Sangroula, teacher

Students from Jhapa present 'Sakela' dance during closing ceremony

Students from Jhapa present ‘Sakela’ dance during closing ceremony

Likewise, 7 child clubs with best proposals were awarded Rs. 25,000 in Knowledge Market Place. Nepal Rastryia Basic School and Bhagwati Basic School from Jajarkot, Kitini Secondary School from Lalitpur, Shree Bidhyadiswori Secondary School from Southern Lalitpur, Shree Dhulabari Secondary School from Jhapa, Amar Higher Secondary School, Dolakha and Laxmi Secondary School, Kanchanpur were awarded the prize.

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Knowledge Market Place Evaluation

With ECCA were other sponsors action medeor, Wilkins Memorial Trust, Taksvarkki ry, WWF Nepal, Antenna Technologies, and Sharada Library and Merina Ranjit, ECCA’s executive member who supported the award for deserving child clubs.

Group photo after closing ceremony

Bringing students a step closer to practical science: Training on Climate Learning and Weather Stations Installation

Science has long been a subject included only within theoretical arena of schools. Teaching and involving students in practicals is often a feeble exercise consequently making science ‘a harder subject’ for students. With an aim to enhance practical involvement of students in science, ECCA conducted 2 days training on ‘Climate Learning’ from May 17 – 18, 2017. The training, which introduced  the GLOBE program, had both students and teachers participating from 4 project schools of Jhapa namely Kavi Siromani Secondary School, Sisu Shakhar Lower Secondary School, Dhulabari Secondary School and Mechi Model Academy. Total of 27 participants were present.

The sessions brought illuminating discussions on climate change and meteorological issues. Participants were even more intrigued by field practicals on atmospheric and hydrology investigation.

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Facilitator Dipesh Gurung providing instructions before measuring water parameters

Now, the students are determined to share their knowledge in a larger circle.

“We have never before practically seen and performed experiments like these in our school.” one of the participants shares.

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Students taking water sample at Temai BarahFedi river

“This training has been a huge opportunity for us and we feel encouraged to share what we have learnt with fellow students”, shared a teacher. The 2 days training also acted as a knowledge forum for students and participants.

 

Likewise, weather stations have been established at all four schools where students will be regularly taking data.

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