Recalling that Saturday: Experiences of a Volunteer

At ECCA, the success of our campaigns and programs is much down to the hard work of our fantastic volunteers. We work as a Professional Volunteer Organisation, providing new experiences and opportunities to students and interested youth, who in turn bring their energy and creative ideas to our work.

Aasish Karna joined ECCA as a volunteer 3 months ago. After volunteering in the 3rd National Children’s Club Conference that took place in April, he worked as an invigilator for the 4th National On The Spot Essay Competition on June 14. He shares his experience of the day:

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“It was a great day and full of new experiences. It was my first time volunteering in an essay competition. I got a chance to learn new things regarding program management. The most memorable part of the day was invigilating the participants. I had not worked as an invigilator in any competitions or exams before. I was little bit nervous at first, but later the environment turned friendly and I enjoyed being there. I’ve been learning many things and gaining new experiences.”

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If you are interested in becoming part of our team of volunteers, we would love to hear from you.

Shree Bagh Bhairab School and the Wall

Imagine losing your football when you’re in the middle of an intense game. Or your basketball flies high and so high, that there is no way of retrieving it in the less than 30 minutes lunch break. Or that when you’re playing a friendly match with your school mates, some rude people come and intrude, causing disturbance and ruin your recess.

For students studying in a school with proper building, fences, playground and other infrastructures, the abovementioned situations could sound foreign. But for students at Shree Bagh Bhairab Higher Secondary School located at Kaleshwor-7 in a remote hilly VDC in Lalitpur, it had been a real problem. The school administration struggled to control the unnecessary entries within the school ground and maintain the peace and quiet of the school ambience, along with contributing in the physical and mental development of the students.

The concerned stakeholders consisting of school administration, school management committee, teacher, students and parents along with District Education Office and other donor organizations formed a committee to construct a gate and fence around the school area. The committee was designated to look into the overall workings of the plan for a successful outcome.

375 students, 23 teachers and school staff are to be directly benefited by this plan whereas the parents and the guardians would be indirectly benefited.

ECCA and Wilkins Memorial Trust (WMT), UK,  contributed Rs. 25,000, ensuring some financial relief to the committee and their noble gesture. WMT has been supporting various projects in the region for many years.

The school has been continuing the construction work and will be doing so for the upcoming days until the students can play freely with no fear of losing their balls in the short recess.

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Wall under construction.

Wall under construction.

 

World Environment Day Activities

Nature Clubs were established by ECCA in schools to encourage students to actively participate in conserving the environment.

On World Environment Day (June 5, 2014), St. Paul Nature Club, supported by ECCA, organized a cleaning program at Mandap Pokhari (pond). The teachers and students from grade 8 to 10 of St. Paul Higher Secondary School in Thecho, Lalitpur participated in the program for the preservation of this historically, religiously and traditionally important pond.

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Students rest after taking part in the cleaning program.

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Students at Mandap Pokhari, cleaning it.

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Students in action.

Encouraged by their teachers, students from grade 4 to 10 of Shree Saraswati Higher Secondary School in Thecho also organized a public awareness rally and sanitation program. The sanitation program was implemented in nine wards of Thecho. The program was initiated by Shree Saraswati Nature Club who also rallied along these streets to raise awareness about the environment day.

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ECCA staff distributing masks and gloves for the sanitation program.

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Students at the rally.

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Students cleaning the streets.

 

Lalit Kalyan School: Improving Access to Safe Drinking Water

Bimala Tamang (left) and Dhiraj Khadka (right) with their teacher Mr. Ramesh Shrestha.

Bimala Tamang (left) and Dhiraj Khadka (right) with their teacher Mr. Ramesh Shrestha.

Lalit Kalyan Kendra Lower Secondary School in Lalitpur is one of the six schools to have received funding through the Knowledge Market Place proposal competition which took place at ECCA’s 3rd National Conference of Children’s Clubs. Students Bimala Tamang, 14, and Dhiroj Khadka, 13, presented their proposal at the conference and were successful in gaining funding for their school.

The aim of their proposal is to install additional water taps in their school in order to give students easier access to the safe drinking water which they now have available. Previously their school had only access to unclean water from a well. With the help of ECCA, however, the school has installed a tank with a water filter and water is purified using WATASOL chlorine solution.  Currently there is only one tap in the school that the students and teachers can use to access safe drinking water, which means that students have to spend a lot of their time queuing to use the tap, often when it is very hot outside. The funding grant which the students received will therefore be used to install three more water taps in the school, allowing students to access clean water more easily.

Bimala explained that these taps will make a huge difference to the students in the school, and that they are also important in supporting the clean drinking water activities that the school is involved in, such as producing their own WATASOL chlorine solution. With the help of the nature club students, the school is now self-sufficient in purifying the water which they have access to.

WATASOL tank with clean drinking water.

WATASOL tank with clean drinking water.

“We feel very proud to have won the award”, Dhiroj explained. “Our school will have a good reputation in our community because of it”. This award will help to attract prestige to this government school, which struggles to maintain attendance due to local students’ preference to attend private schools. Students come to this school from outside of Kathmandu and may not attend for more than a few months due to their parents being forced to relocate for work. This is disruptive to the students’ education; good publicity is therefore extremely valuable for attracting local students to the school.

