A Change is born!

image001Anita, a seventh grader at Ganesh Basic School, Bhirkot Dolakha, is thirteen and her menstrual cycle began when she was twelve years old. She recalls, “I was very afraid on the day when I got my first period. I got confused on what to do and whom to tell.  I had very limited knowledge of menstruation as I was shy of discussing the issues with anyone”.

“But the situation is different now”, says she, with a sparkling smile on her face. As ECCA  provided the training of Menstrual Hygiene Management with support of action medeor e.V. from November 28 – 29, 2017 at schools of Bhirkot including hers, she knows well what menstruation is, how it occurs, and why it occurs.

 “I can manage my menstruation hygienically to maintain my health, which includes making, washing, drying and disposing of re-usable sanitary pads safely”.

She says, “It is especially important for preparing younger pre-adolescent girls for understanding menstruation by educating the women and menstruating girls with information on good menstrual hygiene practices”.

She also confirms that her school should address the barriers related with water and sanitation for the hygienic management of menstruation with privacy and dignity. “After this training, we are now motivated and excited to contribute in menstrual hygiene management at school and community by challenging negative attitudes and perceptions” adds the motivated soul.

– Ashmita Rai, ECCA Counselor (during her journey of facilitating MHM Training at Ganesh School)

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Learning Opportunity | Peer Exchange Visit

Global Giving UK and Big Lottery Fund in co-ordination with ECCA organized Peer Exchange Visit with other partner organizations of Nepal. The program was hosted by ECCA on 27th April, 2017, Thursday at organization premises. Altogether 11 participants from organizations including ECCA participated in the program.

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Regarding the program, Tara Prasad Adhikari, Program Director of Volunteers Community Nepal said, “This peer learning exchange visit has played an effective role in supporting, developing and empowering each other organization to do the programs in a new way.”

In addition, participants also visited Pushpanjali Secondary School, one of ECCA’s project schools of Lalitpur.

“I am very impressed to see the students of Pushpanjali Secondary School working together in nature club and organizing different activities. They are also involved in safe water programs and community involvement programs which have helped to see the impact”, shared Dil Maya Lama, Project Implementation Manager of Global Action Nepal

“This has helped moreover in future improvement and implementation of programs in our organization”, said Keshav Raj Paudyal, Community Frontline Associate of Accountability Lab.

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The program was indeed an opportunity for all organizations to share experiences, common challenges and learn from each other.

– Shailena Sthapit
Program Officer, ECCA

 

Counselors in action; Raising safe drinking water issues in Kathmandu valley

As the valley faces rising cases of cholera, ECCA has been organizing more community awareness programs related to safe drinking water within the valley. Since past few weeks, ECCA counselors are actively engaged in conducting safe drinking water programs at vulnerable parts of the city to bring up issues of preventive actions.  The programs not only make communities aware about safe drinking water, but it also intensifies youth involvement in raising community issues.

Pratik , our new ECCA intern shares his experience of organizing WATA stall with senior counselors at Mangalbazzar, Lalitpur:

“Waking up early in the morning with zeal to aware people about water treatment to avoid ongoing water borne diseases of the city was certainly refreshing. As visitors approached us from busy market of Mangalbazzar with curiosity, we explained them about the recent outgrowth of waterborne diseases. As one of the solutions to making water safe, we presented WATASOL, a chlorine containing liquid that disinfects unsafe water.”

About 100 people visited the stall over one day. Shrestha further expressed about their response:

“I was surprised to see how cooperative people were. In my view people were pleased to find a solution that could help them protect their family from being sick.”

blog.jpgSujan, one of our active ECCA counselors who organized another WATA stall at Manamaiju however shares a different side of the story.  “Since WATASOL was new to them they were not sure about its using it at the beginning. As we explained about its increasing pollution of water and water testing techniques, they were shocked to hear that their daily consuming water is so polluted. Some of them agreed to use Watasol and some of them wanted to confirm the water polluted fact and took coli form vial for testing purpose”, he says.

“Overall they seemed cleared about our motive and we were happy about it. And we hope our action will bring positive change and awareness in people and thus promote healthy life.”

