All for a better Education; Educational Support by ECCA for 47 schools

On January 24, 2016 ECCA (Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness) with Global Giving‘s support provided white boards, markers, magnetic dusters and inks as educational support to 47 schools of 9 Village Development Committees (Dalchoki, Ikudol, Asrang, Bhattedada, Malta, Chaughare, Kaleshwor, Sankhu and Gimde) of southern Lalitpur. The materials were handed over to representatives of each school by Senior Social Mobilization Officer of Lalitpur District Mr. Bisweswor Koirala and ECCA program officer Mr. Rabindra Khatri.

 The educational support is expected to provide more efficient and easy learning for more than 2400 students of these schools which are currently in their phase of reestablishing the school environment after being affected by the earthquake.

“We use blackboards for teaching and the chalk dust affects health of us teachers to a great extent. Now we won’t have to worry much”, said Bal Bahadur Lama principal of Kalidevi Primary School, Sankhu

ECCA thanks all donor/supporters for helping it to support students in rural Nepal. With the support of Global Giving, ECCA has already distributed copies, pencils, bags and other stationery materials as well as tracksuits, shoes and socks to students of various earthquake affected districts . Do you want to be a part of the contributors too? If so, visit our Global Giving website.

For regular updates regarding our programs and activities, visit our website, Facebook,  Twitter and YouTube Channel.

-Upama Tamla Rai, ECCA

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Senior Social Mobilization Officer of Lalitpur District Mr. Bisweswor Koirala(left) handing over educational materials to a school representative

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ECCA Program Officer Mr. Rabindra Khatri(left) handing over the educational materials to  a school representative

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Witnessing wonders of solar


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“I weave baskets for livelihood. Solar lights have been helping me to make baskets at nights since four months. This is a huge accomplishment for me and my family.”
Man Bahadur Ghunga, Chaughare

On July 27, 2015 solar lighting systems were distributed in Chaughare VDC of lalitpur district. ECCA, along with two supporting partners Wind Power Nepal Pvt. Ltd. and The Mayor Hotel, had distributed the solar packages where each one comprised of two solar bulbs, one solar panel and a radio system. They were distributed to 16 highly needy households especially with old and disabled people where they give maximum benefit.

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After 4 months on 25th October,2015 we visited five houses in Chaughare and two in Dalchowki to see if the light is really helpful to the beneficiaries or not. One of the houses we visited was of 69 years old Man Bahadur Ghunga in Chaughare. With three children and seven members in his family, weaving baskets is his only occupation to support his family. His house was severely damaged by the April earthquake. Since then he along with his family have been living in temporary shelter made of zinc sheet. Initially there was no electricity and they had to struggle at all times. The solar lighting system distributed by ECCA was a solution for their problems. When asked about how much relief it has provided to them, Ghunga happily answered saying how much of a help it has been for them. He said,”The solar lights help us when there is load shedding. The bulbs give very good light and they are durable. We don’t have the better option than this. It has been one of the essential things to use in our daily life. The best thing is don’t have to wait for the electricity to charge it.” He sincerely thanked ECCA and all the organisations that provided his family such reliable technology.

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Manisha Magar, a recipient of solar lighting system in Dalchowki.

Not only him but every household we visited was very grateful towards us. Regardless of whether they use it in the stable, for housework or for weaving baskets, the solar lights have proved to be a boon for all. Most important thing is that children use it for studying. “I wish for the prosperity of ECCA and I hope it supports us with our needs in the future as well” said Ghunga while giving us farewell. His words made us feel that it was definitely worth to help needy people as him with solar lights during critical time of their lives.

-Denis Janker, Mukesh Karn, Upama Tamla

 © copyright of photos to Denis Janker

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

Learning won’t cease

Earthquake affected school buildings

Earthquake affected school buildings

Peepaldada VDC of Sindhupalhwok couldn’t gleam more than it did on June 30, 2015 when the construction of nine Temporary Learning Shelters (TLC) in four schools namely Shree Siddhi Kamala Secondary School, Sita Primary School, Bageshwori Lower Secondary School and Dakshinkali Lower Secondary School was completed, promising undulating education for children. Faces lit with joy as all the children were provided with educational, recreational and Early Childhood Development (ECD) kits as sources of motivation and effective schooling.

