Door-to-Door Programs

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Nature Club members attending a short orientation on Door-to-Door Programs

 

Despite having to report early on a Saturday morning, all the members of the Nature Club are always eager to start their door-to-door program. After brief introductions and an orientation, the members of the Nature Club are split into groups. Each group is provided with a flip chart filled with various facts about WATASOL and water borne diseases, WATASOL bottles, two unused coliform vials, flyers and posters. The teams are also given two samples of coliform test results – one showing contaminated water and another showing uncontaminated water. The locals become more willing to listen to the children when they find out that most of the water from sources around their community turned into a black liquid after the test, indicating a high level of contamination.

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Students of Mahendra Vidya Ashram explaining the use of WATASOL to a local

 

The teams go around the locality in their designated areas and stop by shops, restaurants and households along the way. The children are able to elaborate easily with the flipchart, as it has pictorial representations of the facts. The teams also sell 60ml WATASOL bottles to the locals. The locals buy them more readily when they are informed that they can go to the school for a cheap refill and half the proceeds would go to the nature club itself.

“We were able to understand that team work and coordination among the members is essential to run the activities”, Smriti stated.

“We were very glad that we were able to make people understand the importance of safe drinking water,” said Ajay.

“I learned how to deal with rejection. At first, I was dejected when the locals didn’t want to buy WATASOL but then I learned how to cope with it and carried on. Interaction and presentation with people also help students like us to increase confidence”, Sonu Thapa stated as she recalled her experience.

In the last few weeks, 5 schools have conducted Door-to-Door program.

  • Lalit Kalyan School, Lalitpur – Nov 28
  • Mahendra Vidya Ashram, Bhaktapur – Dec 5
  • St. Paul School, Thecho, Lalitpur – Dec 5
  • Kanchan English Secondary School, Chapagaun – Dec 5
  • Tika Bhairab School, Lele – Dec 11

The door-to-door program has proved to be an effective community awareness program. Along with raising awareness, it also develops interaction skills of the students. By the end of the two-hour long program, almost all the children are able to communicate with new people readily.  The children also develop a sense of responsibility as they are able to collect fund for their club activities.

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The experience of a Nature Club President

The earthquake in April left a deep rooted terror in the Nepalese minds. In the days that followed the earthquake, the fear was palpable. But amidst the fear and destruction, Ashok Maharjan, a student from Zing Secondary School, Khokana, Lalitpur rose to take action. Witnessing his community crumbling down and having to live out in the open with no shelter was a stark contrast to his normal life. For a Grade 10 student, the reality of being helpless weighed down his mind more than the terror.

The earthquake stripped the community of its basic essentials like water and electricity. At that time, people had no choice but to drink water directly from the source. This posed a serious health risk and increased the chances of an epidemic.

Keeping the threat of an epidemic in mind, Ashok bravely decided to use the skills he learned in his school’s Nature Club and produced Chlorine Solution, WATASOL, despite the ceaseless aftershocks and his family’s worry. As the Nature Club’s President, he called his friends Dipesh Dongol and Sajjan Maharjan and together with the WATA device, set out to find a place with electricity. The locals donated the salt needed for production of WATASOL.  After half an hour of wandering, he reached Bhaisepati, the neighboring town where there was electricity and started producing WATASOL.

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Ashok Maharjan from Zing Secondary School, Khokana, Lalitpur

“Electricity and transportation was the biggest hurdle”, Ashok states. “The people were very supportive and were ready to help us. As part of our Nature Club activities, we had begun to produce WATASOL and distribute it in our community even before the earthquake. As a result, the locals were familiar with WATASOL and accepted it without complains or suspicion.”

He continues to guide and advise other students in his school as well as those who live in the vicinity.

Ashok Maharjan is a prime example of a motivated youth who leads his peers. ECCA is proud to be able to support Ashok in his efforts and hopes to empower and motivate others youths as well.

