Miss Ana Rita Silva from Portugal volunteered at Horizon Academy – Ukkulankulama operated by the Horizon Lanka Foundation in December 2019.
First of all, we would like to thank you for the opportunity
to be part of the Horizon Lanka Foundation. It was a real pleasure to be with
Namal for these two weeks and we really enjoyed staying with the kids!
In these two weeks, we were in different classes taught by Namal and we met kids of different ages and levels of English. Yesterday we got the chance to be part of the Horizon Academy in Ukkulankulama, Mihintale. We spoke with the teenagers and provided them our email IDs and Facebook pages so that they can contact us to practice their English – we would be glad to help!
Namal gave us some directions on what to teach the kids,
usually for 2 hours, but he also gave us space for creativity and was always
there to support us.
While at home, the host family (Namal’s) was very welcoming,
the food was very good and they were always concerned so that we would have the
best possible experience while giving us privacy – we almost felt at home.
Horizon Lanka Foundation GTE Limited is a registered non-profit organization with more than 21 years of offering educational services to the children and the youths from rural villages in Sri Lanka. Guia Lanka Tours PVT. Limited is a Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority registered travel agency in Sri Lanka specializing in responsible, sustainable, community and nature-loving tourism.
Both the organizations signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement with each other on December 31, 2019, in Guia Lanka Tours office in Kandy. The aim of this partnership is to mutually assist each other to attain sustainability and growth. Both organizations possess shared values and synergies such as rural educational development, youth employment, women’s empowerment, responsible and sustainable tourism.
the partnership, Guia Lanka Tours will make a donation to Horizon Lanka
Foundation when the latter’s volunteers reserve a tour with the former.
Lanka Foundation will offer a special treatment for the travelers from Guia
Lanka Tours when they would combine their holiday with volunteering at the
We request both the prospective volunteers and tourists to assist both the organizations’ sustainability and growth.
Fifteen-year-old Kalani Disanayaka is the eldest daughter in a family of three girls, which means she has many responsibilities on her shoulders since she was a child. Her two younger sisters look up to her as a role model to follow. Kalani’s father works for the Sri Lanka Army as a civilian minor-employee, while her mother is a housewife. With the income the family obtains from the father’s employment, the family tries their utmost to provide the best possible education for the three girls.
Kalani is one of the brightest students in her public
school, Central College, Rambewa. Since she is very eager to learn English, she decided to study in
the English medium which is a big challenge for most of the students of her
village. But she is determined to achieve her goal of becoming a teacher of English
once she completes her education. She is sitting for the GCE Ordinary Level (OL) examination in 2021, a
national level exam Sri Lankan students sit for before entering GCE Advanced Level (AL.)
Kalani hopes to study languages in the Arts Stream for the GCE Advanced Level. Her favorite languages are English and Japanese. Since there are no teachers for the Japanese language at her present public school, she has to enter a public school in Anuradhapura town. This means she will have to spend extra money on private tuition classes, traveling and maybe boarding fees to stay in Anuradhapura town.
Kalani was among the first set of students to join Horizon Academy in Ukkulankulama, Anuradhapura. Here she studies the
English language from local and foreign volunteer teachers.
Sixteen-year-old ShiganiSivaraja is the eldest daughter of a family of two girls from Kirimetiya, Nanu Oya in Nuwara Eliya district. She is a very bright student at the Horizon Academy – Kirimetiya too. She becomes the first in her class at each and every term test. Shigani’s father is a mason and depends on irregular and rare work he gets while the mother is confined to house as a housewife which means the income of the family is not consistent nor sufficient. This affects the two girls’ education but both the parents try to make ends’ meet under hostile conditions to ensure the two girls get a decent education.
Shigani belongs to the first set of students of the Horizon Academy – Kirimetiya. She studies English at the Academy. She is also a talented painter and a dancer. There are around 500 students in her public school, Dessford Public School. Her dream is to become an engineer someday. Even though the number of students enters universities from her village is not that big at the moment, the trend is changing now. Young students do not confine their horizons just to work in tea gardens as tea-pluckers anymore. They have bigger dreams like Shigani.
Shigani is sitting for the GCE Ordinary Level (OL)
examination in 2020, a national level exam Sri Lankan students sit for before
entering GCE Advanced Level (AL.) This means she will have to spend
extra money on private tuition classes, traveling, etc. from the next year
onwards. After OL, Shigani hopes to study
mathematics subjects for AL.
Fifteen-year-old Parami Subasingha is the second daughter in a family of two girls and a boy. She is an extremely talented girl, who gets high marks in the term tests in her school. Parami is one of the brightest students in the school. Her father is a mechanic with no steady income and her mother is a minor employee in a government office. This means Parami has some challenges in her day to day life in performing to her true potential, but she is determined to go the distance and do her best academically.