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WATA stall at Manamaiju

Here are few glimpses of a street drama conducted by ECCA in collaboration with Amarapur CLC at Bungamati where counselors performed to address drinking water issues and also rising cholera cases. WATA stall was placed by nature club members of Tri-Ratna Co-operative Secondary School.

 

“Drinking water sources are often polluted, the rainy season adds up to the problem of unsafe drinking water”, shares Yaji, one of the performing counselors.

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Street drama at Bungamati conducted in collaboration with Annapurna CLC

As we attempt to make communities aware about safe drinking water issues, we expect positive outcomes and behavioral change among people.

Women lead Safe Drinking Water practice in Chyasal

Nepal is regarded as one of the richest countries in water resources but people have problem of water scarcity. Department of Water Supply and Sewerage  estimates 80% of the total population to have access to drinking water, however it’s safety cannot be guaranteed. People of larger cities like Kathmandu valley are even more devoid of access to adequate and safe drinking water due to its growing population. Especially women, who are mostly assigned to look after household chores, struggle to collect and manage water storage for their families.

To minimize the hardship, Hamro Sankalpa Mahila Samuha, a women group of Chyasal, Lalitpur came forward last year. They installed water tank  and adopted water purification technique in their community with ECCA’s support. Ms. Kanchi, one of the members of the group took the initiation and started to distribute WATASOL (chlorine solution used for water disinfection) treated water in her community soon after the earthquake.

“Everyone dreaded the outbreak of water borne diseases. We feel that we have taken action to prevent it”, says Byanjankar.  Currently the supply is enough for around 90 households in the locality.

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image011This initiation has not only helped to provide adequate and safe drinking water to the community but also in women empowerment and entrepreneurship by bringing them together to solve a common problem.

-Shailena Sthapit, Upama Tamla (Rai)

Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness (ECCA) has been working in the field of safe drinking water in various regions of Nepal since the year 2000. Support ECCA’ in its mission to provide safe drinking water directly or through our GlobalGiving website!

Solar Aid for Chepang community

 

If you ask about Chepangs in Chitwan, people will probably tell you to go far behind the mountains. These areas lie far from development and people are compelled to lead hard lives.  Lothar VDC is one of those remote areas which acts as a home to over 5027 Nepalese people of whom 4000 are highly marginalized Chepang  people (Census 2011). The struggle  has the civilization pushed back under margin of underdevelopment.

Lack of electricity is one of the major concerns in Lothar. It has affected series of socio-economic factors including education. To enhance child education by introducing Lothar community to efficient solar technology, ECCA provided Solar Tuki sets, mass charging as well as maintenance training to 4 villages of Lothar namely Lo-ling, Gundi, Cheuding and Kalitar. Students, teachers and parents of 4 schools gathered together on June 6, 2016. Each household received 2 tukis benefitting 292 households in total where as mass charging stations are kept at school as an motivating agenda for school attendance.

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Students and their parents both were invited to receive Solar Tukis

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ECCA representative provides basic handling techniques of Solar Tuki

ECCA also provided 3 days long Solar tuki repair and maintenance training to 8 participants; 2 from each village. This will help them repair tukis themselves without having to travel far for its maintenance. As for the community, an innovative concept of micro-credit was brought to life. Local youths helped in making people understand the advantages of micro-credit finance which was also expected to provide some income to trained solar repairing technicians of the village.

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Solar Tuki expert from ECCA provides training to participants in Kalitar

ECCA camps held at each of the four schools simultaneously brought students a step closer to efficient use of solar tukis for improving their education and enhanced their knowledge on alternative energies.

“Although people enroll their children at schools, only an average of 50% attends school regularly. Drop out rate is high and we believe that solar tuki can be a milestone to change this.”

(ECCA thanks Unica Foundation and Shanti Griha for the support.)

ECCA Grooms Parents, Teachers and Students in Dolakha

Apparently, students are not the only ones in need of improvement.

On 19th April 2016, four schools of Jhule VDC, Dolakha participated in ECCA’s initiative programme meant for all school stakeholders and students. Parents and teachers from all four schools (Amar Higher Secondary School, Jana Prabhat Secondary School, Janta Lower Secondary School, NayaJyoti Primary School) plus a social mobilizer and a VDC representative took part in 3 days long School Environment Planning and Visioning Training where as students separately participated in ECCA Camp conducted at each school that continued for 4 days. Continue reading

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