4th National Child Club Conference | Future Now for Sustainable Education and Environment| ECCA blogs

Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness (ECCA Nepal) organized 4th National Child Club Conference with the theme ‘Future Now for Sustainable Education and Environment’ at Agricultural Development Bank, Training Center, Bode, Madhyapur Thimi, Bhaktapur from June 5 – 7, 2017. The conference, welcomed 103 child club representatives from 6 provinces of Nepal as well as teachers, government officials and observers from different NGO/INGOs.

Inauguration of the conference took place on the occasion of World Environment Day. The conference was inaugurated by chief guest Dr. Prabhu Budhathoki, member of National Planning Commission along with Prachet Kumar Shrestha, Chairman of ECCA. The opening was also attended by guests Mr. Hari Lamsal, joint secretary of Ministry of Education, Ukesh Raj Bhuju, honorary member of ECCA and Anil Chitrakar, founder member of ECCA.

The 3 days event included different activities such as thematic sessions on Climate Change and GLOBE Program, Child Friendly Local Governance, School Environment Improvement through the active participation of school stakeholders, Child Rights and Life Skills.

Conference activities also included documentary shows, cultural program, environmental games, yoga, meditation etc. Last day of conference had prize distribution program for winners of the three competitions as well as KMP. All the competition were organized on the theme of World EnviRonment Day 2017 ‘Connecting with nature’. Roshna Nepal, Subash Shrestha, Ashish Giri, Prajwal Pandey, Pushpa Khadka and Pratiskshya Wagle won the speech competition. Suman Nagarkoti, Alisha Sonaha and Alson Shrestha were the best 3 in poster competition. Wall magazine had 3 groups out of 7 as winner groups.

A participant illustrates his vision of 'Connecting with nature' during poster competition

A participant illustrates his vision of ‘Connecting with nature’ during poster competition

“The way thematic sessions sensitized our roles, rights as well as relevant environmental issues, we feel more capable.. and empowered.” – Sonia, participant

The conference put positive hopes in children as well as teachers.

“It was an opportunity to learn, to realize the potential of our children and motivate them to perform better.”- Rudra Sangroula, teacher

Students from Jhapa present 'Sakela' dance during closing ceremony

Students from Jhapa present ‘Sakela’ dance during closing ceremony

Likewise, 7 child clubs with best proposals were awarded Rs. 25,000 in Knowledge Market Place. Nepal Rastryia Basic School and Bhagwati Basic School from Jajarkot, Kitini Secondary School from Lalitpur, Shree Bidhyadiswori Secondary School from Southern Lalitpur, Shree Dhulabari Secondary School from Jhapa, Amar Higher Secondary School, Dolakha and Laxmi Secondary School, Kanchanpur were awarded the prize.

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Knowledge Market Place Evaluation

With ECCA were other sponsors action medeor, Wilkins Memorial Trust, Taksvarkki ry, WWF Nepal, Antenna Technologies, and Sharada Library and Merina Ranjit, ECCA’s executive member who supported the award for deserving child clubs.

Group photo after closing ceremony

Shaping budding hopes of the future: ECCA Camp in Rupandehi and Kapilvastu

Every positive change starts from meaningful approaches to people with capacity to create the change.

Relating to Solar Powered Irrigation Program, ECCA camp was held each in Lumbini, Rupandehi and Patariya, Kapilvastu from November 22 to December 1, 2016.  From climate change issues to WASH (Water, sanitation and hygiene), the camp was conducted with a motive of empowering students in knowledge related to environment, health and school club management.

Altogether 41 students from 5 community schools participated in 10 days long camps.  Almost all the participants agreed how people involved in agriculture have been using irrigation technologies based on non-renewable energy sources such as petrol or diesel. “Through this program I have now learnt how beneficial renewable technology such as solar is economically as well as health wise. We are now ready to bring about a change (starting from our own home and community) that will also bear a positive impact on environment ”, responded Riyaj, one of the participants and school club member studying in grade 10.

“Being involved in school club myself, I found sessions on nature club management very fruitful”, said another participant. In fact, the camp helped all participants realize their role in developing their community through agents primarily school clubs. ECCA expects to make the program sustainable and impactful.

-Upama Tamla (Rai)

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

 

 

Uplifting Nature Clubs through Management Trainings

Southern Lalitpur is one of the core regions where ECCA Nepal has been working for past 2 decades to enhance quality education and school environment. The program comprises of involving students that make them participate and motivate into activities where the students can learn as well as contribute towards improvement of school. Various software program, nature club establishments and trainings, and other support are the activities of ECCA to promote students in quality education and behavioral change.

