Posted by: horizonlankafoundationlk | November 30, 2009

COLOR WASHING HORIZON LANKA BUILDING

Inside the Office

Horizon Lanka building needed a color washing for a long time. Due to difficulties in raising funds this kept delaying. But we got the necessary funding from few generous donors from the United Kingdom last October. We thank those who contributed to this. Now the Horizon Lanka building looks anew. Now the youth at Horizon Lanka are volunteering in making the Horizon Lanka garden beautiful.

This is the list of the donors who contributed for color washing.

Mr. & Mrs. Roshan Hewavitarne
Mr. & Mrs. Dashantha Hewavitarne
Mr. & Mrs. Nimal Ekanayake
Ms Manel Wijayasinghe
Ms Surangani Piyadasa
Mr. & Mrs. Aneil Sirisena
Mr. Gavinash Sirisena

Posted by: horizonlankafoundationlk | November 30, 2009

WIRING THE HORIZON LANKA COMPUTER LAB

Originally Horizon Lanka had planned the upstairs of the building as the computer lab and downstairs as the multimedia lab. Since upstairs was rented to the BPO, both the computer lab and the multimedia room had to be functioned downstairs. But it did not have the proper electricity lining for computers.

Mr Ananda Sirisena and Subadra Sirisena who visited Horizon Lanka in August were impressed about Horizon Lanka and donated money in September 2009, to do the wiring for the computers. Now all the computers in the lab get electricity properly. We thank the Sirisenas for their generosity displayed.

Posted by: horizonlankafoundationlk | November 29, 2009

MY EXPERIENCES IN HORIZON LANKA, MAHAVILACHCHIYA – VERONIKA BETAKOVA

Veronika Betakova

Veronika Betakova, the Czech Republic – October 5, 2009

Every day here is like an adventure and full of marvelous surprises. I love countries, in which I must use my brain, where I need to use usual things by unusual way. A southern life, a more careless life :). In this country the time doesn’t play any role, nothing is in time, but the people are very friendly, willing and you must love their simple life, because it will be also your simple life :).

My first feeling, when I came to Mahavilachchiya, was ooouu, unbelievable, like land of nobody, small cottage, nothing, nothing, small cottage, nothing, nothing… After three months here I still cant understand one thing… in the land, in which people going to sleep with the darkness and wake up with the first sun beam (very practical by the insects), has all the village Wi-Fi connection, ok, its slowly and with many power cuts, but still its like a miracle :).

I live in a 5-members family and they know only a few English words, so my Sinhala is becoming better and better day by day :). It’s interesting to have 2 small brothers and one sister, the best contraception for next years :). But no, they are very nice, I have all one room only for me and with mosquito net, what more to wish???? My new mom still spends some time by me, usually only smiled and tried to turn away all insects, so lovely :). Even they try to cook no spicy food for me and I can take a spoon and also I can stay in flip-flops, because I never before tried earth floor :). Who doesn’t love them??? Amma (my hostess) never forgets me :), when I go on a trip, she adds me some food. Usually in newspaper, if my Sinhala or Tamil will be better I can use it also other way :).  She has my big admiration, from September started school also here, so Amma wakes up every morning around 4am, irons school uniforms and prepares food for children, of course rice and something. I spend every week 2 long hours by hand-washing, but she needs to wash clothes for all family. She still persecutes me, tried to putting up my skirts and shorts and putting down my T-shirts, I have to look like a good girl :).Last times I was on something like acceptance of new house and she ran to me with fork and reboiled water, dear Amma :). I felt so special like never in my life, can u imagine around many people, just sitting, praying and then eating on the floor only with hands and for me prepared table :).

I start to be really nature girl in a good words meaning… wake up with the birds, in worse case with ants and mosquitoes. In the toilet find frogs, in the garden dogs, cats, turtles, squirrel and sometimes also scorpions, but don’t worry, usually they have antitoxin at home and you still have 1-2 hours of live (if it will be my last words, remember, 2 hours are NOT enough 🙂 ). Be or not to be??? No, no, the question is little other: Take a shower in “bathroom” or in river??? They still use for the cooking…fire, normal, open fire in the kitchen :). In my might is still one of our folk’s songs: she was putting clothes in the water and a frog jumped there…. ye, ye, ye, they don’t have washing machines, but you can find here a washing powder and also iron, jajaj, luxury :). By every washing I feel like in a TV-spot for washing powder,  just put dirty clothes in the water, add washing powder, wait around 10-15 minutes, then wash every piece in hand around 10 minutes and your clothes have never been so clean and white like now :). I saw here only one really big rain and as u suppose it was when I finished with hanging clothes :).