The project to install the taps will be completed in a month, and after this the students at Lalit Kalyan School will have easier access to safe drinking water. This is just one of many positive outcomes of ECCA’s National Conference on Children’s Clubs, promoting student-led positive change.

Children drinking waiting to use the water tap.

Children drinking waiting to use the water tap.

Children waiting to use the water tap.

Children waiting to use the water tap.

Envirofit Stoves Grace Lele Households

Lele, almost an hour’s ride away from Kathmandu, is a peaceful village with people that are laid back and adjusting to the development happening all over the country. In their quest of living their daily lives successfully, however, they struggle with using firewood for daily cooking. Traditional cook stoves are fueled by wood, endangering the forest in the long term.

To help find an alternative to this problem, ECCA in partnership with Himalayan Stove Foundation distributed 30 Envirofit Stoves on May 14, Wednesday. Each family contributed Rs. 1,000 to the local Forest User Group who will use it for the betterment of the community in return for the stoves.

Aba Ram Karki, one of the locals who had been using the stove for two months shared his experience. “I found it to be very efficient. It takes only a third of the firewood we had been previously using, I’ve learnt that it puts less strain on the environment,” he said, eager to let the other locals know how they would benefit from it. “It takes less time to cook, giving me plenty of time to do other works. The smoke is given an easy getaway, and it is portable,” he added, remarking on the stoves’ benefits.

ECCA has been organizing various environment related program in 10 VDCs around Lele, in the southern part of Lalitpur district in the outskirts of Kathmandu valley. This initiative was taken to encourage the locals in preserving the greenery and become environmentally aware. This is just a step in the process of educating the locals and making them implement green plans for the sake of the environment.

3rd National Conference of Children Club Press Release (April 14, 2014)

Background

ECCA, established 27 years ago in the year 1987, pioneered the concept of children’s nature clubs in Nepal in 1992. Since then, many organizations have been actively working with students through children’s clubs in different issues such as environmental conservation, sustainable development, health & sanitation, children’s rights and more. Children’s clubs are independent and voluntary groups within the schools, aiming to promote active participation of students in different learning processes. In spite of the recent introduction of the “One School – One Child Club” policy of the Government of Nepal, the importance of children’s clubs and the role of children as the agents of change, is often neglected. Success stories and examples are not shared, therefore, the dissemination of information remains incomplete and challenging.

With the aim to bring together children’s clubs formed by different organizations, ECCA organized the 3rd National Conference of Children’s Clubs in Nepal (April 11-13, 2014) (Chaitra 28-30, 2070) in Laboratory Higher Secondary School, Kirtipur, Kathmandu. ECCA organized first such conference in Jan 2000 and the second in Jan 2009.

The inauguration of the conference was done by the chief guest Mr. Yubaraj Bhusal, then Member Secretary of National Planning Commission on the first day of the conference on April 11, 2014 (Chaitra 28, 2070).  120 children club members, 35 adults (teachers and observers from NGO, INGO) from 18 districts participated in the Conference. Kirtipur Declaration-2070 was declared at the closing of the Conference.

Event Highlights

  • Kirtipur Declaration -2070
  • Children Club – Paper Presentation: 11 children clubs presented their success stories and achievements
  • Knowledge Market Place: 33 children clubs presented their proposal (out of which, 6 best were declared winners and were awarded cash prize of Rs. 25,000 each to implement the proposal)

o   Winners

    • Lalit Kalyan Nature Club, Lalit Kalyan School, Lalitpur
    • Sahayatri Club, Shree Primary School, Korak, Chitawan
    • Kailasian Club, Mount Kailash School, Bake, Kapan, Kathmandu
    • Puspanjali Club, Pushpanjali Secondary School
    • Kitni Nature Club, Kitni Higher Secondary School
    • Geeta Mata Nature Club, Shree Geeta Mata Higher Secondary School
    • Kabishiromani Bal Club, Shree Kabishiromani Secondary School, Jhapa (25 Thousand equivalent WATA Device Award)
  • Thematic Session by Experts (on the topics Climate Change & Role of Children on its mitigation, Child Rights & School Environment Improvement, Life Skill, Child Friendly Local Governance)
  • Cultural program
  • Environmental games

Organizer

Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness (ECCA)

In Association with:

Antenna Technologies

Plan Nepal

Shanti Griha

WWF/The Generation Green Campaign

Lalitpur Sub-Metropolitan City

Discover Kathmandu in World Heritage Day!!

Kathmandu has been a dreamland for many citizens to inhabit. The rich cultural diversity and the beauty of this city are ever luring people worldwide to visit at least once in their life time.

Have you ever wondered when Kathmandu city is founded?

The oldest script dates to 400 AD during Lichhavi period. Kathmadu city was founded on 724 AD by King Gunakamadev. But the Mahabharat text has it that King Yalember of Kathmandu valley also took part in the war of Kaurava and Pandavas, denoting human activities for more than 2700 years before in the valley.

