92. Qurro Lopez – Spain

Qurro Lopez – Spain

Qurro Lopez – Spain

Mr. Qurro Lopez from Spain volunteered at Horizon Lanka Foundation in October, 2017. Mr. Lopez taught both English and Spanish to the children. Though there had been volunteers from Spain before, it was Mr. Lopez who started teaching the children Spanish first. The students, especially the younger students caught the language very fast. Mr. Lopez and his friends and his students in his yoga school in Spain collectively donated 90,000 LKR (585.70 USD) to be distributed among the students as scholarships money for their expenses in 2017. Prabodha Kalotuwawa got 20,000 LKR  (130 USD) while others will get the rest of the money depending on their achievements by December 31, 2017. Mr. Lopez also donated two used tabs to be used by two of the students, Pramodhya Gunarathna and Tharushika Rathnayaka of Horizon Academy – Mahawilachchiya.

Qurro Lopez teaching the students at Horizon Academy - Mahawilachchiya.
Qurro Lopez teaching the students at Horizon Academy – Mahawilachchiya.

Qurro Lopez at Horizon Academy - Mahawilachchiya
Qurro Lopez at Horizon Academy – Mahawilachchiya
Quro Lopez with the kids in Mahawilachchiya
Quro Lopez with the kids in Mahawilachchiya

Toys for junior students at Horizon Academy - Mahawilachchiya from Mr. Qurro Lopez.
Toys for junior students at Horizon Academy – Mahawilachchiya from Mr. Qurro Lopez.
Qurro Lopez donating a used tab to student Pramodhya Gunarathna
Qurro Lopez donating a used tab to student Pramodhya Gunarathna
Qurro Lopez donated a used tab to student Tharushika Rathnayaka
Qurro Lopez donated a used tab to student Tharushika Rathnayaka
A friend of Mr. Qurro Lopez donated 20,000 LKR (130 USD) for the student Prabodha Kalotuwawa.
A friend of Mr. Qurro Lopez donated 20,000 LKR (130 USD) for the student Prabodha Kalotuwawa.
Mr. Qurro Lopez and Mr. Nanda Wanninayaka enjoying dancing with us at the Farewell Party of Mr. Lopez.
Mr. Qurro Lopez and Mr. Nanda Wanninayaka enjoying dancing with us at the Farewell Party of Mr. Lopez.

Saying goodbye is never easy.
Saying goodbye is never easy.

Horizon Lanka Foundation Launches Horizon Academy – Ralapanawa on December 01, 2017

Nadeeka Kumarasingha with a computer at Horizon Academy - Mahawilachchiya.

Nadeeka Kumarasingha with a computer at Horizon Academy - Mahawilachchiya.

Horizon Lanka Foundation (HLF) starts its flagship academic institute, the fifth branch of Horizon Academy in Ralapanawa, Nochchiyagama, Anuradhapura on December 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 ½ months ago) and the third on September 01, 2017 in Anuradhapura City (1 ½ months ago) and the fourth in Ranpathvila on November 01, 2017 (15 days ago) and getting prepared to start its 5th branch in Ralapanawa, Nochchiyagama, Anuradhapura on December 01, 2017.

Even though there is a big school and a number of small schools in Nochchiyagama, students’ English and ICT knowledge are much to be desired. We were looking for a good location to start a Horizon Academy close to Nochchiyagama. Then I remembered that a former bright student of mine, Nadeeka Sajeewani is settled in Ralapanawa with her family. So, I sent a message to them to come and meet me. Nadeeka was one of the brightest and most dynamic students Horizon Lanka Foundation can boast of. She was a creative dancer, a terrific singer, an avid graphic and web designer, an aggressive sportswoman and an excellent presenter. So, I thought why not use her to start the new Horizon Academy in Nochchiyagama? So, I proposed my idea to Nadeeka and her husband Rohana  and they were over the moon to hear it. We can recruit Nadeeka to teach English (and ICT, dancing, etc.)

I visited their house which is being built but there is ample space in her house and the garden to start the Academy. So, we had an extensive discussion and then decided to start the Horizon Academy – Ralapanawa, Nochchiyagama, Anuradhapura on December 01, 2017.

We are happy to say that already a regular Horizon Lanka donor, Ms. Vayomi Wijeratne has donated 21,000 LKR (136.71 USD) for Nadeeka to enroll for a Certificate Course in English at Rajarata University of Sri Lanka. We are looking for another donor to provide a similar training to another girl or boy to do the same course but she/he would mostly teach ICT. We need all our staff members to communicate in English fluently. Nadeeka’s husband, Rohana can be recruited as the manager of the Academy and these three positions would be sufficient for the Horizon Academy – Ralapanawa for the first year.

We keep getting qualified foreign volunteers to teach English and other languages and ICT in our academies and a couple from the United Kingdom has agreed to volunteer at the academy at Ralapanawa in December. We will get many more and we won’t have teacher shortages. By working with foreign volunteer teachers, the local staff also will improve their English and ICT knowledge faster.

Like in all our other Horizon Academies, the students and the youth in Nochchiyagama area will be able to learn English, Spanish, French, German and Japanese at Ralapanawa. They will also learn ICT, Robotics and IoT. In addition, they will do sports such as American football, rugby, soccer, cricket, volleyball and martial arts. To produce a balance student, we have also added aesthetic subject areas such as dancing, music, painting, etc. to break the monotony.

