8-year-old Himaya Anjali is a student in Grade 3 at Horizon Academy, Mahawilachchiya. She is a keen student of English and computers. She lives around 3 km away from the Academy at the edge of the Mahawilachchiya village bordering the Wilpattu National Wildlife Park. Her house is situated at a dangerous place where wild elephants are rampant at night. They come to her garden. Still her mother is keen on sending her to Horizon Academy without fail. Himaya has to go back to her house before darkness falls to the village.
The reason for Himaya’s mother for encouraging her to study hard against all odds is that the mother herself could only study up to Grade 6 as she had to work at a village shop with her mother (Himaya’s grandmother) to earn money to make a living. So, the mother now understands the importance of education and is encouraging her two children to study to better themselves in future. Himaya’s father is a laborer who sustains the family by doing odd jobs if and when they are found.
At Horizon Academy, we have 5 bicycles which we bought to be used by our volunteers and we allow the other students to use them when there are less or no volunteers. One day, little Himaya came to me and asked if she too could get a bicycle to ride to Horizon Academy. I said okay but she had a big question mark in her face. She could muster some courage and asked if she could get a smaller bicycle as she cannot ride a standard bicycle made for adults. I had no option but to share her request in our Facebook feed which was spotted by Tharaka Kahaduwa from Bahrain who was a former volunteer at Horizon Lanka. He wrote to me and said he would send the money for a bicycle. As a result, now little Himaya is a proud owner of the new bicycle that is shown in this page. She thanks Tharaka immensely for donating 15,000 LKR (98 USD) for her to buy the bicycle. Now she asks me to create her an email account so that she could write a thank you letter to Tharaka. A smart girl! Now she will learn both English and computers faster to communicate. This is what we at Horizon Lanka need.
My name is Tharani Madara. I am 13 years old and I study at Horizon Lanka Academy. This is my new bicycle. It is a gift from Himadri Gunarathna, my friend from the Houston, Texas, United States, who is sponsoring me.
I go to Thakshila public school every day at 7.30 am and to Horizon Lanka at 3pm. I like going to school and to Horizon Lanka but I didn’t like the long distance I had to walk there. My bicycle was broken, so I had to walk every day because my family couldn’t afford a new bicycle for me. Walking everywhere was not easy in the hot weather we have here.
But now everything is better, because I have this beautiful new bicycle!It is silver and white color and so beautiful! Now I can ride fast everywhere I want to.
I would like to thank you, Miss Himadri, for helping me. It was a great day for me when I went to the Pemaduwa town for my bicycle. I was so excited and happy!
Now we can go to school by bicycle together with Aruni, I like that. Now all my four female classmates have bicycles. But the other boys – Gihan, Ashen, Kavindu, Nimesh and Surendra can’t. I hope that soon they can join us. Maybe they will, with your help.
I got a great present for my birthday from Dinidu Samaranayake, the only son of Mr. Nuwan and Mrs. Kumari Samaranayake. I received a new bicycle as the birthday gift from them. The bicycle is black and it is very beautiful. I can ride it very fast. I like it. My old bicycle is broken and I couldn’t go to school by bicycle. I had to walk to school every day. My family can’t afford a new one so I am very glad that Mr. Samaranayake gave me the bike.
I thank the Samaranayake family for helping me. Not only this, they are sponsoring me with a MicroScholarship and also paid for the expenses of the Czech volunteer who we are hosting at our home. I can learn English very fast with her.