Wanna know more about the Kathmandu valley and be an Expert in Heritage Information of Kathmandu City,

Then,

Join the Heritage walk. Don’t miss the opportunity!

Program Details:

Date: 18th April, 2014
Registration deadline: 15th April, 2014
Registration fee: Rs.150/- (including tea, snack and lunch)

Registration is limited to 50 seats (first come first serve basis)

Venue: Pachali Ghat (Gathering at Pachali Ghat 7:00 am sharp)

Walk Starts at 7:30 am sharp

For more details and registration:

ECCA

Jwagal – 10, Kupondol, Lalitpur

Tel: +977 1 5553870 office | +977 1 5550452 office | +977 1 5011006 fax

URL: www.ecca.org.np

Follow us on Facebook

3rd National Conference of Children Club Press Release (April 11, 2014)

Background

ECCA, established 27 years ago in the year 1987, pioneered the concept of children’s nature clubs in Nepal in 1992. Since then, many organizations have been actively working with students through children’s clubs in different issues such as environmental conservation, sustainable development, health & sanitation, children’s rights and more. Children’s clubs are independent and voluntary groups within the schools, aiming to promote active participation of students in different learning processes. In spite of the recent introduction of the “One School – One Child Club” policy of the Government of Nepal, the importance of children’s clubs and the role of children as the agents of change, is often neglected. Success stories and examples are not shared, therefore, the dissemination of information remains incomplete and challenging.

With the aim to bring together children’s clubs formed by different organizations, ECCA organized the 3rd National Conference of Children’s Clubs in Nepal (April 11-13, 2014) (Chaitra 28-30, 2070) in Laboratory Higher Secondary School, Kirtipur, Kathmandu. ECCA organized first such conference in Jan 2000 and the second in Jan 2009.

Objectives:

  • To create a single platform for children’s clubs to share their knowledge and experience
  • To ensure the sustainability of the clubs through strengthening and self sufficiency
  • To expose children to various environmental and social issues such as climate change, children’s rights, child health, school environment, water and sanitation, etc.
  • To enhance children’s participation in community development

Participants:

  • 120 children club members (Grade 8-9) and 30 teachers from 65 schools from 18 districts
  • Observers from NGO, INGO

Event Highlights:

  • Children’s Club – Paper Presentation (related with success stories, achievements and case studies of respective clubs).
  • Knowledge Market Place (all participating clubs/schools will display their activities and proposal for future program. The best five concept/proposal will be awarded cash prize up to Rs. 25,000 to implement the proposal)
  • Thematic Session by Experts (on the topics Climate Change & Role of Children on its mitigation, Child Rights & School Environment Improvement, Life Skill, Child Friendly Local Governance)
  • Cultural program
  • Environmental games

Chief Guest Yubaraj Bhusal, Member Secretary, National Planning Commission, inaugurated the program. He stated that Government of Nepal has started the policy of establishing one child club in each school. He expressed that all should develop positive attitude in environment conservation, which will go a long way in enhancing the quality of life. He also emphasized on the importance of the 3Ds – Discipline, Determination and Dedication.

Welcoming the participants, Yogendra Chitrakar, Director of ECCA, briefed about the activities being conducted by ECCA. The inauguration function was chaired by Prachet Kumar Shrestha, Chairman of ECCA. He thanked all the supporting organizations, media partners and representatives, participating schools, students and teachers. On the occasion, Educationist Dr. Badri Dev Pandey, Coordinator of National College, Ukesh Raj Bhuju, Program Manager of European Commission Nepal, Ranjan Shrestha also expressed their views on the role of children’s conference in environmental conservation.

Organizer

ECCA Nepal, Wise Use House, Jwagal, Kupondol 10, Lalitpur, Phone: 5553870, 5550452

GPO Box: 9210 KTM Nepal, Email: ecca@mos.com.npURL: www.ecca.org.np

Expectations from the participants (3rd National Children clubs conference)

Bimala Tamang, 14, and Dhiroj Khadka, 13 are representing their school Lalit Kalyan Kendra Lower Secondary’s nature club in the upcoming 3rd National Children’s club conference. As they are participating in the national children’s club conference for the first time, they are excited and curious about what they would be learning.

Dhiroj, with an exultant face, is expecting to learn a lot of things there. He is especially interested in learning more about proper waste disposal, planting saplings, keeping the environment clean and also looking forward to play various environment related games promised in the conference. He has been involved with their school’s nature club from grade 4. It is compulsory for all the students to be a part of the club and the program is supported by ECCA Nepal, to ensure the students’ role in the conservation of the environment, which is also the goal of the conference.

Dhiroj wants to impress his teachers into praising him for participating in the club. Shy, but determined, he commits to share with his parents and friends whatever he learned in the conference.

Bimala, resonates Dhiroj’s expectations, adding that the different activities taught in the conference could help her in various things relating to environment and her daily life. She is especially happy that being a part of such conference would help enrich her knowledge about the environment. She doesn’t think that she knows a lot about the working of such clubs yet, but says that that’s the reason why she is eager for the conference. “I want to learn more. I want to learn about the water purification process in the conference so that I can share the knowledge with my peers and family,” she says.

April 4, 2014