Nature club organizes Interschool Wall Magazine Competition

Publishing wall magazines is one of the major activities of nature clubs. To make it more interesting, St. Paul Eco Club of Thecho, Lalitpur organized ‘On the spot Interschool Wall Magazine Competition with the support of ECCA on March 5, 2015. A number of schools from Lalitpur were invited to take part.

The competition bore the topic- “Role of Students in developing Safe Drinking Water Habit”. Students of 11 schools showcased their talent bringing out a tough competition. Zing Secondary School of Khokana was finally declared the winner of the competition with a distinct creativity and content deliverance.

“The whole thing was over-whelming!”, exclaimed one of the participants. “It had been a long time since I had participated in any competition and had this much thrill.”

The competition not only helped the students to explore their potentiality but also provided a platform to learn from eachother. Infact, ECCA will continue to support these kinds of programs in days to come.

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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)

Wall magazine training and material support for nature clubs in Dolakha

On early morning of November 4, we set out to Jhule, Dolakha for 3 days Wall Magazine Training for nature clubs. Our objective was to make them capable of raising issues of their community especially WASH(Water, sanitation and hygiene) through simple yet effective approach of Wall Magazine publication. But our journey did not turn out to be easy and after being stuck at Bojh (50 km away from Jhule) for 7 hours, we had feeble hope of getting the training under scheduled hours. When we finally reached Jhule the next morning, we had gathered our enthusiasm and started the training.

Over the next three days, we made 27 nature club members and 4 club teachers familiar with components of wall magazine. It included news writing, magazine layout, editorial writing as well as other indispensable contents. Use of cartoons and drawings to symbolize issues related to water, sanitation and hygiene especially handwashing, drinking water precautions were also emphasized. To engage the students more, we organized competitions on three sections: article writing, drawing and wall magazine on the final day. Individuals and groups from both primary and secondary schools who showed comparatively exceptional performance were awarded.

The training, in fact, brought out the creativity of students and prompted them to be involved in awareness raising activities. It also gave us a chance to interact with club members regarding their activities plan. Wall magazine boards and few stationary materials have been provided to all of the nature clubs. Club members have committed to regularly publish the wall magazine and agreed to making it an informational and creative platform for fellow students.

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  • Upama Tamla (Rai)

Nature Clubs collaborate for Door To Door WATASOL Programme in Nepal

How do you confirm that the water you are drinking is safe? What measures do you use to make it germ-free?

“We discovered that chlorinating water could be an easy and effective method to disinfect water. As responsible youths, we felt it was important to make people of our community aware about it”, shared Roshan Dhakal member of Tapeswor Nature Club of Shree Tapeswor Higher Secondary School. Ever since ECCA (Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness) provided training on WATASOL/chlorine solution and also provided WATA devices( with action medeor e.V.‘s support) for its production, the club has been trying to make efforts for creating awareness programmes like this.

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ECCA counselor Aruna Puri advises nature club members on how to approach members of community

Along with Tapeswor Nature Club, nature club of neighbouring school Shree Brahamayani Secondary School also had taken part in the training. Foreseeing a common objective both the nature clubs had therefore collaboratively conducted door to door program on January 25, 2016 where they shared the role of WATASOL in making drinking water safe.  There were 50 participants, 25 from each club in the programme.

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Nature clubs talk with an elderly man about WATASOL

“The earthquake had made the issue of drinking water even more vulnerable few months ago. We all need to be more conscious all the time about the quality of water that we drink. WATASOL being an effective and affordable water disinfectant technique can be used by everyone. Thank you ECCA for introducing it to us”, said Dhakal after the door to door programme. According to him, the people of community showed sheer interest in WATASOL and positively responded to their approach.

[ECCA thanks all donors/supporters for their help in ECCA’s mission of providing ‘Safe Water For Healthy Nepal’. Help ECCA’s initiation by contributing through our Global Giving website.]

-Upama Tamla Rai, ECCA

WASH and Life Skill Program in Schools

Students in a shed in front of a damaged classroom  in Dalchoki school

Students in a shed in front of a damaged classroom in Dalchoki school

Immediately after the earthquake, for a month, ECCA focused its resources in relief works. Thereafter, ECCA started focusing on recovery and rehabilitation works. As ECCA has been working through the school system in the past years, now also, ECCA is focusing its post-quake recovery and rehabilitation works through the school system and reaching the adjoining communities.

Students using ECCA distributed copies in Sankhu school

Students using ECCA distributed copies in Sankhu school

After the earthquake, as per the government of Nepal announcement, schools re-opened from 31st May. Since then, in the period of 3 weeks (till 20th June), ECCA conducted WASH and Life Skill Camps (3-days each) in 17 schools located in Lalitpur, South Lalitpur and Kavre. All of these camps targeted all the students (from class 1 to 10) in the schools, by dividing them into 4 groups (grade 1-3, 4-5, 6-8, 9-10). The ECCA team consisted of 4 to 6 trained counselors (depending upon the no. of school students).

Providing biscuits and juice in Sankhu school

Providing biscuits and juice in Sankhu school

Under WASH (Water Sanitation and Hygiene), students were briefed on the need to use safe drinking water and various water disinfection methods (with specific reference to use of chlorine solution) so as to prevent the occurrence of water borne diseases (Note: there is high risk of occurrence of such epidemics after natural disasters).
Under the Life skill, focus was on helping students overcome the earthquake trauma through different educational games and activities. It is essential to relieve children’s stress and motivate them to come to school (even if they need to study in make shift sheds / large tents / large tarpaulin). (Note: 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 are in a state of shock and are mentally disturbed.)

Students attending classes in a Temporary Learning Centre

Students attending classes in a Temporary Learning Centre

In addition to the camps, education materials (copy, pencil, erasure, dot pen) were distributed to all the students in those schools. Due to the destruction of their houses, students have lost their books, copies, stationeries (in their house debris), including other materials.
Sabita, student of grade 9 in Goth Bhanjyang Higher Secondary School Dalchoki, South Lalitpur says “The depression that I had due to the damage caused by the earthquake, and the fear that I had when coming to school (which is also partly damaged) is now reduced after attending the camp.” Students who were reluctant to work in group activities in the beginning participated actively in later sessions. The number of students attending the school also increased after the start of the camp.

Activity in Binayak Bal Secondary School

Activity in Binayak Bal Secondary School

Coordination was done with the school management, when selecting the schools for the camp. The school teachers were also very supportive and participated in the camp activities. The teachers observed that the students were more active and outgoing as the camp progressed. Due to lack of educational materials, the school conducts very limited extracurricular activities. Thus, the activities taught in the camp were very advantages to the students.

Students learn about cooperation and writing skills as they prepare wall magazine

Students learn about cooperation and writing skills as they prepare wall magazine

We would like to thank all our supporters and donors for helping us in our initiation of relief and recovery activities after earthquake. Without your help and support, we would not have been able to achieve success in helping the earthquake affected students.

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