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)

Other Side Of The World

I remember my first day in Kathmandu like it was yesterday. Everything was new, strange and loud. But that’s more than three months ago. I don’t feel like a stranger anymore. Now Nepal feels like a second home and I already miss it. Even though the country is struggling with different problems like the earthquake or the border blockade, people here are just fantastic. To tell the truth, I have never met people so welcoming and obliging. I have become calmer than before and learned some more about myself after coming here.

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With Dal Dai

 It was hard to pack my backpack before leaving. As I walked around Patan for the last time, drank my last cup of milk tea and ate incredible Dal Bhat of my friend Dal Dai, my thoughts drifted to things that have changed even the simplest ones. At the beginning, I used to have a hard time sleeping here because dogs barked in front of my window. I complained about them but later I began appreciating them being around. I could spend hours just walking around my neighborhood or sitting on the roof of my house just listening to the noise of the city.

There is so much to explore in this wonderful country. I feel grateful for having the opportunity to know to it and its people. It feels bitter sweet now that my time here is over and I don’t know if my work here had some kind of impact but I hope I gave something back. Life has strange ways of introducing people to each other. It allows you to make close bonds and become friends, just to take you back to the other side of the world.

-Denis Janker, ASA intern in ECCA from September-December 2015

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 @ Dalchoki, Southern Lalitpur

With the Children of Dalchoki –  Palistha Shrestha (ECCA Counsellor)

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

Dalchoki Team : (From the left) Sujan Prajapati, Yangji Sherpa, Palistha Shrestha, Samata Rajkarnikar, Merina RanaMagar, Nirajan Shrestha

Dalchoki Team : (From the left) Sujan Prajapati, Yangji Sherpa, Palistha Shrestha, Samata Rajkarnikar, Merina RanaMagar, Nirajan Shrestha

5 teams began their journey to the rural areas of Lalitpur on June 6, 2015. The teams had prepared their session plans and the required materials as per the trainings they had received few days ago.

As we made our way towards the rural area, we were reminded of the devastation caused by the earthquake of April 25, 2015. The road was covered with dust from the debris of the collapsed houses. Some houses were being demolished at several places while many had temporary supports to prevent them from collapsing.

My team was assigned to Dalchoki, Lalitpur. The massive contrast of the standard of living between the city and the villages of the same district was unexpected. In just an hour ride, we reached a village so rural and under developed, it was hardly believable that it was only about 30 km away from the capital.

We unloaded all our supplies on the top of the hill and began our descend to the school located below. The steep slope of the road made it increasingly difficult (and tiring) to make several trips. With the help from the villagers, we were able to take all our supplies to the school in two trips.

We began exploring the school premises for a place to pitch our tent and to assemble our supplies. The school had generously arranged utensils and a gas stove for our use. We decided to pitch our tents inside the Temporary Learning Centers as there were no other open spaces and fierce winds usually dominated the night air. We decided a session plan, divided our responsibilities before dinner and called it a day.

Early the next day, we disassembled our tents and began preparing the materials needed for the sessions. After a quick breakfast, we headed for a short meeting with the teachers and staffs of the school to introduce ourselves as well as discuss about our session plans.

Students along with the teachers enjoying 'Balloon Blast'

Students along with the teachers enjoying ‘Balloon Blast’

Together with Yangji Sherpa, my first session started off at 11am with the students from Grade 1-3. With their classrooms destroyed by the earthquake, they were assembled under a temporary shelter outside. We began our session with a short ball game but the small children were hesitant to play with us. Next we played ‘Balloon Blast’. This game requires students to burst each others’ balloons tied to their legs while saving their own. This game was an instant success and the children enjoyed it immensely. The teachers also participated in the games, which encouraged the students to approach us. The prospective of bursting balloons excited not only the small children but the higher class students as well. A small group of students from other classes gathered to watch the little kids play.

My next session was with the students from Grade 6. After waiting eagerly for their turn, they hurriedly entered the class when I approached them. With almost 50 students, the task was a little exhausting but the students were very cooperative and eager to learn and play games. This greatly reduced the difficulties arising due to large number of students.

We provided biscuits and juice to all the students as well as the staffs during the lunch break.  My second session with the students from Grade 1-3 started off with fresh enthusiasm from the students. They were more lively and active while coloring and tracing. They began calling us “Miss”. Being called upon when they had doubts and difficulties was a proud moment for me. Getting accepted as their teacher and guiding them as they colored was a joyous moment.

Taking sessions with 6th graders

Taking sessions with 6th graders

My last session for the day was with the 6th graders again. Yangji accompanied me as the number of students was large. We taught them Future Ladder, an activity where the students establish their goals and learn the steps they have to climb to reach their ambition.

