Reflecting Back to Mentorship: Six months under Guidance

 

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                                The world is changing relatively faster than expected. The growing market of job is competitive and full of talent, where failing once means losing your job. The professional life is tough already, and its graph is increasing day by day. There are hundreds of professional coming out yearly with honed skills, talents and world life exposure. You cannot be left behind bewildering other progress.

                          Traditionally, the best way to learn was to find better master and be his/her apprentice. The evolving education system changed everything developing systematic progress of student to professional life. That does not mean need of mentorship/apprenticeship is bygone things. Still mentorship is considered best way to sharpening skills before you fail or simply learning by others failure. Your life is too short to fail on every step and learn from failure.

                           I got chance to be part of WWF Nepal The Generation Green Mentorship Program Batch 2 under mentor Anil Chitrakar (Social Entrepreneur). Along with me six others participated on this journey of six months. The main idea was to work one various creative project related to environment conservation, renewable energy use, 3R principle, wildlife conservation, and other several creative solutions. As we came from different background of study, it was hard for us to manage time for meeting and finalize our idea.

                    We were lacking confidence even we had ideas in mind, that’s where mentor guided us. He showed us light beyond tunnel and believed in our ideas. Every idea will work if you have courage to pursue them. These words still echo my ear and motivate me daily. Instead of focusing on single idea we tried cluster of idea as we had limited time of 6 months, so our ending point of idea would be starting point for upcoming groups.

                                 The main objective of our project was to establish a culture with a system of recycling, reusing and reducing of waste (food, plastic, paper, rubber & water). The basic task was to help in the conversion of low – end input waste into high value output. We helped to facilitate and bridge gap between waste utilizing institutions by innovative alternatives to appropriate potential market by designing ergonomically viable products as such:

1. Reusing Rubber Tire by Giving Aesthetic Values for Parks, Schools and Communal area.

                       The tire has been real issue as it cannot be recycled (economically at low scale in country like Nepal) or reduced but can only be re-used. We had re-used tire by integrating them into environment. They were used as flower pots for large plants, swings in garden or home, decoration by giving colors. We identified certain schools formed Eco-Clubs or youth clubs with whom we worked so that the sustainability of the project will not be an issue if local young people will take care of it.

Figure. Tire Gardening at Shree Janajyoti Secondary School, Banepa 

Figure. Tire Gardening and Orientation at Sainik School, Pokhara 

Figure.  Tire Gardening and Orientation at Ratna Rajya School, Kathmandu

2. Advocated use of recycled Plastic Bags into Ropes or Fibers for Agricultural Support:

                        We helped to recycle/reuse plastic bags as rope and it was provided as sample to farmers. This was done through the re-use of plastic bags by making ropes or fibers from them. The ropes can be used for making various green house, support for vegetable growth, building birdcage, temporary shelter and even making fences. The high strength plastic rope and fibers will come in handy for farmers for daily use.

3. Encouraging institutions for Creative use of Paper:

                     Paper is widely used for various purposes like printing records, brochures and leaflets. Reduce use of paper, printing on both sides of paper and promotion of e-communication was encouraged. On joint collaboration with Women’s Dream Multipurpose Ltd we made pencil out of sample old newspaper and encouraged such initiatives from other organizations.

Figure. Training and Sample Old Newspaper Pencil, Kathmandu

 4. Rain Water Harvesting

                         Due to ongoing water crisis and larger number of family residing in small houses, it was very difficult to fulfill the water need in household use. So, being a researcher in watershed management, Mr. Laxman Shrestha had constructed a very simple yet a very effective way to use the rainwater. We conducted interview to share his noble idea for public use.

Figure. Mentees interviewing Mr. Laxman Shrestha about Rain Water Harvesting 

THE LESSONS

                         Indeed six months mentorship has been great journey of my life. We were able to work on ideas generated by us. We could see transformation on ourselves as well as we felt that our activities made some level of contribution and influence on society. We were lucky enough to travel various parts of Nepal. We made lifetime friends and created memory. Plus we learnt about professionalism, discipline, time management and respect of fellow team member.

