All for a better Education; Educational Support by ECCA for 47 schools

On January 24, 2016 ECCA (Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness) with Global Giving‘s support provided white boards, markers, magnetic dusters and inks as educational support to 47 schools of 9 Village Development Committees (Dalchoki, Ikudol, Asrang, Bhattedada, Malta, Chaughare, Kaleshwor, Sankhu and Gimde) of southern Lalitpur. The materials were handed over to representatives of each school by Senior Social Mobilization Officer of Lalitpur District Mr. Bisweswor Koirala and ECCA program officer Mr. Rabindra Khatri.

 The educational support is expected to provide more efficient and easy learning for more than 2400 students of these schools which are currently in their phase of reestablishing the school environment after being affected by the earthquake.

“We use blackboards for teaching and the chalk dust affects health of us teachers to a great extent. Now we won’t have to worry much”, said Bal Bahadur Lama principal of Kalidevi Primary School, Sankhu

ECCA thanks all donor/supporters for helping it to support students in rural Nepal. With the support of Global Giving, ECCA has already distributed copies, pencils, bags and other stationery materials as well as tracksuits, shoes and socks to students of various earthquake affected districts . Do you want to be a part of the contributors too? If so, visit our Global Giving website.

For regular updates regarding our programs and activities, visit our website, Facebook,  Twitter and YouTube Channel.

-Upama Tamla Rai, ECCA

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Senior Social Mobilization Officer of Lalitpur District Mr. Bisweswor Koirala(left) handing over educational materials to a school representative

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ECCA Program Officer Mr. Rabindra Khatri(left) handing over the educational materials to  a school representative

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ECCA Supports Educational Materials For Students in Pyutar

The earthquake left Nepalese people in innumerable losses. With an absolute threat to vulnerable psychological status, noone was as much traumatized as children were.  They lost their houses and strived for the safest shelter that their parents could provide. With their books, bags and uniforms buried along with the houses, attending schools is still a huge challenge for children especially of rural areas where economy status of people is weak.

Thus with a motive of supporting and encouraging them to attend schools, ECCA has been providing educational materials to both students and schools with the support of various organizations and individuals. From construction of Temporary Learning Centers to WASH, Life Skills and Rehabilitation Camps sessions, efforts were made for immediate benefit of victimized students.  Immediate needs of bags, copies, pencils and other educational materials such as whiteboards, markers have been fulfilled in various earthquake affected districts.

One of the latest educational support was made in December 15,2015 students of Shree Dhandada Primary School in Dhandada Besi, Pyutar-5 where students received bags, copies and pencils. All 25 students received a set of bag, 6 copies and 2 pencils. This will accelerate their mode of learning along with providing some ease to their difficulty in regular school attendance. This is one story but there is still need of attention in remote areas in terms of educational and infrastructural support, ECCA leaves no hesitation in providing needed help.

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A young student receives ‘All In One’ Book’!

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Students of Shree Dhandada Primary School with their teachers after they receive educational materials

Do visit our Global Giving website if you want to be a part of the contributors to help us develop a better school environment for school children!

 

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

Initiating – KEDRIN

The Terrible Earthquake on the 25th April and the aftershocks that followed claimed over 8,000 souls and devastated the lives of many others in Nepal. Khokana, the town situated at six kilometers South of Kathmandu, turned into rubble and claimed 9 souls and its rich heritage: 812 houses have been completely destroyed and 355 houses are damaged rendering them unfit for human habitation. It was fortunate indeed many people were on their farms when the earthquake hit, resulting in lower fatalities than might have otherwise been expected.

An old women in her destructed house.

An old women in her destructed house.

People have been moved into temporary shelters, living behind their ruined and unsafe houses which are being used to store food and animals. The onset of the monsoon had made living and storing resources even more difficult. The “dunes” of collapse houses have also blocked thoroughfares, making the movement of people through the town and to other villages extremely hazardous and have forced people to live in and around dangerous areas at high risk to their health and lives.

Inspecting the damage of house.

Inspecting the damage of house.

Hence, with an objective to demolish buildings damaged by the earthquake and remove associated rubble and debris to allow regeneration of the community to begin, this project KEDRIN – Khokana Earthquake Debris Removal Initiative has been initiated. This will address the immediate need to demolish unsafe buildings and manage the debris generated in a proper manner. The majority of the damaged houses belong to members of the subsistence farming community who do not have the money to tackle the problem on an individual basis, however, if approached collectively, there would be economies of scale and it would be possible to clear the buildings and debris with fewer resources.

