Pramodhya Umayagani is a student in Grade 8 at Horizon Academy, Mahawilachchiya. She is a bright student in all the subjects, sports and fine arts. Time to time, her family hosts foreign volunteers who come to teach at Horizon Academy. The family has so far hosted American, Swiss, Hong Kong volunteers in the past and now they host a lady teacher from the Czech Republic. All the volunteers who stayed at Pramodhya’s house were very happy about the way the family treated them. So, the current volunteer who spends time at Pramodhya’s house, Ms. Sylva Tillova from the Czech Republic, gifted a brand new Samsung Galaxy J1 Nxt smartphone worth 12,000 LKR (78.21 USD) to Pramodhya and her family. Horizon Lanka thanks Ms. Sylva Tillova for the generosity displayed.
You might wonder why a 13-year-old girl needs a smartphone. Here at Horizon Academy, we teach the children how to communicate effectively, search for information from the Internet, take pictures and videos, etc. We also want to start a m-earning pilot with the smartphones. The next question you would ask is why we spend money on smartphones at a time the families in the village struggle with the problems of water and food due to the drought. Our answer is that there are a lot of people who are working on those lines. At Horizon Lanka, we pay our attention to education and entertainment (edutainment.) We do not get carried away with the temporary conditions in the village. Even during the 3 decade long civil war in Sri Lanka, we never even mentioned anything about the terrorist attacks to the village. Grownup people worked on protecting the village and our students kept their focus on education. By the time the war ended in May 2009, almost all the former 500+ students and the youth ended up in good jobs. If we kept harping on the war without educating the children, our children also would have ended up working in armed forces and garment factories like the rest of the youths in villages like ours. Even during the worst parts of the war Horizon Lanka continued its academic activities and provided new technology such as mobile coverage and free Wi-Fi mesh network and lunching a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) project. So, we will keep focusing on education even during this drought.