The day ended with loud farewells and promises to play a lot more the next day. With a little rest, we decided to explore the surrounding areas. The cool wind blowing through was refreshing against Kathmandu’s dusty and warm winds.

After a group discussion on the day’s sessions and some planning for the next day, we cooked our dinner, pitched our tents and slept soundly.

Surrounded by warm smiles

Surrounded by warm smiles

The next two days were filled with more interesting games and activities like puppet making, wall magazines, science show and wall comics for students from Grade 6-8 and mask making, clay work and rhymes for students from Grade 1-5. The number of students attending the classes started increasing as the days passed by. We organized an exhibition on the last day where they displayed all their activities done in the camp. Students from Grade 4-5 eagerly presented the new rhymes that they had learned in the sessions. We handed over game materials to the school as well.

The students showed more enthusiasm as the day went by. Some of them arrived almost an hour early and stayed back after the school and insisted on playing with us. Some of the students gave us fruits and potatoes grown locally as gifts. A few even came to see us off. Such positive responses from students made our exhaustion worthwhile.

“My daughter who normally does not like to go to school has been very eager to leave for school in the mornings. She is always asking me for the time”, a mother said to us. The teachers and parents gave us positive feedbacks as well.

The warm farewell!

The warm farewell!

We were constantly supported by the school’s principal, Mr. Laxmi Timalsina and the staffs.

The program ended with a bittersweet feeling of completing it successfully but leaving warm smiles and laughter behind. Going to remote areas and sharing our knowledge to uplift the spirits of bright young students was truly a refreshing and satisfying experience.

I would like to thank ECCA for giving us this opportunity to go and conduct camps in rural areas. It was truly a momentous  and memorable experience.

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.

Installation of Wireless Community Based Early Warning System at Bhurung-Tatopani of Myagdi District

Flood Early Warning System

Flood Early Warning System

It’s a great pleasure of mine to share this news that SI/MSFP-LI-BIRD successfully installed Wireless Community Based Early Warning System at Bhurung-Tatopani of Myagdi District on 11th December 2014.

This technology has been installed for first time in Nepal through LI-BIRD in technical partnership with ECCA (Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness) and SEE (Sustainable Eco Engineering); the same technology which had recently received UNFCC’s Lighthouse Award 2014 for its work on Community Based Early Warning System in the Eastern Brahmhaputra River Basin, India.

Before installation of the system, 3 days technical training was given among the community people. During training, participants learned basic DRR terminologies, EWS components, equipment to be installed and EWS mechanism. Round table discussion, group work and video demonstration regarding communities managing early warning system in Eastern Nepal was also included in the theoretical session of the training. After theoretical session, practical session started where participants learned about equipment (transmitter unit and receiver unit), methodology to install,  assemble and disassemble system together with precaution measures in days to come.  Entire training was facilitated by ECCA, SEE and SI/LI-BIRD.

Handing Over Hardware of Flood Early Warning System to the community Representatives

Handing Over Hardware of Flood Early Warning System to the community Representatives

While nearing to the end of the session, communication channel was developed in active participation of community people. Once communication channel was developed, community people were mobilized to site for installation. Installation was followed by field monitoring. Chief District Officer (CDO) , Local Development Officer (LDO), District Forest Officer (DFO), Army Chief, National Level Journalist participated in site observation. On last moment of hand-over ceremony, this technology was handed over to head of Project Support Committee (PSC) by Chief District Officer Mr. Tek Bahadur KC. Furthermore, Mr. KC accepted the communication channel developed by community people during training session.

Working Mechanism of Wireless Early Warning System: This technology has two units i) Transmitter and ii) Receiver. Transmitter Unit consists of water level sensor, Radio Transmitter, Solar Panel and Antennae. Likewise, Receiver Unit is composed of Radio Receiver, Battery, Charge Controller, Siren, Solar Panel and Antennae. Transmitter unit is installed in river bank while receiver unit is installed in a house of the community with distance not more than 500 meter from transmitter installed along the river. The sensor of transmitter is used to produce alarm to community according to the flood level of river. Radio Receiver receives signal in the form of LED light and siren. Thus siren produces different tone in different water level.

First stage siren: interrupted siren ring as pre-early warning

Second stage siren: The time between pre-alarm and full-alarm. This stage can provide reaching time of flood. In other word, it can be called as evacuation time or lag time.

Third stage siren: Full siren with large volume. Once community receive this warning, they need to evacuate to safe shelter/evacuation center.

