Dialog Axiata PLC provided 3G coverage to the whole Mahawilachchiya village in 2009 on the request of Mr. Nanda Wanninayaka, the Founder of Horizon Lanka Foundation long before some bigger towns in Anuradhapura were provided the facility. Of late, some of the other mobile operators like Hutch and Mobitel also extended their 2G coverages into 3G but only small pockets of the village are covered with 3G access by them while Dialog Axiata uses two communication towers in Mahawilachchiya to provide a wider 3G coverage.
With the number of Dialog customers being increased for both voice and data, the Dialog 3G connectivity has become slow of late and it is difficult to enjoy an uninterrupted 3G coverage as the 3G facility keeps switching between 3G (HSPA) and 2G (EDGE) coverage quite often and the communication is affected. It even deteriorated with the arrival of the monsoon rains.
So, Mr. Nuwan Samaranayake, a Sri Lankan born software engineer who works in Houston, Texas, USA was keen to have a stronger 3G coverage in Mahawilachchiya as he is using internet to teach a student named Aruni Apsara of Grade 9. He uses both Skype and Facebook facetime to teach her and the results are amazing. The lucky girl has bettered her marks at each term tests in English, science and mathematics due to untiring efforts of Mr. Samaranayake. He was worried when the communication started being affected due to low signals. He asked Mr. Wanninayaka as how to solve this problem because he is planning to encourage Houston-based Sri Lankan American community to teach more students in Mahawilachchiya village using Internet. Mr. Wanninayaka told him the best thing would be to raise the issue with Dialog Axiata’s young CEO Mr. Supun Weerasinghe himself. The former did so and the latter immediately sent a technical team on October 26, 2017 to go to a few affected students’ houses and check the internet signals. The team headed by Mr. Kasun Aththanayaka of Dialog Axiata PLC went to affected students’ houses and reported the problem to the Dialog Head Office. Now they are working on readjusting the communication devices at Dialog Axiata’s tower at Kiralpetiyawa, Mahawilachchiya to improve the quality of the coverage.
We at Horizon Lanka Foundation thank Mr. Nuwan Samaranayake for raising the issue with Dialog Axiata and Mr. Supun Weerasinghe for the prompt action. Let us hope that the 3G coverage in Mahawilachchiya be improved significantly and the students and the community of Mahawilachchiya would be benefitted as a result.
Miss Wong Yuen Sam Diana and Mr. Man Ho Tin Eagle from Hong Kong who volunteered at Horizon Lanka in July and August, 2017 wants us to publish this request on behalf of the students at Horizon Academy – Mahawilachchiya and Gamini Public School.
“We are two volunteers from Horizon Lanka Foundation, an educational organization which cares child development in Sri Lankan villages. We would like to bring to your attention about a lack of dictionaries and learning books for students in both public schools and Horizon Academies.
We taught students for 3 weeks. In our observation, we discovered that students do not understand a lot of English words, even they do not know how to pronounce the vocabulary. It is regretful to figure out this result, which will hinder students’ language development and will limit their international horizons in the future.
Sri Lankan students are eager to learn a lot. When we come to the public school and Horizon Lanka every day, students attempt to learn English and some skills, such as playing an electric organ. After learning English and music, they continue to practice the things they have learnt.
In order to enhance students’ learning abilities in an all-rounded way, different types of books are needed for students. Some books, especially English-Sinhala dictionaries, simple English storybooks with many pictures and music scores are suggested for donation. As the English level of students in public schools and Horizon Lanka is not too high, English books with simple contents are advanced.
We are looking forward to your reply and hope to hear the good news about the donations of various types of books. Thank you so much.
Horizon Lanka Foundation is going to start its third branch, this time in Anuradhapura City on September 01, 2017. At Horizon Academy we teach English, ICT and Robotics as our main subjects. In addition to these subjects, we also teach Fine Arts and Sports to break the monotony of the students. Those who wish to join please call Ms. Ramanee Wanninayaka on 077-2393895 or 071-4456879 or Mr. Udaya Marasinghe on 077-0423518 or 071-1462342. We charge only 500 LKR (3.26 USD) per month for all these subjects. (In this month of August all classes are free of charge.)
We have both local and foreign teachers to teach these subjects at the Academy. Students will be rewarded with stationary, school supplies, computer related equipment, etc. after evaluating their performances.
The parents of the students will be given free English and ICT training on Sundays from 8.00 am to 12.00 noon.
We have the basic infrastructure at the beginning and will add more with the progress of the institute.
Horizon Academy, Mahawilachchiya partnered with Gamini Vidyalaya, a small pubic school in Mahawilachchiya to teach English and ICT subjects totally free of charge during their month-long August summer vacation. We expect to teach English and ICT to them using both local and foreign volunteers. So, if any local volunteers or groups are ready to volunteer at least during your weekends, please contact us. We have also planned to organize a prize giving ceremony at the start of September to encourage the students to learn these two very valuable subjects. So, you can help us by providing story books, stationery, school supplies, movie and educational DVDs, USB flash drives, used mobile phones, used tabs, used laptops and used desktops and other ICT related peripherals that will help their learning. (We need mobile phones to start an m-learning pilot programs.)
Please contact us through firstname.lastname@example.org or Mobile 01 Local: 077-7702678 (Mobile 01 IDD : 0094-77-7702678) Mobile 02 Local: 071-8508537 (Mobile 02 IDD: 0094-71-8508537)
Mr. Buddika Gajapala and his family visited Horizon Lanka on June 11, 2017. They are a Sri Lankan American family that lives in Chicago, the United States of America. They brought us stationary, USB pen drives, a lot of good quality reading glasses, a robotic unit and an Amazon Kindle Fire e-book reader.
We shared the equipment we got from Mr. Buddhika among the students of Horizon Academies in Mahawilachchiya and Tantirimale. Mr. Buddika said that his family friends also collected the items to be sent to us.
The reading glasses they brought were immensely helpful to the children and the adults in the village. They want to thank those who donated to them. Here good quality reading glasses are quite expensive and the villagers got them free of charge from the heap of glasses brought by the visitors.
We like Mr. Buddika’s family as they were very down to earth people. We became friendly with their children, Sithara and Nandun. They had lunch at my house. We are eagerly waiting to communicate with them electronically.