Nature club organizes Interschool Wall Magazine Competition

Publishing wall magazines is one of the major activities of nature clubs. To make it more interesting, St. Paul Eco Club of Thecho, Lalitpur organized ‘On the spot Interschool Wall Magazine Competition with the support of ECCA on March 5, 2015. A number of schools from Lalitpur were invited to take part.

The competition bore the topic- “Role of Students in developing Safe Drinking Water Habit”. Students of 11 schools showcased their talent bringing out a tough competition. Zing Secondary School of Khokana was finally declared the winner of the competition with a distinct creativity and content deliverance.

“The whole thing was over-whelming!”, exclaimed one of the participants. “It had been a long time since I had participated in any competition and had this much thrill.”

The competition not only helped the students to explore their potentiality but also provided a platform to learn from eachother. Infact, ECCA will continue to support these kinds of programs in days to come.

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Building Ownership value through Painting!

One of the cold mornings of January when we would often be sleeping in our warm cozy bed, we packed our bags and headed to Jhule. The colder climate that was about to welcome us had us little anxious but then, we were more excited about the new work we were about to do.

After the devastating earthquake of 2015, four affected community schools of Jhule are being supported to rebuild school toilets (including girl friendly toilets) as well as drinking water and hand washing stations. With hastened and immediate use, these infrastructures could lack proper, safe and sustainable use.  To bring about conciousness and behaviourial attitude regarding sustainable use of supported WASH facilities, we volunteered to organize ‘WASH Corner and Toilet Painting’ program.

Our two teams of counselors scanned two separate schools and started off the painting. Soon, we were surrounded by school students.

“Would you help us?”, we first asked students hovering around us.  With gentle nods, interested kids lined up to receive brushes, paints and instructions. The idea was to guide and let them paint.

After allocating painting tasks, our work sped up. Gradually as the day went by, we painted meaningful messages that helped us deliver sustainable use practices along with a number of WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) related alerts. As much as we were excited to continue our painting even in the evening, the cold wind held a difficulty and we completed our paintings in our first school on the third day.

For rest of the three days, we collaborated our teams mobilized in remaining schools. In all the schools, students were excited and we offered them painting tasks and advices for sustainable use simultaneously.  The result was truly satisfying!

“We don’t think any student would want to make these walls dirty”, said a participating student with a laugh.

“Besides decoration, these paintings have given a value. Thank you so much”, teachers shared.

We are glad our hard work was able to influence schools for better use of constructed facilities.

  • Upama Tamla (Rai)

Shaping budding hopes of the future: ECCA Camp in Rupandehi and Kapilvastu

Every positive change starts from meaningful approaches to people with capacity to create the change.

Relating to Solar Powered Irrigation Program, ECCA camp was held each in Lumbini, Rupandehi and Patariya, Kapilvastu from November 22 to December 1, 2016.  From climate change issues to WASH (Water, sanitation and hygiene), the camp was conducted with a motive of empowering students in knowledge related to environment, health and school club management.

Altogether 41 students from 5 community schools participated in 10 days long camps.  Almost all the participants agreed how people involved in agriculture have been using irrigation technologies based on non-renewable energy sources such as petrol or diesel. “Through this program I have now learnt how beneficial renewable technology such as solar is economically as well as health wise. We are now ready to bring about a change (starting from our own home and community) that will also bear a positive impact on environment ”, responded Riyaj, one of the participants and school club member studying in grade 10.

“Being involved in school club myself, I found sessions on nature club management very fruitful”, said another participant. In fact, the camp helped all participants realize their role in developing their community through agents primarily school clubs. ECCA expects to make the program sustainable and impactful.

-Upama Tamla (Rai)

Wall magazine training and material support for nature clubs in Dolakha

On early morning of November 4, we set out to Jhule, Dolakha for 3 days Wall Magazine Training for nature clubs. Our objective was to make them capable of raising issues of their community especially WASH(Water, sanitation and hygiene) through simple yet effective approach of Wall Magazine publication. But our journey did not turn out to be easy and after being stuck at Bojh (50 km away from Jhule) for 7 hours, we had feeble hope of getting the training under scheduled hours. When we finally reached Jhule the next morning, we had gathered our enthusiasm and started the training.

Over the next three days, we made 27 nature club members and 4 club teachers familiar with components of wall magazine. It included news writing, magazine layout, editorial writing as well as other indispensable contents. Use of cartoons and drawings to symbolize issues related to water, sanitation and hygiene especially handwashing, drinking water precautions were also emphasized. To engage the students more, we organized competitions on three sections: article writing, drawing and wall magazine on the final day. Individuals and groups from both primary and secondary schools who showed comparatively exceptional performance were awarded.

The training, in fact, brought out the creativity of students and prompted them to be involved in awareness raising activities. It also gave us a chance to interact with club members regarding their activities plan. Wall magazine boards and few stationary materials have been provided to all of the nature clubs. Club members have committed to regularly publish the wall magazine and agreed to making it an informational and creative platform for fellow students.

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  • Upama Tamla (Rai)

Breaking the Taboo of Menstruation

In Nepal, menstrual hygiene education can play a life-changing role. It is a prioritized subject in every WASH oriented programs of ECCA and this year’s World Menstrual Hygiene Day proved to be extra special.

Here’s how one of our ECCA counselors Yaji Sharma shares her account of Menstrual Hygiene Day celebration-

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ECCA counselor Yaji with students during the documentary show

On early morning, our team of ECCA moved to Udaya Kharka Higher Secondary School located at Chapagaun around 22 km north from Bajra Barahi Mandir. Our main purpose was to access menstrual hygiene knowledge, attitudes and practices of school girls and to prompt healthy atmosphere in the school. As we started documentary show followed by discussion program among 55 students and additional teachers, we found that the students lacked sufficient knowledge and behavioral practice on menstrual hygiene. There was equal hesitation to interact freely about menstruation.