Inspecting the condition of schools

Inspecting the condition of schools

When 7.8 ritcher earthquake hit Nepal back in April, most of the physical infrastructures of Sindhupalchowk turned to complete ruins. School buildings were no exception. Even though time flew by and people recovered from such a traumatic event, they were in no place  to send their children to school as there was no saying in how much time would be required to reestablish school buildings and proper learning environment. Realizing this, Environment Camps for Conservation Awareness (ECCA) and Hands International with the financial support of Medico International (MI) came forward with government authenticated concept of TLC along with the provision of educational, recreational and ECD kits for young children. TLC requires lesser time and fewer materials (bamboo, tarpaulin, Corrugated Galvanised Iron sheet etc.)  for construction and are very  suitable for learning until stable buildings are rebuilt.

Temporary Learning Centers in Construction

Temporary Learning Centers in Construction

Sharing smiles together in newly built T.L.C

Sharing smiles together in newly built T.L.C

Now six more schools of Ramche VDC in Sinchupalchowk namely Bhatte Primary School, Himchuli  Primary School, Janajagriti Primary School, Saraswoti Secondary School, SindhuBahira Lower Secondary School and Suryodaya Primary School are in process of being benefited by this three months long project which started back in June. Despite the lack of transportation, the combined effort of volunteers and school management committee has aided to establishing six TLC’s in above mentioned schools.  70% construction is already completed and by next week, there will be children there, studying the way they used to, taking a leap that they should,  towards their  future to make it bright.

-Upama Tamla

Students rejoicing after being provided with educational, recreational and ECD kits

Students rejoicing after being provided with educational, recreational and ECD kits

Representatives from District Education Office,ECCA, Hands International along with local teachers after completion of TLCs

Representatives from District Education Office,ECCA, Hands International along with local teachers after completion of TLCs

Initiating – KEDRIN

The Terrible Earthquake on the 25th April and the aftershocks that followed claimed over 8,000 souls and devastated the lives of many others in Nepal. Khokana, the town situated at six kilometers South of Kathmandu, turned into rubble and claimed 9 souls and its rich heritage: 812 houses have been completely destroyed and 355 houses are damaged rendering them unfit for human habitation. It was fortunate indeed many people were on their farms when the earthquake hit, resulting in lower fatalities than might have otherwise been expected.

An old women in her destructed house.

An old women in her destructed house.

People have been moved into temporary shelters, living behind their ruined and unsafe houses which are being used to store food and animals. The onset of the monsoon had made living and storing resources even more difficult. The “dunes” of collapse houses have also blocked thoroughfares, making the movement of people through the town and to other villages extremely hazardous and have forced people to live in and around dangerous areas at high risk to their health and lives.

Inspecting the damage of house.

Inspecting the damage of house.

Hence, with an objective to demolish buildings damaged by the earthquake and remove associated rubble and debris to allow regeneration of the community to begin, this project KEDRIN – Khokana Earthquake Debris Removal Initiative has been initiated. This will address the immediate need to demolish unsafe buildings and manage the debris generated in a proper manner. The majority of the damaged houses belong to members of the subsistence farming community who do not have the money to tackle the problem on an individual basis, however, if approached collectively, there would be economies of scale and it would be possible to clear the buildings and debris with fewer resources.

Managing temporary shelter.

Managing temporary shelter.

New plans for rebuilding and community regeneration will only be possible when collapsed structures and debris have been cleared and ample open space has been created. Once this has been achieved, the town can be redesigned and rebuilt, its community heritage and values reestablished, and the community’s way of life restored.

In order to receive financial support (donations) towards the implementation of this project, a donation page is also created in the platform of Global Giving which could be accessed through the links of Global Giving US, and Global Giving UK.

Updates related with the ongoing activities through social media could be received in our Facebook Link dedicated to this project, where as we will also be constantly updating our supporters and donors through our Blog Posts.

