I am very excited to be here as the 63rd volunteer at Horizon Lanka. Volunteering in Sri Lanka has always been a goal of mine since it’s my neighbor country and I have been longing for many years to travel to Sri Lanka. Even though I have traveled to many countries for work or sightseeing purposes, this is my first trip to Sri Lanka. Volunteering in Sri Lanka fills me with a sense of purpose and I will do everything I can for the Sri Lankan people.
Volunteering in Sri Lanka so far has been a wonderful experience and I am hoping to continue my volunteer work here in Horizon Lanka beyond my original plan of one month for a longer term. It’s an honor to meet Nanda Wanninayaka, the founder and CEO of Horizon Lanka. He is a friendly and easy going person that gives all volunteers many opportunities to teach English to the students, ages ranging from 7-16 years of age. The students are more eager to learn English and computers from the volunteers who come from around the world to teach them. It is a wonderful opportunity for the students to meet different nationalities and practice communicating in English.
I teach English and Tamil in Gamini Vidyalaya public school mornings from Monday to Friday. In the afternoon I teach English to the students in Horizon. On Saturday and half of Sunday I also teach. I have a great time with the Gamini School students because they are very eager to learn English and Tamil from me. I see that the Gamini School students show great respect to the teacher by kneeling down at the feet of the teachers, worshipping the teachers like they worship god or the Buddha. This is respect to the teachers is shown by students all over Sri Lanka. (In Sri Lanka, teachers are treated just next to gods.) This was a new experience for me and to see their humbleness and respect to the teachers made me feel good.
It’s nice for me to spend time with lots of volunteers from all over the world and share valuable experiences with them here. It was a pleasure to meet and spend time with Wasantha, a consultant for Horizon Lanka. When I first arrived, I stayed with Nanda for a while until I got a homestay with a host family. I stayed with them for many days and then moved back into Nanda’s house. I hope to get another host family soon.
In my opinion this is a worthwhile experience and anyone who is longing to teach English to students in any part of Asia is most welcome in Sri Lanka. Volunteering here is an unforgettable experience that greatly benefits the students’ knowledge of English as well their intercultural awareness. While I am here in Horizon Lanka, have visited some of the fascinating places nearby with the other volunteers and had great fun. I met a lot of great people like Nagy from Egypt, Costi from Italy, Cristina from Spain, Lea from Switzerland and Irina from Russia. We hope to meet more volunteers in the coming days, too. Volunteering in Sri Lanka feels really good and the energy of the students gives me energy to continue to teach English. I don’t ever get tired of teaching them and at the end of the day I go to sleep thinking about the activities and lessons I want to impart tomorrow. These are just some of the reasons I have chosen to travel to Sri Lanka as my volunteer destination and I hope you too choose Sri Lanka as your volunteering destination.
So, this was my awesome and wonderful experience by volunteering in Sri Lanka. I hope you too can enjoy this privilege one day.
Prince Leonard, India