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Figure. The TEAM (YOUTH FOR CHANGE NEPAL)

                  I would like to provide note of thanks for Mr. Anil Chitrakar (Mentor), Ms. Shikha Gurung (WWF Nepal) and Mr. Dipesh Gurung (ECCA Nepal). It was pleasure to work with you guys: Anisha Adhikari (MBA), Bina Kharel (MBA), Nabina Gurung (Developmental Study), Senha Shakya (Engineer + MBA), Subina Shrestha (Developmental Study) and Sunwi Maskey (Environmental Study). Cheers!!!

Figure. Team Member Briefing About Project Impacts and Progress

Figure. Closing of Program. Team Member with Amrit Gurung 

Media Coverage: We are glad our work was shared on online (Glocal Khabar) and print (MyRepublica) media. Please follow link for more information.

Glocal Khabar: Old Tire Gardening By Youth For Change Nepal 

My Republica:The Generation Green: Teaching youth about nature, conservation and more

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YOUTH TRAINING ON PROJECT INITIATIVE by ECCA

                                    Environmental Camp for Conservation Awareness , organization working for bringing changes on environment by nurturing young minds, training youths as trainer, implementing clean energy to changing mindset of people for sustainable growth and development of local level. The ECCA has been regularly providing training and facilitating various programs.

                                 Youth Training On Project Initiative was training of youth to be trainer. The main objective was to produce capable youths trainer of 20 people so that they will be equipped enough to train youths, children and stake holders of school in various part of Dolakha.

                                                                 Day 1

Introduction of ECCA by Mr. Dipesh Gurung

                The session briefed about ECCA’s mission, vision and initiatives. The proud history of ECCA as independent and influential organization. The contribution and changes it brought in society were highlighted.

Activities and Current Projects orientation by Mr. Bipin Shrestha

       The session provided us details about current activities and projects that ECCA was going through. The initiatives like solar tuki project, Improved Cooking Stove, Envirolift cook stove, various school environment program, empowering local youths activities and many more.

School And Schooling – Mr. Birendra Khadka

              The difference between school and schooling were discussed. The structure of schooling and role of teachers, parents, student and stakeholders were elaborated.

Result Based Management, Appreciative Inquiry and Introduction to vision, Mission, Goal, objective, Activities – Mr. Siddhi Bajrachyra

             The session provided detail information about result based management approach(Participatory and team based management, effectiveness & sustainability, accountability, changed in behaviors and livelihood of beneficiaries ) and appreciative inquiry(co-operative search for the best in people, their organizations, and relevant world ; discoveries of what gives life to a living system ).

                                                                      Day 2

Domains of Concern, Expenditure and Structure of School – Mr. Birendra Khadka

Personal Visioning – Mr. Siddhi Bajrachyra

Explains the status of Finnish schools & Difficulties in Nepali Education system – Ms. Lydia

First Aid Principles And Practice – Dr. Hangsha Limbu & Dr. Hom Bahadur Gurung

                                                                        Day 3

Social Audit -Mr. Birendra Khadka

Strategic and Constructive Visioning for school – Mr. Siddhi Bajrachyra

WASH session – Mr. Rabindra Khatri

 

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.

The Old Tire Gardening Project : A shift in Trend

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                         Ratna Rajya Higher Secondary school, located in midst of new and old Baneshwor is changing its chaotic environment with plants planted on beautified tires. The school humming with students all over its complex, also housing many temples within premises was perfect location to show case our initiative, so that public could see and learn values of old tires. This was planned as per proposal submission and earlier site visits so we could increase our reach to greater mass.

                                  This was last chance to showcase our activities of old tire gardening and awareness initiative as men-tees and maiden within Kathmandu valley. We were always trying to do things differently. As we matured as professional in tire gardening, side wise we wanted to train youths form school so we requested four volunteers from school which principal mam accepted graciously. We managed to include four volunteers with equal male and female participation. The major task to include volunteers was to train, nurture and give them hands on learning so they will be able to implement similar concept in other location in future and will help in sustainability of project in school.

                                    The tires were carried from Balaju area to Baneshwor. The team lead for this project was done by Bina Kharel. The space constrained pushed us to reduce tire to twenty five. The event started with as usual by washing of tire, drying them up. In between we went for plants in nearby nursery. As we had restriction of mud so we had to purchase to fill old tire vase.

