Sara Labbate from Italy volunteered at Horizon Lanka Foundation in March, 2018.
A workshop on IoT (Internet of Things) for the staff and students of Horizon Academies was held at Horizon Academy, Anuradhapura by Coderdojo Sri Lanka on February 24, 2018. Mr. Prabhath Mannapperuma, the Founder/Secretary of Micro:bit SLUG coordinated the workshop and Mr. Shameera Prajapriya, Mr. Yasintha Perera and Mr. Dilupa Jayanatha Peiris joined Mr. Mannapperuma to hold the workshop.
The workshop was meant for the staff of the 5 Horizon Academies, ie. Horizon Academy – Mahawilachchiya, Horizon Academy – Tantirimale, Horizon Academy – Anuradhapura, Horizon Academy – Ranpathvila and Horizon Academy –Ralapanawa. Since the students also were very enthusiastic, they also joined the workshop.
The workshop covered a vast area of IoT (Internet of Things) related areas such as micro:bit based programming, Arduino, etc. and basic HTML.
Coderdojo Sri Lanka is part of the Coderjojo global initiative and does its activities on volunteer basis. The initiative helps encourage students from a very young age to coding and programming.
“CoderDojo Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan network of “CoderDojo” – an international open source social education movement oriented around the running of fun, free and social coding clubs (Dojos) for young people aged 7-17 (Ninjas).
Dojos are run by coordinators (Champions) at businesses, schools, libraries, universities, councils and community centres. Dojos provide fun, free and social open learning environments where young people can meet others with similar interests, develop 21st century skills and build creative projects of their own choice using digital technology.
A Dojo is NOT a class or workshop. There is no curriculum. Instead, Dojos offer open, free and unstructured club settings in which young people can follow their own interests, meet like-minded people and develop self-directed learning habits with the support of Champions and Mentors.” – from CoderDojo Sri Lanka website.
The Horizon Lanka Foundation thanks CoderDojo Sri Lanka for partnering with the Foundation and the Foundation hopes to go a long journey with CoderDojo Sri Lanka by educating the future generation through the Foundation’s network of Horizon Academies.
Tali Motzkin from Israel volunteered at Horizon Lanka Foundation in January, 2018.
“My Volunteering at Horizon Academy – Anuradhapura
I would like to tell you about my volunteering experience. I arrived at the Horizon Academy at Thursday evening, straight to Ramanee and Udaya’s school, close to the Anuradhapura city. When I was at the bus station I called Ramanee and she sent her husband, Udaya to pick me with a tuk-tuk driver so I didn’t have any problems to find the place. At this day the students had a goodbye party for the formal volunteer (Susannah Horowitz) so it was very nice to see how they danced, laughed and shared respect for her and also for welcoming me. They prepared us a “queens feast” with a lot of fresh fruits and showed us a dance concert. Then, after this great welcome, my host family came to take me. There, I met my new sister: Hashini, her brother: Gihan, and my new parents: Anura and Kumari. At first it was so strange to walk into other people’s house but they made me feel like I am at my own house. They cook amazing food for me every day and treat me so nicely. During my stay, every day I have learned something new about them and about their traditions, they also took me to some really cool places like the washing reservoir, temple and the local market. Now, after one week with them I really feel like home and they are my new family.
In the matter of the Horizon Academy, I didn’t have much time with them because I arrived to the weekend and only for a one week, but with the time I had it was nice to see how Ramanee and Udaya teach the students with a lot of passion in all kinds of ways like through books, notebooks, movies, games, dance, etc. I was joining to Ramanee’s teaching class. At the class I was talking with the students, check their homework, teach them computer work and at breaks, I was playing and teaching them field games. At the beginning it was hard for me to let them know what I mean in my explanation (I don’t speak Sinhala), but then I found some ways to explain like with signs and drawings. Also, it takes time to get to know the students and how to approach them, but when I did and felt like I did teach them something new, it was a really good feeling. I also translated Horizon Lanka website into Hebrew as requested by Nanda, but I wished to contribute more with the kids like maybe teach them new dance moves and art, things which require a longer stay. Therefore, I think if someone want to volunteer here and really make some difference, at least stay one week and even more here as it is necessary for getting know the program, students and family.
For conclusion, I had a great time (my best Sri Lankan experience so far!!) and I want to thank to all people who welcomed me, I hope I will see you again soon.
Tali Motzkin, Israel”
Mr. Qurro Lopez from Spain volunteered at Horizon Lanka in October, 2017. He taught Spanish language to the students and the students were very fast in learning this totally new language. In addition to teaching, he brought a lot of gifts to the students at Horizon Academy – Mahawilachchiya. Tharushika Rathnayaka and Pramodhya Gunarathna received one tab each and the junior students got toys from him. Before he left Sri Lanka, he donated 90,000 LKR (500 EUR) raised by EK ONG KAR MALOGA Yoga School in Spain to be distributed among the students. This donation covers the academic and healthcare expenses of the students for the year 2017. (2017 was a bad year for the whole village as their parents’ farms did not yield any crops due to the drought. So, this financial assistance means a lot to them. It is the same for this year also since the village did not get sufficient rains for the third consecutive year.)
When asked to whom the credit should go for this generous donation, a delighted Mr. Lopez said, “Consider it came from God.”
The students, the parents and the Horizon Lanka Foundation appreciate Mr. Lopez and EK ONG KAR MALOGA Yoga School in Spain for assisting the students in a big way. Thank You.