Namdu is one of the villages of Dolakha district that was severely affected by the earthquake of 2015. This village lies 135 kilometers far from Kathmandu valley (5 to 6 hours travel from Kathmandu) and supports a huge range of people belonging to different ethnic groups. ECCA has been working in several schools of the village since a year.
Jalpadevi Basic School, lying in Namdu village, is one of the schools that needs improvement in WASH (Water, sanitation and hygiene) sector. The school has total 121 students, where 60% are female. However, the situation of toilet (unavailability of water, disposal place for sanitary pads etc.) has been a discouragement for students to carry out safe hygiene practices. “After the destruction of toilet during the earthquake, 2 temporary toilets were built. This provided some relief for all of us”, says one of the teachers. “But these toilets soon reached a condition which compelled students and teachers to go to the nearby jungle.”
Seeing the difficulties, ECCA supported the school to build a 3 roomed girl friendly toilet, where there is also separate urinal space. A handwashing station will also be constructed. The toilet is in the construction process and will soon be equipped with proper water facility and an incinerator to burn used sanitary pads.
How will this affect the health and education?
"With the new toilet facilities, healthy behaviours that students learn will certainly come into practice. The trend of being absent from school among menstruating female students will decrease", says a female teacher. "We'll also be talking about it with the students, so they feel encouraged to come to school during menstruction cycle."
“We are really thankful for the support”, shared the students.
ECCA is also thankful to all our contributors who have helped to make this possible. Your continuous support will help us to improve school environment of more schools in rural Nepal.
On June 26, 2017, 513 students of Jhule, Dolakha district received educational materials. And the reason behind this distribution is unfolded through stories of poor economic status and occupational involvement of students.
Many people in Dolakha district of Nepal are involved in agriculture. Since monsoon season is a vital time for rice planting, parents often send their children to fields as helpers instead of sending them to schools. This is a vital time for parents to earn money and also to assure good agricultural production. However, this has been a huge problem for students as they miss classes, most of them for the whole monsoon season.
"Many of our village schools get closed for 1-2 months during monsoon season", says Mr. Manoj (teacher in Amar Secondary School). "Even if we request parents to send their children to school, they argue saying that it is very important for them to earn money to afford education of their children. And we cannot argue back."
Alina, a 10th grader at Amar Secondary School, says that they have to struggle every year to complete the course.
As a step to break this tradition, ECCA invited all students and parents at school and encouraged them to attend school daily. With the distribution of school bag, copies, pencils, erasers, pens etc. parents were provided some financial relief and were made to realize how regular attendance of their children at school can create a great impact in their future.
Besides this program, ECCA has been working to improve WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) infrastructure and behaviour in Jhule since 2016. With time and effort, positive outcomes are being seen.
We hope to keep supporting young children like them. Your continuous support will help us create positive impact in Nepalese community.
In our journey of providing better WASH facilities to students in rural schools of Nepal, we have been approaching remote schools, which includes those from Kavrepalanchowk district. This district lies near the capital city Kathmandu, yet has inadequate facilities in terms of health and sanitation.
Mahendra Secondary School, situated at Sanga, Kavrepalanchowk had been facing the problem of toilet and water supply. Girls toilet, boys toilet and teachers toilet all were combined and one had to go far just to fetch a bucket of water. The earthquake of April 2015 worsened the situation. Both the school buildings and toilets were damaged.
Through fund search, the school rebuilt the classrooms, whereas toilet facilities became their secondary priority. “Considering the number of students we had, the toilet we had previously was not adequate in any case. Students would be lining in queues during breaks and having to fetch water for toilet use from far away was a huge problem”, revealed one of the teachers. “But first, we had to make classrooms.”
Identifying the need, ECCA helped Mahendra Secondary School to build both boys toilet and girl friendly toilet in the school premise. Separate toilet was constructed for boys and girls (each having 3 rooms) with proper water facilities (along with water tank and piping). The girl friendly toilet also has an incinerator for proper burning of used sanitary pads.
“Now, we feel happy that the situation has become easier for us”, says a female student relating to comfortable environment during menstruation period.
433 students are currently benefitted by the toilet support.
We are thankful for your support.
Summer season requires tremendous effort for smooth running of classes and regular attendance of students in Bishnu Secondary School, Dolakha. The most common problem found among students was prevalence of water borne diseases. Besides this, another problem among students was thirst for water. While the classes were on, students generally used to get out of the class one by one with interval of 5 minutes to drink water, which disturbed the whole class. Because of this reason, the courses were hard to complete and the marks obtained by the students was poor.
However, the situation has changed. ECCA Nepal provided a water filter and stand for every classroom in the school for hygienic drinking water. This has shown progressive results in student's attendance and the school's learning environment. "There are less reports from students suffering from diarrhoea", says one of the teachers. "Also, disturbance in class while teaching has minimized as students have stopped going out from the classroom except on break time and lunch time."
Teachers are now happy that the lagging courses are being completed on time and students are receiving good marks in exams. This event has helped students to learn better in a peaceful environment without hassles.
We thank everyone for your continuous support.
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Shree Kalidhunga Higher Secondary School lies in Mirge of Dolakha district. It is one of the many schools in the area receiving aid from ECCA, since past few years. Sabina Tamang, aged 15, is a student of class 9 in the school. She also happens to be an active member of the Children’s Nature Club at her school. Her house is situated at 800 meters radius away from the school. Her younger sister, Sabita and she commute to school daily on foot.
According to Sabina, her school lacked any kind of separate toilet for girls, a year ago. This used to cause a lot of uncomfortable situations for girls her age in the school. “I used to skip school during the time of my menstruation. It is difficult to change sanitary napkins, when you have to share a common toilet with the boys” is what Sabina had to say. She shared with us incidences of when boys did not understand the issue and teased the girls and just how uneasy that used to make the girls feel. “There were many other girls who used to skip school during that time of the month, just to escape the embarrassment of having to use a common toilet or get teased by one of the boys,” said Sabina.
Having to skip classes and missing out on academic progress was not for the likes of an A-grade student like Sabina, who is a staunch believer of going home and revising everything that has been taught in the class. “I did not like missing out on my classes but, I had no other choice, at that time,” recalls Sabina.
After receiving help from ECCA, the school now has two girl friendly toilets, for the ‘School Environment Improvement Program' conducted by ECCA in the vicinity.
Girl friendly toilet with incinerator at the back
“I feel very relieved now that we have these female friendly toilets. I don’t have to skip school during my menstruation days anymore,” said Sabina with a smile across her face.
Menstruation should not result in absences and girls missing out on an education due to completely preventable reasons. Just by constructing girl friendly toilets the positive impact of the project could be witnessed. Due to the efforts of ECCA the female absentee rate has declined, since the construction of the girl friendly toilets, according to the schools records.
Toilet is well equipped with water facility, Sabina during her school hours
Sabina shared that many of her friends have also stopped missing school and are very glad with the newly constructed toilets. “I am glad my younger sister will not have to face the difficulty I went through, when she hits her puberty. She will not get teased by the boys, now that things have been made more comfortable for us. I would like to thank your organization and supporters for educating and supporting us with this,” Sabina smiled with a sigh of relief.
We are also very thankful to you for helping us support students like Sabina and improve school environment of Mirge.
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