Katia Ben Yaacov – Israel

Katia Ben Yaacov – Israel

Ms. Katia Ben Yaacov from Israel volunteered at Horizon Academy – Panama operated by the Horizon Lanka Foundation in August 2019.

Wow! How to describe this experience? 6 days we lived the life of the village Panama, a backwater village that time stopped in many years ago…. and all these days we volunteered with the children of the area and passed them fun activities with experience to teach also a little basic. We lived in one of the residents, we ate rice with curry morning afternoon and evening (it was tough spicy and tasty! ) courtesy of the grandmother, the conditions were very basic and were not always easy (there is no hot water, full of bugs) but… the children… wow!!! so sweet and happy to take part in every activity, cooperate, try to understand the laws of the games, to hear a word there and always, always, smiling! Volunteering abroad is the thing!

These past few days were so intense and memorable. The time we spent volunteering at Horizon Academy – Panama village in Sri Lanka was a unique experience for us as a family. The kids we have met were so kind and always with a smile on their faces. Every day we planned for them a different activity and had a lot of fun. Was not always easy but these were definitely rewarding and incredible moments!

Thanks a lot, Nanda Wanninayaka from Horizon Lanka Foundation – you are doing a unique job and making an impact on this kids – and especially many, many thanks to Priyantha Pushpakumara and his family who hosted us at his home and took care of us during our stay! Say hello to our mother who cooked for us delicious (and spicy!) curry and to your cute son Nadila whom we miss already!

With the students from Horizon Academy – Panama, Sri Lanka

וואו איך לתאר את החוויה הזאת ? 6 ימים חיינו את חיי הכפר Panama, כפר נידח שהזמן עצר בו לפני הרבה מאוד שנים …. וכל הימים האלה התנדבנו עם ילדי האיזור והעברנו להם פעילויות כייפיות עם נסיון ללמד גם קצת אנגלית בסיסית מאוד. גרנו בבית אחד התושבים, אכלנו אורז עם קארי בוקר צהריים וערב (היה קשוח חריף וטעים !) באדיבות הסבתא, התנאים היו מאוד בסיסים ולא היה תמיד קל (אין מים חמים , מלא מלא חרקים) אבל … הילדים … וואו כל כך מתוקים ושמחים לקחת חלק בכל פעילות , משתפים פעולה , משתדלים להבין את חוקי המשחקים , לקלוט מילה פה מילה שם ותמיד תמיד מחייכים ! 
התנדבות בחו”ל זה ה-דבר ! 

With my daughter, Eden and son Yoav and the kids from Panama, Sri Lanka
With my daughter son Yoav and the kids from Panama, Sri Lanka
With my daughter, Eden and son Yoav and the kids from Panama, Sri Lanka
With my daughter, Eden and son Yoav and the kids from Panama, Sri Lanka

116. Tali Motzkin – Israel

Tali Motzkin, Israel

Tali Motzkin, Israel

Tali Motzkin from Israel volunteered at Horizon Lanka Foundation in January, 2018.

“My Volunteering at Horizon Academy – Anuradhapura

I would like to tell you about my volunteering experience. I arrived at the Horizon Academy at Thursday evening, straight to Ramanee and Udaya’s school, close to the Anuradhapura city. When I was at the bus station I called Ramanee and she sent her husband, Udaya to pick me with a tuk-tuk driver so I didn’t have any problems to find the place. At this day the students had a goodbye party for the formal volunteer (Susannah Horowitz) so it was very nice to see how they danced, laughed and shared respect for her and also for welcoming me. They prepared us a “queens feast” with a lot of fresh fruits and showed us a dance concert. Then, after this great welcome, my host family came to take me. There, I met my new sister: Hashini, her brother: Gihan, and my new parents: Anura and Kumari. At first it was so strange to walk into other people’s house but they made me feel like I am at my own house. They cook amazing food for me every day and treat me so nicely. During my stay, every day I have learned something new about them and about their traditions, they also took me to some really cool places like the washing reservoir, temple and the local market. Now, after one week with them I really feel like home and they are my new family.

In the matter of the Horizon Academy, I didn’t have much time with them because I arrived to the weekend and only for a one week, but with the time I had it was nice to see how Ramanee and Udaya teach the students with a lot of passion in all kinds of ways like through books, notebooks, movies, games, dance, etc. I was joining to Ramanee’s teaching class. At the class I was talking with the students, check their homework, teach them computer work and at breaks, I was playing and teaching them field games. At the beginning it was hard for me to let them know what I mean in my explanation (I don’t speak Sinhala), but then I found some ways to explain like with signs and drawings. Also, it takes time to get to know the students and how to approach them, but when I did and felt like I did teach them something new, it was a really good feeling. I also translated Horizon Lanka website into Hebrew as requested by Nanda, but I wished to contribute more with the kids like maybe teach them new dance moves and art, things which require a longer stay. Therefore, I think if someone want to volunteer here and really make some difference, at least stay one week and even more here as it is necessary for getting know the program, students and family.

For conclusion, I had a great time (my best Sri Lankan experience so far!!) and I want to thank to all people who welcomed me, I hope I will see you again soon.

Tali Motzkin, Israel”

Tali Motzkin with students at Horizon Academy - Anuradhapura
Tali Motzkin with students at Horizon Academy – Anuradhapura

Tali Motzkin with Gimhani, the host.
Tali Motzkin with Gimhani, the host.