So, come and join us at Horizon Academy – Ralapanawa. Ms. Georgina Williamson and Mr. Jess Williamson from the United Kingdom would be the first two foreign volunteer at the Academy.

So, we need your support for capital expenditure and recurrent costs at least for the first year. Our idea is to reach the breakeven stage within the first six months and then become sustainable within the first year. With the experiences of 19 years in the field of English and ICT supplementary education, I am sure we can achieve the goal we set up.

So, please help us. You an either contact me through mobile phone on 0094 7777 02678 or 0094 7185 08537 or nanda@horizonlanka.org or nanda.wanninayaka@gmail.com if you need our bank details. Or you can simply donate with your credit card through our crowdfunding campaign at https://www.generosity.com/education-fundraising/empowering-children-in-rural-sri-lanka. You can download our Annual Budget in Microsoft Excel here. HORIZON ACADEMY – RALAPANAWA – ANNUAL BUDGET You can sponsor any of the expenses in full or in portions. 

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 on December 01, 2017 at 3.00 pm and the course fees for the first month (December) will be completely free and there will be a fee of 500 LKR per student from January for all the subjects mentioned above.

Contact Mr. Rohana Kumarasingha, the Manager of Horizon Academy – Ralapanawa at rohana@horizonlanka.org through email and on 071-3902542 on mobile or Ms. Nadeeka Kumarasingha, the English Teacher of the academy at nadeeka@horizonlanka.org and on 071-8705428.

So, see you at Horizon Academy – Ralapanawa on December 01, 2017 at 3.00 pm.

Nanda Wanninayaka, the Founder and the Chairman of Horizon Lanka Foundation

Nadeeka's house and the spacious garden. Horizon Academy will be held here.
Nadeeka’s house and the spacious garden. Horizon Academy will be held here.
Nadeeka Kumarasingha - aspiring to be an English teacher.
Nadeeka Kumarasingha – aspiring to be an English teacher.
Nadeeka and Rohana with the kids.
Nadeeka and Rohana with the kids.
With my former student Nadeeka Kumarasingha and her kids.
With my former student Nadeeka Kumarasingha and her kids.

Improving 3G Mobile Coverage at Horizon Academy – Mahawilachchiya by Dialog Axiata – Update 4

Horizon Academy students using internet through Dialog 3G coverage

Horizon Academy students using internet through Dialog 3G coverage

At Horizon Lanka, we use Dialog Axiata PLC‘s telecommunication solutions for voice, data and satellite TV. There was an issue with Dialog 3G coverage in Mahawilachchiya during last few weeks – maybe due to high demand for the data service – since many youths and teenagers use internet a lot now. Mr. Nuwan Samaranayake from Houston, Texas, the United States raised the issue with Mr. Supun Weerasinghe, the CEO of Dialog Axiata and the latter promptly took actions to solve the problem. They sent three technical teams to provide different solutions and the latest came last Saturday (November 11, 2017) as Dialog Axiata installed a CenRF WCDMA Pico Repeater and a enRF TriBand Yagi Antenna to strengthen the 3G coverage within the Horizon Academy building. Now we get strong 3G internet coverage inside the computer lab. It still fluctuates with going back to 2G once in a while but mostly there is good coverage within the building. We thank Dialog Axiata for installing this high-tech equipment to provide us better coverage.

Though we have stronger 3G signals within the computer lab, the rest of Mahawilachchiya still have the problem of fluctuating 3G signals between 3G and 2G. So, there are rumors that the Dialog’s high-tension tower erected at Kirial Petiyawa, Mahawilachchiya would be shifted to the center of Mahawilachchiya village so that everyone could use stronger 3G coverage. Kiral Petiyawa is situated at the edge of Mahawilachchiya and there are less people in that area as it is mostly a farming region.

Dialog 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.

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 team installing CenRF TriBand Yagi Antenna at Horizon Academy - Mahawilachchiya
Dialog team installing CenRF TriBand Yagi Antenna at Horizon Academy – Mahawilachchiya
Dialog Axiata installing a CenRF WCDMA Pico Repeater at Horizon Academy - Mahawilachchiya.
Dialog Axiata installing a CenRF WCDMA Pico Repeater at Horizon Academy – Mahawilachchiya.

Room to Read Donates English Supplementary Reading Books to Horizon Lanka Foundation

Kids reading books received from Room to Read, Sri Lanka.

Kids reading books received from Room to Read, Sri Lanka.

Horizon Lanka Foundation received 261 English supplementary reading books from Room to Read, a non-profit organization for helping girls’ education and children’s literacy, on November 02, 2017.

The children read the books with great enthusiasm as the books are very attractive, colorful and easy to use. Obviously, the children are from rural areas and their English knowledge is not much advanced. So, they try to read and understand the books through beautiful pictures.

The Horizon Lanka Foundation has launched a project to measure and to upgrade children’s reading ability and to motivate their eagerness towards reading with understanding with the belief they would learn English faster and will be more open to the world. We are sure they are on the right path.

The books are in different levels; children can learn from lower levels to higher level of English. The books are designed in a very methodical way.

The books will b shared with Horizon Academies in Mahawilachchiya, Tantirimale and Anuradhapura City. We also need books for our new Horizon academy branches in Ranpathvila and Ralapanawa in Anuradhapura district.

Horizon Lanka thanks to Room to Read for this generous donation. Thanks also go to Ms. Umeshi Rajeendra for coordinating this donation.