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)

Advertisements

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.

DSC_5371

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

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

“We feel safer now!”; Building safe classrooms for children in Dhading

Susma, aged 7, remembers studying in cold floors and dusty environment. For more than 1 year after the earthquake, she, with her friends, attended classes in poorly managed temporary classrooms made of CGI sheets. Every day at school was a battle against scorching heat of summer followed by harsh winter. Sometimes she didn’t feel like going to school at all.

While learning was getting difficult during such young age, construction of concrete classroom buildings has brought a different pace in Susma’s life. Along with introduction of Multi Grade/Multi Level methodology in her school, all students from Nursery to class 4 are now offered a better learning place.

“With open doors and noisy environment, we used to have great difficulty in conducting classes”, shares Susma’s teacher. “Uncarpeted classrooms with mud floors degraded the hygiene and health of students.”

Multi Grade/Multi Level teaching methodology and use of better facilitated buildings (since 1 month) both have brought effective learning among students, teachers report. Students now are slowly adopting creative learning techniques and are marching ahead of horrors of 2015 earthquake.

“It is safer now.” says Susma. “It is fun to come to school.”

Like Susma, over 300 students of Kundala Higher Secondary School, Bhogteni, Katunje – 15 share her story. The village is in one of the remote areas, lying 28km from Dhading besi (the nearest town) and students have to walk upto 1 hour daily to reach school. Construction of 2 blocks (having 2 classrooms each) by ECCA (Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness) with the financial support of German Nepalese Help Association has indeed brought encouragement among school students to attend school.

2“We feel everything is better now!”

IMG_6349.jpgStudents attending MGML class

IMG_6372.jpg

 

Building Ownership value through Painting!

One of the cold mornings of January when we would often be sleeping in our warm cozy bed, we packed our bags and headed to Jhule. The colder climate that was about to welcome us had us little anxious but then, we were more excited about the new work we were about to do.

After the devastating earthquake of 2015, four affected community schools of Jhule are being supported to rebuild school toilets (including girl friendly toilets) as well as drinking water and hand washing stations. With hastened and immediate use, these infrastructures could lack proper, safe and sustainable use.  To bring about conciousness and behaviourial attitude regarding sustainable use of supported WASH facilities, we volunteered to organize ‘WASH Corner and Toilet Painting’ program.

Our two teams of counselors scanned two separate schools and started off the painting. Soon, we were surrounded by school students.

“Would you help us?”, we first asked students hovering around us.  With gentle nods, interested kids lined up to receive brushes, paints and instructions. The idea was to guide and let them paint.

After allocating painting tasks, our work sped up. Gradually as the day went by, we painted meaningful messages that helped us deliver sustainable use practices along with a number of WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) related alerts. As much as we were excited to continue our painting even in the evening, the cold wind held a difficulty and we completed our paintings in our first school on the third day.

For rest of the three days, we collaborated our teams mobilized in remaining schools. In all the schools, students were excited and we offered them painting tasks and advices for sustainable use simultaneously.  The result was truly satisfying!

“We don’t think any student would want to make these walls dirty”, said a participating student with a laugh.

“Besides decoration, these paintings have given a value. Thank you so much”, teachers shared.

We are glad our hard work was able to influence schools for better use of constructed facilities.

  • Upama Tamla (Rai)

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.

img_1215

  • Upama Tamla (Rai)

Solar Water Pumping Program in Rupandehi and Kapilvastu

Impacts of climate change were once a subject of prediction, now its horrors are taking over ecosystems, communities and economics. Current rainfall pattern has in fact created problems for the huge population that depends on agriculture in Nepal. In some places, heavy erratic rainfall has brought natural catastrophes resulting in disastrous flooding of agricultural fields whereas some places in Terai like Kapilvastu and Rupendehi are witnessing almost shifting rainfall that dry rice fields and crops.

With intervention of alternative technology, ECCA has introduced Solar Water Pumping Program for Irrigation in the two VDCs each in Rupandehi and Kapilvastu. The total number of direct and indirect beneficiaries is expected to be around 1465 households.

“Farmers with low land are unable to use the diesel power pump because of high cost, which force them to leave their land barren”, revealed one of the key persons.

“They would do labour work rather than agriculture as they are unsure about the income from crop production basically because of drought adaptation and irrigation issues.”

This project will make use of ground water for irrigation. It will also value add for women groups to improve livelihood and living standard with regular income from cash crops and get access to better nutrition for family health.

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.”

blog3.jpg

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.

5.jpg

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.

IMG_0014.JPG

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!