Sivaraja Shigani – Profile

Sivaraja Shigani – Profile

Fifteen-year-old Sivaraja Shigani is the eldest daughter of a family of two girls from Kirimetiya, Nanu Oya in Nuwara Eliya district. She is a very bright student and becomes the first in her class at each and every term test. Shigani’s father is a mason and depends on irregular and rare work he gets while the mother is confined to house as a housewife which means the income of the family is not consistent nor sufficient. This affects the two girls’ education but both the parents try to make ends’ meet under hostile conditions to ensure the two girls get a decent education.

Shigani is a bright student at Horizon Academy – Kirimetiya and she belongs to the first set of students of the academy. She studies English at the Academy. She is also a talented painter and a dancer. There are around 500 students in her public school, Dessford Public School. Her dream is to become an engineer someday. Even though the number of students enters universities from her village is not that big at the moment, the trend is changing now. Young students do not confine their horizons just to work in tea gardens as tea pluckers anymore. They have bigger dreams like Shigani.

Shigani is sitting for the GCE Ordinary Level (OL) examination in 2020, a national level exam Sri Lankan students sit for before entering GCE Advanced Level (AL.) This means she will have to spend extra money on private tuition classes, traveling, etc. from the next year onwards.  After OL, Shigani hopes to study mathematics subjects for AL.

Horizon Academy – Kirimetiya, Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka Needs Some Used Computers and a Multimedia Projector

Jan Sebelik with the students of Horizon Academy - Kirimetiya

Jan Sebelik with the students of Horizon Academy - Kirimetiya

“We need (at least) some used computers and a multimedia projector so we can easily improve our English knowledge and practice IT skills. In a small time period, we could understand better and get more knowledge in our lessons. Because Kirimetiya is an underprivileged area, many students have to use only one borrowed computer together. Many students would like to work with laptops and every student needs one computer to make their own PowerPoint presentations. We can then easily store our work in the machine and show our presentations and submit new projects. It would be easier for our teachers to teach us and time management would be easier.”

Written by R. Dhanusha (22) and S. Sharmila (27), students of Horizon Academy – Kirimetiya near Nuwara Eliya, who have finished A/L and now looking for a job.

Edited by Ms. Veronika Sykorova and Mr. Jan Sebelik from the Czech Republic, volunteering teachers at Horizon Academy

Related photos & videos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/zDLswRdvFnok49sX8 by Jan & Veronika

Ms. Veronika Sykorova with the students of Horizon Academy - Kirimetiya
Ms. Veronika Sykorova with the students of Horizon Academy – Kirimetiya

Horizon Academy – Kirimetiya, Nanu Oya, Nuwara Eliya Needs Your Support

The students of Horizon Academy - Nanu Oya with the staff members

Horizon Lanka Foundation started its fourth Horizon Academy in Nanu Oya, Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka in May, 2018. 

The general belief of rest of the country is that the children here in tea estates in the Up Country are not ready to learn and they dropout from schools at a young age and directly join the work at tea estates or elsewhere. But, what I saw was totally different. The kids and the parents here pay a great attention to education and some kids even speak some basic English.

Since we cannot afford to pay the teachers, we depend on local and foreign volunteers to teach English and ICT here. So far, three foreign volunteers have taught the children in this area. They were Mr. Alain Horst and Ms. Laura Horst from Switzerland in May and Ms. Balbina Gramespacher from Germany in July. We expect more local and foreign volunteers to join us soon.

The running cost of the Horizon Academy here per month is around 25,000 LKR | 156.68 USD | 133.90 EUR. This cannot be recovered from the students as their parents get a very low salary. One estate worker gets only an average salary of 650 LKR | 4.07 USD | 3.48 EUR per day. Still, if education is provided totally free of charge, they would not understand the value of it. So, we decided to charge 100 LKR | 0.63 USD | 0.54 EUR per month. If we get 100 students per month, we would be able to get only 10,000 LKR | 62.67 USD | 53.56 USD. We cannot expect that many students initially. Our aim is to attract that number of students by December, 2018.

The foreign volunteers teach English free of charge in the public schools in the mornings and this is totally free of charge for all the students in those schools. The students come to Horizon Academy in the evenings. Foreign volunteers teach throughout the week days and local volunteers can help teach these students English, ICT, science, mathematics, fine arts and sports during weekends. For the local volunteers, the villagers will provide food and accommodation free of charge. (Foreign volunteers pay the host families for their food and accommodation.)

The students have to pay the above fee for attending Horizon Academy as there are some costs involved in the Academy such as electricity, Internet, telephone, stationary, transport, entertaining guests, etc. So, if any of you could could help us with these expenses, please email us on info@horizonlanka.org. (All contributions and expenses will be recorded, audited and shared with the donors and other stakeholders.)

Nanda Wanninayaka – Chairman of Horizon Lanka Foundation

The students of Horizon Academy – Nanu Oya with the staff members

Students of Horizon Academy -Nanu Oya
Students of Horizon Academy -Nanu Oya

Mr. Nanda Wanninayaka with the students
Mr. Nanda Wanninayaka with the students

Desford School, Nanu Oya
Desford School, Nanu Oya

Help Fund Horizon Lanka Students’ Trip to Nuwara Eliya, the Little England of Sri Lanka

St. Clairs Falls

St. Clairs FallsThe Horizon Lanka Foundation is situated in the Dry Zone of Sri Lanka. So, most of the children here haven’t been to Nuwara Eliya a.k.a. the Little England which is situated in the Central Hills of Sri Lanka. It is unfortunate that these kids cannot see the most beautiful part of Sri Lanka due to the cost involved in it. After hearing this, a donor donated 150 USD a half of the transport cost of the trip of three days to Nuwara Eliya. (The full cost is 45,000 LKR – 310 USD/ 280 EUR.) We need someone else to match the rest 150 USD so that the children can make it to Nuwara Eliya during the long weekend in November . So, those who can, please do your donation through https://www.generosity.com/education-fundraising/empowering-children-in-rural-sri-lanka or directly depositing money in our account. Send a mail to info@horizonlanka.org to get our bank details.

Devon Falls
Devon Falls

Tea Plantations
Tea Plantations

Tea Pluckers
Tea Pluckers

Horton Plains National Park
Horton Plains National Park

Horton Plains National Park
Horton Plains National Park

Horton Plains National Park
Horton Plains National Park

Nuwara Eliya Glof Club
Nuwara Eliya Glof Club

Sita Amman Temple
Sita Amman Temple

All the photos with the courtesy of internet.