Testing Flood Early Warning System

Testing Flood Early Warning System

Conclusion: As this is low-cost and user friendly technology installed for the first time in Nepal, community people together government stakeholders including CDO, LDO, DFO, Nepal Army, Nepal Police have well appreciated the system. Furthermore, they have praised the work done by SI-LIBIRD in close coordination and collaboration with ECCA and SEE. However, the major challenge now is to sustain this system in long run. For this government has to own the system and community people have to bring local government into the realization incorporating it into the local development plan further incorporating it into district and national level plan; incorporation of EWS in local DRR planning process will result into the reduction of vulnerability and increased resilience of community. Moreover, the introduction of this Wireless Flood Early Warning System will provide good instance for climate change adaptation technology with further replication various vulnerable localities of our country especially in the flash flood affected areas and in the inner terai belt.

Surendra Gautam

Special Initiatives Coordinator (SIC)-MSFP LOT IV

An Experience: From Switzerland To The Fields of ECCA

michale

On the 28th of October 2014 I arrived in Kathmandu. It was my first time ever in Nepal, and I expected quite a culture change. Already during the ride from the airport to the guest house, driving through the dense traffic, made me anticipate an unforgettable experience. Employed by Antenna Foundation Switzerland, an NGO supporting ECCA and selling the WATA technology, my mission was to support the ECCA safe water team in any technical issues. I mainly advised ECCA on how to improve the production of chlorine and the testing solutions like the WATA Test and WATA Blue. ECCA uses the WATA Technology since several years and has done a very good job maintaining the quality of its products. I generally gave recommendations to make the whole production processes a bit more professional and also to prepare for a possible increase in the production quantity of the ECCA bottled chlorine.

Testing water during field visit by Mr. Michael

Testing water during field visit by Mr. Michael

Besides the work in ECCAs laboratory, I got the chance to see several sites all around Kathmandu where ECCA products or projects are implemented. The visit of the Bandighat slum was a very special event, as I realized how ECCA chlorine can help the very poorest, improve their health and even promote entrepreneurship. Through the field excursion I also visited two schools, where the WATASol project has been implemented. It was amazing to see how these schools adopted the technology and are able to produce their chlorine every day by themselves. The experiences that I have made motivate me to further work in the development of clean water technologies.

Checking with the students on using chlorine solution.

Checking with the students on using chlorine solution.

I specially want to thank Rabindra for taking me to various sites on his motorbike, but also Merina, Bipin, Prachet and the whole ECCA team for their exciting field trips they organized for me. They also contributed a lot “off-work” as they considerably enhanced my Nepal experience through visits to traditional festivals, MOMO places and out of Kathmandu to the famous tea gardens of Bhotechaur. My stay in Nepal was an unforgettable experience, and I hope to someday return. In the meanwhile I wish ECCA all the best for their further work.

Meeting students during field visit.

Meeting students during field visit.

By: Michael Vogt (Anteena Technologies Foundation)

TGG mentees Join Hands With Partners for Dallah Village Flood Relief

People gather for the flood relief program.

People gather for the flood relief program.

Two months into the esteemed mentorship program of The Generation Green (TGG) by WWF Nepal, mentees and mentor are collecting solutions and sending them to the places where it would be needed. That’s right.

The flood destroyed the properties and homes of one of the mentees Mr. Niroj Yogi under Mr. Ranjit Acharya, CEO of Prisma Advertising Agency, and people of Dallah village in Suryakot VDC , Bardiya, and they were living in an extremely bad condition. To provide relief to their fellow mentee and other 110 households of the village, Mr. Ranjit Acharya and his mentees, namely Ms. Sneha Bajrachary, Mr. Yuvraj Serpuja, Mr. Suman Neupane and Mr. Rudra Rokkaya, ran a ‘Fill the Bucket’ Challenge. The challenge called Rs. 1,200 from people and organizations to provide relief for the victims.

Mentee Sneha Bajracharya handing the package to one of the residents.

Mentee Sneha Bajracharya handing the package to one of the residents.

The amount was used for 2kg rice, 1kg lentils, 2 kg beaten rice, 4 toothbrushes with a medium sized toothpaste, a packet of mosquito coil, half liter packet of oil, a packet of salt, 4 packets of noodles, biscuits and jeevanjal each, two soaps one for washing clothes and the other for bathing purpose, that went into the bucket. Besides that, ECCA Nepal and Antenna Foundation, Mega Bank Limited, Nepatop, WWF, Youth Alliance for Environment (YAE) and other individual donors, too, chipped in cash and other items like WATASOL, for the relief. As the relief materials were distributed in the festive season, it brought some positive feelings for the residents, who were severely affected by the flood.

