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
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
‘Supporting Youth for Making Child and Environmentally Friendly Schools in Nepal’ is a student oriented co-project of ECCA (Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness) and Taksvärkki ry with an objective of establishing pleasant and efficient learning environment for students of rural Nepal. The project will be implemented in 15 government schools of three districts- Jhapa, Morang and Dhankuta along with youth exchange programme in 2 schools of Lalitpur.
During first week of February 2016, ECCA signed project agreements with district government officials with an aim to bring them together with other school stakeholders. Besides comprehensive discussions on work plan and agreement signing, ECCA visited School Management Committee, Parents Teacher Association and Nature Clubs of each project schools in all three districts for sharing of drafted school improvement plans prepared by school stakeholders themselves during training camp conducted in November.
“We aim to bring around maximum involvement of each school stakeholder for effective and sustainable outcome from this project”, said Rabindra Khatri, ECCA program officer during the agreement discussion. “From providing regular trainings for nature clubs to supporting schools for WASH infrastructures, we are ready to help in every possible way. But for that, we need co-operation and initiation from young students as well as school representatives”, he added.
“Most of the schools residing in extreme hilly and rural area like ours lie far from interest of people mainly because reaching here is a difficult job. It takes hours to reach schools and even if someone agrees to help, simply transporting materials for infrastructure development or manpower takes double or triple of time, effort and expenses”, shared headmaster of one of the schools in Letang, Morang. “We have been trying to make our schools better for education. Thank you for reaching out to help us. This brings a new beginning for everyone of us here.”
-Upama Tamla (Rai), Media Associate, ECCA
Chaughare is one of the coldest places of southern Lalitpur district in Nepal. With the arrival of winter season, the temperature goes down at ultimate level often creating serious problems for regular conduction of schools. This year the problem is even worse. The earthquake of April made many students homeless leaving them to struggle for fulfillment of the most basic requirements of life: food and clothes. Attending schools is an equal challenge. There is little solace for those who can afford some clothing(which is a rare case) but for the rest, the struggle is beyond imagination.
To solve this problem, ECCA (Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness) in co-ordination with District Education Office and with Global Giving‘s support organized ‘Winterization Support program‘ for the students of Shree Bagh Bhairab Secondary School of Lalitpur, Chaughare on January 13, 2016. Ms. Lorina Sthapit also contributed to the program. With Assistant District Education Officer of Lalitpur Mr. Khem Adhikari as the chief guest along with program officer and representative from ECCA Mr.Rabindra Khatri, all 214 students of the school were provided with woolen jackets and caps.
“After the earthquake, coming to school and staying in class during the shivering cold is hard. But… today is a different day. We hope every suffering child receives supports like we have. Thank you for caring”, said Pema Lama, vice president of school’s nature club with a smile. Along with him, all the students shared their happiness in similar way at the end of the day.
ECCA thanks all donor/supporters for providing help to support students in rural Nepal. With the support of Global Giving, ECCA has already distributed tracksuits, shoes and socks to more than 1000 students of Jyamdi and Gairibisauna of Kavre district. Do you want to be a part of the contributors too? If so, visit our Global Giving website.
-Upama Tamla (Rai), Media Associate, ECCA
The earthquake struck Nepal all unexpectedly. Milan Neupane, a grade 8 student of Shree Brahamayani Secondary School, Gairibisauna, Kavre went to school after it reopened a month later. What he saw next was no different than what had happened to rest of the village. He and his peers stood in shock before reminiscences of the destroyed buildings which used to be their classrooms. “Losing homes was one thing but losing school buildings destroyed our faith of offering a secured learning environment for our students”, said Satrudhan Prasad Shah, principal of the school.
Temporary Learning Centers built later proved to be a huge consolation for students but then incoming winter brought another series of nightmare. Most of the students having lost their uniforms in the earthquake suffered during the cold shivering weather making it difficult for them to attend school. The condition was similar in almost all the schools of Kavre district. So to help the students, ECCA(Environment Camps for Conservation Awareness) with the support of action medeor provided a set of tracksuit, socks and shoes to 1077 students of Gairbisauna VDC and Jyamdi VDC on December 28, 2015.
“I am very thankful for receiving this gift. But more than myself, I am thankful to you for providing these tracksuits, shoes and socks to our little brother and sisters who undoubtedly have to face more difficulty in this cold season”, said Milan after the distribution took place at his school.
Lastly we thank all our donors/supporters. Do you want to be a part of the contributors too? If so, visit our Global Giving website.
-Upama Tamla (Rai), Media Associate, ECCA
The earthquake left Nepalese people in innumerable losses. With an absolute threat to vulnerable psychological status, noone was as much traumatized as children were. They lost their houses and strived for the safest shelter that their parents could provide. With their books, bags and uniforms buried along with the houses, attending schools is still a huge challenge for children especially of rural areas where economy status of people is weak.
Thus with a motive of supporting and encouraging them to attend schools, ECCA has been providing educational materials to both students and schools with the support of various organizations and individuals. From construction of Temporary Learning Centers to WASH, Life Skills and Rehabilitation Camps sessions, efforts were made for immediate benefit of victimized students. Immediate needs of bags, copies, pencils and other educational materials such as whiteboards, markers have been fulfilled in various earthquake affected districts.
One of the latest educational support was made in December 15,2015 students of Shree Dhandada Primary School in Dhandada Besi, Pyutar-5 where students received bags, copies and pencils. All 25 students received a set of bag, 6 copies and 2 pencils. This will accelerate their mode of learning along with providing some ease to their difficulty in regular school attendance. This is one story but there is still need of attention in remote areas in terms of educational and infrastructural support, ECCA leaves no hesitation in providing needed help.
Do visit our Global Giving website if you want to be a part of the contributors to help us develop a better school environment for school children!
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.
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.
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.
Hari, 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.
Anyone 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.
-Upama Tamla (Rai), ECCA
[To support ECCA’s mission of providing ‘Safe Water For Healthy Nepal’, donate us through our Global Giving website.]
“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.
“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.
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