Posted by: horizonlankafoundationlk | August 8, 2007

My Experiences in Horizon Lanka Academy – Miss Sherilyn Sibanda , UK

Sheriline and the children at Colombo zoo

Miss Sherilyn Sibanda of United Kingdom taught 3 months in Horizon Lanka Academy, Mahavilachchiya from March to June. She was the first volunteer to come to Horizon Lanka under Global Vision International’s volunteer scheme to Horizon Lanka. Below is her tour report.

My time at Horizon Lanka has been such a memorable experience. The people of Mahavilachchiya are extremely friendly and welcoming, they make you feel totally at ease and comfortable in the new surroundings. The village its self possess so much beauty, the greenery, lakes, animals and the sunset, its utterly amazing.

I stayed with a local family. They welcomed me wholeheartedly into their home and family, they included me in all their celebrations and day to day activities, they basically treated me as if I was part of the family. Essentially, that is the character of all the people in the village.


From where I resided, it was about a 1.5km cycle ride to the Academy, I enjoyed the ride because it gave me the opportunity of meeting the villagers and interacting with them, I always felt very safe in my journey to and from the academy.

The academy gives the kids a chance of being taught ICT and English lessons, subjects that they would not necessarily get in government school. The kids computer skills is very proficient, their English is quite basic so having native English speakers has been quite advantageous for them. The academy also acts as an after school club where kids can come in to the academy to do some work on the computer, hang out with their friends, play games etc.

The staff team are absolutely amazing, they are very witty and they quickly make you feel part of the team. It is also evident in the work they do and their interaction with the children that they are extremely dedicated to the academy and the well-being of the children.

Teaching English to the Kids was the most enjoyable time. I’ve never had any prior teaching experience, so some of my teaching methods where not very orthodox, but it fitted in with the academy’s motto in that they wanted education to be fun, for the kids to learn in a non regimented manner. Their policy works successfully, the kids are very bright, enthusiastic, energetic and very charismatic. Teaching them was always a joyful time. I made very positive attachments with all of them. The kids are quite shy, but once they get to know you that soon disappears.

Horizon Lanka is a positive place for all the kids of Mahavilachchiya, the kids are eager to educate themselves and to build a brighter future for themselves, their family and their village.

I advice anyone who is looking for a memorable experience to volunteer at Horizon Lanka, I certainly had an unforgettable time. I shall definitely be returning to the academy to do more work with the children.

Sherilyn Sibanda

See more pictures here and here.


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