A short presentation regarding the project initiation is presented through a short video through this link in our Youtube Channel.

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.

A Day at Chaughare “Distributing Solar Lighting Systems”

Beautiful place in a nice sunny day.

Beautiful place in a nice sunny day.

27th July 2015, was a clear and sunny day when our team left ECCA-office for an approx two-hours-ride to a small village located in Chaughare VDC, Lalitpur. In the fond of our car, there were Solar Lighting Systems to be distributed to EQ affected families in need. Additionally, we carried various piles of note books for the students in severely damaged school in the same area. I feel it was a short trip, but the activities with a long-term impact.

Gathering of community members to receive solar light.

Gathering of community members gathered to receive solar light.

Some families were already waiting for us when we arrive at the partly destroyed school yard (Shree Gyanodaya Lower Secondary School, Chaughare) to distribute the Solar Lighting System. The system distributed consisted of 2 bright bulbs along with the mobile charging facility and radio inbuild in the system. This reliable and environmentally friendly source of electricity for their homes. will keep the family members safe during the dark hours of night time and support the family members connected with communications and information.

As we had limited system to support the community members, Mr. Tej Lama (Chairman of School Management Committee) supported us through identifying the highly needy family members in the community. Families with old aged members, disabled members, nursing mothers, and school going children were highly prioritized in the distribution.

99 Yrs oldest lady in the community.

99 Yrs oldest lady in the community.

Amongst them, there’s a 99-year-old lady with her great-granddaughter. She still remembers her earthquake experience of 1933 and shared about her experience during that time. The great-granddaughter also shares her joy with other children and gathers together with her friends who all love dancing.

Distributing Solar System to different abilities family.

Distributing Solar System to different abilities family.

In the scenery of the partly destroyed school yard, the Solar systems stand like a symbol of hope and shows that earthquake recovery and ecology can go together hand in hand. And apart from providing electricity for the basic needs of families, there will be still enough solar power for playing music – so the girls can go on dancing!

We would like to thank Mr. Kushal Gurung (CEO) of WindPower Nepal and The Mayor Hotel for supporting the solar system for the families of Earthquake Affected families in Nepal.

A Group Snap with the families.

A Group Snap with the families.

By:

Angel C. – Sr. Program Officer, ECCA

Nina N. – ASA Volunteer, Germany

Tents’ as a Temporary Shelter

“Home is where you feel the safety and having a roof above your head is the key to creating a beautiful family.” What if you worked hard all your life for it and then everything gets buried in a blink of an eye?

While the earthquake of 25th April, 2015 took lives of thousands, it has left another millions homeless. They nomore have a safe place to call their home. All the earnings of their life that they chose to spend on building a house of their own now lie just as painful reminiscences of the disaster. Many held onto their houses as  a source of economy and there’s no saying on how hard the quake hit livelihood of countless Nepalese people.

With the family members of Mr. Maharjan.

With the family members of Mr. Maharjan.

One of such victims is Mr. Kaji Ram Maharjan, a resident of Debdhunga, Kirtipur. Though he didn’t witness any loss of lives in his family, his house was severely damaged during the earthquake. “According to structural experts inspection, it’s unfit to live in. Now that means there’s no significance in having a house. Perhaps the only solution is to demolish it”, said Maharjan with a sad voice. With seven family members to look after including his old parents and his children, he was deeply worried about building a shelter until ECCA (Environment Camps for Conservation Awareness) came forward to help him and other families of Kirtipur who held similar stories of grief.

Many families were relieved as ECCA provided them with tents as temporary shelters. One could see their faces lit up as they set up the tents in unison. ECCA distributed sixteen tents to different victimized families of Kirtipur on June 14, June 28 and June 30.

EQ affected families in Kirtipur.

EQ affected families in Kirtipur.

According to Maharjan, the tents have proved to be a huge relief for all the families. “We’re now living in the tent except during heavy rains. But we do feel more secure than before and we thank ECCA for its generous contribution”, said he. “It will take a great deal of time to rebuild our houses. Till then we will have to rely on these tents and call it home.”, he added with a smile.