Parami is enrolled as a student at Horizon Academy – Ralapanawa, a supplementary education center since its inception in 2017. Here
she studies the English language, from local and foreign volunteer teachers,
which gives her an edge over the other students in the village.
Parami studies in the Ralapanawa Colony Public School which has around 500 students. Luckily, the school principal is a hard-working person and tries his best to educate the students with his team of dedicated teachers.
Parami will be in Grade 11 from January 2020 and will sit for the competitive national level exam GCE Ordinary Level at the end of the year. Since what is taught in the public school is insufficient to prepare for this examination, she has to get private tuition in English language, science, mathematics and IT. Being successful at the O/L examination is mandatory to advance to the next level which will be the GCE Advanced Level, which is also the qualification to enter the university. She hopes to graduate in Arts Stream in languages by taking English, Spanish and Japanese languages in arts stream for Advanced Level. She gets the chance of learning English, Spanish and Japanese at Horizon Academy from the foreign volunteers who come to teach there.
This is a brief summary of the Horizon Lanka Foundation for 2019 and the plan for 2020. Please read and share.
Multiple Horizon Academies
We have 7 Horizon Academies under Horizon
Lanka Foundation in 5 districts now. The academies are in Tantirimale,
Ralapanawa and Ukkulankulama (Anuradhapura,) Kirimetiya
(Nuwara Eliya,) Werapitiya (Kandy,) Maniyanthoddam (Jaffna,) and Panama
(Ampara.) We opened new Horizon Academies because of the large number of
foreign volunteers we started getting since 2016. Opening academies in new
villages did not cost us much money as the teaching was done by foreign
volunteers free of charge.
Local, Foreign and Online Volunteers
This is our main positive point. More than 200 foreign Onsite Volunteers joined Horizon Lanka to teach since 2016 up to now. We have a few dozens foreign Online Volunteers too to help our students and the staff on specific subject areas. We can also reactivate the Local Volunteers program where the young men and women from universities, private sector companies, government institutions, non-governmental organizations, etc. come and teach the children free of charge during weekends.
Low-Cost Structure of Horizon Academies
With our experiences at Horizon Lanka for
the last 21 years, we now adhere to a very low-cost model by collaborating with
community centers, religious institutions, public schools, spacious houses, etc.
in villages to operate the Horizon Academies rather than renting or building
new building spaces structures. This way we have been able to run a Horizon
Academy on a monthly budget of around 30 USD (5,000 LKR.)
Horizon Academy Plan for 2020
Our plan for Horizon Academies in 2020 is
this. We will start 3 more Horizon Academies in Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi and
Trincomalee districts to extend our services to more Tamil and Muslim
children. The minimum cost to run a Horizon Academy is 85 USD (15,000 LKR) per
month. This includes a 55 USD (10,000 LKR) salary for the English and
IT teacher who also works as the Coordinator of the Academy, and
utility bills such as water, electricity, telephone, transport, stationary and
internet bills 30 USD (5000 LKR.)
We expect the following help from you,
your families or friends, or your workplace or community associations. You
can contribute to one or multiple expenses given below.
A 30 USD (5000 LKR) per month Utility
Bill Cost for a month/ 3 months/6 months/9 months or a year
to run a Horizon Academy.
A 55 USD (10,000 LKR) per month Salary
for a month/ 3 months/6 months/9 months or a year to pay an English/IT
Teacher of a Horizon Academy.
A 55 USD (10,000 LKR) per month Salary
to hire a Secretary/Volunteer Coordinator for the Horizon Lanka Foundation
for a month/ 3 months/6 months/9 months or a year to ensure the organization
runs with ease.
A 85 USD (15,000 LKR) per month salary
for a Bookkeeper / Accountant for a month/ 3 months/6 months/9 months
or a year so that all financial reports and audits would be done on time.
We have already been able to get a sponsorship for the monthly salary of 10,000 LKR per month from Mr. Manahara Mohotti from the UAE to Ms. Nadeeka Sajeewani, a former student of Horizon Academy – Mahawilachchiya who now teaches English and IT at Horizon Academy – Ralapanawa.Ms. Vayomi Wijeratne from the USA has already donated the necessary funds for Nadeeka to follow an English or IT Certificate Course at Rajarata University, Anuradhapura.)Mr. Vidhura Ralapanawa has committed to sponsoring the monthly utility bills for the year 2020 (5000 LKRX12=60,000 LKR.) We hope you also would chip in to sustain the other 9 Horizon Academies.