The tsunami in Sri Lanka 26 December 2004
Kohomada from SRI LANKA
The partner from Sri Lanka is from Mahavilachchiya (Anuradhapura). The founder of the school wrote to tell us that they had to travel 80 km from their village to check emails (2002). The pupils design web pages to raise money to run the school and it used to be necessary to travel to the city once a week to upload new web pages. A very special school
Five years ago Horizon was a few students and a teacher sheltered under a tree. Now the school has grown up with the students and it caters for nearly a hundred students; there are teachers for computers, English, mathematics and science. The Horizon School was the first in Sri Lanka to integrate ICT into the curriculum.
Among all the developments the most important is the Horizon Dream Computer Room. At the beginning the Horizon was a computer class without a computer and a school without a blackboard. First they produced a drawing of their dream computer room and asked for support; fortunately many expatriates heard and helped to build this dream.
An email about some very special lessons
Mr. D. is an award winning web designer who works in the UAE. He came to Horizon and showed us some of the websites he had designed. They were exceptionally attractive. Our teacher said we would hold a workshop at night at K’s house. Mr. D. taught Adobe PhotoShop to us. We had dinner at K’s house after the lessons and came home.
Next day we went to Horizon School and took the PCs we have at our houses to Horizon as we wanted to do hands on practice while Mr. D taught us. We ourselves set up the computers at Horizon.
First D. taught us Macromedia Flash and Adobe Illustrator. D. taught Macromedia Dream Weaver next. We did not have time to complete that lesson because we did not have electricity for about an hour.
Till electricity came we designed a website on paper. Once the electricity came we designed that page with the computer. Then they left for Colombo. Later our teacher told us that Mr. D. will help Horizon in the capacity of an advisor for the Horizon designing team. We wish he comes back to Horizon during his next visit to Sri Lanka. We thank him for rendering his services free of charge for Horizon.
Email about local history
This is where Mahavilachchiya's (Anuradhapura) history begins. This huge water reservoir's history runs back to King Wasaba's time. King Wasaba is said to have built this reservoir, one of the biggest in Anuradhapura district. Prince Saliya is said to have stayed close to this reservoir after eloping with a low-caste beauty, Ashokamala. He hid in the thick jungle to escape from the king's wrath.
A few years ago some very old clay statues were found from a playground in the village. Archeologists say the statues belong to the time even before Buddhism came to Sri Lanka. Some age old stone carvings can be seen close to the Vilapaththu jungle but most of these have been destroyed by treasure hunters. Email about farming
Mahavilachchiya is a farming settlement which was built in 1960s. Rice is the village people's staple food. So almost every family has a rice field. Though this is not a profitable crop, each farmer grows rice for the family needs.
Despite the heavy rains, the farmers in Mahavilachchiya have been able to get good harvest from their pumpkin cultivations. Most of the farmers cultivate pumpkins in their rice lands now because it gives a better income than rice. These days huge loads of pumpkin are transported from Mahavilachchiya to Dambulla Economic Centre. Usually the middlemen make a big profit margin in the sales. Mahavilachchiya wewa provides water to the whole village for cultivation.About the Jungle
cultivation is an informal way of farming. Villagers clear the jungle before the rain and cultivate grain, vegetables, etc. The crop is often destroyed by wild elephants and drought.Vilpaththu National Park
is one boundary for the village. Animals are elephants, deer, wild boars and leopards.
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Thanks to Nandasiri Wanninayaka of the Horizon School for the use of the photosReturn to the Menu