Mega Cleanup Campaign – One School One Heritage Campaign

It is always a start that needs the great effort.

This was the very first step led by The Generation Green (TGG) members to conserve the heritages which has been under shade via conducting cleanliness program under “One school one heritage” Program. On 22 November, 2014, Saturday, starting from Pulchowk to Gwarkho massive cleanliness program were held at heritage sites which included pulchowk stupa, purnachandi mandir, sundhara, saugal hiti and Tyagal hiti. This program consisted of about 250 participants who included students of Prabhat H.S.S, Shramjit Kishor S.S, Yashodhara Bouddha S.S, Bal Binod S.S, and Tri-Padma H.S.S, members of the Tole Sudhar Samitee, and TGG members along with the ECCA Staffs’.

Play Card

Slogan prepared to present during heritage walk.

 

Considering present scenario of the deteriorating heritage sites, the main motto of this program was to clean the heritage sites and restore its beauty by the active participation of school children, make the community member realize their role in conservation of their heritages and gain the sustainability in the long run for conservation.

Purna Chandi Temple

Local participating in Cleanup Campaign at Purna Chandi Temple.

 

Early in the morning at 6:30 am, Patan Durbar Square was covered with energetic participants for clean up where they collected the equipment such as mask, gloves and brush needed for the clean-up program.  We acknowledge the support of Environment Section – Lalitpur Sub-Metropolitan City for supporting the clean up program through providing adequate cleanup materials like brooms and dustbins.

students leg by TGG member

Students of Bal Binod S.S with TGG member

All the participating school were led by a responsible TGG member to their respective heritage site for clean-up program. The groups got additional support on cleanup equipments and help from the members of local Tole Sudhar Samitee during the cleanliness program in their respective sites. Local contribution added more energy to the participants for clean up as they were assisted by provisions of dustpans, sacks and water for drinking. Many people were impressed by the work which was shown by their curiosity and active participation in this clean-up program.  They even provided water, tea, snacks which were very wise act as these were not expected from the community. The chattering of the students added more fun in the scorching sun. Despite of late start, students did their task efficiently, leaving no more garbage behind.  Due to many helpful hands, cleanup program ended very successfully in five different heritage sites. Considering the personal hygiene of participants, they were provided with water and soap for their cleanliness.

During clean up program

Students of Shramjit Kishor S.S at Sundhara during clean up program

By the active participation of five schools, the event became successful but this is just only the beginning. ECCA’s mission will be completed when the people realize their roles and responsibilities towards the preservation of the cultural heritages. Hope this start can bring a positive change in people’s perception about conservation of our heritages and the efforts made by the students and TGG members will be valued in long run.

Before and after: Sundhara

Before and after: Sundhara

“A concerted effort to preserve our heritage is a vital link to our cultural, educational, aesthetic, inspirational and economic legacies- all of the things that quite literally make us who we are” – Steve Berry.

Some Glimpses on the activities performed during the event.

An Experience: From Switzerland To The Fields of ECCA

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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)

Subhaarambha – One School One Heritage

Participants of One School One Heritage Program

With the successful completion of two days training program for students on 17th & 18th November 2014, the begining of One School One Heritage Campaign has been initiated for its implementation at the community level. Eighteen students and three teachers from six different government schools – Tri Padma H.S.S., Bal Binod S.S., Adarsha Kanya H.S.S., Yasodhara Baudha S.S., Shramjeet Kishor S.S., and Prabhat H.S.S. had actively participated in the program. All the participating schools in this training were selected in such a way that they are located within the peripheral vicinity of the location from Pulchwok area to Gwarko area of Lalitpur District.

The main implementation strategy of the campaign is inclined towards linking Experts to Youths, Youths to Children and through Children to Local Awareness program, which is highly evidenced through its first training program given by the experts to the youths on 2nd and 3rd of November, 2014. This time, the training program was totally focused on the information dissemination and techniques dissemination to school children and the teachers through the active The Generation Green (TGG) youth members. The program dealt exclusively with a very informative and impressive interaction within the TGG youth members, the school children and the teachers about the importance of degrading cultural and religious heritage sites in the present context.

The first day (17th November), started with an introduction about heritages, UNESCO world heritage sites, discussion about importance of them and heritage sites of Nepal along with its present conditions by active TGG members. Not to make the whole program boring, it was intermitted by different games such as action pass, buzz and puzzle carrying both entertainment and some important lessons which helped students about leadership capability and gaining confidence. The day also had a very nice discussion about the present problems prevalent in the heritage area such as random waste disposals, unmanaged footpath shops and illegal utilization of natural resources followed by the possible steps in the future through self awareness, public awareness and strict implementation of rules and regulations that can lead towards well protection of the present heritage sites. The positive and progressive feedback got from the students by the end of the day proved that the day had been indeed very much successful.

Students learning about heritage.

Students learning about heritage.

