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.

IMG_5812

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.

ECCA conducts a Documentary Show For Pupils

How do you learn?
For children, fun and knowledge should blend together.  For them, the best ways are through games, stories, art or songs that portray an access to an unlimited series of entertainment and learning.

kl.jpg

Learning for life!

On 4th December, 2015 over 170 students of Binayak Bal Lower Secondary School of  Badal Gaun, Kavre rejoiced learning through watching documentaries.

The documentary show which depicted adoptive measures for probable disaster risks in the simplest manner was advantageous for students. Along with this, students enjoyed documentaries along with animations involving basic health related issues such as safe drinking water and hygiene facts.

“It had been long since we had this much fun in school. Thank you ECCA for today”, said Sushil, one of the participants at the end of the day.

IMG_0766.JPG

Program Administrator Mr.Aashish Karn(center) along with the students

Filter For Schools

On November 27, 2015 ECCA handed over 138 sets of filter to representatives of five schools of Southern Lalitpur where immediate attention for safe drinking water was required. In accordance with the need and number of students Shree Gothbhangyang Higher Secondary School of Dalchoki, Shree  Jana Jagriti H.S.S. of Ikudol, Kali Devi H.S.S of Malta, Shree MahaKali Devi H.S.S. of Bhatttedada and Shree MagarGaun H.S.S. of Sankhu received 28 sets, 31 sets, 29 sets, 32 sets and 18 sets of filters respectively.

The filters will be used for safe drinking water purpose in all classrooms. This will help in promotion of better health of students and teachers residing in the rural area. ECCA plans to provide filters sets to other needy schools in Southern Lalitpur as well.

To support our initiative, help us by donating 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.

IMG_2596.jpg

IMG_3092.jpg

“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

12272756_522765431239556_888481806_n

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.]

 

Re-strengthening Nature Clubs; An account on refresher training on chlorinator


ECCA
has been guiding many students and IMG_2427children to form and operate nature clubs in their schools and communities. Nature clubs include a group of young and willing youths who work for establishing an eco-friendly school and community environment. Besides focusing on activities like establishing herbal gardens, they are also trained to maintain school decorum for improving their hygiene status, conduct varieties of other programmes such as intra-school competitions and even community outreach programs involving health issues.  Along with many WASH related responsibilities, the clubs are also assigned to make effort for providing safe drinking water to the whole school. With partner organizations such as Antenna Technologies Foundation, ECCA has been providing equipments for chlorination (a water disinfectant technique) so that the nature clubs can produce WATASOL themselves and bring it into use.

As each club welcomes new members every year, ECCA has also made provisions to provide interactive refresher training frequently with an objective to give them a detailed theoretical and practical knowledge regarding the proper use of chlorinator and the benefits they can acquire from it. In such manner, the efficiency of nature club in regular production and use of chlorine is increased and this naturally brings a decrease in possible water-borne health hazards ensuring a safer living environment for students and community as well. Since the recent earthquake has further led to making the issue of drinking water more sensitive, it is even more necessary to prioritize this sector of health.

IMG_2507

Manisha Godar guides a student to test free chlorine in Oracle English Medium School

“Training is a part of building yourself stronger and more confident in what you aim to do. It doesn’t matter how many times you take the same training, you have to perceive it as a new topic every time so that you can take more into you. This way you clear any doubts that might arise in the future, isn’t it?” said Manisha Godar from ECCA who regularly facilitates refresher training in schools.

“The status of drinking water in my community is not that good and I have always wanted to do something about it. Now, I feel capable of producing WATASOL on my own and the convince the people in my community to use it for safer health”, responded one of the participants of Oracle English Medium School  after a refresher training program held there in October 1.”Thank you ECCA for always supporting young students like us.” He added with a smile.

ASCOL Science Exhibition

On the occasion of 58th ASCOL day, one of the biggest science exhibition was conducted by Amrit Science Campus (ASCOL) in co-ordination with Ministry Of Science and Technology on Ashwin 1st and 2nd, 2072 B.S. ASCOL premise warmly welcomed participants from renowned organizations like Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), Hamri Bahini, Himalayan Climate Initative etc and also from colleges like Padma Kanya Multiple Campus and National Institute of Science and Technology. Participants displayed different materials and provided the brochures they had. Including them, we, the students of Bsc. 3rd year studying at ASCOL took part in the exhibition with the support of ECCA (Environmental Camps For Conservation Awareness). Our chief objective was to make the visitors aware about contents of WASH(Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) and help them understand how their interrelationship contributes towards healthier living.  Along with exhibiting the materials related to water purification i.e. Tulip Water Filter, WATASOL, and WATA devices, we also shared information about their usage, advantages and working mechanism. We gave detailed information regarding WATASOL; a chlorine containing liquid that purifies water. About 350 visitors visited the stall during the two days period. Throughout the programme we held active interactions with the visitors and we received positive responses as expected.

We are thankful to Department of Environmental Science of ASCOL for providing an opportunity to share our knowledge. Likewise, we are thankful towards the visitors for making the program successful.  Most of all, we are thankful towards ECCA for its coordination and support without which this success would have never been impossible.

image

-Aashish Maharjan, ECCA volunteer

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.

Teacher’s training in Sindhupalchowk

Sindhupalchowk is the most affected area by April’s earthquake. There’s nearly no house that hasn’t at least some cracks – if it’s still standing at all. Also apart from physical destruction, the earthquake’s implications are still omnipresent: A lot of people lost their loved ones or got physically or psychologically traumatized. In order to contribute to recovery, ECCA provided a two-days teacher’s training on Education in Emergency at Shree Krishna Ratna Ganga Higher Secondary School from 4.-6. August.DSCN0576

As if it had needed a reminder of what the day would be about, the first day of the training started with another aftershock in the early morning. The training schedule featured education on emergency skills related to WASH (water, sanitation, hygene) and behaviour in case of an earthquake. The other main focus was providing the teachers with a variety of games and exercises for children, linked to environmental awareness and earthquake experiences. Crucial for finding ways to deal with what had happened, is the sharing of personal experiences in the moment of disaster. People were in their houses, on the field or on public transport – then, suddenly, their lives changed fundamentally. Apart from physical recovery, ECCA is happy to distribute methods that can contribute to psychological recovery as well.

After only two days of training, Sindhupalchowk has now twelve more teachers who are well educated to fulfill the needs of their pupils and communities in an emergency situation!DSCN0659DSCN0626IMG_0324

The support from Medico International for students and teachers in this crucial time is very appreciable. We would to thank Medico International for the generous support that they provided in the education sector for children in the time of disaster.

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.