Solar Aid for Chepang community

 

If you ask about Chepangs in Chitwan, people will probably tell you to go far behind the mountains. These areas lie far from development and people are compelled to lead hard lives.  Lothar VDC is one of those remote areas which acts as a home to over 5027 Nepalese people of whom 4000 are highly marginalized Chepang  people (Census 2011). The struggle  has the civilization pushed back under margin of underdevelopment.

Lack of electricity is one of the major concerns in Lothar. It has affected series of socio-economic factors including education. To enhance child education by introducing Lothar community to efficient solar technology, ECCA provided Solar Tuki sets, mass charging as well as maintenance training to 4 villages of Lothar namely Lo-ling, Gundi, Cheuding and Kalitar. Students, teachers and parents of 4 schools gathered together on June 6, 2016. Each household received 2 tukis benefitting 292 households in total where as mass charging stations are kept at school as an motivating agenda for school attendance.

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Students and their parents both were invited to receive Solar Tukis

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ECCA representative provides basic handling techniques of Solar Tuki

ECCA also provided 3 days long Solar tuki repair and maintenance training to 8 participants; 2 from each village. This will help them repair tukis themselves without having to travel far for its maintenance. As for the community, an innovative concept of micro-credit was brought to life. Local youths helped in making people understand the advantages of micro-credit finance which was also expected to provide some income to trained solar repairing technicians of the village.

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Solar Tuki expert from ECCA provides training to participants in Kalitar

ECCA camps held at each of the four schools simultaneously brought students a step closer to efficient use of solar tukis for improving their education and enhanced their knowledge on alternative energies.

“Although people enroll their children at schools, only an average of 50% attends school regularly. Drop out rate is high and we believe that solar tuki can be a milestone to change this.”

(ECCA thanks Unica Foundation and Shanti Griha for the support.)

Nature Clubs collaborate for Door To Door WATASOL Programme in Nepal

How do you confirm that the water you are drinking is safe? What measures do you use to make it germ-free?

“We discovered that chlorinating water could be an easy and effective method to disinfect water. As responsible youths, we felt it was important to make people of our community aware about it”, shared Roshan Dhakal member of Tapeswor Nature Club of Shree Tapeswor Higher Secondary School. Ever since ECCA (Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness) provided training on WATASOL/chlorine solution and also provided WATA devices( with action medeor e.V.‘s support) for its production, the club has been trying to make efforts for creating awareness programmes like this.

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ECCA counselor Aruna Puri advises nature club members on how to approach members of community

Along with Tapeswor Nature Club, nature club of neighbouring school Shree Brahamayani Secondary School also had taken part in the training. Foreseeing a common objective both the nature clubs had therefore collaboratively conducted door to door program on January 25, 2016 where they shared the role of WATASOL in making drinking water safe.  There were 50 participants, 25 from each club in the programme.

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Nature clubs talk with an elderly man about WATASOL

“The earthquake had made the issue of drinking water even more vulnerable few months ago. We all need to be more conscious all the time about the quality of water that we drink. WATASOL being an effective and affordable water disinfectant technique can be used by everyone. Thank you ECCA for introducing it to us”, said Dhakal after the door to door programme. According to him, the people of community showed sheer interest in WATASOL and positively responded to their approach.

[ECCA thanks all donors/supporters for their help in ECCA’s mission of providing ‘Safe Water For Healthy Nepal’. Help ECCA’s initiation by contributing through our Global Giving website.]

-Upama Tamla Rai, ECCA

WE HAVE A MESSAGE FOR YOU

 


Dear all,

Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness (ECCA) is currently in its 29th year of establishment. Over the years, we have succeeded in making significant improvements in the sector of WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene), school environment, community development, promotion of alternate and renewable technologies (A Clean Solar Alternative to Kerosene Lamps,  ICS training) and even conservation related entrepreneurship. We can proudly say that our actions have helped people change their lives. Women in Jajarkot have learnt to invest in income generating activities through saving and credit schemes initiated among their own group. Children of Dolakha have learnt to initiate community awareness programs on their own. Our actions have made a difference in a sense that each trained member in the society now bears a sense of responsibility. The earthquake was however a turning phase for all but it proved more of a reason to work harder right from renovation and rebuilding to development that offers sustainability. From construction of Temporary Learning Centers to formation of nature club in schools, we have been attempting to bring progressive change from local to national level.

