Horizon Lanka Foundation Launches Horizon Academy – Ranpathvila on November 01, 2017

Students at Horizon Academy in Ranpathvila

Students at Horizon Academy in RanpathvilaHorizon Lanka Foundation (HLF) starts its flagship academic institute, the fourth branch of Horizon Academy in Ranpathvila, Kahatagasgidiliya, Anuradhapura tomorrow, November 01, 2017. The HLF started its first Horizon Academy in Mahawilachchiya in August 01, 1998 (19 years ago) and the second on May 01, 2017 in Tantirimale (5 months ago) and the third on September 01, 2017 in Anuradhapura City (one month ago) and have plans to start its 5th branch in Ralapanawa, Nochchiyagama, Anuradhapura on December 01, 2017.

The idea of starting a Horizon Academy in Ranpathvila is quite abrupt, unexpected and interesting. My eldest brother, Nayanasena Wanninayake who works as a civil engineer in the United Arab Emirates (and also a Sinhala lyrycyst) shared a story on Facebook about a young and energetic Sinhala teacher (Mr. Sugath Nayanananda) who contributed to a free nightly school classes program at Welusuamana Maha Vidyalaya, Thammannewa, Mihintale, Anuradhapura under the blessings of the then principal of the school Mrs. Lalana Dimuthu Wijayanganai. (She is the principal of Kahatagasdigiliya Central College now and continues the nightly school there too.) The subjects covered in this very productive program were Sinhala, English, science, mathematics, history, ICT and aesthetic subjects. The results of the program were amazing and the students’ pass rates at the national level exam GCE Ordinary Level usually taken by students during the final two years of Senior Secondary School [Grade 10 & 11 (usually ages 15–16)] improved significantly and both Welusuamana Maha Vidyalaya and Kahatagasdigiliya Central College successfully continue the program. I visited Welusuamana Maha Vidyalaya on my personal capacity a few weeks ago and met the staff and I am yet to visit Kahatagasdigiliya Central College.

Having shared the information about Sugath’s contribution to this exceptional program, my brother asked me if I could help them academically in any way possible. Since I have an “unending emotional bond” to the area and I saw this is a perfect program for Horizon Lanka to be of some service to the region, I had a couple of meetings with Sugath and we both decided to start a Horizon Academy branch in Ranpathvila where the students from Kahatagasdigiliya and Mihintale have easy access to since it is situated in the Anuradhapura – Trincomalee main road. There are around 10-15 smaller rural schools in the area and hopefully those students too could join Horizon Academy – Ranpathvila.

So, please share this story with the students and the youth in the adjoining areas and tell them to join Horizon Academy at their earliest. The Academy starts officially tomorrow (November 01, 2017) at 3.00 pm and the course fees for the first month (November) will be completely free of charge and there will be a fee of 500 LKR per student for a range of subjects from English to ICT to robotics to aesthetics subjects to sports.

So, come and join us at Horizon Academy, The First and Only Edutainment Academy of Sri Lanka. Miss Melissa Schmitt from France has joined the institute as the first foreign volunteer at the Academy.

Contact Mr. Sugath Nayanananda, the Manager of Horizon Academy – Ranpathvila at sugath@horizonlanka.org through email and on 077-4499924 or 071-4299924 on mobile or Mr. Namal Thissa, the English Teacher of the academy at namal@horizonlanka.org and on 077-4546484 or 071-9937398.

So, see you at Horizon Academy – Ranpathvila tomorrow at 3.00 pm.

Thanks to my brother Nayanasena Wanninayaka for making this connection which will in turn do a big difference in the education in the area. Let’s hope for the best.

Nanda Wanninayaka

Nanda, Madhu, Sugath, Melissa and Quentin at a meeting at Namal's house.
Nanda, Madhu, Sugath, Melissa and Quentin at a meeting at Namal’s house.
Sugath Nayanananda introducing the Horizon Academy program to students in Ranpathvila on September 26, 2017
Sugath Nayanananda introducing the Horizon Academy program to students in Ranpathvila on September 26, 2017
Nanda Wanninayaka introducing the Horizon Academy program to students in Ranpathvila on September 26, 2017
Nanda Wanninayaka introducing the Horizon Academy program to students in Ranpathvila on September 26, 2017
Students at the first awareness event at Ranpathvila on September 26, 2017
Students at the first awareness event at Ranpathvila on September 26, 2017
A statue of Gog Aiyanayaka, a regional god with an elephant head and trunk traditionally respected by villagers in Dry Zone of Sri Lanka
A statue of Gog Aiyanayaka, a regional god with an elephant head and trunk traditionally respected by villagers in Dry Zone of Sri Lanka