The second day (18th November) initiated with a heritage walk from Patan Durbar Square to Bangalamukhi Temple being facilitated by Mr. Niroj Maharjan; gave a field based experiences to the participants regard to heritage sites. The division of participants into four groups, each assigned with a specific heritage sites were assigned to collect information about their respective sites. Discussions and interviews were taken with the locals which were used to develop the awareness materials for drama presentation, songs, informatory board and leaflets preparation in order to widely disseminate the importance and information collected during the site visit. At the end, all the schools were assigned with one heritage site for which the school and the students will initiate the steps towards its conservation and preservation in the days ahead to come. All the participants agreed to develop an action plan and appropriate strategies to work towards the heritage preservation in their locations.

Leaflet on Heritage by Students

Leaflet on Heritage by Students

This program can be a very suitable example towards a very popular proverb by Margaret Mead, ‘Children must be taught how to think not what to think’. The whole chain of teaching and learning from experts to youths and youths to children is strongly believed that it has helped students how to think about the future of these heritages which carry important knowledge from our ancestors and a great symbols of our culture and traditions. Furthermore, we are very hopeful that this program becomes efficient towards well conservation and preservation of our important cultural heritages through involvement of the school children.

The glimpses of the program could be viewed through this link.

Article Contributors: Ms. Tanjua Shrestha, Ms. Sara Byanzankar, Ms. Aruna Puri, Ms. Susmita Satyal

Combating Technological Barrier

Grade 8 students Muna and Manoj in their I.TIt is an accepted fact that these days people totally rely on computer technologies for communication and acquiring information. It is often heard from the gossips of people around that printed materials usage are diminishing everyday due to advancement in information technology through computers. Also, students all around the world are found well equipped with individual laptops, personal computers and advanced gadgets. Even a decade ago, in the context of Nepal, technology had not taken its pace the way we are experiencing now.  On one side, there is a remarkable improvement in information technology, for instance, the students of private boarding school, they are familiarized with English language and computer education right from the early age whereas the situation in government supported schools are not up to the level when compared with each other.

Without any biasness, the situation of education and the use of information technology is same as mentioned above in one of the government supported urban school – Shree Minnath Aadarsha Shikshya Sadan Lower Secondary School in Lalitpur District. But, through ‘Support-A-Child” campaign being initiated by ECCA (Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness), this situation of school is being facilitated to bring some positive changes. International Volunteer, Ms Anna Waters from England, initiated to create a microproject titled “Provide Six Computers for Nepali School Students” in order to overcome the technological barrier being created between the students and technology. The support being initiated in the school is believed to provide knowledge and skills on information technology education and computer education for the students of grade six, seven and eight. The computer distribution program in the school is going to be organized in 21st November 2014.

We strongly believe that this activity will definitely help the students in order to raise their computer skills and english education in the long run and eventually make them competitive to face any challenges not only in the national level but also in the international level which otherwise would be really very difficult in the world of technology and english speaking environment in today’s context.

Grade 8 students crowded around the two working computers

Article Contributer: Ms. Tanuja Shrestha

Donning the Cape of Awareness: For Safe Water

Students and locals gather to watch the drama concerning safe drinking water.

Students and locals gather to watch the drama concerning safe drinking water.

On an afternoon at Kitini Higher Secondary School at Godawari, students of the Kitini Nature Club put on costumes and carried props to their school gate. It was neither Halloween, nor was it any special occasion. Yet, the group marched, followed by their classmates and other students, where they had earlier cleaned and set up some furniture.

An active member of the nature club, Sanju, along with her friends, were those dressed in costumes. Their out of place apparel brought giggles from the onlookers, but they just called on more of the students. Teachers, students and community members were called to see what was about to happen. Some were curious, and others, genuinely interested, while others still were beckoned by the costumes and the settings.

The nature club members were going to put on a show about the importance of safe drinking water. The street drama was going to show how people should adopt measures to ensure the water they were drinking were safe.

Before the drama starts - actors discuss as the audience waits.

Before the drama starts – actors discuss as the audience waits.

A housewife, her husband, his sister, the shaman, the doctor, her friends and a few other characters. When the housewife falls sick due to unsafe water, the husband and her sister-in-law are worried. But it could have been prevented after all. The drama was a gentle reminder to the people to be safe when it came to drinking water.

The sick woman is taken to the shaman instead of the doctor.

The sick woman is taken to the shaman instead of the doctor.

Although the students spread awareness via door-to-door campaign talking about WATASOL to the community members and encouraging them to be careful, the drama was an even bigger success. The members of Kitini Nature Club got a pat in the back for their attempt to reach out to their peers regarding a deep subject matter. This feat has encouraged them to keep at this path of awareness and practice.

The actors requesting the use of WATASOL for safe drinking water.

The actors requesting the use of WATASOL for safe drinking water.

For more details:

Safe Water for Healthy Living

Saving Ourselves with Safe Water: DFL’s Visit to Schools

With the increasing awareness about health and hygiene education, habit of using Safe Water has taken a special spot in the daily life in the students of schools located in Southern Lalitpur. Throughout the year, nature club members in various schools produce WATASOL (a solution used to treat water to disinfect bacteria), use it in their school to treat water, distribute it among themselves for household use and use in their community. It’s the continuous awareness campaign like door-to-door programs organized by the members of nature club which has influenced the lives of many households in the community. ECCA is playing a major role towards mobilizing members of the nature clubs. People are aware of the importance of safe water and a visible impact can be felt and seen in the community, thanks to these programs.