As such of a regular program, a two days training program was organized for nature club members from Feb 1- Feb 13, 2016. The program, which was supported by Wilkins Memorial Trust, welcomed 25 participants from each nature clubs of 9 different schools. The prime objective of this program was to develop different life skills and responsibility handling skills  among nature club members for conducting effective and sustainable programs. Participants were from:

  1. Shree Bag Bhairab Higher Secondary School -Kaleshwor
  2. Shree Magar Gaun Higher Secondary School -Sankhu
  3. Shree Goth Bhanjyang H.S.S-Dalchoki
  4. Shree Bag Bhairab Secondary School-Chaughare
  5. Shree Gyanodaya L.S.S-Chaughare
  6. Shree Kalidevi H.S.S-Malta
  7. Shree Bhidyadeshori H.S.S-Asrang
  8. Shree Janajagriti H.S.S- Ikudol
  9. Shree Mahakalidevi H.S.S-Bhattedanda
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ECCA counselor Ms. Malati Khatri during Life Skill session

To conduct the two days training camp in each school, the group was divided into two teams who mobilized around the targeted schools. The training camp content comprised of strengthening of nature club, promotion of nature club activities, importance of greenery management and herbal garden, life skill activities, WASH session and activities, GLOBE activities (atmosphere observation and data collection) and alternative energy usage sessions like IAS (Improved Animal Shed), ICS (Improved Cooking Stove).

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ECCA counselor Mr. Shambhu Maharjan(with glasses) conducts ‘Trust Fall’; a life skill activity

“The training helped to erase our confusions regarding club management and organizing effective and needed programs. I am now more capable of handling my responsibility as the secretary of my club”, said one of the participants.

 

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Nature Club members prepare their annual plan during the training

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Students proceed to cloud reading after the orientation, Shree Goth Bhanjyang H.S.S. , Dalchoki

During the training, students were able to make their annual plan for nature club and also get ideas for selecting types of programs. This will now help them to enhance their club activities and promote their role in well managed and sustainable school improvement. Students were especially interested in knowing more activities involving GLOBE protocol

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ECCA counselors with the trainees, Shree Bag Bhairav Secondary School, Chaughare 

ECCA can conduct further more programs with specialization on hygiene and green environment, as there are still not enough sanitary facilities and green environment on school.

-Malati Khatri, ECCA Counselor

We need to be closer to nature; Youths speak during Climate Learning venture

Humans have an inseparable tie with nature- and science of course. And while the world is facing all sorts of environmental challenges, there are no restrictive lines that provide ‘making-a-difference’ licenses only to those studying environment related subjects. Especially in today’s generation where each conscious person is getting inclined towards environment protection activities, learning opportunities should and are being offered for all.

“I have come here today so that I can learn new things”, said Palistha  Sikhakar, a 20 year old college student while participating in Training For Youths on GLOBE Climate Learning conducted by ECCA (Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness) on January 25, 2016. The training, which was based on GLOBE protocol and was previously initiated by GLOBE international, held a prime objective of enabling young participants to estimate various physical, biological and chemical parameters of a locality as a result to upgrade their interest in #scienceasculture.

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Facilitator Dipesh Gurung elaborates on measurement of maximum/minimum temperature

 

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Practical on hydrology (turbidity viewing)

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Hydrology practical takes place on the banks of Bagmati river

While facilitator Mr. Dipesh Gurung made the sessions livelier by each second, the participants got more familiar with aspects related to water, atmosphere and biodiversity. Theoretical and practical activities on PH, transparency, electrical conductivity and temperature measurement of water was carried out on the banks of Bagmati river. Another phase included cloud cover readings and atmospheric temperature measurement (maximum and minimum) with the help of maxima minima thermometer and cloud charts. Along with this, participants got a chance to practically know about landcover investigation and tree canopy including DBH(Diameter at Breast Height).

The participants at the end of the day were enthusiastic to learn even more. “I found this training highly useful even for my academics”, said Aruna Puri, an undergraduate student of Environmental Science.

“This kind of program along with amplifying one’s knowledge in scientific aspects also helps to get an idea of his/her surrounding locality and the kind of impacts made by various agents.”

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Trainees mark area for landcover investigation

ECCA Nepal prioritizes youth involvement while making efforts in any developmental activity of community such as this. The trainees will pass on their learning to young students of different schools in eastern Nepal as a part of school improvement program of ECCA which is supported by  partner organization Taksvärkki ry.

-Upama Tamla (Rai), Media Associate, ECCA

 

From a Mother’s Eyes

A fine December afternoon in Durbar Square and I was barely thinking of anything except enjoying the sun. Out of nowhere, a child dressed in traditional nepali attire gunyo-cholo appeared. Her young age and physical features were a deception otherwise the way she presented herself would make anyone think of her as a much matured woman. I was flabbergasted by her flawless act which started gathering attention of people around. I followed her and a bunch of similarly costumed children appeared on the platform.They all talked about issues related to water and health. Some were laden by water-borne diseases, some trying to seek out the solutions. As the act got exciting by each minute, something stroke my mind. I m.jpgbegan thinking of simple issues that I gave myself no time to think before. Questions
brainstormed- “The glass of water I drank at the canteen hurriedly this morning, was it safe enough to drink?”  “Have I been providing my children with pure and germfree water?” “Am I good parent?” “What are the safety determining factors of drinking water?”

I saw the drama team struggle with water-related problems and I realized I knew a solution or two! The children explored a safer world offered by hygienic behaviours and clean water and I realized that safe drinking water being a global issue cannot be veiled by ignorance anymore. Day to day caution is a must to build up progressive health behaviours in oneself. I learnt that simple actions like regular use of WATASOL could contribute to a healthier living.


