Out of all the opportunities we get in our lives, there are few that we really rejoice and being an ECCA counselor has been one of those opportunities for me. When I first participated in ECCA‘s ‘3 days TOT on preparing School Stakeholders and Nature Clubs for Improving School Environment‘ back in November, I was unfamiliar with the terms nature club, school environment and stakeholders. The training boosted up my skills and knowledge to identify stakeholders, control group and concerned group in a community. Along with this, the training generated idea about the vision, mission, current situation, possible challenges and opportunities that could obstruct school environment process.
I was overwhelmed with happiness when I got selected in the program of training school stakeholders for school environment in eastern Nepal. That felt as a chance to learn about rural school environment as well as a chance to implement my knowledge. Thus we set off to three districts (Jhapa, Morang, Dhankuta) of eastern regions of Nepal.
Our first camp was held in Dhulabari, Jhapa. By the support of our team members, I became successful in sharing ideas related with life skill activities, nature club and its management and activities as well as roles of stakeholders in school improvement. Besides, I also learnt about wall magazine and creative use of wastes from my team members. Moreover, the participants of Dhulabari were active, energetic, entertaining and fun loving. They were ever ready to participate in each and every activities conducted by ECCA Camp.
Our next camp was in Letang, Morang. After completing our first camp, we were excited for our second one. I had gained more idea about school environment and the importance of nature clubs. As we started our program in Letang, we found that the participants were shy and introvert. Every participant had different creativity but they didn’t want to show off in front of their friends. Therefore, we trainers decided to take the session in a different way that involved entertainment and knowledge simultaneously. Finally we became successful to make them comfortable to release their creativity. We also learnt about the situation of their school and we shared them about the roles and responsibilities of the participants for the improvement of school environment.
After completing our second camp, we continued to our final camp which was held in Debrebash, Dhankuta. ECCA had conducted its program for the first time in Dhankuta. We shared information on how a nature club is formed and its necessity in school environment improvement. The participants also easily shared their ideas, information in front of all the participants without any hesitation.
Hence, the camps helped rural school stakeholders to understand the importance of their roles and responsibilities for sustainable improvement of school environment. Along with this, the training helped the participants to explore the talent and creativity. Besides, this camp became fruitful for me too. Sometimes I feel awkward to express my creativity in front of others but when I saw the participants performing their creativity in front of all without any hesitation; it encouraged me to demonstrate my hidden talent. Moreover, knowledge is giving and taking process. While sharing my ideas to the participants, I was able to receive some knowledge from the participants too. Thus, I fully enjoyed the program organized by ECCA Camp. And at last I want to say thank you for all the team members for the support, communication and co-ordination without which this program would not be successful.
-Laxmi Basnet, ECCA volunteer
(In reference with ECCA camp conducted in eastern Nepal with the support of Taksvärkki ry from November 26-December 11, 2015)