87. Sylva Tillova – The Czech Republic

Sylva Tillova

Sylva Tillova

Sylva Tillova from the Czech Republic volunteered at Horizon Lanka Foundation in July and August, 2017.

In August 2017 my daughter Nikol and I went to Sri Lanka as volunteers to help the Horizon Lanka Foundation in Mahawilachchiya. Already on arrival, the head of the Foundation Nanda Wanninayaka welcomed us on the bus. We stayed with a family and met great people.

In the morning, we attended a public school, and we had fun with the younger pupils together with English. Through a variety of games, songs, movement activities and drawing pupils slowly learned and improved their English. They have improved in all aspects of the English language such as grammar, speaking, reading and writing. Pupils were very active and curious. These children are merry, modest, but also bold and brave. In return, we met the teachers and the director, who welcomed us very warmly at their school. Together with some pupils, teachers and parents, I went for a trip to the rain forest – Sinharaja Rain Forest, where, no wonder, it rained. We visited some wonderful places and temples, the ride was one great experience, I experienced the beautiful atmosphere of local songs and dances on the bus, I experienced how these people can have fun and enjoy themselves.

Horizon Academy work took place in the Horizon Lanka building in the afternoon, where we talked with older students not only about English, about our families and life, what they wanted to be, but we also danced, sang and painted. Students are very actionable, inquisitive and diligent, constantly learning something. The Foundation also organized a trip to the temple in Tantirimale and the Wilpattu National Park, where we and other volunteers enjoyed a beautiful day of bathing in the sea. We saw many interesting animals, such as eagles, crocodiles, turtles, deer, elephants and, of course, monkeys. Including a leopard posing in front of our cameras. The whole spectacular day ended with a dinner in nature and sleeping on a tree house or on a truck.

Hosting family was great. They immediately treated me as if I was a member of their family and provided me with all possible comfort. They showed me their life including the kitchen, they taught me how to cook some meals. They took me wherever they went or went by themselves.

Thank you for this experience and the wonderful experiences, Mr. Nanda Wanninayaka.

Thank you for all the care … to the family Yamuna and her sister and her child, Upul, Pramodhya, Kaushal, their grandmother Chandra and the people around them.

I thank you to the teachers, the director, and especially all the junior and senior children I met in the public school.

Thank you.

Sylva Tillová

A Brand New Smartphone to Pramodhya Umayangani

Pramodhya Umayangani and Ms. Sylva Tillova

Ms. Sylva Tillova and Pramodhya Umayangani

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.

Samsung Galaxy J1 Nxt smartphone
Samsung Galaxy J1 Nxt smartphone
Pramodhya Umayangani and Ms. Sylva Tillova
Pramodhya Umayangani and Ms. Sylva Tillova