Managing temporary shelter.

Managing temporary shelter.

New plans for rebuilding and community regeneration will only be possible when collapsed structures and debris have been cleared and ample open space has been created. Once this has been achieved, the town can be redesigned and rebuilt, its community heritage and values reestablished, and the community’s way of life restored.

In order to receive financial support (donations) towards the implementation of this project, a donation page is also created in the platform of Global Giving which could be accessed through the links of Global Giving US, and Global Giving UK.

Updates related with the ongoing activities through social media could be received in our Facebook Link dedicated to this project, where as we will also be constantly updating our supporters and donors through our Blog Posts.

A short presentation regarding the project initiation is presented through a short video through this link in our Youtube Channel.

Monsoon & Shelter / TENTS & FILTERS

40 Km away from Kathmandu in eastern side and 13 km away from the district headquarter of Kavre district, people were forced to stay in houses with cracks and along side of debris of their house. Phapar chaur of Kushadevi VDC with approx 60 household were still staying out of their home and were facing different problems due to the earthquake. We managed adequate numbers of tents and filters to distribute in the community on 15th & 16th July 2015.

Setting up tent in school.

Setting up tent in school.

We have tried to compile what we accomplish in a short video presentation. Please enjoy.

If the link doesn’t function properly please follow this link to view the video.

We would like to extend our gratitude towards American Conservation Experience (ACE) for supporting tents to ECCA, enabling us to distribute to the needy families survived after earthquake. A glimpses of other Tent distribution and setup could be viewed in our Tent Distribution Facebook Album (which is continuously updated through adding more pictures). Similarly, Grand Circle Foundation for supporting us for distribution of water filters to the needy communities.

Ensured safe water for the new generation.

Ensured safe water for the new generation.

Thanks to all our counselors and volunteers for their untiring effort towards identifying the families in need through visiting rural areas and helping them to install the tents and filters in their houses.

A Day at Chaughare “Distributing Solar Lighting Systems”

Beautiful place in a nice sunny day.

Beautiful place in a nice sunny day.

27th July 2015, was a clear and sunny day when our team left ECCA-office for an approx two-hours-ride to a small village located in Chaughare VDC, Lalitpur. In the fond of our car, there were Solar Lighting Systems to be distributed to EQ affected families in need. Additionally, we carried various piles of note books for the students in severely damaged school in the same area. I feel it was a short trip, but the activities with a long-term impact.

Gathering of community members to receive solar light.

Gathering of community members gathered to receive solar light.

Some families were already waiting for us when we arrive at the partly destroyed school yard (Shree Gyanodaya Lower Secondary School, Chaughare) to distribute the Solar Lighting System. The system distributed consisted of 2 bright bulbs along with the mobile charging facility and radio inbuild in the system. This reliable and environmentally friendly source of electricity for their homes. will keep the family members safe during the dark hours of night time and support the family members connected with communications and information.

As we had limited system to support the community members, Mr. Tej Lama (Chairman of School Management Committee) supported us through identifying the highly needy family members in the community. Families with old aged members, disabled members, nursing mothers, and school going children were highly prioritized in the distribution.

99 Yrs oldest lady in the community.

99 Yrs oldest lady in the community.

Amongst them, there’s a 99-year-old lady with her great-granddaughter. She still remembers her earthquake experience of 1933 and shared about her experience during that time. The great-granddaughter also shares her joy with other children and gathers together with her friends who all love dancing.

Distributing Solar System to different abilities family.

Distributing Solar System to different abilities family.

In the scenery of the partly destroyed school yard, the Solar systems stand like a symbol of hope and shows that earthquake recovery and ecology can go together hand in hand. And apart from providing electricity for the basic needs of families, there will be still enough solar power for playing music – so the girls can go on dancing!

We would like to thank Mr. Kushal Gurung (CEO) of WindPower Nepal and The Mayor Hotel for supporting the solar system for the families of Earthquake Affected families in Nepal.

A Group Snap with the families.

A Group Snap with the families.