Lanterns For Life

The training session with facilitator: Junu Joshi (left)

“My request for a working visa in a foreign country was approved but I chose not to go. I found it hard to leave my family and my homeland despite everything”, said Pradip Lamichanne Magar, a resident of Malta-7, southern Lalitpur. The devastating April earthquake brought down his house but not his optimistic view towards life. With agriculture as his only occupation and now the recent earthquake to count in, he undoubtedly got laden with worries to fulfill the basic needs of his family. Nevertheless,  he has been sending his children to school. His smile resembled hope as he sat down to receive a free training on Solar Lamp maintenance, an income generating attempt made by ECCA for people of rural areas. “This training has undoubtedly aided to my income source. I wish more of these skill generating programs shall be conducted in the future”, said Magar.

Handing over spare parts of Solar Tuki to trainee  Mr.Pradip Lamichanne Magar(left)

One of such other beneficiaries of the training was Rabindra Ale Magar of Malta-9 who, like Pradip, had his house buried in the earthquake and has since been living in a temporary shelter with his family. Being involved only in agriculture, his problems were no less doleful .

Spare parts of Solar Tuki being handed over to trainee Mr.Rabindra Ale Magar (left) by ECCA program officer Mr. Rabindra Khatri

Spare parts of Solar Tuki being handed over to trainee Mr.Rabindra Ale Magar (left)

However, he seemed more than happy as he got around with technical parts and handling techniques of solar lamp. “I even got solar lamps distributed by ECCA at the school today. You can’t imagine how much it means for all the students and their families here.” That day (August 27,  2015 ) ECCA distributed solar lamps and panels to 350 students and teachers of Shree KaliDevi Higher Secondary School, Malta while providing training on solar lamp maintenance simultaneously to a handful of people. “Now we can fix lamps and panels on our own without the trouble of having some technician come over to our village. Thank you very much for providing us the training”, said Pradip. When asked if he would be willing to go abroad if provided an opportunity again, he replied, “Why go abroad when you can find a way in your own motherland? Besides, its struggle everywhere, isn’t it?”

At the end of the session

At the end of the session

(The training, which was given by Junu Joshi, an ECCA staff and expert in solar lamps, included an intensive practical training on basic skills required to fix solar lamps. The trainees were provided with tools required for fixing lamps and panels at the end of the session.)

  • Upama Tamla

Solar lamps and panel distribution in Asrang

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On July 28 2015, with financial support raised through Global Giving, ECCA distributed Solar powered lamps (along with Solar panel) in Bidhadheshwari Higher Secondary School of Asrang in Lalitpur district as part of relief activities for the victims of April earthquake. Each of 400 households received two lamp units and one solar panel. Initially being scheduled the day before, bad road conditions (arising due to landslide) on the way to Asrang delayed the Solar Tuki distribution by one day. Nevertheless, school students and parents came again the next day to receive Solar Tukis for their homes.

ECCA Program Officer handing over solar tuki to a student accompanied by his grandmom

ECCA Program Officer handing over solar tuki to a student accompanied by his grandmom

Group Photo

Group Photo

In Asrang village, Lalitpur, around 97% of the houses got damaged in April’s earthquake and recovery process is taking time. With most of the electrical infrastructures damaged during the earthquake, the residents of Asrang had been facing problems of lighting during night time. Those who had access to kerosene lamps were in no advantage because of probable health hazards.  Educational arena of school children was equally affected. Thus, to improve the living and learning condition of people of Asrang, distribution of solar lamps and panels was prioritized since it has multiple advantages. Solar Tukis provide a stable and environmentally friendly source of lighting to the families in their homes or temporary shelters.

Globalgiving UK representative handing over solar tuki to a student

Globalgiving UK representative handing over solar tuki to a student

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Happy after getting Solar Tuki

“Some children have to walk for 3 hours to get to the school“, says a teacher. The village school Bidhyadhishwari Higher Secondary School, which is located on the top of a hill, was severely damaged during the earthquake and the destroyed classrooms were replaced by temporary learning center (consisting of bamboo-structured huts with space for about 30 children, but cannot provide the same teaching conditions as a solid building). “On top of this challenging surrounding, the students have to work hard to help the family when they return from school in the afternoon” the teacher informs us. That’s why it’s even more important to help the students to improve their living and learning conditions.

“Now we can study anytime we want. Most of the time, we are busy helping our parents with chores. But now, not even darkness can deprive us from studying. From now on, I will study even harder”, said Sandesh Tamang, one of the students.

We would like to thank all our supporters and donors for helping us in post earthquake recovery activities. Without your help and support, we would not have been able to achieve success in helping the earthquake affected people.

