Initiating – KEDRIN

The Terrible Earthquake on the 25th April and the aftershocks that followed claimed over 8,000 souls and devastated the lives of many others in Nepal. Khokana, the town situated at six kilometers South of Kathmandu, turned into rubble and claimed 9 souls and its rich heritage: 812 houses have been completely destroyed and 355 houses are damaged rendering them unfit for human habitation. It was fortunate indeed many people were on their farms when the earthquake hit, resulting in lower fatalities than might have otherwise been expected.

An old women in her destructed house.

An old women in her destructed house.

People have been moved into temporary shelters, living behind their ruined and unsafe houses which are being used to store food and animals. The onset of the monsoon had made living and storing resources even more difficult. The “dunes” of collapse houses have also blocked thoroughfares, making the movement of people through the town and to other villages extremely hazardous and have forced people to live in and around dangerous areas at high risk to their health and lives.

Inspecting the damage of house.

Inspecting the damage of house.

Hence, with an objective to demolish buildings damaged by the earthquake and remove associated rubble and debris to allow regeneration of the community to begin, this project KEDRIN – Khokana Earthquake Debris Removal Initiative has been initiated. This will address the immediate need to demolish unsafe buildings and manage the debris generated in a proper manner. The majority of the damaged houses belong to members of the subsistence farming community who do not have the money to tackle the problem on an individual basis, however, if approached collectively, there would be economies of scale and it would be possible to clear the buildings and debris with fewer resources.

Managing temporary shelter.

Managing temporary shelter.

New plans for rebuilding and community regeneration will only be possible when collapsed structures and debris have been cleared and ample open space has been created. Once this has been achieved, the town can be redesigned and rebuilt, its community heritage and values reestablished, and the community’s way of life restored.

In order to receive financial support (donations) towards the implementation of this project, a donation page is also created in the platform of Global Giving which could be accessed through the links of Global Giving US, and Global Giving UK.

Updates related with the ongoing activities through social media could be received in our Facebook Link dedicated to this project, where as we will also be constantly updating our supporters and donors through our Blog Posts.

A short presentation regarding the project initiation is presented through a short video through this link in our Youtube Channel.

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)

WASH and Life Skill Camp @ Dalchoki, Southern Lalitpur

With the Children of Dalchoki –  Palistha Shrestha (ECCA Counsellor)

[WASH and Life Skill Camp was held at Shree Gothbhanjyang Higher Secondary School, Dalchoki, Lalitpur from June 7 to 9, 2015. The experiences of a camp staff …… ]

Dalchoki Team : (From the left) Sujan Prajapati, Yangji Sherpa, Palistha Shrestha, Samata Rajkarnikar, Merina RanaMagar, Nirajan Shrestha

Dalchoki Team : (From the left) Sujan Prajapati, Yangji Sherpa, Palistha Shrestha, Samata Rajkarnikar, Merina RanaMagar, Nirajan Shrestha

5 teams began their journey to the rural areas of Lalitpur on June 6, 2015. The teams had prepared their session plans and the required materials as per the trainings they had received few days ago.

As we made our way towards the rural area, we were reminded of the devastation caused by the earthquake of April 25, 2015. The road was covered with dust from the debris of the collapsed houses. Some houses were being demolished at several places while many had temporary supports to prevent them from collapsing.

My team was assigned to Dalchoki, Lalitpur. The massive contrast of the standard of living between the city and the villages of the same district was unexpected. In just an hour ride, we reached a village so rural and under developed, it was hardly believable that it was only about 30 km away from the capital.

We unloaded all our supplies on the top of the hill and began our descend to the school located below. The steep slope of the road made it increasingly difficult (and tiring) to make several trips. With the help from the villagers, we were able to take all our supplies to the school in two trips.

We began exploring the school premises for a place to pitch our tent and to assemble our supplies. The school had generously arranged utensils and a gas stove for our use. We decided to pitch our tents inside the Temporary Learning Centers as there were no other open spaces and fierce winds usually dominated the night air. We decided a session plan, divided our responsibilities before dinner and called it a day.

Early the next day, we disassembled our tents and began preparing the materials needed for the sessions. After a quick breakfast, we headed for a short meeting with the teachers and staffs of the school to introduce ourselves as well as discuss about our session plans.

Students along with the teachers enjoying 'Balloon Blast'

Students along with the teachers enjoying ‘Balloon Blast’

Together with Yangji Sherpa, my first session started off at 11am with the students from Grade 1-3. With their classrooms destroyed by the earthquake, they were assembled under a temporary shelter outside. We began our session with a short ball game but the small children were hesitant to play with us. Next we played ‘Balloon Blast’. This game requires students to burst each others’ balloons tied to their legs while saving their own. This game was an instant success and the children enjoyed it immensely. The teachers also participated in the games, which encouraged the students to approach us. The prospective of bursting balloons excited not only the small children but the higher class students as well. A small group of students from other classes gathered to watch the little kids play.

My next session was with the students from Grade 6. After waiting eagerly for their turn, they hurriedly entered the class when I approached them. With almost 50 students, the task was a little exhausting but the students were very cooperative and eager to learn and play games. This greatly reduced the difficulties arising due to large number of students.

We provided biscuits and juice to all the students as well as the staffs during the lunch break.  My second session with the students from Grade 1-3 started off with fresh enthusiasm from the students. They were more lively and active while coloring and tracing. They began calling us “Miss”. Being called upon when they had doubts and difficulties was a proud moment for me. Getting accepted as their teacher and guiding them as they colored was a joyous moment.