 

Improving 3G Mobile Coverage in Mahawilachchiya by Dialog Axiata – Update 3

Dialog technical team at Prabodha Sandeepani's house in Mahawilachchiya

Dialog technical team at Prabodha Sandeepani's house in MahawilachchiyaDialog Axiata PLC provided 3G coverage to the whole Mahawilachchiya village in 2009 on the request of Mr. Nanda Wanninayaka, the Founder of Horizon Lanka Foundation long before some bigger towns in Anuradhapura were provided the facility. Of late, some of the other mobile operators like Hutch and Mobitel also extended their 2G coverages into 3G but only small pockets of the village are covered with 3G access by them while Dialog Axiata uses two communication towers in Mahawilachchiya to provide a wider 3G coverage.

With the number of Dialog customers being increased for both voice and data, the Dialog 3G connectivity has become slow of late and it is difficult to enjoy an uninterrupted 3G coverage as the 3G facility keeps switching between 3G (HSPA) and 2G (EDGE) coverage quite often and the communication is affected. It even deteriorated with the arrival of the monsoon rains.

So, Mr. Nuwan Samaranayake, a Sri Lankan born software engineer who works in Houston, Texas, USA was keen to have a stronger 3G coverage in Mahawilachchiya as he is using internet to teach a student named Aruni Apsara of Grade 9. He uses both Skype and Facebook facetime to teach her and the results are amazing. The lucky girl has bettered her marks at each term tests in English, science and mathematics due to untiring efforts of Mr. Samaranayake. He was worried when the communication started being affected due to low signals. He asked Mr. Wanninayaka as how to solve this problem because he is planning to encourage Houston-based Sri Lankan American community to teach more students in Mahawilachchiya village using Internet. Mr. Wanninayaka told him the best thing would be to raise the issue with Dialog Axiata’s young CEO Mr. Supun Weerasinghe himself. The former did so and the latter immediately sent a technical team on October 26, 2017 to go to a few affected students’ houses and check the internet signals. The team headed by Mr. Kasun Aththanayaka of Dialog Axiata PLC went to affected students’ houses and reported the problem to the Dialog Head Office. Now they are working on readjusting the communication devices at Dialog Axiata’s tower at Kiralpetiyawa, Mahawilachchiya to improve the quality of the coverage.

We at Horizon Lanka Foundation thank Mr. Nuwan Samaranayake for raising the issue with Dialog Axiata and Mr. Supun Weerasinghe for the prompt action. Let us hope that the 3G coverage in Mahawilachchiya be improved significantly and the students and the community of Mahawilachchiya would be benefitted as a result.

Dialog Axiata PLC has assisted Horizon Lanka Foundation over the years whenever we requested their assistance. Read more at http://www.horizonlanka.org/en/?s=Dialog+telekom&submit=Search

Dialog technical team at Aruni Apsara's house in Mahawilachchiya

Dialog technical team at Pramodhya Umayangani's house in Mahawilachchiya

A Dedicated Internet Connection to Horizon Lanka Foundation from Dialog Axiata – Update 2

A Dedicated Internet Connection to Horizon Lanka Foundation from Dialog Axiata – Update 2

Dialog Axiata staff with the students of Horizon Academy, Mahawilachchiya

Since July, 2014, with the resumption of our academic activities after a lapse of 3 and half years, the Horizon Lanka Foundation is using Dialog 3G broadband internet facilities using an internet dongle to connect to the Internet. Only Dialog Axiata PLC provides decent 3G coverage to the whole Mahawilachchiya village while the other operators are covering only small pockets of the village with 3G access.

With the number of Dialog customers being increased for both voice and data, the connectivity became slow of late and it was difficult to enjoy an uninterrupted 3G coverage as the 3G facility started to switch between 3G (HSPA) and 2G (EDGE) coverage quite often and the communication was affected. It even deteriorated with the arrival of the monsoon rainy season.