-Nina, Prachet, Upama

Nepal Earthquake Recovery Program Through Schools At Kavrepalanchowk and Lalitpur Districts

Orientation on safe drinking water

Orientation on safe drinking water

“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. I am very grateful to ECCA team and the volunteers for all the support and the help.” Words shared by Jiya Ram Shrestha, Vice-Principal of Shree Purna Sanjiwani Lamkhanamai Higher Secondary School, Dhulikhel-5, Kavre.

With the support from “Newtown High School, Elmhurst New York”, and “Hope for the Children Foundation, New York”, ECCA conducted 3 days training on Water and Sanitation (WASH) and Life Skill Program along with psychological activities in total 6 schools (five located in Kavrepalanchowk and one in Lalitpur district). These two districts are among the 14 hardest-hit districts of Nepal earthquake. About half of the population of both districts – approximately 150,000 people – has been rendered homeless by this disaster. Due to the damage incurred inside the school and their house, due to many earthquake aftershocks, due to human casualties among their relatives and friends, many students were in a state of shock. The program facilitated different fun, skillful, engaging and relieving activities for altogether 1420 students to support them get used to the normal school life again. Life skill consists of Communication, Leadership, Cooperation, Goal Setting and Confidence.

Copies being distributed

Copies being distributed

The schools were:

  1. Shree Himalaya Higher Secondary School
  2. Shree Jana Jyoti Secondary School
  3. Bal Mandir Lower Secondary School
  4. Shree Harisiddhi Lower Secondary School
  5. Shree Purna Sanjiwani Lankhanamai Higher Secondary School
  6. Bal Vinod Secondary School

Precaution was also needed to be taken, since, after natural disasters; there have been many cases of epidemics, which occur due to unsafe drinking water. Unawareness and drinking unsafe water increases the death toll after the disastrous event. Manoj Khadka, a student of eighth grade from Bal Vinod Secondary School and member of Bal Vinod Nature club, expressed that he has learned about the benefits of chlorine solution WATASOL. Since then, he has been using WATASOL to purify water. Previously, he and his family used to drink water directly from the tap, due to which his family used to suffer from water borne diseases. But, after taking the precautions, now, he and his family are safe.

Students with distributed chlorine solution WATASOL

Students with distributed chlorine solution WATASOL

ECCA distributed copies and chlorine solution WATASOL (to disinfect drinking water) to all the students and supported a day meal in all 6 project schools for all the students and the staff members during the training period. Day meal also motivated the students to come to the school continuously.

Students of different grades studying in the same tent

Students of different grades studying in the same tent

At the end of the camp, Ishwor Sharma, Principal of Shree Harisiddhi Lower Secondary School shared “I express my gratitude to ECCA for supporting stationery materials for all the students and volleyball, first aid kit and jerry cans for our school.”

The whole program was fruitful. The teachers and the whole community were thankful and delighted to have the ECCA team. The team was successful in helping the students / children to revive from the traumatized situation and continue their studies normally.

POST EARTHQUAKE RECOVERY SUPPORT @ MIRGE, DOLAKHA

Kalidevi Secondary School damaged by earthquake

Kalidevi Secondary School damaged by earthquake

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.

Stationery materials distribution

Stationery materials distribution

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.

Teaching proper hand washing technique

Teaching proper hand washing technique

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.

Parents observing work of their children

Parents observing work of their children

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)

ECCA Anniversary July 18, 2015

28 YEARS and still going on, in the path of CONSERVATION.

Mr. Ashish Karna as COUNSELOR OF THE YEAR 2014-15, receiving award from Ms. Juneli Dangol (Counselor of the year 2013-14)

Mr. Ashish Karna as COUNSELOR OF THE YEAR 2014-15, receiving award from Ms. Juneli Dangol (Counselor of the year 2013-14)

A BIG CONGRATULATIONS & THANKS to all the Well Wishers and supporters of ECCA.

We are still looking towards the same support from you all in the coming days ahead.

Congratulations to Mr. Ashish Karna for being COUNSELOR OF THE YEAR 2014-15!

