Health Issue; How water filters given by ECCA are finally making an impact

 

Ten earthquake affected schools in remote villages of Southern Lalitpur district in Nepal were provided with more than 200 stainless steel water filters as post earthquake support back in November.  Continue reading

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

Door-to-Door Programs

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Nature Club members attending a short orientation on Door-to-Door Programs

 

Despite having to report early on a Saturday morning, all the members of the Nature Club are always eager to start their door-to-door program. After brief introductions and an orientation, the members of the Nature Club are split into groups. Each group is provided with a flip chart filled with various facts about WATASOL and water borne diseases, WATASOL bottles, two unused coliform vials, flyers and posters. The teams are also given two samples of coliform test results – one showing contaminated water and another showing uncontaminated water. The locals become more willing to listen to the children when they find out that most of the water from sources around their community turned into a black liquid after the test, indicating a high level of contamination.

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Students of Mahendra Vidya Ashram explaining the use of WATASOL to a local

 

The teams go around the locality in their designated areas and stop by shops, restaurants and households along the way. The children are able to elaborate easily with the flipchart, as it has pictorial representations of the facts. The teams also sell 60ml WATASOL bottles to the locals. The locals buy them more readily when they are informed that they can go to the school for a cheap refill and half the proceeds would go to the nature club itself.

“We were able to understand that team work and coordination among the members is essential to run the activities”, Smriti stated.

“We were very glad that we were able to make people understand the importance of safe drinking water,” said Ajay.

“I learned how to deal with rejection. At first, I was dejected when the locals didn’t want to buy WATASOL but then I learned how to cope with it and carried on. Interaction and presentation with people also help students like us to increase confidence”, Sonu Thapa stated as she recalled her experience.

In the last few weeks, 5 schools have conducted Door-to-Door program.

  • Lalit Kalyan School, Lalitpur – Nov 28
  • Mahendra Vidya Ashram, Bhaktapur – Dec 5
  • St. Paul School, Thecho, Lalitpur – Dec 5
  • Kanchan English Secondary School, Chapagaun – Dec 5
  • Tika Bhairab School, Lele – Dec 11

The door-to-door program has proved to be an effective community awareness program. Along with raising awareness, it also develops interaction skills of the students. By the end of the two-hour long program, almost all the children are able to communicate with new people readily.  The children also develop a sense of responsibility as they are able to collect fund for their club activities.

The experience of a Nature Club President

The earthquake in April left a deep rooted terror in the Nepalese minds. In the days that followed the earthquake, the fear was palpable. But amidst the fear and destruction, Ashok Maharjan, a student from Zing Secondary School, Khokana, Lalitpur rose to take action. Witnessing his community crumbling down and having to live out in the open with no shelter was a stark contrast to his normal life. For a Grade 10 student, the reality of being helpless weighed down his mind more than the terror.

The earthquake stripped the community of its basic essentials like water and electricity. At that time, people had no choice but to drink water directly from the source. This posed a serious health risk and increased the chances of an epidemic.

Keeping the threat of an epidemic in mind, Ashok bravely decided to use the skills he learned in his school’s Nature Club and produced Chlorine Solution, WATASOL, despite the ceaseless aftershocks and his family’s worry. As the Nature Club’s President, he called his friends Dipesh Dongol and Sajjan Maharjan and together with the WATA device, set out to find a place with electricity. The locals donated the salt needed for production of WATASOL.  After half an hour of wandering, he reached Bhaisepati, the neighboring town where there was electricity and started producing WATASOL.

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Ashok Maharjan from Zing Secondary School, Khokana, Lalitpur

“Electricity and transportation was the biggest hurdle”, Ashok states. “The people were very supportive and were ready to help us. As part of our Nature Club activities, we had begun to produce WATASOL and distribute it in our community even before the earthquake. As a result, the locals were familiar with WATASOL and accepted it without complains or suspicion.”

He continues to guide and advise other students in his school as well as those who live in the vicinity.

