Mr. Prakash Nayak from Odisha, India is a good friend of the Founder of the Horizon Lanka Foundation, Mr. Nanda Wanninayaka. The former introduced Mr. Wanninayaka to Rupak Roy Choudhury, National Coordinator, Sulabh WASH in Schools Program of Sulabh International. Sulabh International invited one of the Horizon Lanka students, Miss Shanika Ishanthi Sudarshanage with a lady teacher of Horizon Lanka, Mrs. Ramanee Wanninayaka to participate in International Toilet Festival in November, 2014 in New Delhi, India.
Sulabh International extended an invitation to Horizon Lanka Foundation once again in September, 2016. This time I was the lucky girl to participate in the Sanitation and Hygiene Conclave in New Delhi, India. I was selected to go to New Delhi, India after a rigid interview process held by Horizon Lanka staff. I was very happy about this as I had never been overseas in my life. I was to make a presentation at the Sulabh Foundation on hygiene. I prepared myself for my presentation at Horizon Lanka. We had a lot of cleaning activities and photo sessions for the presentation. Miss Bára Molnárová, our volunteer teacher from the Czech Republic trained me a lot. My friends also helped me to take photos and prepare for the presentation.
Miss Anupama, a Horizon Lanka teacher was my chaperon. My fellow student, Surendra also was with me as he was invited to visit New Delhi by one of our former volunteers, Meer Ali from India. On September 16, 2016 we left Katunayaka airport to Chennai at 1.45 a.m. then to New Delhi. Around 12.30 noon we arrived at New Delhi. Sulabh School organizers came to the airport to welcome us.
We were very comfortable at Galaxy hotel in New Delhi. It was my first overseas travel and stay aboard. First day, we slept in our hotel room more than 10 hours.
We started our work with an event of Sri Narendra Modi’s birthday party. It was a fun.
18.09.2016 there was small work shop at Galaxy auditorium. It was a group event. I was with Indians and Sri Lankans sharing experience. I did a presentation for them about our progress in water, sanitation and hygiene in Sri Lanka.
We went to see the Taj Mahal, in Agra on September 19, 2016. We left the hotel at 9.00 a.m. Taj Mahal was very beautifully built. It is a monument of love. Emperor Shah Jahan built it in the memory of his queen Mumtaz Mahal. When we came back to hotel it was 12.30 p.m. It was my dream to visit the Taj Mahal. I am happy that I realized that dream thanks to Horizon Lanka and Sulabh School.
We went to the Sulabh School on September 20, 2016. We visited the different sections of the school. We again went to Sulabh on September 21, 2016. That was the day of the final presentation of the Sanitation and Hygiene Conclave. The event was attended by students from SAARC countries. I was the student selected from Sri Lanka. Nepali, Bhutan, Bangladeshi, Indian and Afghanistan girls were also made presentations on sanitation and hygiene. A Bhutan girl made a good presentation. I also did my best. Six girls were selected to go to the next level presentation in South Africa.
We received few gifts and we also shared gifts with others. We received souvenirs and financial gifts.
We all sang our national anthems. We sang Sri Lankan national anthem.
I thank Mr. Rupak Roy and Sulabh Foundation for this wonderful opportunity given to me and Horizon Lanka. Hope another girl from Horizon Lanka will be invited for the next event.
Next day we left the hotel and joined with our Indian friend, Meer Ali who volunteered at Horizon Lanka in August. Surendra also was with him.
Meer invited us for lunch and went to see Lotus Temple and India Gate. That was very beautiful. That day we stayed with Meer in a hotel. Four of us were there. We had good dinner.
Next day we went to Sarojini Nagar. We bought sarees and other gifts for our friends in Sri Lanka.
We came to New Delhi airport by 4.45 p.m. the same day. We boarded in to the flight at 6.00 p.m. We came back to Colombo Airport by 1.45 a.m. My parents were there to receive me. I earned a lot of experiences in the trip. I want to start my own sanitation club at Horizon Lanka. Horizon Lanka embarked on a project to Make Mahawilachchiya the Cleanest Village of Sri Lanka. We started it today (December 30, 2016) with starting cleaning the Sadasarna Reservoir in our village.
Sanduni Kaushika Jayathilaka firstname.lastname@example.org Grade 8, Horizon Lanka Academy