Please visit :https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.632115206891081.1073741931.116503395118934&type=3

Safe Water Program in Sindhupalchowk

Collected water samples

Collected water samples

Result of water testing: Black color shows presence of Coliform

Result of water testing: Black color shows presence of Coliform

Sindhupalchowk district has reported the highest number of deaths in earthquake of 25thApril, 2015. Ward No. 7 of Barabise VDC, which lies in the edge of Sindhupalchowk, has about 150 households who directly depend on 5 spring sources for drinking purposes. On examining the quality of water, 4 of the spring sources were found positive with coliform contamination.

ECCA, in partnership with German Nepalese Help Association, conducted a day Training (6th June, 2015) on the use of Chlorinator at Barabise-7, Sindhupalchowk with the aim of promoting safe water and prevent the occurrence of water borne diseases in the community.

Orientation to the locals

Orientation to the locals

Around 77 villagers participated in the program, which included local women group members, staffs of ‘Bishnu Adhyatmik Sanskrit Bal Vidhyalaya’ School, forest user groups and youths. The participants were much anticipated to know about WATA device and how it produces WATASOL (brand name of Chlorine solution). During the session, information was provided on the possible ways of water contamination and the methods of water purification.  In that community, only few people were found to use water purification method “boiling”, use of chlorine solution was not known to them. Most of the people preferred to use water direct from the source. The reasons being change in the taste of water and time consuming, according to Ms. Dilikumari Neupane (Women group member).

During the practical session, the ECCA trainers (Ms. Merina Shrestha and Ms. Shailena Sthapit) explained the procedure of making chlorine solution by using Standard WATA device. The participants also took part actively and got chance to learn by themselves.

Distributing WATASOL bottles

Distributing WATASOL bottles

At the end of the training, the standard WATA device was handed over to the Principal of ‘Bishnu Aadhyatmik Sanskrit Bal vidhyalaya’ School. The filled WATASOL 60ml bottles (300 pcs) were handed over to the women group for distribution to the families. These bottles will be re-used and refilled once the chlorine solution production starts at the local level.

Mr. Baikuntha Nath Dahal, Principal of ‘Bishnu Adhyatmik Sanskrit Bal Vidhyalaya’ School expressed “We are delighted to have the standard WATA Device in this devastating situation to prevent the community from water borne diseases.”

-Shailena Sthapit, ECCA Staff

WASH and Life Skill Camp @ Dalchoki, Southern Lalitpur

With the Children of Dalchoki –  Palistha Shrestha (ECCA Counsellor)

[WASH and Life Skill Camp was held at Shree Gothbhanjyang Higher Secondary School, Dalchoki, Lalitpur from June 7 to 9, 2015. The experiences of a camp staff …… ]

Dalchoki Team : (From the left) Sujan Prajapati, Yangji Sherpa, Palistha Shrestha, Samata Rajkarnikar, Merina RanaMagar, Nirajan Shrestha

Dalchoki Team : (From the left) Sujan Prajapati, Yangji Sherpa, Palistha Shrestha, Samata Rajkarnikar, Merina RanaMagar, Nirajan Shrestha

5 teams began their journey to the rural areas of Lalitpur on June 6, 2015. The teams had prepared their session plans and the required materials as per the trainings they had received few days ago.

As we made our way towards the rural area, we were reminded of the devastation caused by the earthquake of April 25, 2015. The road was covered with dust from the debris of the collapsed houses. Some houses were being demolished at several places while many had temporary supports to prevent them from collapsing.

My team was assigned to Dalchoki, Lalitpur. The massive contrast of the standard of living between the city and the villages of the same district was unexpected. In just an hour ride, we reached a village so rural and under developed, it was hardly believable that it was only about 30 km away from the capital.

We unloaded all our supplies on the top of the hill and began our descend to the school located below. The steep slope of the road made it increasingly difficult (and tiring) to make several trips. With the help from the villagers, we were able to take all our supplies to the school in two trips.

We began exploring the school premises for a place to pitch our tent and to assemble our supplies. The school had generously arranged utensils and a gas stove for our use. We decided to pitch our tents inside the Temporary Learning Centers as there were no other open spaces and fierce winds usually dominated the night air. We decided a session plan, divided our responsibilities before dinner and called it a day.

Early the next day, we disassembled our tents and began preparing the materials needed for the sessions. After a quick breakfast, we headed for a short meeting with the teachers and staffs of the school to introduce ourselves as well as discuss about our session plans.