This note, henceforth, is to remind each of you contributors for your priceless support because all our successful attempts would have not been possible without you. To all supporters who are incessantly helping us in every way, be it on site volunteering or project donations, we express our heartfelt gratitude. To every heart out there that believes in us, we are thankful.

Considering the present hardships (due to cold weather) being faced by the earthquake affected people (who are still living in temporary makeshift shelters), ECCA recently initiated a campaign Win Against Winter. We’re sure we’ll receive support from each one of you as well.

We wish to move on with your ever-growing aspiration to help our motives.

Thank you!

ECCA Nepal

 

 

Counseling Training For Community Learning Centers

“The earthquake hasn’t come to an end yet. If it should occur unpredictably, we need to be prepared in every manner for possible losses. But along with empowerment of personal strength, building skills to effectively counsel others is equally important”, said ECCA program officer Rabindra Khatri  while facilitating a counseling training in National Resource Center for Non Formal Education, Satdobato on December 30.

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Program Officer Mr.Rabindra Khatri during a session

The two days counseling training which was facilitated by ECCA in co-ordination with NRC-NFC primarily focused on teaching best counseling techniques to the participants those including psychological healing methodologies and lifeskill activities. Over 24 representatives from 4   CLCs(Community Learning Centers) of 2 districts Bhaktapur and Lalitpur were invited. From interactive art sessions to experience sharing, participants learnt creative ways to deal with victims of disasters like earthquake.

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An interactive communication activity

“I feel that my capability to counsel anyone with trauma has increased. I am glad I got invited for this training”, responded one of the participants at the end of the training.

For more photos visit: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.693279017441366.1073741953.116503395118934&type=1&l=e130d30aec

 

 

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.

From a Mother’s Eyes

A fine December afternoon in Durbar Square and I was barely thinking of anything except enjoying the sun. Out of nowhere, a child dressed in traditional nepali attire gunyo-cholo appeared. Her young age and physical features were a deception otherwise the way she presented herself would make anyone think of her as a much matured woman. I was flabbergasted by her flawless act which started gathering attention of people around. I followed her and a bunch of similarly costumed children appeared on the platform.They all talked about issues related to water and health. Some were laden by water-borne diseases, some trying to seek out the solutions. As the act got exciting by each minute, something stroke my mind. I m.jpgbegan thinking of simple issues that I gave myself no time to think before. Questions
brainstormed- “The glass of water I drank at the canteen hurriedly this morning, was it safe enough to drink?”  “Have I been providing my children with pure and germfree water?” “Am I good parent?” “What are the safety determining factors of drinking water?”

I saw the drama team struggle with water-related problems and I realized I knew a solution or two! The children explored a safer world offered by hygienic behaviours and clean water and I realized that safe drinking water being a global issue cannot be veiled by ignorance anymore. Day to day caution is a must to build up progressive health behaviours in oneself. I learnt that simple actions like regular use of WATASOL could contribute to a healthier living.


I snapped out of my thoughts as I heard the crowd clapping. The drama had end. I felt what just happened in front of me was more than just a drama by a bunch of children. It was an act of reminder by conscious members of society trying to guide people like me to a healthier world. Finally I returned home that night with a handful of WATASOLs. I planned on having a talk with my children about drinking water precautions tonight and I knew it would be interesting to introduce them to this disinfectant technique of chlorination/WATASOL!

-Upama Tamla(Rai), ECCA

[With reference to a safe drinking water themed drama performed by Bal Binod Nature Club of Na:tole, Lalitpur in MangalBazaar, Patan, Nepal on December 9, 2015. To support ECCA’s mission of providing ‘Safe Water For Healthy Nepal’ donate us through our Global Giving website.]

 

 

 

Education And Attitude

Following is a review of a school drama performed by Shree Bag Bharaib Nature Club, Chaughare on November 25, 2015 during school visit by ECCA director Angel Chitrakar along with the treasurer from WMT  Mr. David.

IMG_5158Hari, who lives in Jeri Gaun gets ill out of a sudden. He is not rushed to a hospital but offered the aid of a Jhakri. All the mantras that the Jhakri chants and animal sacrifices he makes to shoo away the evil goes in vain. It is only that his health improves when he gets treated by a medical doctor.  The reason for his sickness doesn’t turn out to be evil souls but unhygienic behaviours chiefly open defecation.

