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.

Introducing American Football to Mahawilachchiya

Zachary Grenzowski

Zachary Grenzowski Mr. Zachary Grenzowski from Canada was the first foreign volunteer to come to Horizon Lanka in 2016. Before coming, he asked what he should bring to Horizon Lanka. Since we had already watched the movie “Remember the Titans” – which is about American football – we wanted him to bring an American football. He brought few of them for us to practice and play. Volunteers who came to Horizon Lanka after Zach also taught us the game further.

Zachary taught us the basic rules of the game. We love to play that game. It needs a lot of energy. It is very dangerous too. It would be great if any American school or a sports club donate us American football gear and clothing. Please contact us through info@horizonlanka.org.

Zachary Grenzowski with the students
Zachary Grenzowski
Zachary Grenzowski with the students
Zachary Grenzowski with the students

 

 

Zachary Grenzowski with the students
Zachary Grenzowski with the students

 

Zachary Grenzowski with the students
Zachary Grenzowski with the students
Zachary Grenzowski with the students
Zachary Grenzowski with the students
Kristýna Blažková with the students
Kristýna Blažková with the students
Honza Jan Kučera with the students
Honza Jan Kučera with the students
Mohamed Nagy
Mohamed Nagy

 

Zachary Grenzowski, the New Year Prince

Zach interviewing Horizon Lanka students
Zach interviewing Horizon Lanka students
Zach interviewing students at Horizon Lanka for his thesis.

Zachary Grenzowski, a young man from Canada, arrived at the Horizon Lanka Foundation with the dawn of the New Year. He arrived on January 7, 2016 and spent six weeks at Horizon Lanka teaching English and computers to the students here. He is a graduate of University of Ottawa and is finishing a Master of Arts in Intercultural and International Communication at Royal Roads University.

Zach has been actively following Horizon Lanka online since 2008. When he finally could free himself from his obligations in Canada, he jumped on a plane to join the adventure. He was very committed to work and did a yeoman service to the organization by teaching, writing project proposals and revamping our website.

Zach’s approach to teaching was different. Not only was Zach a wonderful teacher in the classrooms, he was also an outstanding educator outside the school. He was often found walking around the village, interacting with locals and playing sports with the kids – cricket, volleyball and American football most of the time. He also taught English at nearby public school, Thakshila School.

In his suitcase, Zach generously brought three American footballs from Canada and taught the game to a regular crowd of enthusiastic children. The kids love that game ever since they watched the movie Remember the Titans at the foundation. In exchange, the children taught Zach how to play cricket, which he quickly became very fond of, despite the fact it is one of the most complicated games in the world in terms of rules and techniques.

We held a mini concert mid-February and Zach turned out to be a great dancing teacher too!

More than anything else, Zach is the perfect perfectionist I ever saw. I feel like he is another Steve Jobs when it comes to being perfect barring the former’s tyrannical leadership. He does not leave any need for anyone else to be doing “dotting i’s and crossing t’s” in his writing and his work in general.

Finally, Zach set up a fundraising page for a local girl whose life-threatening illness she could not afford to cure. The campaign is still running and over 2,000,000 LKR (13683.52 USD) have already been reaped from Zach’s efforts.

We miss Zach a lot. We hope he will visit us again.

Zachary-Grenzowski-13

horizon-lanka-students1

dhamma-school-students-tant
Dhamma School students of Tantirimale temple
A thatched wattle house in Ambagahawewa
A thatched wattle house in Ambagahawewa
The stupa in Tantirimale, Mahawilachchiya
The stupa in Tantirimale, Mahawilachchiya
Zach with Tanuri
Zach with Tanuri
Zach teaching at Horizon Lanka
Zach teaching at Horizon Lanka
Zach and the friends on the way to Tantirimale
Zach and the friends on the way to Tantirimale
Zach and the friends in Tantirimale
Zach and the friends in Tantirimale
Zach interviewing children with Nimanditha as an interpreter
Zach interviewing children with Nimanditha as an interpreter
Zach teaching computers
Zach teaching computers
Zack taking a stroll with the students.
Zack taking a stroll with the students.
Taking a stroll
Taking a stroll
Zach near Gini Petti Palama, a bridge in Mahawilachchiya
Zach near Gini Petti Palama, a bridge in Mahawilachchiya
Zachary Grenzowski getting ready to say goodbye to Horizon Lanka
Zachary Grenzowski getting ready to say goodbye to Horizon Lanka