By:

Angel C. – Sr. Program Officer, ECCA

Nina N. – ASA Volunteer, Germany

Dolakha Diary – An Experience organizing camp in School

Dolkha Dairy

Dolkha Dairy

“Namaste miss. Namaste sir. Welcome to our school.” When there are blissful tiny voices greeting you along with their tiny hands heavy with garlands that clearly define affection, plus those warm smiles loaded with innocence, you’re bound to forget all your fatigue and consider yourself blessed to be among those people with big hearts. Likewise, the moment we got an affectionate welcome at Kalidevi Lower secondary School of Mirge, Dolakha on June we felt that the challenges we faced on our way, which included of a massive rainfall plus a life-threatening landslide were all worth it.

But the next moment when we let our eyes wander, we saw true horrors of earthquake. The earthquake had left them nothing but a tiny building. All other school infrastructures were in rubbles. Although some temporary structures had been set up for running the classes, most of the students had no materials for study. Many students had their uniform and books buried during the earthquake. Desks and benches were made locally yet they were still not enough for students. We further discovered that the health status of all the children was in a risky situation. All the students and even teachers used tap water from the toilet directly for drinking. Moreover, the nature club of the school was already functionless long ago so there was no chlorine production and no use of chlorine as well. Hence, our foremost objective lied in reactivating the nature club and making all students informative regarding sanitation and healthy habits besides making efforts to take them out of the earthquake trauma.

Fun with Mask

Fun with Mask

We thus started our sessions as scheduled, with numerous games and activities. The children were surprisingly shy and there were few who volunteered for anything we asked. As we started our drawing and coloring sessions in pre-primary classrooms, they were happy beyond anything. Even the teachers told us that they themselves rarely taught children that way. On the other hand, older students seemed fascinated by things that could be learned through art and games.

Students enjoying with mask and characters.

Students enjoying with mask and characters.

On our second morning, we witnessed yet another suffering of the school. Previous night’s rainfall had pooled the school ground and half of the temporary classrooms were flooded with water. Students were busy ploughing around the ground for a water outlet and we got worried about our sessions. Despite everything, we were determined to place the students at ease and try sharing our earthquake experiences together so that they could free themselves from the subconscious trauma.

“During the earthquake of April 25, 2015 I was in maize field working with my mom. When the quake hit us, my mom started screaming and all houses around us started collapsing. That night all of us villagers slept in the maize field of our neighbors and ate whatever we had. Our home got destroyed and we’re now living in temporary shelter. I don’t think it’s ever going to be same again…” As Pabitra spoke these words, the whole class was silent. One by one, every student began to speak up and involuntarily there established a bond among us that reminded us of our common misery and then the strength that we could find among ourselves to overcome it.

On our third and last day, we reformed a nature club in the school. After teaching and demonstrating them things about WATASOL, its method of production and usage, they grew confident about producing and distributing it in the village for safe drinking water.

Students displaying about need of safe drinking water and chlorination as an option.

Students displaying about need of safe drinking water and chlorination as an option.

Meanwhile students from lower section enjoyed learning proper hand washing techniques and other creative activities.

On the second half of the day, the school held a short farewell programme during which we distributed copies and other stationery materials to the students and eventually handed over whiteboards, markers, game materials and a first-aid kit to the school. An exhibition was held at the same time which exhibited our students’ works. Parents observed and thanked us for helping their children. And when the teachers enthusiastically said that they were motivated by our work, we couldn’t help smiling. We were humbled moreby warm farewell given by the children. The moment was indeed very overwhelming because when those blissful tiny voices bade us farewell along with their tiny hands and hugs that clearly defined affection,we forgot the world for a moment and considered ourselves blessed to be among all those people with big hearts.
Thank you ECCA!

Students thanking our team after training program.

Students thanking our team after training program.

With students before departure.

With students before departure.

[The experiences are based on a week long Life Skill Camp mission held at Kali Devi Lower Secondary School, Paile Mirge, Dolkha by Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness from June 23 to June 25, 2015]

by – Upama Tamla

WASH and Life Skill Camp @ Sankhu, Southern Lalitpur

The Journey to Sankhu – -Upama Tamla (Rai) (ECCA Counsellor)

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

Sankhu team: From left to right:-Upama Tamla, Shashi Panta, Santosh Dahal, Manjeena Shrestha and Merina Karki

Sankhu team: From left to right:-Upama Tamla, Shashi Panta, Santosh Dahal, Manjeena Shrestha and Merina Karki

Leaving behind all the mess of chaotic Kathmandu, on 6th June, we entered Sankhu, a serene village located at far south of Lalitpur district. The moment we got there, gentle smiles and curious faces welcomed us. Children hovered around with handful of queries that we decided not to answer, just for the sake of surprising them the following day. Since we were to live on the school ground for the next three days, Rajkumar sir, a teacher at the school and also an ECCA counselor did his best for our comfortable accommodation. Even the children helped willingly. Our nearby neighbors were Nepal Army brothers who contributed with other basic requirements we would need during our stay at Sankhu. The evening was a busy one, we set up tents, interacted with several villagers who were extremely helpful and planned for the next day’s session with minds full of excitement.

