Avinya Foundation

#17 Mung Kavum, Wali Thalapa and Student Enrollments

Me: Thank you for coming for the interview. We are happy for you to enroll with the Avinya Academy Bandaragama. Here are our enrollment details, why don’t you take some time to think it over and we’ll have a chat with your parents too. 

Student: I want to join now.

Me: That’s wonderful! Let’s go up and chat to your parents too.

Student: Ok. But I want to join now. I really want to join Avinya please.

Imagine the feeling you get when you hear this keenness, excitement, enthusiasm and sheer interest all rolled into one.

Imagine you are the teacher who gets to have this student in your class.

Imagine the difference you can make in that student’s life!

Just imagine.

I didn’t have to because my heart skipped a beat and I felt so moved as I could see the look of hope and faith our latest enrolled student gave us as we walked up the path to speak to his parents.

These are the moments that our passion for what we do is reinforced!

“The need is great and so are the opportunities to make a difference.” – Paul Newman

So, remember last week’s blog where I shared two reflections I’d had?

How we’ve come to take so many things for granted like our ability to type a text in English without a second thought or shoot off an email from our phone within a matter of seconds? 

As we had the privilege of talking to more potential students this week, their parents and guardians, you will need to bear with me on two more reflections this week.

  • Parent: My child’s just been at home. He hates school and we really don’t know what to do next. He has nothing to do and I worry about him and his future all the time. 

This was such a reality check. 

It wasn’t really the words that struck a chord. It was the sheer hopelessness and the anxiety. A mother’s worry for her child never goes away, they say. But lack of opportunity can create such a void and from what I learnt this week, it is exacerbated by lack of information and awareness of the opportunities. 

It made me reflect on how much we take for granted that we have the ability to google the information we need, to filter it out the way we want to and to speak to people for advice without a second thought.

It is a luxury for some. 

Reflection two 

Maybe this is unsolicited advice from my part but something that I had never thought of until it came up several times this week and last week.

Applicant: I am interested in so many things so I want to do a little bit of everything. I want to do this course and a few others at the same time. 

It made me think of this quote.

“If you are going somewhere take all of you there.” — Amit Kalantri

It’s great to be interested in many things but there’s a time in your life that you really do need to focus. There are so many opportunities, different pathways to choose from. It’s difficult to navigate but even more difficult when the waters are murky, so the only advice I can give is focus on one thing at a time and get yourself there!

Apart from reflections, what else have we been up to at Team Avinya?

As you might have guessed by now, a huge part of what we are doing right now is enrolling our Recipe 120 and setting things up to open the doors to them in January 2023! 

Dee and our amazing teams of educators have made great progress on the Empower program curriculum and are now focusing fully on contributing to the efforts on student recruitment. Down in Bandaragama, inbetween bites of extremely delicious mung kavum, wali thalapa and tea, we reflect on the interview outcomes during short breaks. It is so nice to speak with the team and share our experiences. From these chats, our Educators’ commitment to our prospective students and ensuring they have the best possible learning experience is clearly reflected in everything they do. They have ensured that every student walks out of their interview with a smile on their face regardless of what they’ve chosen as the outcome. Not only that, each applicant walks away with a bit of wisdom under their belt for having met our Educators and spoken to this amazing team about their hopes, plans and dreams for the future. 

On the tech side, Samisa, Rukmal, Zaeema and the rest of our IT consultant team have been hard at work as usual building our complex and customized academic management system. They are moving full steam ahead to work around some very complex sounding IT issues. The other day Rukmal uses the phrase, failover paradigm and I quickly google it to check what it means 🙂 A phrase I have to admit I have never heard. One thing, I’ve learnt since having this sneak preview into the world of IT is that every moment of the day there is always something new to learn. I pick up more things from their conversations and discussions on testing, source settings, databases as well as lots of chats around Ballerina. I must admit that even though I now know what Ballerina is – every time they say Ballerina – I don’t envision a five year old open-source programming language for the cloud but rather a graceful ballerina leaping across the stage 😉 

Right from dancing to operations…Nihara has been walking around measuring us and all the furniture she can find 😉 We’ve had a lot of interesting discussions over inches and centimeters. Uniforms are at the top of our priority list as we need to get these in the hands of our enrolled students as soon as possible. We’ve also got lots to sort out on the operations front to be ready and able for the magic Recipe 120!

Speaking of Recipe 120, Lakshman has continued to have several meetings to spread the word about Avinya’s unique opportunity. 

It’s truly a gift – one of our prospective parents commented this week. 

A gift that will really change lives. Every week we need that reminder that everything we do here at Avinya makes and will make a lasting impact on a very important group of people as they head into the future…

That’s it from me this week, stay tuned to hear about our new adventures next week 🙂

– Anju