Ashok Maharjan is a prime example of a motivated youth who leads his peers. ECCA is proud to be able to support Ashok in his efforts and hopes to empower and motivate others youths as well.

ECCA conducts a Documentary Show For Pupils

How do you learn?
For children, fun and knowledge should blend together.  For them, the best ways are through games, stories, art or songs that portray an access to an unlimited series of entertainment and learning.

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Learning for life!

On 4th December, 2015 over 170 students of Binayak Bal Lower Secondary School of  Badal Gaun, Kavre rejoiced learning through watching documentaries.

The documentary show which depicted adoptive measures for probable disaster risks in the simplest manner was advantageous for students. Along with this, students enjoyed documentaries along with animations involving basic health related issues such as safe drinking water and hygiene facts.

“It had been long since we had this much fun in school. Thank you ECCA for today”, said Sushil, one of the participants at the end of the day.

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Program Administrator Mr.Aashish Karn(center) along with the students

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.]

Filter For Schools

On November 27, 2015 ECCA handed over 138 sets of filter to representatives of five schools of Southern Lalitpur where immediate attention for safe drinking water was required. In accordance with the need and number of students Shree Gothbhangyang Higher Secondary School of Dalchoki, Shree  Jana Jagriti H.S.S. of Ikudol, Kali Devi H.S.S of Malta, Shree MahaKali Devi H.S.S. of Bhatttedada and Shree MagarGaun H.S.S. of Sankhu received 28 sets, 31 sets, 29 sets, 32 sets and 18 sets of filters respectively.

The filters will be used for safe drinking water purpose in all classrooms. This will help in promotion of better health of students and teachers residing in the rural area. ECCA plans to provide filters sets to other needy schools in Southern Lalitpur as well.

To support our initiative, help us by donating through our Global Giving website!

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.

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)

Safe Water Program in Sindhupalchowk

Collected water samples

Collected water samples

Result of water testing: Black color shows presence of Coliform

Result of water testing: Black color shows presence of Coliform

Sindhupalchowk district has reported the highest number of deaths in earthquake of 25thApril, 2015. Ward No. 7 of Barabise VDC, which lies in the edge of Sindhupalchowk, has about 150 households who directly depend on 5 spring sources for drinking purposes. On examining the quality of water, 4 of the spring sources were found positive with coliform contamination.

ECCA, in partnership with German Nepalese Help Association, conducted a day Training (6th June, 2015) on the use of Chlorinator at Barabise-7, Sindhupalchowk with the aim of promoting safe water and prevent the occurrence of water borne diseases in the community.

Orientation to the locals

Orientation to the locals

Around 77 villagers participated in the program, which included local women group members, staffs of ‘Bishnu Adhyatmik Sanskrit Bal Vidhyalaya’ School, forest user groups and youths. The participants were much anticipated to know about WATA device and how it produces WATASOL (brand name of Chlorine solution). During the session, information was provided on the possible ways of water contamination and the methods of water purification.  In that community, only few people were found to use water purification method “boiling”, use of chlorine solution was not known to them. Most of the people preferred to use water direct from the source. The reasons being change in the taste of water and time consuming, according to Ms. Dilikumari Neupane (Women group member).

During the practical session, the ECCA trainers (Ms. Merina Shrestha and Ms. Shailena Sthapit) explained the procedure of making chlorine solution by using Standard WATA device. The participants also took part actively and got chance to learn by themselves.

Distributing WATASOL bottles

Distributing WATASOL bottles

At the end of the training, the standard WATA device was handed over to the Principal of ‘Bishnu Aadhyatmik Sanskrit Bal vidhyalaya’ School. The filled WATASOL 60ml bottles (300 pcs) were handed over to the women group for distribution to the families. These bottles will be re-used and refilled once the chlorine solution production starts at the local level.

Mr. Baikuntha Nath Dahal, Principal of ‘Bishnu Adhyatmik Sanskrit Bal Vidhyalaya’ School expressed “We are delighted to have the standard WATA Device in this devastating situation to prevent the community from water borne diseases.”

-Shailena Sthapit, ECCA Staff