My first ECCA field trip: A teaching-learning experience

Sawana Rai, Counsellor Training, January 2022

A long-anticipated trip to the beautiful East.

Capacity Building Training of Child Clubs (CBTC) for project schools of Jhapa, Morang and Dhankuta districts not only gave me an opportunity to mediate the knowledge I’d learned through Counsellor Training and various workshops in ECCA, it also widened my horizon of understanding children and their school environment. As me and my team conducted the training in Dharan (for schools of Dhankuta district), Morang and Jhapa districts one after another, I couldn’t help but feel the potential glimmering in those hopeful eyes of the participant students. To have had an opportunity to aid those students in some ways to boost their all-round development has filled me up with gratitude towards ECCA Nepal, Taksvärkki ry Finland and all the other contributing actors.

The participants were:

  • Child Clubs representatives of 4 schools of Dhankuta district with hints of rural lifestyles but equally, if not more, active than the rest and full of potential,
  • Child Clubs representatives of 4 schools of Morang district with relatively more access to amenities of urbanization, and
  • Child Clubs representatives of 7 schools of Jhapa district with fair advantage of urbanity.

My first ECCA field trip, first ever session facilitation, first trip to Eastern Nepal, first trip to hot humid Terai region of Nepal; so many firsts. I was excited, curious and nervous all at the same time. I went a facilitator, a trainer, with all my session materials packed to be shown, discussed upon and returned learning from the participants too. To be so eager to know more, to be so present in the moment and to see beauty in little things, the innocent curious child in me that was somewhere submerged amidst the transition into adulthood has been resurfaced.

Story based Nature Club Management Handouts: A new approach of the team to educate the students about Nature Club Management and evaluate the outcome of the support ECCA has been giving to the child clubs in the schools of project areas in the East. The participants were engaged in reading-writing interactive sessions throughout the training where they read short stories about various aspects of Nature Club and answered questions at the end of each story. This approach was openly appreciated by the representative teachers in the trainings as a more effective way of indulging students in learning about Nature Club Management.

The training also included sessions on subjects of Child Protection, Menstrual Hygiene Management, WASH and Children and Environment. The learning environment was fun with emphasis on group works and public speaking. Life skills through games, talent show and titles distribution to the participants based on an appreciative quality of each on the last day of training made the 5 days of training fly by in a blink of an eye.

As I put together these words to express my CBTC experience, I remember getting updates on the sharing programs conducted by the participating students in their respective schools after returning from the training. And it makes me smile every time. It makes me realize how I am a part of change.  A change for the better tomorrow.

Child Club Representatives of Shree Ram Secondary School, Dhankuta solving Hygiene puzzle

Local counsellor Shila Guragai helping me demonstrate the using procedure of reusable sanitary pad during my session on Menstrual Hygiene Management

Child Club representatives of Jhapa performing drama on child abuse during talent show

Samana Rai, Child Club representative of Shree Sagma Secondary School, Morang sharing learnings from CBTC in her school

Susmita Bhandari, Child Club representative of Shree Deurali Secondary School, Dhankuta during program on Child Abuse in her school post CBTC

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