I have new nick name, I try to teach them to pronounce  Veronika or Nika, but no, I’m Miss or Teacher, haha. I have only Basic English from travelling, movies, books and I have never been a teacher, so I was little (maybe more than only little) scared of teaching English. But now I see the teaching is nothing difficult, you must be just careful, hear them, make  fun and make compliment for every improvement :). And they love controlling of notebooks and don’t want to go home without homework :). On my first lesson I made fun with my Sinhala knowledge and then played with small game draw and describe and they liked it :). Also I didn’t know, that I can describe so many words only with my body without using words.

With the small children we only teach ABC, also how to write ABC and numbers till 10, then some songs and small sentences about name, age, family… Drawing is still very popular and we start with singing, poor children by my music antitalent :).

In second group are children around 9 and they are very clever. They know only a few words, so is very hard to explain their grammar, but it’s not a problem, step by step and now we know how to introduce myself, use “to be”, possessive pronouns, buy a chocolate in shop (because this I know also in Sinhala), some new verbs, animals, things and they want also singing, ajajaj, why, why with me???? One day I used a DVD and till they were watching a movie, I repaired swings; for sure I had to test it like first :). We play football, volleyball and also they teach me cricket :). The popular game is “hide and seek” and “karam” (kind of table games).
Every class we start with a repetition, I’m going to sleep and waking up with ABC and numbers till 20 :). I teach them how to play “hop” and also I prepared for them small Olympic Games.

We find the best way how to teach and learn. For example, I explained them ordinal numeral on the winners and “want” with a game with ball. The explaining of preposition I started with drawing and then we played a game with chairs. Smaller ones are also very clever, they remembered very quickly words fly and plane, yes, yes, yes I showed them this game and from this moment, also because of cricket, start to be my biceps and triceps nice well developed :).

They are very nice, also give me chocolate and sugar, jajaj, corruption in so small age and I give them support in this, jajaj, where is this world moving towards????  From they found, that I can be happy from everything, they start to take me flowers, fruit, shells and also feathers, for which I find nice places in my hair, so sometimes I’m teacher Winnetou.  By presented shells is good to check if their owner are not more inside and peacocks feather is very danger for eyes :).

The second part of my work was to create a strategy analysis with the business plan for HLF. It was great; I prefer, when I can organize work by myself and with Wanni I was only in online contact.
I like cycling, so sometimes I make a trip around, where you can find nice lakes with lotus flowers or rice fields. At the start was for me difficult became on left riding or crazy drivers, but now it is for me funny, you have a occasion to try a way by bus, train, “toc toc”, tractor, motorbike.

The food its very, very, very spicy, so when I ask for not spicy and have enough water I can pass it and if not, here are many poor animals, that like also spicy food :). Did u remember the part of movie Forrest Gump, when Bubba want to say all the ways how to prepare shrimps??? I can do the same 🙂 ….with a coconut, when u think u can imagine all taste, try coconut with chilly or with onion, hmmmm delicious :). Rice on the lunch, rice on the dinner, rice between its ok, but really not rice on the breakfast :), in this time I prefer their bread, they have only one kind of white bread, so easy choice 🙂 Interesting, that when u ask them, which is their favorite food, usually is answer rice with curry. For salty juices I was prepared from Taiwan, but pineapple with pepper?!?! Amma starts to know, that more than various mashes and spicy masses I like salad from fresh vegetables, Cinderella has competition, I can find every peace of chilly :). And I don’t spurn of fresh fruit, but I prefer only fruit, without salt, chilly or other spice. I made also special dinner for my family. The Ceylon is famous by the tea and it’s true, it’s so delicate. They have many kind of tea, but the most popular is black. I saw nobody with coffee, but says is terrible. Because of English colonization drinks tea with milk and sugar, sugar, sugar, jejejej, it’s sweet and sweeter.  My family has special way, they have in one hand small tea cup and in the second sugar and the proportion is almost the same.