The TGG program, whose main aim is to engage youths and mentees in various positive activities, especially related with environment, encourages such program.

Relief package sponsored by ECCA.

Relief package sponsored by ECCA.

Passing On a Legacy Through Water Conservation Walk

Water woes is not a new topic to people who are used to seeing every running faucet followed by tens of empty pitcher. Nor can the uses of water be compromised or reduced. Yet, only few answers can be found for its effective management that will solve the problems. Luckily for us, we can learn something from the effective management of water that can be traced in the traditional stone water system of Kathmandu Valley.

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During the Water Walk.

On 26th September 2014, Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness (ECCA) organized water conservation walk in order to aware school students about the water conservation and management in Patan. Out of around 40 students, I led half of them.

Cleaning the stone spout at Lagankhel.

Cleaning the stone spout at Lagankhel.

The program commenced on 9 am with brief introduction of the participants and my fellow guide for the day (Siddhi Bajracharya) and me. After the group division, I led the group to Maharani Fountain with my team of Heritage UNESCO Centre consisting of Binita Khadgi. We provided the participants with a worksheet, which was prepared on the basis of route map where the students were to fill answers. Tasks, observation, briefing about the place and games made up the worksheet, which we hoped would help keep the students on track. The briefing on traditional ponds and stone water spout, their types and their uses were explained to the participant by following the worksheet and sharing various stories and myths of Patan associated with water.

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Result of the signup campaign.

After walking all morning under the sweltering sun, we hoped that the students had some idea about the traditional water management practices in Kathmandu valley and particularly in Patan. I highly recommend children and adults alike to be a part of such walks at least once. We usually take our precious cultural heritages for granted. Knowing about them up-close can inspire one to take care of it.

Text by Niroj Maharjan

ECCA Volunteer Experiences: Emmanuelle’s Story

On July, Emmanuelle Ravat, a French volunteer doing her Master’s degree in International Relations at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, flew in to Nepal to conduct a study regarding water purification. The research, which is interlinked with the WATASOL project is a part of ECCA’s ‘Safe Water for Healthy Nepal’ campaign.

Emmanuelle with ECCA staffs, staffs and students of Namuna Machindra School in Lagankhel during a Braille Paper Distribution program.

Emmanuelle with ECCA staffs, staffs and students of Namuna Machindra School in Lagankhel during a Braille Paper Distribution program.

During her month and a half long stay, she went to many places in and around the Kathmandu valley, including Khokana, Dhapakhel, Bansighat, Bungamati, Lele and Champi with the ECCA staff. Her main focus was to study about the water purification process in the Kathmandu valley.

After talking to many people and communicating with different partners, she observed that access to clean drinking water was a day to day struggle. It wasn’t just a lack of solution to the clean water, she remarked, adding that it was also the people’s behavior which exacerbated the whole scenario. ‘Even though people are aware of campaigns and the importance of clean drinking water, but this awareness doesn’t lead them to act on solving it,’ she said.

Emmanuelle with a fellow volunteer, Anna, during ECCA's 27th Anniversary at St. Xavier's College in Maitighar, Kathmandu.

Emmanuelle with a fellow volunteer, Anna, during ECCA’s 27th Anniversary at St. Xavier’s College in Maitighar, Kathmandu.

However, there are good things happening as well. ‘It was great to have heard about how people treat water, thanks to the school programs that send messages of clean drinking water,’ Emmanuelle said. She further added that this good streak could be increased if there were more partners to enlarge the WATASOL campaign and spread it with everyone.

A group photo of Old Vs. New Counselors' Friendly Football Match. Emmanuelle (ext. right) participated in various activities that happened in ECCA that took place during her stay.

A group photo of Old Vs. New Counselors’ Friendly Football Match. Emmanuelle (ext. right) participated in various activities that happened in ECCA that took place during her stay.

Besides the research, getting to know the Nepali culture kept Emmanuelle busy. She shared that the dal-bhat along with the local cuisines that she tried were a great palate changer. The food even inspired her to take cooking classes, ‘So that I can recreate it back home,’ she shared with a laugh. Asked what she loved the best about the food here, she said, ‘It’s just that the spices and the way one uses it here is so different from French cooking and it has struck me deeply.’

Emmanuelle smiles for a photo during her farewell ceremony.

Emmanuelle smiles for a photo during her farewell ceremony.

Emmanuelle is back to finishing her Master’s degree. She has been in the teaching profession for a long time and plans on working as a teacher. ECCA wishes her the best of luck for her future endeavors!