So, Mr. Nuwan Samaranayake, a gentleman who works in Houston, Texas, USA was keen to have a stronger 3G coverage in Mahawilachchiya as he is using internet to teach a student called Aruni Apsara of Grade 9. He uses both Skype and Facebook facetime to teach her and the results are amazing. The lucky girl has bettered her marks at each term tests in English, science and mathematics due to untiring efforts of Mr. Samaranayake. He was worried when the communication started affecting due to low signals. He asked me how to solve this problem because he is planning to encourage Houston-based Sri Lankan American community to teach more students in the village using Internet. I told him the best thing would be to raise the issue with Dialog Axiata’s young CEO Mr. Supun Weerasinghe. The former did so and Mr. Weerasinghe immediately sent a technical team to see what technology can be used to provide an uninterrupted data line to Horizon Lanka and the rest of the village.

A team of technicians from Dialog Axiata visited Mahawilachchiya on October 13, 2017 and they decided to erect an additional tower at the Horizon Lanka Foundation premises as a solution. Since they did not have the equipment in their stores at that time, they left the village with the promise of returning with the equipment as soon as they were available.

The Dialog Axiata technical team returned to Horizon Lanka Foundation, Mahawilachchiya on October 18, 2017 with the necessary equipment and the technicians. They erected a tower at Horizon Lanka and tested the signal strength. We were lucky to hear from the team leader that the signal strength is very satisfying and they can connect Horizon Lanka to a very decent internet backbone with Dialog Axiata. The team told us that they would report the results to the company and the company would get back to us with the necessary paperwork and the agreements in two weeks. As soon as those formalities are done, the children at Horizon Academy, Mahawilachchiya will have unlimited faster access to the Internet like they used to have during the period April 2004 to February 2011. This would make a big difference in the academic achievements of the children in Mahawilachchiya in the coming months.

We at Horizon Lanka Foundation thank Mr. Nuwan Samaranayake for raising the issue with Dialog Axiata and Mr. Supun Weerasinghe for the prompt action. Let us hope that a dedicated and faster internet connection would be made available for both Horizon Lanka Foundation and the rest of the village soon.

Dialog Axiata PLC has assisted Horizon Lanka Foundation over the years whenever we requested their assistance. Read more at http://www.horizonlanka.org/en/?s=Dialog+telekom&submit=Search

A Dedicated Internet Connection to Horizon Lanka Foundation from Dialog Axiata – Update 1

Diaog Axiatta PLC team at Horizon Lanka

Diaog Axiata PLC team at Horizon LankaSince July, 2014, with the resumption of our academic activities after a lapse of 3 and half years, the Horizon Lanka Foundation is using Dialog 3G broadband internet facilities using an internet dongle to connect to the Internet. Only Dialog Axiata PLC provides decent 3G coverage to the whole Mahawilachchiya village while the other operators are covering only small pockets of the village with 3G access.

With the number of Dialog customers being increased for both voice and data, the connectivity became slow of late and it was difficult to enjoy an uninterrupted 3G coverage as the 3G facility started to switch between 3G (HSPA) and 2G (EDGE) coverage quite often and the communication was affected. It even deteriorated with the arrival of the monsoon rainy season.

So, Mr. Nuwan Samaranayake, a gentleman who works in Houston, Texas, USA was keen to have a stronger 3G coverage in Mahawilachchiya as he is using internet to teach a student called Aruni Apsara of Grade 9. He uses both Skype and Facebook facetime to teach her and the results are amazing. The lucky girl has bettered her marks at each term tests in English, science and mathematics due to untiring efforts of Mr. Samaranayake. He was worried when the communication started affecting due to low signals. He asked me how to solve this problem because he is planning to encourage Houston-based Sri Lankan American community to teach more students in the village using Internet. I told him the best thing would be to raise the issue with Dialog Axiata’s young CEO Mr. Supun Weerasinghe. The former did so and Mr. Weerasinghe immediately sent a technical team to see what technology can be used to provide an uninterrupted data line to Horizon Lanka and the rest of the village.

A team of technicians from Dialog Axiata visited Mahawilachchiya on October 13, 2017 and they decided to erect an additional tower at the Horizon Lanka Foundation premises as a solution. Since they did not have the equipment in their stores at that time, they left the village with the promise of returning with the equipment as soon as they were available.

We at Horizon Lanka Foundation thank Mr. Nuwan Samaranayake for raising the issue with Dialog Axiata and Mr. Supun Weerasinghe for the prompt action. Let us hope that a dedicated and faster internet connection would be made available for both Horizon Lanka Foundation and the rest of the village soon.

