The Youth Experience Exchange- Sending Letters to an International Friend

With much excitement Nepalese students of the Youth Experience Exchange Program again gathered to meet at ECCA on 6th of April, 2016. This time the meeting was short but fun. The students received personal letters from students of exchange schools in Finland. In response, they shared similar and contradictory issues about Nepal, its culture, tradition and environment. The letters written by Finnish students themselves brought much excitement among Nepalese students. 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

 

 

Winter support for students in Kavre

The earthquake struck Nepal all unexpectedly. Milan Neupane, a grade 8 student of Shree Brahamayani Secondary School, Gairibisauna, Kavre went to school after it reopened a month later. What he saw next was no different than what had happened to rest of the village. He and his peers stood in shock before reminiscences of the destroyed buildings which used to be their classrooms. “Losing homes was one thing but losing school buildings destroyed our faith of offering a secured learning environment for our students”, said Satrudhan Prasad Shah, principal of the school.

Temporary Learning Centers built later proved to be a huge consolation for students but then incoming winter brought another series of nightmare. Most of the students having lost their uniforms in the earthquake suffered during the cold shivering weather making it difficult for them to attend school. The condition was similar in almost all the schools of Kavre district. So to help the students, ECCA(Environment Camps for Conservation Awareness)  with the support of action medeor provided a set of tracksuit, socks and shoes to 1077 students of Gairbisauna VDC and Jyamdi VDC on December 28, 2015.

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Milan Neupane, Shree Brahamayani Secondary School

“I am very thankful for receiving this gift. But more than myself, I am  thankful to you for providing these tracksuits, shoes and socks to our little brother and sisters who undoubtedly have to face more difficulty in this cold season”, said Milan after the distribution took place at his school.

Lastly we thank all our donors/supporters. Do you want to be a part of the contributors too? If so, visit our Global Giving website.

-Upama Tamla (Rai), Media Associate, ECCA

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ECCA Program Officer Mr.Bipin Shrestha with a student in Devbal Bhadreswor Primary School

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A student in Jyamdi shares her smile with ECCA counselor Ms. Bimala Lama

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In Shree Brahamayani Secondary School, Gairibisauna

 

 

BS 2072 (AD 2015)- WHY DON’T WE MAKE IT BETTER?

IMG_0247BS 2072 (AD 2015), a year with lots of painful memories and full of struggle. First they struggled to survive and now they are struggling to live on.The earthquake of Baisakh 12 (April 25) and following aftershocks brought a sudden change in life of Nepalese people. Over 8000 lost their loved ones, their shelter and everything they had. Life didn’t remain the same as it was before Baisakh 12.The whole country was on chaos. People started living in open area rather than living in their houses and many of them had nowhere to go. People were in earthquake trauma and mainly children were its victims.They got help from others and supported each other and struggled to live on.Those who had money built new homes and others who lost everything are still living under the sky building a home like structure unfavorable to rain, cold and windy climate. So far they have struggled to live on but what now?

In this winter, neither they can afford comfortable home nor comfortable clothes nor quality food, struggling everyday just to live another day. We can hear on the news that people are dying day by day due to cold. Is it their fault they can’t afford to survive against the cold? Do only these people have to face such struggle whereas we all Nepalese were victims of the earthquake?

IMG_0903 copy.jpgLet’s help those in need. If you have clothes that you don’t need anymore please bring it to us, we will give it to those in need. Not only the wearable clothes, you can bring torn clothes too. We distribute wearable clothes and recycle the torn ones into sitting mats (cushions) (for students to sit in rural schools, where desks and benches are still not available). Especially for kids of ECD (Early Childhood Development Centers), sitting in the cold and uncomfortable floor is so difficult ……. they will get maximum benefit.

We youths have already come together in many instances, now it’s your turn. Help the needy. Help us in our Win Against Winter Campaign.

– Sujan Rajbahak, ECCA Counselor

If you are willing to help us, you can contact us here.

 

Voices from our youth![This campaign is about helping earthquake affected students in rural Nepal to attend schools…

Posted by Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness on Wednesday, January 6, 2016

 

 

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.

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“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

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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.]

 

Herbal Garden Education for Students In Nepal

Today’s young generation is indulged in the glory of magnifying technological advancement, a breach between human kind and nature. When minds are constantly diverted to alluring factors of modernization, engaging this generation of youths towards conservation activities such as preserving indigenous plants and creating a greener environment isn’t an easy task. But it isn’t impossible either. With sheer motive of luring young students towards undertaking herbal knowledge, the concept of training enthusiastic members of pre-established nature clubs was a leap towards herbal conservation in Nepal. Now, ECCA has managed to provide trainings and engage students in establishing eco-friendly herbal gardens in above 40 schools all over the country.

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An ECCA volunteer helps a student to plant a sapling

Herbs like Sarpagandha (Rauvolfia spilanthus), Aloe Vera, Satavari (Asparagus Racemosus), Kapoor herb (Cinnamomim Camphora) etc  are being grown and preserved by the students. But the species obviously differs according to the physical and climatic factors influencing the environment as well as chemical composition of the soil. By establishing herbal gardens, students say that they have felt closer to the nature. They have learnt the essence of medicinal value of herbs and what it takes to nourish them into healthy plants. It is also a matter detailed planning, tasks allocation and teamwork along with being a source of inspiration to fellow students.

But it is not only students who get benefitted. Everything feels productive when most of the teachers respond as “Seeing our students work together and create a healthier school environment for all inspires us as well. Even we get to learn as much as them and it encourages us to create herbal garden in our homes as well.”

However, the April earthquake caused huge devastation destroying number of herbal gardens along with the school buildings. Nature club members are in the phase of renovating herbal gardens once again. To inspire that generation of youths even more, ECCA is planning to award those with best herbal garden in upcoming days. We are grateful to all who have been supporting us in this regard and for those who want to help will be welcomed as ever.  For regular updates regarding our programs and activities, please visit our website, Facebook,  Twitter and YouTube Channel.

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

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.

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.