Avinya Foundation

#31 Mindfulness, Teenage diaries and Inspiring Speakers

Hello everyone,


It’s another Friday and another blog entry is born. This week we stepped into some still water and caused some ripples (no, no one took a dive into the Meththa pond in front of our premises). So far our projects have touched base on themes such as upcycling, fashion and digitization. This time however, we approached some topics that were closer to the heart and mind. Our fourth project for the first term is titled Face your Face and as you may have already guessed, we took a deep dive into reflection.


The first time I ever properly processed the word reflection was when I was a wee little Sinalie, enthralled by Mulan singing at herself and stubbornly cutting off her hair. I suppose there was some level of reflection involved in the angsty diary entries I’d written as a teenager but that’s for a different day to decipher. As I grew up it only meant looking at myself in the mirror before I dashed out the door, making sure I wasn’t wearing only one earring on my way out. I must confess that reflection truly earned a new meaning when I entered the field of teaching and the very first part of my training was to look back on each lesson I did and evaluate it from an objective perspective, to let the lesson play out in my head. If you’ve read Harry Potter, imagine it as being in a pensieve of your own memories, strolling through a reel you are rewatching but as a spectator and not as a participant. It transformed the way I viewed teaching, having been a student for so long, to finally take the first steps to becoming a teacher was pretty special. It is now a staple in my teaching practice and all of our other educators as well.


Ever since we started our brand new adventure here at Avinya, we’ve been rolling with the punches. I think we’ve all felt a little as if we’re moving at breakneck pace because there’s always something or the other happening. Frankly, you’d think breakfast is a fairly normal affair on any given day. Not here at Avinya. This week itself I’ve heard stories at breakfast that have blown my mind several times over. The students have also been completely engrossed in so many different things that are novel to them (and excelling at them I might add) so it wasn’t entirely unexpected that the excitement caught up to us.


Face your face brought with it a welcome change that allowed all of us to take several steps back and look at everything we’ve done, achieved and fallen short of so far. Anju talked last week about not getting caught up in the storm and allowing our sails to catch the wind and carry us forward. This week we set those sails in motion. The student started off the project by reflecting on basic emotions like happiness, sadness and anger. I suppose we all find addressing our deepest and strongest feelings difficult at times as our students were slow to start off, but quickly warmed up to conversations on feelings. They have started their own reflective diaries that are updated on a daily basis, by reflecting on how they felt at the beginning, middle and end of the day, an almost meditative practice for some, as we’ve observed.


Amid some mindfulness exercises and vocal warm ups, we also talked about how thoughts and feelings can be conveyed through different mediums. This brought all of us to the discovery that in Japan, the 💩 emoji is meant for good luck! See what I mean about being mind blown on a weekly basis? All of these questions and conversations led to the final product of the project which was to produce a mask inspired by different types of emotions. Students are slowly warming up to the skill of research as well, as evidenced by their notes on masks around the world. It was very interesting to learn how many different countries across the world make use of masks to convey an array of different emotions, for rituals and as a symbolic representation of culture and heritage.


In other news, we also had an awareness campaign on Monday addressing some of the prominent issues within our school and community. We thank Mr. Supun Udana and Colonel Mayadunna who worked in collaboration to present us with an excellent session on drug prevention awareness. It was lovely to see all hundred odd students listen with rapt attention and display interest in holding similar workshops in the future. We at Avinya would like to extend this opportunity to our dear readers as well. If you also think you could contribute to our school by delivering any workshops, we would be grateful to have you! I’ve attached a link below, to sign up and if you think it’s not for you but know someone who’d be interested, please pass the word around!




We have more exciting things cooking up for our penultimate week of term one but I will not spoil the secret. My only hint is that our extra curricular clubs are hard at work. Stay tuned to find out in the blog next week! Instead, I have this lovely paragraph to share, written by one of our own students on their experience of this week and the new project.


“After 2 hectic projects, this project has been a bit more relaxing. We started the project with learning about emotions and how to overcome our emotions through relaxation exercises and

mindfulness. We then researched about the metaphorical masks we wear daily vs the physical masks we see around us. The highlight of the week was the drug awareness program conducted by Mr.Supun Udana and Colonel Mayadunna. It is safe to say that every single student benefited from the program and enjoyed it.” – Supun


While I unfortunately don’t possess an arsenal of quotes like Anju, I’m signing off with one today in remembrance of our resident blogger who spent the week trying to pronounce Hermione and mixing up a robe and a cape. A travesty. With the end of the term almost upon us, this quote summed up the entirety of this week at Avinya.


“Transitions are a time for reflection, and a time for looking forward.” – Roy Cooper