From any times I start to call these people “hummingbirds nation”. And do you know why??? Any idea? No??? Because when they agree usually make with the head a symbol of infinite, u know like horizontal 8, the same like hummingbird with the wings. At the same time say ou, ou, ou (yes, yes, yes), so at the start I was really lost, I didn’t know if it means yes or no.

I still don’t understand school uniformity; it’s not only the same clothes and shoes, but also the same look. Girls only long hair in 2 rolls with black bow at the end and with hair path really in the middle and boys very short or slick on the side. No exceptions!!! It’s like effort to wipe out the property difference, but how to wipe out something so manifest?????

I learned how to make classroom, better small hut, only from wood and palm trees and also how to make a floor. It’s a very good smelling cubby :). Even I helped also in kitchen, jajajaj, from Verca start to be cooker :), ok, my “papadam” was a little bit black, but pancakes with imagines or short messages were famous :).  As u know by cooking we use fire, but u don’t have fire so easy. One nice day I visited with my new family their plantation and we prepared some logs.

I visited also many nice places around and we were with the staff also on a few motorbike trips in the most famous places.

Sure it’s the next unforgettable traineeship, which give me better writing (it’s terrible to spell every word), a feeling that the children are not a small monsters, teaches me a simple life and change my looking at the world. Thanks, thanks for this great chance. I have still a few days here, but I’m sure to say good bye will be one of the hardest things in my life.

(Miss Veronika Betakova, an AIESEC intern from the Czech Republic worked at Horizon Lanka, Mahavilachchiya from August 2009 to October 2009.)

Access original page with pictures at http://www.horizonlanka.net/volunteer/veronika/index.html

Posted by: horizonlankafoundationlk | September 11, 2009

HELP REPAIR THE OLD COMPUTERS AT HORIZON LANKA

Horizon Lanka’s computers are more than 3 years old and some of them need to be repaired. Since we are having a challenge in finding funds within the village at this moment, we need your support. If our computers are repaired we can provide education for more students. Enrolling more students will also help us to sustain the project. With the broken computers we have now, we find it difficult to provide a sound computer education to the students in Mahavilachchiya. A couple from the United Kingdom, Mr Ananda Sirisena and Mrs Subadra Sirisena donated 25,000 LKR to lay electricity wires to the computer lab. Earlier we had laid the wires to one part of the lab only. We hope more well-wishers will help us to repair the computers as well. You can either donate the full amount or part of the amount from the budget given below.
Contact info@horizonlanka.net for more details.
Our bank details are,
Account Name – Horizon Lanka Foundation
Account Number – 0036 1000 3310
Swift Code – BASAMLKLX
Bank – Sampath Bank Ltd.
Address – Sampath Bank Ltd. Galle Road, Colombo 06, Sri Lank

ITEM
PER UNIT (LKR)
UNITS
AMOUNT (LKR)
GBP
EURO
USD
Keyboards
1,000
15
15,000
79.5 91.5 133.5
Mouse
1,000
20
20,000
106 122 178
Speakers
1,500
5
7,500
39.75 45.75 66.75
Headset
4,000
5
20,000
106 122 178
UPS
7,000
20
140,000
742 854 1246
Network Hub
20,000
1
20,000
106 122 178
Hard Disks
5,000
4
20,000
106 122 178
RAM
3,000
5
15,000
79.5 91.5 133.5
Virus Guards
1,130
25
28,250
149.725 172.325 251.425
Webcam
3,500
5
17,500
92.75 106.75 155.75
Total
303,250
1607.225 1849.825 2698.925
Posted by: horizonlankafoundationlk | September 4, 2009

A Positive Attitude Towards Teaching English (July 22, 2009 Island Midweek Review)

Read the article below by Rohan R Wasala. He desrcribes about Horizon Lanka’s innovative ways of teaching in Mahavilachchiya as well. Read Mr Wasala’s blog at http://rohanarwasala.blogspot.com.

