Some staff members of the prestigious Dialog Telekom, Sri Lanka’s pioneer mobile telephone network, visited Horizon Lanka Foundation in February, 2006. These are some photos taken at that event. After the visit they have decided to donate us 6 PCs and pay the monthly allowance of Mr. Buddhika Prasad Hettiarachchi, our mathematics teacher for a year.
A bright new day dawned over Horizon Lanka Foundation, Mahawilachchiya, and as visitors from across the country (and world!) poured into the premises, the excitement of the children, dressed for the occasion, was indeed infectious.
Decked in vibrant colours, the new premises stood out proudly even from a distance. Soon the grounds were packed to capacity in front of the stage. Looking around, it was touching to see so many people from different communities and nations seated together for a single purpose; to share in the joy of the children of Horizon’s Lanka Foundation (HLF) as their new school building was opened.
Proceedings starting with the hoisting of flags and the unveiling of the building were followed by a cultural show and speeches of special invitees. Events started with religious observances and HLF did not forget to remember late donors and war and tsunami victims by observing a minute of silence.
Ven. Tantrimale Chandarathana, Chief Incumbent of the Ancient Rajamaha Viharaya, Tantrimale gave an inspiring speech and encouraged the people of Mahawilachchiya to embrace the opportunities that avail them by devoting time to the study of the English Language and IT. He went on to congratulate Mr. Nanda Wanninayaka (affectionately known as Wanni), founder of HLF, on the enormous effort put into bringing the school to this point of time. Ven Chandarathna encouraged Wanni to keep going despite obstacles placed in his path by outlining five steps in the social evolution process of a new initiative: 1. The skeptic will watch from hidden places. 2. He will throw the odd stone. 3. He will call together an army of those in opposition 4. On seeing that the “caravan will not stop despite the barking of the dogs” will come through the back door, unknown to his following, to become part of the initiative. 5. Others seeing their leader enjoying the benefits will join.
Mr. Manju Haththotuwa, MD/CEO, ICTA outlined 3 steps in successful rural development. 1. A village champion: one who will bring the awakening back to the village. 2. A Self realized Village: one that does not wait for handouts from the Government. 3. A firm belief that the best talent is found in the village. He went on to say the Horizons Lanka met all three and that ICTA was dedicated to replicating the success of Mahawilachchiya across the country.
Breaking at intervals, the visitors were treated to several cultural items performed by students of HLF. It was indeed amazing to note how talented these children really were. As these young girls and boys stepped to the rhythm of traditional and modern music, their attire symbolizing the multi-ethnicity of their own community, their faces bright with smiles, one tended to wonder why Sri Lanka had so many problems of war. As Wanni so correctly put it in his speech “… our enemy is not those who critiqued us, not flesh and blood; our enemy is poverty, ignorance and disunity. It is our – all of us – social duty to fight this enemy.”
ICTA joins all the other well wishes of HLF in wishing the children of Mahavillachiya a prosperous future and hope from this village will rise just, inspirational and visionary leaders of our nation.