The students of Horizon Academy, Mahawilachchiya, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka held a Mini Concert, the first of its kind for 2017, on July 13, 2017 at the Academy to say goodbye to four of our foreign volunteers, namely, Diana Wong Yuen Sam and Eagle Man Ho Tin from Hong Kong and Sona Forstlova and Monika Salfická from the Czech Republic. They volunteered in July, 2017 and did a lot to educate the students both at Horizon Academy and Gamini Public School in Mahawilachchiya.
All the volunteers also took part in the concert by performing along with the students of Horizon Academy and Gamini Public School in Mahawilachchiya.
See the pictures and videos of the concert items below.
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
A workshop on IoT (Internet of Things) for the staff and students of Horizon Academies was held at Horizon Academy, Anuradhapura by Coderdojo Sri Lanka on February 24, 2018. Mr. Prabhath Mannapperuma, the Founder/Secretary of Micro:bit SLUG coordinated the workshop and Mr. Shameera Prajapriya, Mr. Yasintha Perera and Mr. Dilupa Jayanatha Peiris joined Mr. Mannapperuma to hold the workshop.
The workshop was meant for the staff of the 5 Horizon Academies, ie. Horizon Academy – Mahawilachchiya, Horizon Academy – Tantirimale, Horizon Academy – Anuradhapura, Horizon Academy – Ranpathvila and Horizon Academy –Ralapanawa. Since the students also were very enthusiastic, they also joined the workshop.
The workshop covered a vast area of IoT (Internet of Things) related areas such as micro:bit based programming, Arduino, etc. and basic HTML.
Coderdojo Sri Lanka is part of the Coderjojo global initiative and does its activities on volunteer basis. The initiative helps encourage students from a very young age to coding and programming.
“CoderDojo Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan network of “CoderDojo” – an international open source social education movement oriented around the running of fun, free and social coding clubs (Dojos) for young people aged 7-17 (Ninjas).
Dojos are run by coordinators (Champions) at businesses, schools, libraries, universities, councils and community centres. Dojos provide fun, free and social open learning environments where young people can meet others with similar interests, develop 21st century skills and build creative projects of their own choice using digital technology.
A Dojo is NOT a class or workshop. There is no curriculum. Instead, Dojos offer open, free and unstructured club settings in which young people can follow their own interests, meet like-minded people and develop self-directed learning habits with the support of Champions and Mentors.” – from CoderDojo Sri Lanka website.
The Horizon Lanka Foundation thanks CoderDojo Sri Lanka for partnering with the Foundation and the Foundation hopes to go a long journey with CoderDojo Sri Lanka by educating the future generation through the Foundation’s network of Horizon Academies.