Posted by: horizonlankafoundationlk | August 28, 2007

3. First Live TV Talk show by Horizon Lanka kids in 2003

Vodpod videos no longer available.

TMG Chandrasekara, the announcer: Isuru, are you studying at Mahavilachchiya Vidyalaya?

Yes, at Mahavilachchiya Vidyalaya.

In which year?

In Year 11. I’ll be sitting the O Level exam this year.

OK, I’ll talk with you again later, Isuru. You better help Wanni to show us the webpages.

Here you can see clearly how the children studied at the start — under trees, with a few wooden benches. Many people say that you can’t work without resources, but my opinion is that we have a very valuable resource, a very rich resource — the children. With these children we started with only English lessons five years ago, and when we got the computer we could move forward. We did not get the opportunity to use the first computer that we received — I was in a government school at that time — and, because we wanted more freedom to do our work …

So when you started, you were working under trees?

Sure, under the trees in our compound. Then we again got a computer from Mr. Donald and Mrs. Badra Gaminitilleke who were working in Japan at the time. They had come to know about us after reading a report in the Daily Mirror written by Mr. Gamini Akmeemana. They came to Sri Lanka and gave us our first computer — a Pentium 1.

When we started the English classes, we had not even seen a computer. We were very happy when we got the computer. We all were curious to learn how to operate it, and we worked hard to learn to use it.

OK, now what type of work can you do with the computer?

Now we do web designing, … programming. And if you take Office, we can do quite a lot of things.

OK, Isuru and his friends have their own web pages in the Internet. We’ll have a look at them later.
Yes Wanni …

We got the computer in our second year. We came to know about the Internet in 2001, and we had our first webpage that year. I’ll show you our first web page. This, of course, is a very simple one.
There is an interesting story behind this. This was the time when I had no knowledge about web designing and Mr. Donald Gaminitilleke taught me web designing. I had to use a computer that had Japanese language. Not even one letter was there in English. All the software– Photoshop, Netscape and so on — was in Japanese. By the way, I don’t know even a bit of Japanese. But I had to learn from a computer having Japanese language.

Language does not become a big barrier today, doesn’t it?

Yes, with the introduction of the graphic user interface this has become quite easy. So, not knowing English should not be taken as a big problem.
Here is our first website — a really simple one. It was small, but a good start.

So, with this start, when you entered the Internet, what was the reaction that you had? How did you establish links to the rest of the world?

At the start we did not have many visitors to the site — just the friends and someone who came across it when accidentally.
It is important to say here, with our first website, we got a chance to meet Mr. Thushara Wijeratne, a Sri Lankan working with Microsoft in the USA. He is a software engineer. He came to Sri Lanka, in 2002, and helped us with Rupees fifteen thousand. At that time it was a huge amount for us, and we were not sure how to spend fifteen thousand Rupees. We had not used such an amount at the time. So, we all got together and decided to build a computer room. It is not possible to study under the trees for ever, and the first steps for building the computer room were taken with this Rupees fifteen thousand. I am so happy to say that, today we have come to the final stages of the computer room. All that we have to do is to fix the floor tiles. This is because of the help that we received from Sri Lankans as well as other nationals.

Isuru, what else do you remember about this?

Yes, we were able to add something new to studying under the trees: we could add a computer to our work. Also with the help of our parents, we were able build the computer room and to continue with the idea.


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