HORIZON DREAM COMPUTER ROOM IS UNDERWAY
A SRI LANKAN PROFESSIONAL IN QATAR HELPS OUR KIDS
By Nandasiri Wanninayaka, Sri Lanka May 15, 2002
May 15, Mahawilachchiya: Since the story of The Horizon School appeared on the LankaPage and ColomboPage Sri Lankan news sites, I am getting a massive number of emails from all over the world. I couldn’t reply to all the mails personally, which resulted in some communication delays. To make things worse, I had to be hospitalized due to a terrible viral flu, which hampered all my work for three consecutive weeks. I am optimistic many who promised help would get back to me.
Surprisingly, I get emails from Singhalese, Tamil and Muslim communities praising our work. It seems to me that the Horizon kids’ innocent smiles have brought the Sri Lankans together at least once, after a long time. This is something they failed to do with peace marches, peace songs, peace prayers, etc., which only cost thousands of rupees. In Horizon, we do have a very few Tamil kids as well who learn together with the Singhalese kids under the same mango tree without any differences as Horizon is based on team culture. They love and respect each other.
When I got Kumara Badhuge’s first email I thought it would be like any other email, expressing the warmth of a Sri Lankan expatriate who felt homesick after seeing our kids’ website. But with his next email he said that he is sending US$ 1,500/= (SL Rs. 144,000/=), which is a big amount in Sri Lankan rupees. He kept the promise next day by sending the money through the SWIFT banking system.
The kids and the parents were over the moon when they heard it. They had been anticipating a positive response for more than a year as the foundation for the computer room was laid last year. Now the building work has been resumed. Two masons were hired and parents support the masons on a voluntary basis. The basic estimate done by a civil engineer revealed that the cost of the building would be around Rs. 600,000/=. With Mr. Badhuge’s contribution and some other contributions we have received around Rs. 200,000/= so far.
Kumara Badhuge has worked in Qatar National Bank, Qatar, since 1992 as a Senior Systems Analyst. He has been involved in software projects for the last four years and at the moment is engaged in a system replacement project.
Kumara was born in Polonnaruwa. That must have been the reason why he wanted to contribute to the Horizon School in such a big way since he must have undergone the hardships of learning in a dry zone rural area like Polonnaruwa, which is very similar to Anuradhapura. Both his parents were teachers. One should be blessed to have teachers as parents since in Sri Lankan culture teachers are treated as gods who are only second to one’s own parents. Kumara is the eldest in the family and has three sisters. His parents are living in Kandy now. He is married and has two sons, Hansika and Madhushanka. His wife, Sriyani, is again a child of a schoolteacher. Sriyani – may be due to the influence of her teacher-parents – gave her full support to help Mr. Badhuge to make the contribution as she thinks that even a rural village kid in Sri Lanka should get the decent education her own children get. Mr. and Mrs. Badhuge can treat these village kids as their own kids.
When contacted after the donation they made, they were very reluctant to get the donation publicized. Mr. Badhuge said, “It’s not a donation. It’s only a contribution. I do not like the word ‘donation’. The word ‘donation’ we use today always drives us in one meaning, which is ‘material contribution’. It does not cover another major contribution a person can make for the betterment of the world.”
“What you are doing and sacrificing is a million times more important than what ever we all do together,” Mr. Badhuge continued. “You have provided those kids in Mahawilachchiya the much-needed ‘moral support’ and ‘guidance’ in all these years. Also, whenever we see the word ‘donation’, people forget to look at the reason for contribution; they look at the size of the contribution. I believe a contribution of a single brick with a pure mind and the right objective is worth a million times more than a contribution of a million dollars with a wrong objective. And we have an obligation to contribute at least in a minute way to the motherland where we were born and bred. So, we can’t ‘donate’ money as the foreign countries do. We can only ‘contribute’ to the betterment of the motherland.”
“I strongly believe that I have a job to do in this world, that is to assist others, not only by material means but to make the world a better and a peaceful place for the coming generations.”