                                 Once tire were dried, they were painted by team member as well as volunteers. At later hours, the event was attended by Mr. Dipesh Gurung form ECCA Nepal. The event was co-ordinated and effectively handled by all team mates. We really took lead, connected dots and came as single one who were desperately trying to generate values out of waste. On parallel event with tire gardening Subina (Our Team Lead) gave well articulated presentation which was hugely praised by great round of applause. Finally it was a day well spent by all members.

Harbinger of Old Tire Re-use Project and Waste Value Generation

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Shree Jana Jyoti Secondary School, the model school typically located in mid-way from Sangha an Banepa with curious student and helpful faculties. This was first school where we wanted to implement our old tire gardening concept. ECCA facilitated and provided connection to school authority from where we took the lead, we first visited and inspected the site. We got very warm and positive response from school administration which further motivated us in our cause.

Initially we were planning to look after nearby workshop for old tires but could not materilize as size we were looking for gardening had to be of medium one. As school is located in highway so there was availiability of only large tires. The transportation of tire was a bit hectic and costly, as we had to take it from Kathmandu. But we managed to take it at reasonable rate despite acute fuel shortage.

Everything was well planned and co-ordinated beforehand. We departed at 6:30 am from Balaju area, picked up all members and volunteers from Industrial Engineering Student Society. (Bishnu Parajuli, Pradip Bista, Kshitz ). We reached school around 8:00 am in school premises. The energy and enthusiam kept us warm despite severe cold. We started washing tires, as water tank was on roof of school building it was hard to blow through mouth to pipe it out.(Nepali way) It took nearly a hour for washing tires, which were neat and clean by then.

This was challenge for all of us, as we really wanted to make whole this event neat and clean. After breakfast at nearby Cafe (which was amazing Bread Toast with Kuwa followed by Coffee), we inspected sites for placing tires. The stacked tires were supposed to placed around compound of school where as single tire was to be placed on roof top as roof top gardening.

The tires were artistically painted and dried up in sun. The stacked tire were tied up together by using gavinized iron wires, so that would not allow movement of upper tires with respect to lower one. We, along with student mixed up soil, ash, organic manure to make fillings for tire vase. As there was nursurey nearby owned by one of committee member of school, he provided perinial, seasonal and indoor plants at subsized rate.

 

The athestically appealing painted tires were placed in various locations like in the rooftops, main gate ways, pheriphery of school. The tire garden not only generated value out of old tires but also pioneered/innovated re-purposing of same generating economic as well as environmnetal values. The process helped us to concrete ideas, and provided opportunity for learning and sharing. The members co-ordinated well with volunteer. In meantime volunteers reflected true and self less volunteerism for generating meaningful result.

About Volunteers

Three enthusiatic and hard working volunteer from industrial engineering society participated in the event. They were 2nd year student from Institute of Engineering, Thapathali Campus. We were so grateful to have them in the team.

Members Learning

Me, Sneha and Sunwi (TGG Mentees Under Mentorship of Anil Chitrakar) co-ordinated all activities. It was fun filled, equally challenging task with arduous manual labor. We learned about team co-ordination, role distribution, to give order & take orders, technicality involved in plantation like mixing of organic manure, ash, mud & information about various plant species, and their requirement for growth.

Benefits and Outcome

  • Positive vibes among school teachers, staffs and students with some different approach of gardening at school
  • Hands on learning for student and student participation in program boosted student morale for consversation and sustainability
  • School authority were glad to introduce unique gardening in school, new in the concept eqaully a logical solution to illogical problem
  • Management, Re-purposing of 4o tires somewhat helped in Carbon management in low scale
  • Plantation of flowers, plants increased greenery and environmental promotion to some extent
  • Inception and pioneering of tire gardening, begining of new era of approach for reuse, repurposing of old tires in Nepal

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    Note of Thanks

    Thank you ECCA for providing contact information and co-ordinating with school authority. Mr. Sadhu Ram Dahal (Principal), Nabaharaj Acharya (Chairperson),Vice-Principal, school committee, teachers, non-teaching staff (Didi and her son) , students worked along with us. We are in debt for their contribution, words are not enough for providing appreciation. And volunteers for their time and effort. The nursery owner for providing plants in so cheap rate as compared to market. And Cheers to team member for their dedication, hardwork and passionate work to make this happen.