A Positive Attitude Towards Teaching English (July 22, 2009 Island Midweek Review)

by Rohana R. Wasala

Something that hasn’t been sufficiently recognized or appreciated where English language teaching in our country is concerned is the fact that a lot of our students who vitally need English for achieving their education and career goals do succeed in learning it. This is in spite of all the ‘bad press’ (media attention) that the government school English language teaching programme has been relentlessly subjected to since the early 1960’s, and the usually pessimistic attitude prevailing among the educational authorities and professionals, and the general public towards the subject. The many negative prognostications currently heard about the prospects of success of the Spoken English programme just launched under the initiative of the President himself with the help of the University of Hyderabad in India could be partly due to this traditional defeatist mentality, and not to a clear understanding and assessment of the real issues involved. An oft-repeated refrain of adverse commentary on any and every attempt of tackling the task of teaching English has drilled into teachers, parents, and students an unfounded belief that it is a useless undertaking that is bound to fail. A decisive reversal of such reactionary notions is, in my opinion, the need of the hour.

The usual complaint is that the majority of students who are put through the school English teaching programme do not achieve the expected proficiency level in the language, and I would say that it is a legitimate complaint, too. However, a high failure rate is not necessarily limited to the subject of English in our education system; the students’ performance in mathematics at the OL is known to be similarly poor. Yet poor results in English become naturally more conspicuous, and more worrisome, because English touches every aspect of education, and every sphere of activity that awaits students once they are out in the world at large; in the modern world dominated by IT, its lingua franca English decides the fate of far more people and societies than any other subject in the curriculum.

Many don’t hesitate to blame this general failure of English teaching (and learning) on the allegedly wrong language policies pursued by Sri Lanka following Independence. Contrary to common belief, however, at no time in the history of post-independence Sri Lanka has the importance of English in education been popularly discounted, or officially discouraged by the State (though certain individual politicians, through some imperfect understanding of official policy, or through mischievous intent, might have occasionally acted as if the opposite was the case!).

The truth is that next to the winning of universal franchise, the gaining of the right of free education for all was the most far reaching change that Sri Lanka enjoyed even before the predatory imperialists finally let go of her. The monumental Kannagara Report of 1943 proposed a change of medium of instruction from English to the mother tongue of the children, and also recommended the teaching of English as a second language from Standard 3 upwards in all schools of the country. Mr. CWW Kannangara, Minister of Education of the then State Council, was instrumental in bringing about these changes and other educational reforms after much consultation of experts, popular discussion, and State Council debate concluded with a vote taking (in sharp contrast to the seemingly ad hoc basis of numerous reforms introduced by various regimes in later, especially more recent, times). The replacement of English as the medium of instruction was done in phases. What Mr. Kannangara made available to the rural children through the new Central School system was English medium education, which had been until then the exclusive legacy of the privileged few. The switch over from English to Sinhala and Tamil was completed in the late 1950’s.

These, and other reforms introduced after 1956, were intended to ensure the participation of the ordinary people, the dispossessed masses of the country, in the democratic way of life, with particular reference to education and employment. Some people erroneously blame Mr. SWRD Bandaranaike as the architect of a language policy that eventually led to the perceived decline in English language competency among the student population today. The change of the medium of instruction actually happened in 1944, in which year the Kannangara reforms were implemented. Nevertheless, the buck should not be passed to Mr. Kannangara either, because those language policy adjustments were necessary, and had been already overdue, in the historical contexts in which they were effected.

Before free education, all education worth having was available in the English medium, and it was available only to the privileged minority. The very system prevailing then ensured the success of English language mastery: a good ‘English education’ was synonymous with power, prestige, and position under foreign rule. Those who were in education were meant to acquire the necessary literacy in English that qualified them to run the administrative machinery for the foreign rulers. This provided a strong motive for the children from affluent classes to learn English.

The rest of the population didn’t have the opportunity to receive this kind of education which would have enabled them to partake of the plums of office and other perquisites, and favours. They were nonentities living miserable lives in their own country while the resources of the country were being plundered by foreigners with the help of their local lackeys whom they let into the stolen feast just so as to retain their allegiance.

However, with the free education initiative, and the language policy innovations following it, introduced for an independent country, the overwhelming majority of the ordinary people, until then denied access to a decent education, were finally liberated. The switch to the mother tongue as the medium of instruction benefited these masses. Along with these changes, the importance of English as a second language was emphasized by the reformers from the very beginning of Swabasha education. Notwithstanding this, the importance of English in the school curriculum diminished. The elevation of Sinhala and Tamil to official status meant that, theoretically at least, English could be dispensed with in all matters of public life including education. A corollary of this state of affairs was that although the student masses were offered the opportunity of learning English, the vital factor of a cogent enough reason for learning the language was eliminated. In other words, they found that they could now get their education with good prospects of a secure future without a knowledge of English.

