We installed a CCTV camera system at Horizon Lanka computer lab today. We got the service from Wartech Neat Solutions in Anuradhapura. It cost us 55,020 LKR (371.46 USD.) This is very necessary for the protection of the equipment, the computer lab and the students. 10 years ago none of these was needed but with the changes in society even at village level, we had to install the camera system to be in the safe side. We did this on credit due to its urgent necessity. It would be great if you can help us pay the company who installed this. If you or your company can help us here, please contact us through firstname.lastname@example.org and we will give you the necessary banking information.
Zachary Grenzowski, a young man from Canada, arrived at the Horizon Lanka Foundation with the dawn of the New Year. He arrived on January 7, 2016 and spent six weeks at Horizon Lanka teaching English and computers to the students here. He is a graduate of University of Ottawa and is finishing a Master of Arts in Intercultural and International Communication at Royal Roads University.
Zach has been actively following Horizon Lanka online since 2008. When he finally could free himself from his obligations in Canada, he jumped on a plane to join the adventure. He was very committed to work and did a yeoman service to the organization by teaching, writing project proposals and revamping our website.
Zach’s approach to teaching was different. Not only was Zach a wonderful teacher in the classrooms, he was also an outstanding educator outside the school. He was often found walking around the village, interacting with locals and playing sports with the kids – cricket, volleyball and American football most of the time. He also taught English at nearby public school, Thakshila School.
In his suitcase, Zach generously brought three American footballs from Canada and taught the game to a regular crowd of enthusiastic children. The kids love that game ever since they watched the movie Remember the Titans at the foundation. In exchange, the children taught Zach how to play cricket, which he quickly became very fond of, despite the fact it is one of the most complicated games in the world in terms of rules and techniques.
We held a mini concert mid-February and Zach turned out to be a great dancing teacher too!
More than anything else, Zach is the perfect perfectionist I ever saw. I feel like he is another Steve Jobs when it comes to being perfect barring the former’s tyrannical leadership. He does not leave any need for anyone else to be doing “dotting i’s and crossing t’s” in his writing and his work in general.
Finally, Zach set up a fundraising page for a local girl whose life-threatening illness she could not afford to cure. The campaign is still running and over 2,000,000 LKR (13683.52 USD) have already been reaped from Zach’s efforts.
We miss Zach a lot. We hope he will visit us again.
Having learnt about Horizon Lanka Foundation through the media, Mr. Hasantha Lokugamage, a computer enthusiast and an Assistant Manager at Jetwing Hotels donated a CutieBoard set to Horizon Lanka in December, 2015. We thank Mr. Lokugamage for this generous donation. We are in the process of learning how to use the unit.
Since we are keen on studying computers at Horizon Lanka, we hope to find the knowledge necessary to use CubieBoard through friends and Internet. CubieBoard is mainly system on chip (SoC or SOC) miniature PC. But you can make use of it I/O pins for programming.
Having asked as to why Mr. Lokugamage thought of donating this unit, he answered thus. “I saw that what kids and Nanda Wanninayaka from Mahawilachchiya did a long time back from TV news and later from the Horizon Lanka web. I came to know that Horizon Lanka was inactive for few years (I don’t know the reason). But when you contacted me to get some info about Raspberry Pi, I was delighted to hear that Horizon Lanka is active again. So, I decided to donate CubieBoard to Horizon Lanka and happy to see rural youth who make use of it to learn ICT.”
“Cubieboard is a single-board computer, made in Zhuhai, Guangdong, China. The first short run of prototype boards were sold internationally in September 2012, and the production version started to be sold in October 2012. It can run Android 4 ICS, Ubuntu 12.04 desktop, Fedora 19 ARM Remix desktop, Archlinux ARM, a Debian-based Cubian distribution, or OpenBSD.” – Wikipedia
For more details on CubieBoard, please visit http://www.cubieboard.org.
Alberto Tosato was an Italian volunteer who worked at Horizon Lanka in February 2016. He came alone with his friend Mattia Brandolese who was also from Italy. He taught at Saliyamala Public School in the morning session and at Horizon Lanka in the evening and weekend sessions.