During the assessment and distribution of relief materials in Dolakha (in May 2015), the ECCA team found heavy damages to school buildings, WASH infrastructure and health threat among children and even among adult and elderly people. Most of school students’ education materials were buried under the debris, due to which they were anxious on how to restart their school life. Therefore, there was an urgent need of recovery and rehabilitation program for the school students.
At first, ECCA conducted a three days TOT training program for the youth volunteers on 17th-19th June 2015 at ECCA premises Kathmandu. The youths were trained on WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene), Life Skills along with psychological activities specially designed for the current situation so as to help the students recover from the traumatized situation and continue their studies at school.
Immediately after the training, 20 youth volunteers (divided into 4 groups) were mobilized at 4 project schools of Mirge, Dolakha (Majh Gaun Lower Secondary School, Mirge 1; Kali Dhunga Higher Secondary School, Mirge 7; Kali Devi Secondary School, Payele; and Lali Gurash Bright Future English School, Laligurash Danda). They stayed there for 5 days (22nd -26th June, 2015) and facilitated different fun, skillful, engaging and relieving activities for all the 664 students of the four schools to support them to get back to their normal school lives again. To conduct the WASH and Life Skill Camp in harmony and to gain the maximum benefit from the camp program, class wise division was done into 4 categories- Class 1-3, 4-5, 6-8 and 9-10.
Shyam Lama, member of ‘Majh Gaun Nature Club’ expressed “It was ECCA counselors who first taught us how to make chlorine solution (WATASOL). They provided us with all the required materials and gave us enough training. Now we can prepare WATASOL on our own and protect ourselves from water borne diseases.” Likewise, mother of Bilash Paudel of class 3 from Shree Kali Dhunga Higher Secondary School expressed that she was very happy to see positive impacts on her son. He shared his learning and taught the hand washing method to his family members.
As the devastating earthquake has destroyed the water sources, the chances of contracting water borne diseases have increased. To prevent an outbreak, the students were taught hand washing activity and the production and use of WATASOL for water purification.
“I have seen progressive change in the behavior and regular attendance of the students due to the camp activities. Now, the students are more active, energetic and lively in the schools. The technique is very effective as they are learning through fun and interactive activities. Again, I am very grateful to ECCA team and the volunteers for all the support and the help.”- Words shared by Puskar Dahal, Teacher of Kali Dhunga Higher Secondary School, Mirge 7.
Psychological activities were also included in the camp sessions to help the students recover from the trauma they were facing due to the earthquake. Many students were mentally disturbed and not in a state to attend schools continuously. So as to help the students, different activities like- Sharing experience, Dominant and non dominant hand exercise, yesterday today tomorrow, Anger Management, Draw your safe space, Balloon blast and coping skill via ball games were performed. These activities helped the students to minimize their distress.
ECCA supported a day meal in all the project schools for the students and the staff members during the training period. Due to shortage of food materials, students were not attending the schools earlier. Day meal helped the students to come to the school continuously.
Ramji Ghimire, Kali Devi Lower Secondary School shared “I express my gratitude to ECCA for supporting stationery materials (copy, dot pens, pencils, erasers and sharpeners) for all the students and game materials (carom board, chess board, ludo, skipping, football, volleyball and flying disk), first aid kit, jerry cans, white boards and markers for school. ECCA also supported the construction of water tank in the school as devastating earthquake of 12th May, 2015 severely damaged water tanks of our school.”
By: Shailena Sthapit (ECCA Staff)