Avinya Foundation

#16 Thank you for being kind

Thank you for being kind!” 

This is a phrase many of the parents said with beaming smiles as they left after their child had finished their interview with us this week. 

It’s great that you are helping Sri Lankan students!” 

This is a great project!” 

These are some of the other ideas they shared with us as they left.

It left the whole team deeply moved and motivated to keep aiming for our goal!

As you can guess from the above, this week, we had another fantastic time with our prospective students down in Bandaragama. We can’t tell you how wonderful it is to meet and spend time with each and every one of them. Learning more about the likes, dislikes, interests and understanding how we can better help and support them in the next step of their life’s journey has been both eye-opening and so fulfilling.

We had a range of students who were interested in all three of our vocational streams: IT (Software Developer), Healthcare (Nurse assistant/ Caregiver) and Hospitality (Guest Relations). A lot of them had navigated many hardships to get where they are today and were very keen and hopeful about the opportunities Avinya could offer them. This is exactly what we are all about – Giving Hope. Creating Vision. Changing Lives. 

A lot more has been going on this week (as always :)) 

  • Making things better – Rukmal’s created a neat dashboard for us to view our progress in terms of our admissions funnel. It’s made us realize we need to keep going full steam ahead to achieve our student enrolment target. We can do it!
  • The academic management systems are nicely bubbling away on the stove and the full tech team is hard at work making whiteboard diagrams slowly turn into reality.
  • Samisa has been playing dual roles and did a presentation last Friday with Lakshman raising awareness among key stakeholders in our target area about the Avinya offer and how we can make a real difference in post O Level students who want to pursue a vocational education pathway. They have experienced first hand the keen interest and enthusiasm in which the news of this project is met with and have offered support to this cause that has the potential to change the futures of so many and give unconditional hope.
  • On the operations side of things, Nihara has been busy with access points and liaising with some amazing individuals and companies who are supporting us with procuring equipment and services for the set up of our Academy in Bandaragama. You can now use google maps to check out the location of the Avinya Academy Bandaragama. 
  • Construction is moving forward to meet our ambitious timelines. Even though the rains have hindered some of the work, the teams are plowing through undeterred to race against the clock (and the weather ;)).

Finally, I’d like to leave you with two reflections I’ve had this week. 

I started this week’s blog post with the phrase

Thank you for being kind!” 

Why that phrase?

Why not –

Thank you for conducting the interviews quickly and efficiently.

Thank you for not making us wait long.

Thank you for realizing that my child needed more support with the interview and for taking extra time with them.

It was simply…

Thank you for being kind!

After what these students have been through, it truly is the least we can do and clearly is what makes all the difference. It is something we always need to remember as we keep moving forward.

Reflection number 2

Have you ever thought twice about the fact that 

  • You can send and receive emails almost in your sleep?
  • You have access to emails at the tip of your fingers?
  • You don’t even have to look at the keyboard when you type because you’ve done it so often you know exactly where the keys are?
  • You can add a capital letter without a second thought as you type or a special character needed for a password?

These are the challenges some of these students have. However, we need to always remember that this is not because of lack of ability. It’s because of lack of opportunity!

We must not let this be the reason they can’t move forward in life. We also cannot say they cannot be helped. We must help where we can and make this difference. It won’t be easy but everything is possible if we all work together.

I shall leave you with a quote as I sign off this week with these reflections 🙂

The single greatest effect on student achievement is not race, it is not poverty – it is the effectiveness of the teacher.” – Harry Wong