Taking sessions in the classroom

Taking sessions in the classroom

We were welcomed by a morning full of anticipation on the first day of the camp. To avoid any confusion among the teachers about our sessions, we held a meeting. Thankfully, teachers at Sankhu sounded cooperative enough and with everything planned, we started our first session.

Students with copies distributed by ECCA

Students with copies distributed by ECCA

Distributing refreshments

Distributing refreshments

As the day went by, we discovered many new things. As easy as it felt to understand the sessions during our training period, it was as hard to pass them on to younger students and make them understand the gist of it. Most of the students were disciplined and well-mannered during the session time which boosted our confidence and ability to give our best. In this way, we gradually fulfilled our first day’s mission. We distributed copies, pencils and pens to all the students which they were happy to receive. Balloon blast proved to be the favorite game among little children where as the older ones loved to share their ideas through Future Ladder and other goal setting activities. Students enjoyed the refreshments we provided and all of us grew a step closer with fruitful interactions. When the day ended, we couldn’t believe we had had such a great time and it was only our first day of camp.

Handing over the materials to the Vice-Principal of Shree Magar Gaun Higher Secondary School

Handing over the materials to the Vice-Principal of Shree Magar Gaun Higher Secondary School

The Exhibition

The Exhibition

The next day continued with vigor and enthusiasm. The students continued to show active participation in all the sessions.

Before the final goodbye!

Before the final goodbye!

June 9th was our last day of taking sessions at Sankhu and we were quite sad about it. Nevertheless, we had remaining sessions to take and an exhibition to prepare. It was the day that would show how much we had achieved during the past two days. The first half of the day included several creative activities such as clay works where the students surprised us with their level of imagination. We were equally fascinated by the active participation of senior students’  in both outdoor and indoor activities including sharing their experiences of earthquake. At the end of the day, we held a short program in the afternoon among all the students, parents and teachers where we handed over game materials and a first aid kit (to the school). It was extremely overwhelming to see countless smiling faces that held gratitude and happiness for us being there. As we began wrapping everything up, it reminded us of how close we had gotten with those children over such a short period of time. When several students confidently spoke up on how effective our sessions had been and about the positive impacts they had left on  the students’ minds, we couldn’t help but be proud of ourselves as well as thank our seniors who helped make it possible. Every smiling face told us that we had been successful in fulfilling our objective and we could feel them inviting us again.

WASH and Life Skill Program in Schools

Students in a shed in front of a damaged classroom  in Dalchoki school

Students in a shed in front of a damaged classroom in Dalchoki school

Immediately after the earthquake, for a month, ECCA focused its resources in relief works. Thereafter, ECCA started focusing on recovery and rehabilitation works. As ECCA has been working through the school system in the past years, now also, ECCA is focusing its post-quake recovery and rehabilitation works through the school system and reaching the adjoining communities.

Students using ECCA distributed copies in Sankhu school

Students using ECCA distributed copies in Sankhu school

After the earthquake, as per the government of Nepal announcement, schools re-opened from 31st May. Since then, in the period of 3 weeks (till 20th June), ECCA conducted WASH and Life Skill Camps (3-days each) in 17 schools located in Lalitpur, South Lalitpur and Kavre. All of these camps targeted all the students (from class 1 to 10) in the schools, by dividing them into 4 groups (grade 1-3, 4-5, 6-8, 9-10). The ECCA team consisted of 4 to 6 trained counselors (depending upon the no. of school students).