The drama which showcased sensitive issues of community such as hygiene and sanitation was commendable. From health issues to existing beliefs in superstitions, the characters successfully portrayed ignorant personalities of the society and those who try to make a change. By creating a contrast between two villages, essence of subjects such as plantation was also revealed to the public and the conclusion was an inspiring one- to spread awareness and bring actual change in attitude.

IMG_5170.jpgAnyone in the audience would undoubtedly get a feeling that it is important that more of the youths come forward to be the Change makers. If everyone would go hand in hand for making such positive changes in the society, life will get better and development won’t be far.

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-Upama Tamla (Rai), ECCA
[To support ECCA’s mission of providing ‘Safe Water For Healthy Nepal’, donate us through our Global Giving website.]

AWARE AND ACT TODAY!

Kopila, a  primary level student in Kavrepalanchowk  never attends school regularly. Due to lack of toilets, it is very difficult for her especially during the time of her menstruation. Not only her, but even the boys are compelled to go to forests or cliffs for excreting purpose which is dangerous enough.

There are thousands of students who suffer like this in everyday life.  In Nepal, only 27% of the population has access to a proper toilet (WaterAid Nepal). Majority of people have no option but to defecate in the open. Along with this the knowledge of washing hands with soaps or similar disinfectants after using toilet is more of a matter involving ignorance rather than lack of knowledge. Especially during the time of emergency and crisis, people often tend to forget its importance hence number of sanitation-related diseases evolve taking the form of an epidemic.

Hence, ECCA decided to take this year’s World Toilet Day ECCA as an opportunity to spread awareness in an effective manner- through direct communication with the people. Students and nature club members were included along with enthusiastic volunteers. Together with communicating with the public by costumed characters portrayed by nature club students of  Lalit Kalyan Kendra Lower Secondary School, Bholdhoka, ECCA volunteers organized a sanitation related flashmob which was then followed by a lively drama show. People enjoyed and applauded each section of the program. Furthermore, students of Bal Vinod Secondary School, Na:tole kept a stall on WATASOL.

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“I never knew there existed a ‘World Toilet Day’! I now feel more responsible towards awaring my society on being cautious regarding toilets and hygieneic behaviours. Moreover, seeing these youths come together with such a beautiful concept is motivating for all the onlookers”, responded Bikrant Shrestha in the audience.

 

 

Festival with a purpose

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It is a group of young minds that is keen on innovating new and meaningful ideas. This year students of Shree Majhgaun Srijansil Pratkiti Bal Club (Shree Majhgaun Creative Nature Club) of Mirge-1, Dolakha celebrated Tihar in their community by advocating about safe drinking water measures that one should adopt inorder to lead a healthy life.

Deusi-bhailo program that the nature club held wasn’t just about entertainment. Along with giving blessings for wealth, happiness and prosperity, the members communicated with the community through songs involving water and sanitation issues. Furthermore, they gifted WATASOLs, a  water purifying liquid that they have been producing themselves after attending training given by ECCA. The team elaborated about its easy use, advantages, low cost and production methods to the people as they travelled from house to house celebrating Deusi-bhailo.

“Because of the earthquake, we feel that it is even more important to keep raising these types of issues as the earthquake has led people to unconsciously degrade their health behaviours. Making people aware about their drinking water and health habits saves them from outbreak of (water-borne) diseases as well”, expressed one of the club members during a feedback meeting.

[To support ECCA’s mission of providing ‘Safe Water For Healthy Nepal’, donate us through our Global Giving website.]

 

Nature Club Calls for Community Alarm

“The first step towards change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.”-Branden

kOn November 6, 2015 Bal Binod Nature Club of Bal Binod Secondary School, Natole conducted a door to door program regarding WATASOL as an onstage community awareness practice. The main objective of the program was to analyse the concept of people and convince them to adopt simple way of purifying water through chlorination.

“We visited 32 houses altogether in Natole and Purna Chandi where we talked to them about their current status of drinking water. We found that maximum of people were satisfied with the quality of water they receive in their day to day life,” said Som Tamang, president of the nature club. . “So it was not easy to tell them that the drinkable looking water could still contain harmful pathogenic microbes”, he added.

Along with making people aware about the water related hazards, the team also distributed WATASOLs to the houses. The program, which took place under the monitoring of Manisha Godar, Sara Byanjankar and  Shailena Sthapit from ECCA,  was productive and “a perfect community outreach methodology” as told by the club members. “We are grateful to ECCA for letting us know about these things. It is only with your guidance that we’ve attempted  to come this far,” said Tamang before the team concluded the program.

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