Horizon Lanka has been staging several mini concerts during the year 2016. We organize them mainly because we can get rid of stage phobia when we perform dance items on stage before the villagers. We have staged 6 mini concerts during the year. We ensured the final and the 7th concert be a mega concert as it coincided with the birthday of one of our donors, Ms. Greta Suffys from Belgium. She has been visiting Horizon Lanka since 2002, even during the height of the Civil War that did not spare our village, Mahawilachchiya from the terrorist attacks. Ms. Greta and the family has helped Horizon Lanka since 2002. The Belgian tourists who visited us with her also contributed to Horizon Lanka.
Ms. Greta’s birthday fell on November 3 and she visited Horizon Lanka with a group of tourists from Belgium on the 4th. We arranged 17 dance items to be performed at the concert. They were,
Welcome Dance – Sri Lankan
Smurf Song – Belgian
Ran Pokunen – Sri Lankan
Kurumitto – Sri Lankan
Boombastic – Western
Dethata Walalu– Sri Lankan
Barso Re – Indian
Macarina – Spanish
Taal Se Taal Mila – Indian
Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny – Western
Surangana Wes Wala – Sri Lankan
Livin La Vida Loca – Spanish
Lambada – Western
Waka Waka – Western
Gangnam Style – Korean
Thriller – Western
Marina – Belgian
We trained ourselves the dances for three months and performed them at this concert. I think everybody liked the dances. We got the full concert videoed by a professional video team. That cost us 60,000 LKR (400 USD.) A Pakistani documentary movie director who visited Horizon Lanka last year promised to do the editing of the full concert video free of charge. We had to spend on dancing clothes and costumes. Ms. Greta and other Belgian tourists donated a sizeable donation to cover some of the costs. We still have to pay for some of the expenses for the clothes we bought. We bought all clothes needed for the concert on loan as we wanted all dance items to be good. You can help covering the costs by donating through our crowdfunding campaign at https://www.generosity.com/education-fundraising/empowering-children-in-rural-sri-lanka. Those who donate 100 USD or more will be sent a full concert video by post if you send us your postal address. We know we are not professional dancers. But donating to us will help us improve our dancing skills further.
Meer Ali Muhammad is from India. He came to Sri Lanka in August, 2016. He volunteered at Horizon Lanka. He is a very friendly and kindhearted person. He stayed at my home. He was a part of our family during his stay at my home. He is very fond of drinking coconuts. We drank coconuts with him in Nimesh’s grandmother’s coconut garden. Meer planned a motor bicycle trip to Nuwara Eliya with Mr. Nanda. They visited tea gardens and temples there. Next they went to Yala Wildlife Park in Hambantota. It was a good exposure trip for Meer.
When he was about to leave the Mahawilachchiya he asked me to get a passport. He wanted me to take me a short trip to India. At first, I thought he was joking. But he was not.
I went to India with Sanduni and Miss Anupama who went there for another official Horizon Lanka tour. It was the first time we went overseas. We went to New Delhi, India. We met with Meer Bhai. He took me to a nice three-star hotel.
I was lucky to visit famous Taj Mahal in Agra, India with Meer. It was like Alice in the Wonderland experience to me, a dream walk in the moon. We all want Mr. Meer to come back to our village to spend some more time with us. We love to see his friends and family stay with us in our home. Thank you very much Meer. We will see each other soon in India or Sri Lanka, Inshallah………
Yesterday, the 11th December 2016, some of the Horizon Lanka students took a day trip to the jungle in honour of our volunteer Sarah Teichman leaving us. Sarah is a student from Boston, USA, who spent three weeks volunteering with us here in Mahawilachchiya while she researched the use of technology in a rural environment. We were sad to see her go but wish her all the best in her future travels and studies. At Horizon Lanka we really value our volunteers and treat them as a member of our community while they are here, which benefits both the locals who are willing to learn English and the volunteers who seek unique traveling experiences and an exchange of culture.
In preparation for our jungle adventure, we stocked up on necessary supplies required for tea and rotti making, piled onto the Landmaster’s (essentially a very small tractor) trailer and set off. Once we reached our destination- a river bank on the edge of Wilpathtu- we collected firewood so that we could cook. Some of the women opted to stay by the river and prepare lunch while the rest of us went for a walk through the jungle. Apart from a tortoise, no wildlife was spotted but we DID collect some very tasty berries.
Worn out and hungry, we returned to our base to enjoy a lunch of tea, rottis and dhaal prepared by the mothers and grandmothers of some of the students. After lunch the children played in the river and climbed trees until it was time to go home.
Another wonderful day in the beautiful natural landscape of Sri Lanka.
Nanda Wanninayaka, Founder of Horizon Lanka Foundation
In the past year, we have improved Horizon Lanka with the very limited resources we had. With our current facilities, we cannot accommodate more students, so for now we are working to improve the academic abilities of our present students. Unless we gain sufficient facilities and resources, we will not enroll more than 100 students next year.
I am writing to you now to see if we can expect your sponsorship for the coming year. If so, please read through our attached budget and assist us by donating by card to our online crowdfunding campaign at https://www.generosity.com/education-fundraising/empowering-children-in-rural-sri-lanka or by check. If check is more convenient, please send me an email to get our bank account details.
During the past year, twenty volunteers have come to Horizon to teach our students. Two of our students were invited to tour India. Two others have been invited to visit the USA for a study tour next year, and another two have been invited to Belgium for a similar tour.
In the coming year, we will continue to focus on ICT and English education, while also creating opportunities for students to improve their talents in fine arts and sports. Please consider donating to help Horizon succeed in 2017.