Providing biscuits and juice in Sankhu school

Providing biscuits and juice in Sankhu school

Under WASH (Water Sanitation and Hygiene), students were briefed on the need to use safe drinking water and various water disinfection methods (with specific reference to use of chlorine solution) so as to prevent the occurrence of water borne diseases (Note: there is high risk of occurrence of such epidemics after natural disasters).
Under the Life skill, focus was on helping students overcome the earthquake trauma through different educational games and activities. It is essential to relieve children’s stress and motivate them to come to school (even if they need to study in make shift sheds / large tents / large tarpaulin). (Note: 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 are in a state of shock and are mentally disturbed.)

Students attending classes in a Temporary Learning Centre

Students attending classes in a Temporary Learning Centre

In addition to the camps, education materials (copy, pencil, erasure, dot pen) were distributed to all the students in those schools. Due to the destruction of their houses, students have lost their books, copies, stationeries (in their house debris), including other materials.
Sabita, student of grade 9 in Goth Bhanjyang Higher Secondary School Dalchoki, South Lalitpur says “The depression that I had due to the damage caused by the earthquake, and the fear that I had when coming to school (which is also partly damaged) is now reduced after attending the camp.” Students who were reluctant to work in group activities in the beginning participated actively in later sessions. The number of students attending the school also increased after the start of the camp.

Activity in Binayak Bal Secondary School

Activity in Binayak Bal Secondary School

Coordination was done with the school management, when selecting the schools for the camp. The school teachers were also very supportive and participated in the camp activities. The teachers observed that the students were more active and outgoing as the camp progressed. Due to lack of educational materials, the school conducts very limited extracurricular activities. Thus, the activities taught in the camp were very advantages to the students.

Students learn about cooperation and writing skills as they prepare wall magazine

Students learn about cooperation and writing skills as they prepare wall magazine

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

Life Skills Camp: Children Rehabilitation Campaign training at Rato Bangala School

On 25th May 2015, a team of 21 youth volunteers from ECCA headed towards Rato Bangala School (RBS), Patan Dhoka to participate in a day long Teacher Training Program “Relief Through Education”. The training was organized by Rato Bangala Foundation in coordination with Karkhana with an objective to help enhance the capacity of teachers / volunteers towards facilitating the sessions in schools and create a learning and sharing environment so that the students could cope with the changes being brought by the earthquake.

Group Photo

A Group Snap after the training Program (Gr 1)

Group Phot

A Group Snap after the training (Gr 2)

All the Youth volunteers / counselors from ECCA actively participated in all the activities of the training program. The caring and sharing environment during the training session facilitated by the resource persons, motivated all the participants to mitigate query in the sessions.

As the youths participating in this training program were also preparing towards organizing “Life Skill Camp: Children Rehabilitation Campaign” in various ECCA project schools, the training program were highly effective and beneficial to all the participants. The interactive activities, group works and games played during the session helped our volunteers on how to effectively share the message and facilitate the group activities during facilitating sessions in schools for students.

Participants being briefed about Morning Meetings

Facilitating sessions by trainers

Rebuilding the heritages

Group Activities – Rebuilding the heritages

In order to release the earthquake trauma from the mind of students, the activities like drawing, coloring were discussed in the training so that the students could express their feelings and emotions related with earthquake and the analyze their views and sufferings. Games that conveyed the importance of team work, cooperation and creativity were also shared among the participants so that they could organize similar activities and games for the students during their facilitation of session in schools. Throughout the day, the teachers from Rato Bangala School (RBS) shared their experiences on how to deal with students of all age groups. The teachers form RBS stressed on the importance in encouraging and applauding the students after every activity to boost their morale. Sharing experiences and lessons learnt after every activity were also stressed upon. Earthquake drill was also held for all the participants as a precaution measure to be taught to the students.

Group work

Discussion in Group as an activity

The 4 days Life Skill Camp being organized by ECCA also aimed towards encouraging and facilitating students to attend the schools after the devastating earthquake. After the completion of this camp in all the schools, we hope to view the regular operation of day to day activities in schools.

ECCA would like to thank the Rato Bangala Foundation and Karkhana for facilitating our youth counselors / volunteers who are coordinating to organize Life Skill Camp in various schools in Lalitpur, Kavre, Dokha & Sindhupalchok District.

We would like to request for your support in our initiation and intensify our rehabilitation activities through sharing our work in your social networking sites. Please help us spreading our work in your network through visiting our Facebook page and Twitter and intensify our relief activities. We are also receiving financial donations through our online project Support Nepal Earthquake Relief from Global Giving.

Thank you for your time and support.

Angel Chitrakar & Palistha Shrestha