Horizon BPO – Providing Jobs for Rural Sri Lankan Youth

Horizon BPO – Providing Jobs for Rural Sri Lankan Youth

Maniyanthoddam is a small fishing village close to Jaffna in Nallur Divisional Secretariat Division and its inhabitants lead just a hand to mouth existence. The underprivileged villagers who had faced the brunt of the thirty-year-long Civil War that raged along the Jaffna peninsula and left most of their houses razed to the ground, are always wondering where their next meal is coming from and a good education for their kids is merely a luxury too exorbitant even to dream about. Many youngsters leave school just after or even during the middle school to join their fishermen fathers in the battle for life in the rough seas.

Even though things are slowly getting back to normal with the restoration of peace after the end of the bitter war, poverty lingers hauntingly behind denying them of many basic needs such as education and jobs for the youth. 

Reverend Father Santhiapillai Sebastian

It is to such a desolate place Reverend Father Santhiapillai Sebastian brings love and hope through his mission to eradicate poverty and provide proper education to the village kids with the assistance of Horizon Lanka Foundation (HLF.) Father Sebastian, riding his bike all around the village serves the community as best as he can, without limiting his love and generosity to his own congregation.

Father Sebastian with some of the students of Horizon Academy – Maniyanthoddam

Horizon Academy – Maniyanthoddam was established in the year 2018 with generous support from local and foreign volunteers.  Quite a number of foreign volunteers have offered their services in teaching the village kids and youth English, IT, sports and fine arts.  The deprived but smart kids have shown their talents in learning fast and persevering to excel in both studies and extra-curricular activities.

Horizon Lanka Foundation (HLF), founded in 1998 in Mahawilachchiya, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka by a young and innovative teacher, Mr. Nanda Wanninayaka – who prefers to identify himself a coach, an artist and a social entrepreneur; all of which he is, of course – has a lot of experience and expertise in managing community development projects and has provided consultancy to many other organizations and even Sri Lankan government in the best practices and proper management in such ventures.  The HLF has accumulated a lot of ardent fans, well-wishers and supporters both in Sri Lanka and overseas who provide financial, material and service level support and assistance.

BISTEC Global’s CEO, Mr. Johann De Cruz is a longtime supporter and admirer of Horizon Lanka who went an extra mile to provide BPO job opportunities for past students of Horizon Academies through their CSR activities. Recently BISTEC entrusted Horizon Lanka with a Data Extraction Project based on Google Maps.  Currently 10 Horizon Lanka past students are working on the project guided by Horizon Lanka’s former Model e-Village Project Manager, Mr. Ranjith Gunarathne who rejoined as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the HLF, especially to lead its BPO wing.  BISTEC is quite happy with the performance so far and they are planning to extend the BPO work by adding a couple of new projects for which Horizon BPO is eagerly awaiting with high hopes of a long and mutually rewarding relationship.

Ranjith Gunarathne training the youths at Horizon Academy – Maniyanthoddam, Jaffna

To appreciate and recognize Father Sebastian’s hard work and commitment to the children and the youth in the area the HLF decided to start the BISTEC-supported BPO project at Horizon Academy – Maniyanthoddam, Jaffna. The performance of the youths there are amazingly satisfactory in the BPO work assigned.

The Horizon Lanka Foundation expects to extend the BPO work opportunities to all its 10 Horizon Academies in Anuradhapura, Nuwara Eliya, Jaffna, Ampara, Kandy and Kurunegala districts in the coming months.

Other clients also are encouraged to contact us if they have BPO work to be given to the youth in the above districts where Horizon Academies operate.

Contact us on info@horizonlanka.org | Mobile and WhatsApp 0094-777702678

Shigani Sivaraja – Profile

Shigani Sivaraja – Profile

Sixteen-year-old Shigani Sivaraja is the eldest daughter of a family of two girls from Kirimetiya, Nanu Oya in Nuwara Eliya district. She is a very bright student at the Horizon Academy – Kirimetiya too. She 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 belongs to the first set of students of the Horizon Academy – Kirimetiya. 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.