Student of Viswa Niketan Secondary School drawing a diagram of Rainwater Harvesting System.
“I learned many things about rainwater harvesting, menstruation, sanitation and disaster risk reduction. Whatever I learned today, I will certainly share with my family and friends”, shared Mukesh Patel of grade 10.
A total of 903 students from Viswa Niketan Secondary School (VNSS) studying in grade 1 to 10 were provided awareness raising training on rainwater harvesting, WASH and disaster management on the month of September, 2017 reaching out to 2709 beneficiaries. A joint initiative of GUTHI and IRHA had installed rainwater harvesting system at the school a year before under Emergency Rain project which was helpful for the children to understand the system.
The students were eager to know about the exact RWH mechanism that they had been witnessing for long. They curiously put up many interesting questions as well. "What happens if the recharge well overflows?" one curious mind had questioned, to which GUTHI explained the groundwater mechanism.
The issues of WASH, menstruation, waste management were also discussed. The students at VNSS are taught about menstruation through grade 6 to 10. But they were not open- minded about the topic. “The teacher tries to finish the discussion about menstruaton as fast as possible”, shared Bishal Basnet, a grade 10 student. They were also taught to take care of self, their mothers and sisters, friends during menstrual cramps. At the end of each session, the students were involved in quiz to have the better understanding about their knowledge after the training sessions. The winning teams were gifted with sanitary without the prior knowledge about the gift. Ranjit Oli, grade 7 shared, “I will give the sanitary pad to my sister.”
In regard to waste management, the students were taught about the systems of waste management at Kathmandu. They were specifically taught about the ill effects of waste burning.
To prepare the students for possible disasters, they were also given disaster risk reduction safety tips. As an activity the students were made to close their eyes and visualize potential risks at their home from all kinds of disaster. For example, an ill placement of gas cylinder or flower pots on the balcony, or cupboards with heavy objects at its top, etc. This made them aware about the improvements they need to bring at their houses and the discussion they need to do with their parents. “We cook on firewood and have weak walls”, shared Nabin Sunwar of grade 10, “So, now I’ve realised that I should advise my parents to bring improved cooking stove to prevent the risk of fire.”
The students of grade 1, 2 and 3 were approached differently. To leave an impact on their little minds, interactive videos were shown to them. While all the other grades knew the steps of handwashing, grade 1 students hadn’t been subjected to handwashing yet. So, they were practically taught the six steps of hand washing.
Thus, the training sessions at Viswa Niketan Secondary School were successfully conducted where the students got knowledge beyond their books. We at GUTHI believe that bringing a positive impact on the young minds through such trainings will certainly bring a better future.