In this context, though, the state policy of promoting second language English teaching never wavered. Yet a rot set in. The various administrations, including the one under Mr. Bandaranaike himself, took the matter seriously, and from time to time appointed committees of inquiry, and attempted to implement their recommendations by launching ambitious programmes in order to arrest the decline and revitalize the teaching of English, to no avail.

The people responsible came to terms with the declining English standards by tacitly committing themselves to ‘a policy of benign neglect’ (to borrow a phrase from Mr. Eric J. de Silva, a former Secretary to the Ministry of Education writing in The Island of 27th May, 2001).

The ultimate failure of all attempts at making a success of our English teaching programme is the end result of a complexity of causes such as the paucity of both human and material resources (lack of competent teachers, and experts to train them, books, and other accessories, and money, etc), uneven distribution of the resources available, textbooks of poor quality, imperfect understanding of methodologies, or total ignorance of them, and so forth. But the most important single factor that one could adduce to explain the phenomenon (the failure that is English language teaching) is the lack of a proper conceptualization of the true purpose of teaching English to our children, and the resultant failure to motivate them to learn the language.

Human beings don’t like to exert themselves unless they recognize a compelling enough reason to do so. As our students are human, we can’t expect them to learn an additional language if they find no point in learning it. Although we have been tirelessly expatiating on the virtues of a sound knowledge of English for our students, we have not been able to make it an attractive goal for the majority of them to pursue with any sense of commitment. But today the circumstances are unprecedentedly propitious for English language education. When the will is there, the way will emerge by itself.

I am one who subscribes to the view that what the vast majority of Sri Lankans need is English as a second language. Bilingual proficiency in one of the vernacular languages and English is not a choice, but an absolute necessity. Of course, Sinhalese and Tamil language proficiency must be recommended for those who are obliged to serve a mixed populace of monolinguals: government servants, services personnel, bank workers, and those engaged in communication services, medical workers, etc belong to this category.

The important principle I am emphasizing here is that a demand for someone to master an additional tongue must be backed up with the perception of a clear goal worth all the hassle of achieving it.

That English is essential or very useful for education, and employment, and for intercommunity and international communication is accepted by all without dispute. And English is justifiably given a very prominent place in our education system. I, for one, can hardly think of any other policy matter that enjoys such unanimity of opinion across the board than the need for a knowledge of English for all the students of the country.

So, the level of motivation for learning English is very high. There is an intense, popular awareness of the advantages to be gained through a good knowledge of English. It is not that such a widespread awareness of the benefits of English was not there before, but people never experienced it in such an immediately tangible and concrete form as they do now.

Today’s young live in an entirely different world from the past. Highly sophisticated communication technologies have brought all humanity closer together than ever before. The young people of our country know that English provides the key to this world of knowledge, opportunity and power. This prospect represents a strong motive for them to acquire a knowledge of English.

There is a lot of social stimulation for children all over the country to try to acquire a knowledge of English. Parental support in this connection is more than in the past. Among the Sri Lankans, English itself has almost entirely got rid of its evil image as an instrument and symbol of colonial power and oppression (for which probably it earned the nickname ‘sword’ among university students once). English is no longer feared. There is a lot of English in circulation around – in the schools, in the media, in the workplaces, in the marketplaces, in the sports fields, and every other conceivable place that offers a context for its use. Of course, more English is being used in urban than in rural areas, but there are few regions which are completely devoid of any contact with the language in some form.

The present circumstances are optimal for initiating a concerted effort to reawaken the slumbering giant that is the state department (of the Ministry of Education) responsible for managing the English language teaching programme. Where that task is concerned, we don’t have to start from scratch. What is needed is reorganization and remobilization of the already available expertise under a dedicated and inspiring leadership.

Although I am unable to make any meaningful comment on the ongoing Spoken English programme of the government as I am not still familiar with its instructional content, or its pedagogical procedures, it represents a proactive, and pragmatic response to what is felt as a cogent educational need. If this need, identified and recognized at the highest official level, is convincingly put across to the majority of our 4.5 million strong student population that really needs English, and the same level of enthusiasm is induced in them, the achievement of the expected results won’t be difficult.