Ms. Manuela Balma (third from left) interacting with students of Tika Bhairab Higher Secondary school.

Ms. Manuela Balma (third from left) interacting with students of Tika Bhairab Higher Secondary school.

As a supporter for the promotion of safe water program in various schools, Ms. Manuela Balma from drop for life foundation (DFL) visited different schools located in Lalitpur district as a part of monitoring and follow-up of program. During the visit, interactions with the members of nature club were made in all the schools. Tika Bhairab Secondary School and Shree Buddha Secondary School in Lele; Kitini Higher Secondary School in Godawari and St. Paul Secondary School in Thecho were the main schools visited as per the schedule. During the interaction, the students made presentations about their drinking water storage system, water distribution system in classrooms through jars and water dispensers. The students also briefed Ms. Balma about the procedure and steps that they had been following towards the preparation of WATASOL in their schools.

Student demonstrating the production of WATASOL at Shree Buddha Higher Secondary School in Lele.

Student demonstrating the production of WATASOL at Shree Buddha Higher Secondary School in Lele.

An interaction commenced with the students about their experiences so far and ideas for new programs. Ms. Balma was quite happy to see the enthusiasm of the students and the activities they have been doing. “I’m very impressed by the engagement of all the nature club members and I like the fact that it’s not only about safe water but also about other skills,” she said. The students, too, were elated to share their experiences with her, and get feedback on their accomplishments.

Ms. Balma reading the WATASOL records at Kitini Higher Secondary School in Godawari.

Ms. Balma reading the WATASOL records at Kitini Higher Secondary School in Godawari.

The second day visit on October 16 was at Kitini Higher Secondary School, it clashed with Global Hand Washing Day. The nature club members taught primary level students the proper way of washing hands and asked them follow the routine before and after eating, after using restrooms, after playing with pets. Ms. Balma lauded the nature club members’ effort and said that she was happy to have witnessed it. Nature club members also presented a street drama in honor of Ms. Balma. The drama, which dealt with the importance of ensuring the use of safe drinking water, was informative and funny, and the audience enjoyed it. Ms. Balma said, “I liked the drama very much. I think it was very effective, not only for the children, but also the adults. You could feel that the children were convinced of what they wanted to tell people.”

"तिमीले मैले भनेको के नै गर्छौ र ? " "When do you ever do what I ask you to do?" Kitini School students acting.

“तिमीले मैले भनेको के नै गर्छौ र ? “
“When do you ever do what I ask you to do?”
Kitini School students acting.

DFL and ECCA have been long partners since 2012, promoting and implementing safe drinking water habit in the schools and communities. In a span of two years, it has brought remarkable difference in the drinking water habits of many people.

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

Things To-Do To Conserve Water Sources – Water Walk

Stone spouts or dhunge dhara are a common place for people to collect water from. But only after a heavy downpour can we see the ‘dhunge dhara’ with running water. During the medieval era, these stone spouts had a glorious time solving the water problem of Kathmandu and leaving the residents at ease. With time, the heavy urbanization of Kathmandu has changed the scenario, while leaving the stone spouts in a sorry condition.

The 'dhunge dhara' in a sorry state.

The ‘dhunge dhara’ in a sorry state.

With the realization that the stone spouts have the ability to aid the water scarcity of the Kathmanduites even now, ECCA organized a Water Walk program on September 26, 2014. The walk from Mangalbazar to Lagankhel started from 9 am and involved students and teachers from various school. The main objective of the event was to raise awareness about the historical, cultural and environmental importance of these spouts in today’s context.

Expert Mr. Sidhi Bajracharya shedding light on the historical importance of the stone spouts to students at Bagalamukhi Temple.

Expert Mr. Sidhi Bajracharya shedding light on the historical importance of the stone spouts to students at Bagalamukhi Temple.

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At Nagbahal.

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At Pimbahal.

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At the pond at Pimbahal.

Students were divided into two groups, led by Mr. Sidhi Bajracharya and Mr. Niroj Maharjan, and were taken from Mangalbazar to Lagankhel from two different routes, tracing the sites with stone spouts and ponds. Mr. Bajracharya and Mr. Maharjan have previously led teams for a detailed historical and cultural acquaintance to such sites. It was an informative walk, appreciated and fuelled by the enthusiasm of the students. The activities also piqued the interest of the locals. After the walk concluded, the team gathered near a stone spout in Lagankhel. A cleanup program followed, where the participants attempted to restore the glory of the old dhunge dhara. The students joined a call to conserve and preserve the water and water sources like stone spouts.

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Students during the signup.

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The students cleaning the stone spout at Lagankhel.

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A boy does his part by taking off the grass.

This is one of the initiatives of ECCA to preserve our cultural heritages, which also have the power to influence our lives. Previously, ECCA engaged the school students for a ‘Heritage Walk’ in April, where the students were acquainted with the Bagmati Civilization.

Before cleaning.

Before cleaning.

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After cleaning.