Taking sessions with 6th graders

Taking sessions with 6th graders

My last session for the day was with the 6th graders again. Yangji accompanied me as the number of students was large. We taught them Future Ladder, an activity where the students establish their goals and learn the steps they have to climb to reach their ambition.

The day ended with loud farewells and promises to play a lot more the next day. With a little rest, we decided to explore the surrounding areas. The cool wind blowing through was refreshing against Kathmandu’s dusty and warm winds.

After a group discussion on the day’s sessions and some planning for the next day, we cooked our dinner, pitched our tents and slept soundly.

Surrounded by warm smiles

Surrounded by warm smiles

The next two days were filled with more interesting games and activities like puppet making, wall magazines, science show and wall comics for students from Grade 6-8 and mask making, clay work and rhymes for students from Grade 1-5. The number of students attending the classes started increasing as the days passed by. We organized an exhibition on the last day where they displayed all their activities done in the camp. Students from Grade 4-5 eagerly presented the new rhymes that they had learned in the sessions. We handed over game materials to the school as well.

The students showed more enthusiasm as the day went by. Some of them arrived almost an hour early and stayed back after the school and insisted on playing with us. Some of the students gave us fruits and potatoes grown locally as gifts. A few even came to see us off. Such positive responses from students made our exhaustion worthwhile.

“My daughter who normally does not like to go to school has been very eager to leave for school in the mornings. She is always asking me for the time”, a mother said to us. The teachers and parents gave us positive feedbacks as well.

The warm farewell!

The warm farewell!

We were constantly supported by the school’s principal, Mr. Laxmi Timalsina and the staffs.

The program ended with a bittersweet feeling of completing it successfully but leaving warm smiles and laughter behind. Going to remote areas and sharing our knowledge to uplift the spirits of bright young students was truly a refreshing and satisfying experience.

I would like to thank ECCA for giving us this opportunity to go and conduct camps in rural areas. It was truly a momentous  and memorable experience.

Earthquake Relief, Recovery and Rehabilitation Works

ECCA constructed Temporary Learning Centers at Sindhupalchowk

ECCA constructed Temporary Learning Centers as substitutes for damaged classrooms at Sindhupalchowk

Immediately after the earthquake of April 25, ECCA mobilized its resources, linkages, staffs, counsellors and volunteers in the relief works by targeting various earthquake affected areas. ECCA responded in its own project areas as well as partnered with many other like minded organizations and individuals, in providing the relief materials in many localities. The contributions received (financial as well as material) from international well wishers were overwhelming. The volunteering done by many of the past and present ECCA counsellors, volunteers and well wishers were noteworthy. It is very much appreciated that all made contributions in their own ways. In the process, the network of ECCA has enlarged and has become stronger. Everybody feels proud to be part of ECCA. Many thanks to all.

ECCA continues to move ahead with the recovery and rehabilitation works.

Mega Cleanup Campaign – One School One Heritage Campaign

It is always a start that needs the great effort.

This was the very first step led by The Generation Green (TGG) members to conserve the heritages which has been under shade via conducting cleanliness program under “One school one heritage” Program. On 22 November, 2014, Saturday, starting from Pulchowk to Gwarkho massive cleanliness program were held at heritage sites which included pulchowk stupa, purnachandi mandir, sundhara, saugal hiti and Tyagal hiti. This program consisted of about 250 participants who included students of Prabhat H.S.S, Shramjit Kishor S.S, Yashodhara Bouddha S.S, Bal Binod S.S, and Tri-Padma H.S.S, members of the Tole Sudhar Samitee, and TGG members along with the ECCA Staffs’.

Play Card

Slogan prepared to present during heritage walk.

 

Considering present scenario of the deteriorating heritage sites, the main motto of this program was to clean the heritage sites and restore its beauty by the active participation of school children, make the community member realize their role in conservation of their heritages and gain the sustainability in the long run for conservation.

Purna Chandi Temple

Local participating in Cleanup Campaign at Purna Chandi Temple.

 

Early in the morning at 6:30 am, Patan Durbar Square was covered with energetic participants for clean up where they collected the equipment such as mask, gloves and brush needed for the clean-up program.  We acknowledge the support of Environment Section – Lalitpur Sub-Metropolitan City for supporting the clean up program through providing adequate cleanup materials like brooms and dustbins.

students leg by TGG member

Students of Bal Binod S.S with TGG member

All the participating school were led by a responsible TGG member to their respective heritage site for clean-up program. The groups got additional support on cleanup equipments and help from the members of local Tole Sudhar Samitee during the cleanliness program in their respective sites. Local contribution added more energy to the participants for clean up as they were assisted by provisions of dustpans, sacks and water for drinking. Many people were impressed by the work which was shown by their curiosity and active participation in this clean-up program.  They even provided water, tea, snacks which were very wise act as these were not expected from the community. The chattering of the students added more fun in the scorching sun. Despite of late start, students did their task efficiently, leaving no more garbage behind.  Due to many helpful hands, cleanup program ended very successfully in five different heritage sites. Considering the personal hygiene of participants, they were provided with water and soap for their cleanliness.

During clean up program

Students of Shramjit Kishor S.S at Sundhara during clean up program

By the active participation of five schools, the event became successful but this is just only the beginning. ECCA’s mission will be completed when the people realize their roles and responsibilities towards the preservation of the cultural heritages. Hope this start can bring a positive change in people’s perception about conservation of our heritages and the efforts made by the students and TGG members will be valued in long run.

Before and after: Sundhara

Before and after: Sundhara

“A concerted effort to preserve our heritage is a vital link to our cultural, educational, aesthetic, inspirational and economic legacies- all of the things that quite literally make us who we are” – Steve Berry.

Some Glimpses on the activities performed during the event.