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But few stood out. Sadiksha Chaudhary, another ECCA counselor writes about her discovery of 15 years old Sabina-

New lease on Life

“Yes, Menstrual Hygiene Awareness is something that has given me a new lease on life. I was totally anonymous about health risk of poor menstrual hygiene management but now, I can break my silence and build awareness among others.” Sabina, a grade nine student of Kittine Higher Secondary School and president of school’s Nature Club shared in an excited voice.

Sabina’s curiosity towards MHM had attracted everyone in awareness session. She seemed to be more active than other students. and frequently requested everyone to listen attentively. She says she used to use sanitary pads for more than 6 hours, sometimes, a whole day. She used to hide her sanitary clothes so that no one could see it. Sometimes, she even used to leave school. She also says now she is aware about infections that might occur to due to poor menstrual hygiene management.

“I am now more attentive towards MHM and also looking forward to inform my family, friends and relatives about it”, said Ms. Shrestha. “Thank you ECCA and ECCA counselors for all the help”, she added.

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Menstrual hygiene program at ECCA for schools from southern Lalitpur 

Infact, ECCA will continue to help schools understand and make requisite arrangements so that girls need not skip school due to menstruation or drop out completely. (A research grant has been announced on the topic “WASH and Girl Friendly Toilet: Social and Technical aspects in the context of Nepal” targeting young and enthusiastic researchers) Besides this, schools can play a very important role by providing exclusive focus on menstrual hygiene while developing school’s health education curriculum. Improving toilet and water facilities is an obvious solution but teachers and parents also carry a responsibility to guide girls correctly on safe menstrual practice.

 

 

 

 

ECCA Grooms Parents, Teachers and Students in Dolakha

Apparently, students are not the only ones in need of improvement.

On 19th April 2016, four schools of Jhule VDC, Dolakha participated in ECCA’s initiative programme meant for all school stakeholders and students. Parents and teachers from all four schools (Amar Higher Secondary School, Jana Prabhat Secondary School, Janta Lower Secondary School, NayaJyoti Primary School) plus a social mobilizer and a VDC representative took part in 3 days long School Environment Planning and Visioning Training where as students separately participated in ECCA Camp conducted at each school that continued for 4 days. Continue reading

The Youth Experience Exchange- Sending Letters to an International Friend

With much excitement Nepalese students of the Youth Experience Exchange Program again gathered to meet at ECCA on 6th of April, 2016. This time the meeting was short but fun. The students received personal letters from students of exchange schools in Finland. In response, they shared similar and contradictory issues about Nepal, its culture, tradition and environment. The letters written by Finnish students themselves brought much excitement among Nepalese students. Continue reading

Uplifting Nature Clubs through Management Trainings

Southern Lalitpur is one of the core regions where ECCA Nepal has been working for past 2 decades to enhance quality education and school environment. The program comprises of involving students that make them participate and motivate into activities where the students can learn as well as contribute towards improvement of school. Various software program, nature club establishments and trainings, and other support are the activities of ECCA to promote students in quality education and behavioral change.

As such of a regular program, a two days training program was organized for nature club members from Feb 1- Feb 13, 2016. The program, which was supported by Wilkins Memorial Trust, welcomed 25 participants from each nature clubs of 9 different schools. The prime objective of this program was to develop different life skills and responsibility handling skills  among nature club members for conducting effective and sustainable programs. Participants were from:

  1. Shree Bag Bhairab Higher Secondary School -Kaleshwor
  2. Shree Magar Gaun Higher Secondary School -Sankhu
  3. Shree Goth Bhanjyang H.S.S-Dalchoki
  4. Shree Bag Bhairab Secondary School-Chaughare
  5. Shree Gyanodaya L.S.S-Chaughare
  6. Shree Kalidevi H.S.S-Malta
  7. Shree Bhidyadeshori H.S.S-Asrang
  8. Shree Janajagriti H.S.S- Ikudol
  9. Shree Mahakalidevi H.S.S-Bhattedanda
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ECCA counselor Ms. Malati Khatri during Life Skill session

To conduct the two days training camp in each school, the group was divided into two teams who mobilized around the targeted schools. The training camp content comprised of strengthening of nature club, promotion of nature club activities, importance of greenery management and herbal garden, life skill activities, WASH session and activities, GLOBE activities (atmosphere observation and data collection) and alternative energy usage sessions like IAS (Improved Animal Shed), ICS (Improved Cooking Stove).

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ECCA counselor Mr. Shambhu Maharjan(with glasses) conducts ‘Trust Fall’; a life skill activity

“The training helped to erase our confusions regarding club management and organizing effective and needed programs. I am now more capable of handling my responsibility as the secretary of my club”, said one of the participants.

 

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Nature Club members prepare their annual plan during the training

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Students proceed to cloud reading after the orientation, Shree Goth Bhanjyang H.S.S. , Dalchoki

During the training, students were able to make their annual plan for nature club and also get ideas for selecting types of programs. This will now help them to enhance their club activities and promote their role in well managed and sustainable school improvement. Students were especially interested in knowing more activities involving GLOBE protocol

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ECCA counselors with the trainees, Shree Bag Bhairav Secondary School, Chaughare 

ECCA can conduct further more programs with specialization on hygiene and green environment, as there are still not enough sanitary facilities and green environment on school.

-Malati Khatri, ECCA Counselor