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)
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Women lead Safe Drinking Water practice in Chyasal

Nepal is regarded as one of the richest countries in water resources but people have problem of water scarcity. Department of Water Supply and Sewerage  estimates 80% of the total population to have access to drinking water, however it’s safety cannot be guaranteed. People of larger cities like Kathmandu valley are even more devoid of access to adequate and safe drinking water due to its growing population. Especially women, who are mostly assigned to look after household chores, struggle to collect and manage water storage for their families.

To minimize the hardship, Hamro Sankalpa Mahila Samuha, a women group of Chyasal, Lalitpur came forward last year. They installed water tank  and adopted water purification technique in their community with ECCA’s support. Ms. Kanchi, one of the members of the group took the initiation and started to distribute WATASOL (chlorine solution used for water disinfection) treated water in her community soon after the earthquake.

“Everyone dreaded the outbreak of water borne diseases. We feel that we have taken action to prevent it”, says Byanjankar.  Currently the supply is enough for around 90 households in the locality.

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image011This initiation has not only helped to provide adequate and safe drinking water to the community but also in women empowerment and entrepreneurship by bringing them together to solve a common problem.

-Shailena Sthapit, Upama Tamla (Rai)

Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness (ECCA) has been working in the field of safe drinking water in various regions of Nepal since the year 2000. Support ECCA’ in its mission to provide safe drinking water directly or through our GlobalGiving website!

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

Empowering Youths for Sustainable Development Practice

With reference to sustainable school improvement strategy, ECCA (Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness) conducted 3 days long Youth Training Program on Project Initiative from March 2- 4, 2016. The program was specially designed for the project; ‘Preparing School Stakeholders for Re-development and Improving Health and Sanitation of Schools’ (with funding partner action medeor e.V.) to be implemented in 4 schools of Jhule VDC in Dolakha. The program held a primary objective of introducing sustainability fundamentals as well as crucial issues on school environment, WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) and First-Aid. 20 enthusiastic individuals took part in the program.

People, process and perspective are three main points of visioning. I especially liked the idea of exploring state of mind through meditation and drawing. I found this approach much different and effective.”- Aruna Puri, ECCA counselor

I never knew this much about mechanism of school and its system. Over the three days, my thinking has changed.” – Bipin Karki, participant

Changes can be brought about by youths in the most efficient form. Our mission is to train young members of the society through experts then mobilize them to make significant changes in the community”, says Yogendra Chitrakar, Executive Director of ECCA.

Capable trainees will now be mobilized in Jhule for future programs.

Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness (ECCA) has been a leading organization in the sector of social mobilization and community development. ECCA works closely with youths and school children to encourage positive change and to develop innovative ideas so as to make a brighter and greener future for generations to come.

-Upama Tamla (Rai), Media Associate, ECCA

 

 

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

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.]