We would like to thank American Conservation Experience (ACE) for supporting us with the tents so that we could distribute to the needy families who are affected by Earthquake. Some glimpses of the Tent distribution in various locations could be viewed in our facebook Album of Tent Distribution.

By: Upama Tamla (ECCA Volunteer)

POST EARTHQUAKE RECOVERY SUPPORT @ MIRGE, DOLAKHA

Kalidevi Secondary School damaged by earthquake

Kalidevi Secondary School damaged by earthquake

During the assessment and distribution of relief materials in Dolakha (in May 2015), the ECCA team found heavy damages to school buildings, WASH infrastructure and health threat among children and even among adult and elderly people. Most of school students’ education materials were buried under the debris, due to which they were anxious on how to restart their school life. Therefore, there was an urgent need of recovery and rehabilitation program for the school students.

At first, ECCA conducted a three days TOT training program for the youth volunteers on 17th-19th June 2015 at ECCA premises Kathmandu. The youths were trained on WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene), Life Skills along with psychological activities specially designed for the current situation so as to help the students recover from the traumatized situation and continue their studies at school.

Stationery materials distribution

Stationery materials distribution

Immediately after the training, 20 youth volunteers (divided into 4 groups) were mobilized at 4 project schools of Mirge, Dolakha (Majh Gaun Lower Secondary School, Mirge 1; Kali Dhunga Higher Secondary School, Mirge 7; Kali Devi Secondary School, Payele; and Lali Gurash Bright Future English School, Laligurash Danda). They stayed there for 5 days (22nd -26th June, 2015) and facilitated different fun, skillful, engaging and relieving activities for all the 664 students of the four schools to support them to get back to their normal school lives again. To conduct the WASH and Life Skill Camp in harmony and to gain the maximum benefit from the camp program, class wise division was done into 4 categories- Class 1-3, 4-5, 6-8 and 9-10.

Teaching proper hand washing technique

Teaching proper hand washing technique

Shyam Lama, member of ‘Majh Gaun Nature Club’ expressed “It was ECCA counselors who first taught us how to make chlorine solution (WATASOL). They provided us with all the required materials and gave us enough training. Now we can prepare WATASOL on our own and protect ourselves from water borne diseases.” Likewise, mother of Bilash Paudel of class 3 from Shree Kali Dhunga Higher Secondary School expressed that she was very happy to see positive impacts on her son. He shared his learning and taught the hand washing method to his family members.

As the devastating earthquake has destroyed the water sources, the chances of contracting water borne diseases have increased. To prevent an outbreak, the students were taught hand washing activity and the production and use of WATASOL for water purification.

“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. Again, I am very grateful to ECCA team and the volunteers for all the support and the help.”- Words shared by Puskar Dahal, Teacher of Kali Dhunga Higher Secondary School, Mirge 7.

Psychological activities were also included in the camp sessions to help the students recover from the trauma they were facing due to the earthquake. Many students were mentally disturbed and not in a state to attend schools continuously. So as to help the students, different activities like- Sharing experience, Dominant and non dominant hand exercise, yesterday today tomorrow, Anger Management, Draw your safe space, Balloon blast and coping skill via ball games were performed. These activities helped the students to minimize their distress.

Parents observing work of their children

Parents observing work of their children

ECCA supported a day meal in all the project schools for the students and the staff members during the training period. Due to shortage of food materials, students were not attending the schools earlier. Day meal helped the students to come to the school continuously.

Ramji Ghimire, Kali Devi Lower Secondary School shared “I express my gratitude to ECCA for supporting stationery materials (copy, dot pens, pencils, erasers and sharpeners) for all the students and game materials (carom board, chess board, ludo, skipping, football, volleyball and flying disk), first aid kit, jerry cans, white boards and markers for school. ECCA also supported the construction of water tank in the school as devastating earthquake of 12th May, 2015 severely damaged water tanks of our school.”

By: Shailena Sthapit (ECCA Staff)