Miss Manon Charlotte Zabot, a young volunteer from France arrived in Mahawilachchiya last week. She will be here for two months to teach the students. I wish she extends her stay though. She is a smart woman who loves teaching and has a born talent for it. In her own words, she describes her passion for teaching thus. “Teaching has always been a goal for me, especially to children and women (for women empowerment).” I am glad that we have her at Horizon Academy, Mahawilachchiya at the right time. I have not been in Mahawilachchiya regularly and the students’ education was disrupted as a result. This affected the number of regular students too. But now, I am relieved a lot because Miss Zabot has already been able to attract the students who left the institution and some new students too. She is very kind towards the kids (but not so towards me ? because I haven’t been able to do things on time due to the bike accident I met with last September. It kept my movements restricted as I was not able to repair it as yet. But now that this young teacher is at Horizon Academy, I can entrust her my role and I am sure she is confident in doing it a lot better than I did.
Miss Zabot has already decided to make the classroom better by painting the walls and letting the students to write, draw things related to her lessons. She has already prepared a list of things to buy from the city and she appreciates if you could send Horizon Academy some English books for the students to read. She is so caring towards the students, especially the primary students. She lives at our teenage student Prabodha Kalotuwawa’s house. Prabodha has been hosting quite a number of volunteers and her English too is improving as a result.
Apart from volunteering at Horizon Academy, Miss Zabot also teaches free of charge at the Seevali Primary School, a public school in the village. She enjoys it very much and dedicates more hours than we expected her to do. It is not an easy task to work extra hours due to the hot temperature in Anuradhapura district during these days.
I am sure all our other volunteers are also doing the same in other Horizon Academies but I just did not have the time to be with them during lessons to see their good work. I have planned to repair my bike this weekend and travel to all five Horizon Academies at least once a week and oversee the affairs. It is so heartening to see how our volunteers dedicate their time and knowledge towards the students in these rural villages despite the lack of facilities and harsh weather conditions these days. Horizon Lanka survived its bad times due to our brave volunteers. Right now, we have 9 volunteers from different European countries.
Nanda Wanninayaka, the Founder and the Chairman of Horizon Lanka Foundation