I snapped out of my thoughts as I heard the crowd clapping. The drama had end. I felt what just happened in front of me was more than just a drama by a bunch of children. It was an act of reminder by conscious members of society trying to guide people like me to a healthier world. Finally I returned home that night with a handful of WATASOLs. I planned on having a talk with my children about drinking water precautions tonight and I knew it would be interesting to introduce them to this disinfectant technique of chlorination/WATASOL!

-Upama Tamla(Rai), ECCA

[With reference to a safe drinking water themed drama performed by Bal Binod Nature Club of Na:tole, Lalitpur in MangalBazaar, Patan, Nepal on December 9, 2015. To support ECCA’s mission of providing ‘Safe Water For Healthy Nepal’ donate us through our Global Giving website.]

 

 

 

Education And Attitude

Following is a review of a school drama performed by Shree Bag Bharaib Nature Club, Chaughare on November 25, 2015 during school visit by ECCA director Angel Chitrakar along with the treasurer from WMT  Mr. David.

IMG_5158Hari, who lives in Jeri Gaun gets ill out of a sudden. He is not rushed to a hospital but offered the aid of a Jhakri. All the mantras that the Jhakri chants and animal sacrifices he makes to shoo away the evil goes in vain. It is only that his health improves when he gets treated by a medical doctor.  The reason for his sickness doesn’t turn out to be evil souls but unhygienic behaviours chiefly open defecation.

The drama which showcased sensitive issues of community such as hygiene and sanitation was commendable. From health issues to existing beliefs in superstitions, the characters successfully portrayed ignorant personalities of the society and those who try to make a change. By creating a contrast between two villages, essence of subjects such as plantation was also revealed to the public and the conclusion was an inspiring one- to spread awareness and bring actual change in attitude.

IMG_5170.jpgAnyone in the audience would undoubtedly get a feeling that it is important that more of the youths come forward to be the Change makers. If everyone would go hand in hand for making such positive changes in the society, life will get better and development won’t be far.

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-Upama Tamla (Rai), ECCA
[To support ECCA’s mission of providing ‘Safe Water For Healthy Nepal’, donate us through our Global Giving website.]

Child Club into Beneficial Cardamom Farming

I think what we have been doing here is unique. To initiate anything is a hard job, but it isn’t impossible either.”- Prem Tamang, student

From women to children, ECCA has always been supporting each person as well as each school and community within its reach to utilize available local resources for common benefit. Instead of letting a fertile land inside the school arena go to waste, the child club of Shree Bag Bhairav Higher Secondary School of Chaughare-8, Lalitpur, Nepal decided to start Cardamom farming 3 years ago with the support of ECCA.

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Cardamom Farming Area of Shree Bagbhairav Child Club, Chaughare-8, Nepal

“I saw my senior brothers and sisters initiate Cardamom with ECCA farming three years ago. I was motivated. Now that I am a club member myself, I feel very proud and responsible as well towards encouraging younger fellows to work for meaningful ideas”, shared Bijay Tamang, a class nine student.

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Cultivated Cardamom plants

The saplings that the club planted have now grown to be mature healthy plants. The club informed that the cardamom seeds are now almost ready to be extracted from raw plants. Cheers to all the hard work!

  • Upama Tamla (Rai), ECCA

Improving lives in Dhime; story of Mr.Gorakh B. Bista

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Mr. Gorakh Bahadur Bista, Dhime-1, Jajarkot

Mr. Gorakh Bahadur Bista, a 38 years old resident of Dhime-1, Damala, Jajarkot remembers how winter drought used to cause irrigation water scarcity in his village a year ago. There used to be declining food productivity rate for months. Food import was possible but lack of transportation facilities and road in the district and resulting skyrocketing prices affected people to a huge extent. Mr. Bista, who regards agriculture to be the main occupation of majority of people in Jajarkot, says that it wasn’t strange for men to leave for India or gulf countries in search of manual works as the crops lasting period was only 6 months in a year.

He along with his villagers has now found a way to extend agricultural productivity period. With the construction of plastic ponds during CAV (Climate Adaptation Village) programme implemented by ECCA  with the support of LI-BIRD last year. The programme which consists of training on home gardening as well as seed support is focused mainly to help low income people.  Mr. Bista is now successfully cultivating varieties of vegetables, fruits and other crops even in the time of drought.

“With seven family members to look after, it was always a struggle to fulfill even the basic need such as food. Adopting this method of water collection has been a huge support for my family. We collect water in the plastic pond then use it for irrigation later through pipes”, said Mr. Bista with a smile.

It is not only Mr. Bista who single-handedly benefits from this method of water preservation. One of these plastic ponds helps over 23 households at a time and one household consists of at least 3 to 12 members. There are few ponds for now in the village but it is only a matter of time that each household in Jajarkot gets advantaged through this simple yet beneficial way of prolonging agricultural productivity.

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Mr. Bista (left) looks on while irrigating his field with water collected in the plastic pond

-Upama Tamla (Rai), ECCA

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