As a parent and an educator, I welcome any genuine attempt, big or small, aimed at promoting a knowledge of English among our children. It’s my opinion that where learners are motivated, they derive some benefit from even the worst programme of teaching English, or the instruction of the weakest English teacher insofar as such student-course or student-teacher engagement provides for the communicative use of the language.

The principle behind this assumption is that the important thing in a language teaching- learning situation is the meaningful interactive relationship between the learner, the teacher and the instructional programme. The course materials supply a context for this kind of interaction, and the teacher stage-manages the process.

That any language manifests itself in context is well known. Mere learning of grammar rules or lexical items is not enough. This knowledge must be realized in meaningful, communicative contexts. As far as I know (I could be mistaken), no single method has been developed by anyone that could be described as the best method of teaching English. However, the methodological aspect of English teaching cannot be overlooked without undesirable consequences; this, however, is not meant to advocate any slavish adherence to the recommendations of one method to the neglect of positive elements in other methods. In fact, in an ideal teaching-learning situation, it is the job of the methodology-savvy teacher to devise his/her own strategy of teaching to suit the learning needs of a particular set of students in a specific context of place and time (something that it would be unfair to expect of the majority of our young English teachers).

Generally, though, I would say that any method or eclectic strategy that embodies functional, communicative principles has a better chance of success than any other that doesn’t. This would sound something like throwing back on the earliest beginnings of more than a century of concerted efforts at devising the best method of teaching a language that has seemingly failed: the Natural Method that formed the foundation for the Direct Method, the Situational Language Teaching Method, etc. The current Spoken English programme apparently draws on similar ‘natural’ principles.

To put it bluntly, successful second language English teaching is no big deal. It can be easily done, especially in the current Sri Lankan situation. This has been proved by dedicated young English teachers on more than one occasion. These instances are not exceptions; they demonstrate what could be ordinarily achieved with some effort, I’d dare say. I would like to refer to two cases I watched on TV. In the first of these, we were shown some children from a very rural background casually talking in fluent English; this ability they had acquired with the help of their young English teacher. The second instance, I saw on the Swarnavahini TV during a ‘Live at 8’ programme more recently (07.05.09). A teacher named Mr. Nandasiri Wanninayake, in charge of English and IT at Mahavilachchiya e-village, which is 45 km from Anuradhapaura, has taught the children of that very remote jungle area those two subjects very successfully. Some skeptics might treat this with scorn saying these are rare instances which cannot be duplicated elsewhere, but I believe that the same results can be achieved if the same sort of dedication on the part of the teachers is available. On both occasions mentioned here, I expected the high-ups in the Ministry to contact these teachers, and explore the possibility of making better use of them as exemplars of any new techniques that they themselves had probably developed; they could have been rewarded financially, or given scholarships to do advanced studies in local or foreign universities, in order to use them as resource persons in the future for training other teachers. I am to date unaware of any official recognition of their innovative efforts in a vital field interest.

Postscript

After writing this essay, I had a hunch that the pessimism of my comment on suspected official indifference in the concluding sentence above was not probably justified, particularly in the present resurgent atmosphere under our President’s inspiring stewardship, and that it would be better to browse through the web for some information about Mr. Wanninayake’s work to check this out. Sure enough, I was able to access his website, which was very rewarding. I learned that he has been engaged in his e-Village Replication Project for over ten years, and that Mr. Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the President visited Mahavilachchiya in 2006, learnt about this project, and pledged support to expand it to other provinces. Accordingly, the e-village replication project is being extended to other areas under the Secondary Education Modernization Project of the Ministry of Education. This is an encouraging sign. We may reassure ourselves that we are entering upon a new era in yet another important sense.

Posted by: horizonlankafoundationlk | September 3, 2009

FIRST VOLUNTEER FROM AIESEC TO HORIZON LANKA

Horizon Lanka was in need of volunteers as it needs more manpower to continue its activities.

veronika_wideimage

Horizon Lanka Foundation got the first foreign volunteer from AIESEC in August 2009 onwards for a period of three months. AIESEC’s Sri Lanka Chapter helped getting us Miss Veronika Betakova, an undergraduate from the Czech Republic to volunteer at Horizon Lanka. Miss Veronika will be doing a strategic analysis about Horizon Lanka and prepare a business plan for the organization. She is also teaching English to the students in the village.

