WASH and Life Skill Camp @ Sankhu, Southern Lalitpur

The Journey to Sankhu – -Upama Tamla (Rai) (ECCA Counsellor)

[WASH and Life Skill Camp was held at Shree Magar Gaun Higher Secondary School, Sankhu, Lalitpur from June 7 to 9, 2015. The experiences of a camp staff …… ]

Sankhu team: From left to right:-Upama Tamla, Shashi Panta, Santosh Dahal, Manjeena Shrestha and Merina Karki

Sankhu team: From left to right:-Upama Tamla, Shashi Panta, Santosh Dahal, Manjeena Shrestha and Merina Karki

Leaving behind all the mess of chaotic Kathmandu, on 6th June, we entered Sankhu, a serene village located at far south of Lalitpur district. The moment we got there, gentle smiles and curious faces welcomed us. Children hovered around with handful of queries that we decided not to answer, just for the sake of surprising them the following day. Since we were to live on the school ground for the next three days, Rajkumar sir, a teacher at the school and also an ECCA counselor did his best for our comfortable accommodation. Even the children helped willingly. Our nearby neighbors were Nepal Army brothers who contributed with other basic requirements we would need during our stay at Sankhu. The evening was a busy one, we set up tents, interacted with several villagers who were extremely helpful and planned for the next day’s session with minds full of excitement.

Taking sessions in the classroom

Taking sessions in the classroom

We were welcomed by a morning full of anticipation on the first day of the camp. To avoid any confusion among the teachers about our sessions, we held a meeting. Thankfully, teachers at Sankhu sounded cooperative enough and with everything planned, we started our first session.

Students with copies distributed by ECCA

Students with copies distributed by ECCA

Distributing refreshments

Distributing refreshments

As the day went by, we discovered many new things. As easy as it felt to understand the sessions during our training period, it was as hard to pass them on to younger students and make them understand the gist of it. Most of the students were disciplined and well-mannered during the session time which boosted our confidence and ability to give our best. In this way, we gradually fulfilled our first day’s mission. We distributed copies, pencils and pens to all the students which they were happy to receive. Balloon blast proved to be the favorite game among little children where as the older ones loved to share their ideas through Future Ladder and other goal setting activities. Students enjoyed the refreshments we provided and all of us grew a step closer with fruitful interactions. When the day ended, we couldn’t believe we had had such a great time and it was only our first day of camp.

Handing over the materials to the Vice-Principal of Shree Magar Gaun Higher Secondary School

Handing over the materials to the Vice-Principal of Shree Magar Gaun Higher Secondary School

The Exhibition

The Exhibition

The next day continued with vigor and enthusiasm. The students continued to show active participation in all the sessions.

Before the final goodbye!

Before the final goodbye!

June 9th was our last day of taking sessions at Sankhu and we were quite sad about it. Nevertheless, we had remaining sessions to take and an exhibition to prepare. It was the day that would show how much we had achieved during the past two days. The first half of the day included several creative activities such as clay works where the students surprised us with their level of imagination. We were equally fascinated by the active participation of senior students’  in both outdoor and indoor activities including sharing their experiences of earthquake. At the end of the day, we held a short program in the afternoon among all the students, parents and teachers where we handed over game materials and a first aid kit (to the school). It was extremely overwhelming to see countless smiling faces that held gratitude and happiness for us being there. As we began wrapping everything up, it reminded us of how close we had gotten with those children over such a short period of time. When several students confidently spoke up on how effective our sessions had been and about the positive impacts they had left on  the students’ minds, we couldn’t help but be proud of ourselves as well as thank our seniors who helped make it possible. Every smiling face told us that we had been successful in fulfilling our objective and we could feel them inviting us again.

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