Miss Sona Forstlova from The Czech Republic volunteered at Horizon Lanka Foundation in July, 2017.
Volunteering at Horizon Lanka
I dreamed to visit Sri Lanka and spend there some time to do voluntary work and because I work as a primary school teacher, it was clear that I would like to do voluntary work in this field.
I had really good review from my friends who worked in Horizon Academy in last years, so I asked my friend Monika and we contacted the founder of Horizon Lanka – Nanda. The communication with him was really nice, he was able to answer all our questions.
After some problems with drought in Mahawilachchiya we had to spend some time in other organization on Sri Lanka. It was little bit unpleasant to solve three days before your arrival to Sri Lanka that you should go to other organization, but Nanda arranged it and after one week, we spend in Kekirawa Learning Centre, we moved to Mahawilachchiya.
We spent one week in Mahawilachchiya. In the morning, we taught at Gamini Public School and in the afternoon, we provided program for about 30 children about 6 years old. We taught them English through games, songs and chants and we also did some exercise and dance.
The last night before our departure, there was a nice ceremony with dance. This night after the program, Nanda told us, that Horizon Lanka doesn’t have money to pay our host family. It was a little bit awkward. It is not a problem to pay for food and accommodation to your family, for us. But the way we find it out was unfair. The conditions were arranged before and it was not kept.
Volunteering at a public school
Every morning, we went to school at 8 o´clock. The lessons started at 8,30 o´clock and we usually taught for 4 lessons, so we finished about 11,30 o´clock.
It was a new cultural experience to wear the sari to school. It looked very nice but I have to say it was pretty uncomfortable! J It was too hot at in and you couldn´t move as you need.
Children at school were really happy to spend time with us as the teachers. It was really good experience to teach there because it is completely different from the Czech Republic. Children were all the time very active. We did activities like games and songs in English, in higher grades we discuss about differences between Sri Lanka and the Czech Republic.
Life with our hosts
We spent one week in family of Tharani. It was the best experience and through this, I would like to thank the family again, because they took care about us as our real family. I felt there like at home.
We visited the local Buddhist temple or the local market together. We also tried to discuss about the life in Mahawilachchiya and in our town in the Czech Republic and all the differences (and there are many!). J
Life in Sri Lanka
After one week in Sri Lanka we spent next two weeks on journey around Sri Lanka. We visited many famous places as Sigiriya, Adam´s Peak, Kandy, Ravana Falls, Udawalawe National Park, Mirrisa Beach, Galle Fort etc. But the best experience for me – tea plantations around Haputale. – Sona Forstlova