Ajay Tamla Rai
When the term “Training” is discussed, either academically or professionally, it basically implies a teaching and learning process on a particular subject. But, as one who became a trainee in a recent ECCA’s 4-day Counselor Training Camp (CTC), I have come to realize it is more than just “teaching and learning”, it is an open interaction among and between peers who share genuine interest on the subject of past, present and future of environment conservation.
The Camp kicked off on January 9, 2022 with voluntary participation of over two dozen participants from diverse fields; from management, humanities to environment science. On the first day, we learned about ECCA, its three decades of history, numerous contributions and steady evolution from environment conservation to education, health and sustainable future in different parts of remote Nepal. More importantly, we learned and practiced team building, work division, time management and interpersonal communication, which are the bedrock of cooperation, coordination and interdependence for effective and efficient planning organization and implementation of social and environmental projects. On the second day, we learned the practical aspects of WASH, focused mainly on its two dynamics: water and sanitation. From simple refreshing of memory on the importance or need for clean water to the in-depth technical aspects of water purification, or hands-on experience on preparation of recycle paper, we found ourselves actively sharing knowledge and practices. With division of groups into two: one on water and another on sanitation, one group presented what they understood to another and vice versa. This learning and teaching process reinforced our knowledge and understanding on the aforementioned subjects and more importantly developed our ability to co-operate with each other. Likewise, we got to know about Nature club through which, our brothers and sisters from rural schools could spontaneously contribute to betterment of not only their respective schools but also their community at large, even after ECCA moves on to other environmental projects.
Next day, in early morning, everyone met at the “Patan Durbar Square” for a heritage walk. Therein, we witnessed beautiful water reservoirs at different locations while simultaneously learning their importance in urban settings, gleaning cultural perspective on environmental narrative with highlights on the historical relationship in-between heritage and environment. Later, in the training session itself, we got updated about innovative teaching-learning pedagogy in primary schools that encourage self-learning practices from pupils, and likewise, we had another session focused on present scenario on learning concerned with disable or differently abled in Nepal. Other than that, we familiarized with technology on bird identification around our commune, measured humidity and differentiated clouds and formulated various planning and strategy to self-motivate children to take environment initiatives. Besides, we engaged in activities such as wall newspaper, wall comics, and such which could be practiced by children even in remote communities where the available resources are limited but the relationship between students, teachers, parents and community members is closer.
On January 12, the inclusive training came to an end, as we, the participants, gifted a secret friend of ours with handmade presents who had kindly aided us during the training period. And, as we parted our ways, we took solemn promise to support each other on the conservation awareness and impact initiatives along with continuing our personal efforts to prevent environmental degradation around us. CTC concluded with recognition of the active interaction and participation of volunteers, community members and organization internally and externally to create synergic social impact that is sustainable and can contribute positively to the environmental and community wellbeing.