Dialog Axiata PLC has assisted Horizon Lanka Foundation over the years whenever we requested their assistance. Read more at http://www.horizonlanka.org/en/?s=Dialog+telekom&submit=Search

Diaog Axiatta PLC team at Horizon Lanka
Diaog Axiata PLC team at Horizon Lanka
Diaog Axiatta PLC team at Horizon Lanka
Diaog Axiata PLC team at Horizon Lanka
Diaog Axiatta PLC team at Horizon Lanka
Diaog Axiata PLC team at Horizon Lanka
Diaog Axiatta PLC team at Horizon Lanka
Diaog Axiata PLC team at Horizon Lanka
Diaog Axiatta PLC team at Horizon Lanka
Diaog Axiata PLC team at Horizon Lanka
Diaog Axiata PLC team at Aruni Apsara's house
Diaog Axiata PLC team at Aruni Apsara’s house
Diaog Axiata PLC team at Aruni Apsara's house
Diaog Axiata PLC team at Aruni Apsara’s house
Diaog Axiata PLC team at Aruni Apsara's house
Diaog Axiata PLC team at Aruni Apsara’s house
Diaog Axiata PLC team at Aruni Apsara's house
Diaog Axiata PLC team at Aruni Apsara’s house

A Tab for Tharushika Sujani Rathnayaka from Mr. Qurro Lopez Torres from Spain

Tharushika Sujani Rathnayaka getting a Samsung tab from Mr. Qurro Lopez Torres

Tharushika Sujani Rathnayaka getting a Samsung tab from Mr. Qurro Lopez Torres

Horizon Lanka Foundation’s 92nd foreign volunteer, Mr. Qurro Lopez Torres brought two tabs for the students of Horizon Academy – Mahawilachchiya. The first tab was donated to Pramodhya Umayangani Gunarathna of Grade 8. The second tab, a bigger Samsung tab was given to Tharushika Sujani Rathnayaka of Grade 10. She was selected to make a presentation in Cape Town, South America this year but was denied the visa. But we are hopeful she would get another chance next year. Now that she has this tab she has to teach how to use the tab to other students and share it with others whenever they need it. Thanks Qurro for this generous gift.

Tharushika Sujani Rathnayaka getting a Samsung tab from Mr. Qurro Lopez Torres
Tharushika Sujani Rathnayaka getting a Samsung tab from Mr. Qurro Lopez Torres
Tharushika Sujani Rathnayaka getting a Samsung tab from Mr. Qurro Lopez Torres
Tharushika Sujani Rathnayaka getting a Samsung tab from Mr. Qurro Lopez Torres
Tharushika Sujani Rathnayaka getting a Samsung tab from Mr. Qurro Lopez Torres
Tharushika Sujani Rathnayaka getting a Samsung tab from Mr. Qurro Lopez Torres
Tharushika Sujani Rathnayaka getting a Samsung tab from Mr. Qurro Lopez Torres
Tharushika Sujani Rathnayaka getting a Samsung tab from Mr. Qurro Lopez Torres

A Tab for Pramodhya Umayangani Gunarathna from Mr. Qurro Lopez Torres from Spain

Pramodhya Umayangani getting a tab from Mr. Qurro Lopez as a gift.

Pramodhya Umayangani getting a tab from Mr. Qurro Lopez Torres as a gift.

Horizon Lanka Foundation’s 92nd foreign volunteer, Mr. Qurro Lopez Torres brought a Nevir tab for the students of Horizon Academy – Mahawilachchiya. Since Pramodhya Umayangani Gunarathna of Grade 8 has been selected to go to Mumbai, India to represent Sri Lanka on a karate tournament, the administration of the Foundation decided that the tab should go to Pramodhya for her communication before, during and after the tour. (She is expected to teach how to use the tab to other students and share it with others whenever they need it.) Thanks Qurro for this generous gift.

Pramodhya Umayangani getting a tab from Mr. Qurro Lopez Torres as a gift.
Pramodhya Umayangani getting a tab from Mr. Qurro Lopez Torres as a gift.
Pramodhya Umayangani getting a tab from Mr. Qurro Lopez as a gift.
Pramodhya Umayangani getting a tab from Mr. Qurro Lopez as a gift.
Pramodhya Umayangani getting a tab from Mr. Qurro Lopez as a gift.
Pramodhya Umayangani getting a tab from Mr. Qurro Lopez as a gift.
Pramodhya Umayangani getting a tab from Mr. Qurro Lopez as a gift.
Pramodhya Umayangani getting a tab from Mr. Qurro Lopez as a gift.