“AIESEC is the world’s largest student-run organization. Active in over 1700 universities across more than 107 countries and territories, our international platform enables young people to explore and develop their leadership potential for them to have a positive impact in society.

In partnership with business and higher education, AIESEC has over 60 years of experience in developing high-potential students into globally minded responsible leaders.

AIESEC’ s innovative development process consists of unmatched  leadership experiences, international opportunities and a global learning environment.

AIESEC uses an innovative approach to engaging and developing today’s youth. By offering opportunities to build extensive international personal networks and explore leadership opportunities, we provide a platform for young people to discover direction and ambition for their futures”From AIESEC website.

More http://www.horizonlanka.net/news/2009/veronika/index.html

Posted by: horizonlankafoundationlk | August 31, 2009

ANANDA AND SUBADRA FROM THE UNITED KINGDOM VISIT HORIZON LANKA

The parents of Gavinash Sirisena, the volunteer from the United Kingdom who worked at Horizon Lanka in May 2009, Mr. Ananda Sirisena and Mrs. Subadra Sirisena visited Horizon Lanka on August 28 & 29, 2009.  They spent two days in Mahavilachchiya. Mrs Sirisena, a professional teacher in UK, also did an English lesson to the students of Horizon Lanka Academy. The couple also donated English dictionaries to Horizon Lanka, Thakshila Public School and Sri Mihindu Dhamma School in the village. Horizon Lanka thanks Sirisena family for their generous contribution to Horizon Lanka. http://www.horizonlanka.net/news/2009/ananda_subadra/index.html

Posted by: horizonlankafoundationlk | August 2, 2009

NEWSLETTER JULY 2009 – SUPPORT HORIZON LANKA’S JOURNEY TO SUSTAINABILITY

Read the PDF version at http://www.horizonlanka.net/newsletters/2009/july/3_july_2009_print.pdf

Horizon Lanka Foundation is in need of financial support. HLF is very grateful for the kindness of our donors and will never forget the immense support that brought us this far.

Our journey however is still not complete. Your belief and support for our goals are invaluable. Our aim is to make HLF a fully sustainable institution that can support the students to give them the best future possible so they can provide better incomes for their families.

Since the war in Sri Lanka is now over, foreign volunteers are ready to work at Horizon Lanka like in the past. From July/August 2009, the school hopes to accommodate foreign volunteers to teach English and ICT at Horizon Lanka. Already a volunteer from China is teaching computers at Horizon Lanka. Horizon Lanka is in need of an experienced volunteer to do a SWOT analysis followed by a comprehensive business plan and implement it to make Horizon Lanka self sustainable within a specific period of time.

Your contribution to living expenses of these young volunteers is highly appreciated.

HLF has accrued debts during the difficult times it faced which need to be cleared as soon as possible. We need your help to do this so that we can push Horizon Lanka forward and continue its good work.

Your support today, however small will be a priceless contribution towards giving our students a better education and a better future.

Thank you and we wish you peace, happiness and success.

Posted by: horizonlankafoundationlk | May 25, 2009

VOLUNTEER AT HORIZON LANKA, MAHAVILACHCHIYA – GAVINASH FROM UK

Gavinash with some students of Horizon Lanka at Tantirimale

Gavinash with some students of Horizon Lanka at Tantirimale

“If you are interested in volunteering here then waste no time! Horizon Lanka is in need of manpower, people with skills of many kinds to help build it back up to its former glory. The students here are eager to improve their English and computer skills but they love to play sports and learn about practically anything! Living in this village is amazing, you will be greeted with friendly smiles everywhere you go, there’s no shortage of helpful hands and the food is fantastic.

There’s lots of work to be done but in Sri Lanka people always make time to just enjoy life and talk to each other so you can be sure to make many good friends and learn about the truly unique values of this beautiful country.” – Gavinash Sirisena, the United Kingdom

Posted by: horizonlankafoundationlk | May 12, 2009

Horizon Lanka on “Live @ 8” on Swarnawahini TV, Sri Lanka

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