Students along with the teachers enjoying 'Balloon Blast'

Students along with the teachers enjoying ‘Balloon Blast’

Together with Yangji Sherpa, my first session started off at 11am with the students from Grade 1-3. With their classrooms destroyed by the earthquake, they were assembled under a temporary shelter outside. We began our session with a short ball game but the small children were hesitant to play with us. Next we played ‘Balloon Blast’. This game requires students to burst each others’ balloons tied to their legs while saving their own. This game was an instant success and the children enjoyed it immensely. The teachers also participated in the games, which encouraged the students to approach us. The prospective of bursting balloons excited not only the small children but the higher class students as well. A small group of students from other classes gathered to watch the little kids play.

My next session was with the students from Grade 6. After waiting eagerly for their turn, they hurriedly entered the class when I approached them. With almost 50 students, the task was a little exhausting but the students were very cooperative and eager to learn and play games. This greatly reduced the difficulties arising due to large number of students.

We provided biscuits and juice to all the students as well as the staffs during the lunch break.  My second session with the students from Grade 1-3 started off with fresh enthusiasm from the students. They were more lively and active while coloring and tracing. They began calling us “Miss”. Being called upon when they had doubts and difficulties was a proud moment for me. Getting accepted as their teacher and guiding them as they colored was a joyous moment.

Taking sessions with 6th graders

Taking sessions with 6th graders

My last session for the day was with the 6th graders again. Yangji accompanied me as the number of students was large. We taught them Future Ladder, an activity where the students establish their goals and learn the steps they have to climb to reach their ambition.

The day ended with loud farewells and promises to play a lot more the next day. With a little rest, we decided to explore the surrounding areas. The cool wind blowing through was refreshing against Kathmandu’s dusty and warm winds.

After a group discussion on the day’s sessions and some planning for the next day, we cooked our dinner, pitched our tents and slept soundly.

Surrounded by warm smiles

Surrounded by warm smiles

The next two days were filled with more interesting games and activities like puppet making, wall magazines, science show and wall comics for students from Grade 6-8 and mask making, clay work and rhymes for students from Grade 1-5. The number of students attending the classes started increasing as the days passed by. We organized an exhibition on the last day where they displayed all their activities done in the camp. Students from Grade 4-5 eagerly presented the new rhymes that they had learned in the sessions. We handed over game materials to the school as well.

The students showed more enthusiasm as the day went by. Some of them arrived almost an hour early and stayed back after the school and insisted on playing with us. Some of the students gave us fruits and potatoes grown locally as gifts. A few even came to see us off. Such positive responses from students made our exhaustion worthwhile.

“My daughter who normally does not like to go to school has been very eager to leave for school in the mornings. She is always asking me for the time”, a mother said to us. The teachers and parents gave us positive feedbacks as well.

The warm farewell!

The warm farewell!

We were constantly supported by the school’s principal, Mr. Laxmi Timalsina and the staffs.

The program ended with a bittersweet feeling of completing it successfully but leaving warm smiles and laughter behind. Going to remote areas and sharing our knowledge to uplift the spirits of bright young students was truly a refreshing and satisfying experience.

I would like to thank ECCA for giving us this opportunity to go and conduct camps in rural areas. It was truly a momentous  and memorable experience.

Earthquake Relief, Recovery and Rehabilitation Works

ECCA constructed Temporary Learning Centers at Sindhupalchowk

ECCA constructed Temporary Learning Centers as substitutes for damaged classrooms at Sindhupalchowk

Immediately after the earthquake of April 25, ECCA mobilized its resources, linkages, staffs, counsellors and volunteers in the relief works by targeting various earthquake affected areas. ECCA responded in its own project areas as well as partnered with many other like minded organizations and individuals, in providing the relief materials in many localities. The contributions received (financial as well as material) from international well wishers were overwhelming. The volunteering done by many of the past and present ECCA counsellors, volunteers and well wishers were noteworthy. It is very much appreciated that all made contributions in their own ways. In the process, the network of ECCA has enlarged and has become stronger. Everybody feels proud to be part of ECCA. Many thanks to all.

ECCA continues to move ahead with the recovery and rehabilitation works.