Shoes for the Students in Horizon Academy, Mahawilachchiya

Respecting the visitors
Respecting the visitors
Welcoming the visitors

A group of Sri Lankan children in Chicago, USA held their annual talent show with the help of their families in August, 2016. Having learnt about Horizon Lanka through a mutual friend, they donated a portion of the collection, 250 USD (38,267.50 LKR) to us.

Mr. Buddika Gajapala and his family visited Horizon Lanka on June 11, 2017. They are a Sri Lankan American family that lives in Chicago, the United States of America. They brought us stationary, USB pen drives, a lot of good quality reading glasses, a robotic unit and an Amazon Kindle Fire e-book reader.

Last Sunday, the October 1, 2017 Mr. Nihal Jayawardhana and Mrs. Nayana Jayawardhana from Colombo visited Horizon Academy, Tantirimale and donated 20 vouchers to by DSI http://www.dsi.lk/ shoes for the students at Horizon Academy, Mahawilachchiya. Each voucher has a value of 1,000 LKR (6.5 USD.) The children were very happy with this generous donation. They also received a bar of chocolate for each student from the visitors. Mr. and Mrs. Jayawardhana, Lieutenant Colonel Kanishka Jayawardhana and his son came to Tantirimale to make this donation.

Children at Horizon Academy, Mahawilachchiya did some dancing items to entertain the visitors.

The funds for this donation were raised by “Chicago Sri Lankan Children’s Talent Show,” Co-organized by Nadun Gajapala, Ruchira Fernando and Sean Randunne. We thank you all for this kind gesture.

Before coming to Mahawilachchiya, they also donated 64 vouchers to buy DSI shoes.

Mr. Ranjan Rathnamala, the Manager of Horizon Academy, Mahawilachchiya and Mr. Nihal Jayawardana addressing the gathering
Mr. Ranjan Rathnamala, the Manager of Horizon Academy, Mahawilachchiya and Mr. Nihal Jayawardana addressing the gathering
Visitors from Colombo relaxing at Horizon Academy, Mahawilachchiya
Visitors from Colombo relaxing at Horizon Academy, Mahawilachchiya
Ashen Chandoopa, our videographer
Ashen Chandoopa, our videographer
Lieutenant Colonel Kanishka Jayawardhana and Ranjan Rathnamalala
Lieutenant Colonel Kanishka Jayawardhana and Ranjan Rathnamalala
Saying goodbye
Saying goodbye
Visitors getting ready to leave Mahawilachchiya
Visitors getting ready to leave Mahawilachchiya

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27uB5SZiJi4&feature=youtu.be

Shoes for the Students in Horizon Academy, Tantirimale

donating shoes

donating shoesA group of Sri Lankan children in Chicago, USA held their annual talent show with the help of their families in August, 2016. Having learnt about Horizon Lanka through a mutual friend, they donated a portion of the collection, 250 USD (38267.50 LKR) to us.

Mr. Buddika Gajapala and his family visited Horizon Lanka on June 11, 2017. They are a Sri Lankan American family that lives in Chicago, the United States of America. They brought us stationary, USB pen drives, a lot of good quality reading glasses, a robotic unit and an Amazon Kindle Fire e-book reader.

Last Sunday, the October 1, 2017 Mr. Nihal Jayawardhana and Mrs. Nayana Jayawardhana from Colombo visited Horizon Academy, Tantirimale and donated 64 vouchers to by DSI shoes for the students at Horizon Academy, Tantirimale. Each voucher has a value of 1,000 LKR (6.5 USD.) The children were very happy with this generous donation. They also received a bar of chocolate for each student from the visitors. Mr. and Mrs. Jayawardhana, Lieutenant Colonel Kanishka Jayawardhana and his son came to Tantirimale to make this donation.

The funds for this donation were raised by “Chicago Sri Lankan Children’s Talent Show,” Co-organized by Nadun Gajapala, Ruchira Fernando and Sean Randunne. We thank you all for this kind gesture.

donating shoes
Mrs. Nayana Jayawardhana donating shoes to the children of Horizon Academy, Tantirimale
Students at Horizon Academy, Tantirimale
Students at Horizon Academy, Tantirimale
A few students at the computer lab
A few students at the computer lab
Some of the students of Horizon Academy, Tantirimale
Some of the students of Horizon Academy, Tantirimale
Some of the students
Some of the students
A girl doing the Thank You speech
A girl doing the Thank You speech