Horizon Kids on Rupavahini TV – Rupavahini

Rupavahini LogoNanda Wanninayaka

Horizon School started its Fifth Anniversary celebrations with Rupavahini, the National Television of Sri Lanka by doing a live one-hour talk show. Four of the Horizon students Ruvini, Radhika, Isuru and Dhammika participated in the program with Aruna, one of the teachers and me. The weekly talk show, “e @ shanida” is the most popular ICT related TV program in Sri Lanka and watched by millions of viewers.

Once I got the confirmation about the program there was not much time for preparations. I had to rush to the village the same night and once I reached the village, the time was 4 a.m. I had sent a message on the way to the 4 students and they came for the preparation work around 8 a.m. Alas! We couldn’t spend a single minute on the TV program but had to prepare ourselves for some other problems that the Horizon is facing. We spent the whole day and designed a plan to run Horizon in the coming months and decided to prepare ourselves for the TV program the next day while traveling. It was decided that we hire a van to travel to Colombo as it was a strenuous journey by bus and the TV station needed us to be there at 6 .00 a.m. as the program starts at 7.00 a.m. on Saturday.

Aruna and I were waiting for the van by 5.00 a.m. on Friday morning but it came an hour late. The kids had to wait from 4.30 a.m. for the van and the driver’s delay paid us dearly as we missed a presentation we had scheduled in the evening at a private IT company, which does offshore assignments.

The kids and I were very sleepy and we slept well till we reached Dambulla. Just after the breakfast, kids did little rehearsal work by asking questions which the announcer may ask at the TV program. They also made mock telephone calls and answered those questions as well. I was not satisfied, as I didn’t get what I wanted by the kids yet but they were as relaxed as ever and told, “Don’t worry sir, we will do well at the TV studio. We cannot talk here without the real environment.” Having seen their confident presentations before at the NITC 2003 conference, I felt that they would do better at the program and thought of having another nap.

After dinner, we managed to have another rehearsal with the two laptops we had borrowed. Horizon is thankful to both Mr. Sanjeewa Samaranayaka of Lak Daruwo and Mr. Jeyakanthan Somasundaram of Hewlett Packard – Sri Lanka for lending us their valuable laptops for the TV program. We had only little time left for the preparations, so the kids had to get used to the new laptops. They had used my ancient PI ThinkPad and needed little awareness for the new ones they were to use the next day at the TV show. After all the preparation work, we retired to beds at 2 a.m. with the intention of getting ready by 5.30 a.m.

With the previous days’ strenuous journey and rehearsal work, we (Especially I) couldn’t get ready on time and once we reached the studio it was 6.40 a.m. and the makeup artist had to rush to make up 4 kids and 2 adults within such a short time. He did his job well and within 10 minutes, we all were in the studio facing the cameras. (Horizon thanks all the TV station staff who helped us.)

And the program started sharp at 7.00 a.m. and here we are facing huge TV cameras on a live TV talk show in front of millions of viewers. The kids surprised me again facing the cameras and answering the questions in a professional manner. I felt very proud of these teenagers. If they can do this much at the age of 15-16, I’m sure they would do a lot more than I did once they become adults. The day that these wildflowers sweeten the whole country is not that far. For that, they should be provided with the basic facilities.

It’s encouraging to see how the kids take up challenges one by one. They did their first ever presentation in front of an international audience at NITC 2003. Till they went to that conference, they had never done a presentation in front of an audience even at the village.

Then came this TV talk show and it was telecasted LIVE. They had never seen a TV studio till they went to the program still they could do the program with a class. I don’t know what the next challenge is but there is nothing much to worry as the kids are on a winning spirit now.
Only thing which worries me is that the kids are unlikely to get the basic facilities for Horizon despite their wonderful achievements. They have convinced the whole world that they deserve at least few new PCs but it is most unlikely we would get them.

Horizon School thanks all the well-wishers who encouraged the kids over the phone and through emails before and after the TV show. School also thanks the generous donors who contributed Horizon to come to the present stage. With the time constrain of the TV program, we couldn’t mention all the personnel that helped Horizon.

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

2. First Live TV Talk Show of Horizon Lanka kids in 2003

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

11. First Live TV Talk show by Horizon Lanka kids in 2003 – Sinhala with English transcription

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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