Avinya Foundation

#43 Golden Reflection, Proud Parents and Coconut Trees!

It’s been a whirlwind of a week, I tell you. So much so that there was a time we weren’t entirely sure we’d get to the weekly blog update. Nevertheless in true Avinya teamwork fashion here we are. As I type, Sinalie sits across the room filling in a form from a supplier and alternating to creating a collage of photos from this week which you will see at the end of this blog post.

I sit here and decide that this week, maybe the most important things to highlight are the lessons learnt and the new perspectives.


Let me start with the lessons learnt.


We are now ready to start enrolling students for our September 2023 six-month Empower Program. As we pulled out some of the processes, workflows and documents from our first round of student recruitment we realized two things: 1) how much things have changed from 8 months ago, 2) how much we have learnt not only about our students but about ourselves, each other and our community


This brings me to a quote that really resonated with me.


“We do not learn from experience…we learn from reflecting on experience.” – John Dewey


As we started making changes to the September batch intake the Educator team brainstormed and came up with a full range of innovative ideas to better streamline things and creative ways to overcome the challenges and inevitable curve balls that came our way. What I learnt?

If you allow a team to have the space to share ideas and solve a problem together – you will be amazed at the results.


We had our first set of interviews for our prospective students on Wednesday and all in all it was rather bitter-sweet. I’ll tell you why – we had one of our student’s volunteer to do a section of the briefing to parents. The impact being at Avinya has made on his life was his core message with the use of a simple rubik’s cube. I turn and I see Dee almost in tears, trying to capture what she can on video. It reminded us about how special our current batch of students has become to us.

As our Student Leaders ushered in the prospective students and supported the team with the full enrolment process, all I could think of was how proud I was of them. How much they had grown and how much a lot of them had stepped up. They supported new students with filling in forms, taking measurements and answering their questions. We felt like a group of very proud parents!

If you know any students in the Bandaragama area who would benefit from the Avinya Empower Program, they can apply by filling out this form.


From sentimental emotions to some lighter news. As Sinalie hinted in last week’s blog, we have some exciting news to share. We’ve decided to pilot a team within a team and create our very own Academic Integration team who will be responsible for increasing efficiencies and standardization across our workflows while keeping their proverbial academic hats on. It will be interesting to see where this new parallel pathway takes us and we are all excited and eager to find out. Congratulations to our pioneer Academic Integration team, our very own Sinalie and Sanduni!


In other exciting news, we are also close to the end of our Educator recruitment process. We will share more details soon!


You may be wondering what project we are onto now…well it is all about entrepreneurship. Our students have been knee deep in research to come up with a viable business idea to create their own company. They’ve been working their way through key things they need to know and thanks to Dilani we will have a very special guest who will be the judge. Stay tuned to find out more as the weeks progress.


We also have to say thank you to two very special guests this week. Thulith Edirisinghe and Joshua, did a wonderful session for our students on AI tools and basic literacy. Even some of the Educators got competitive with the fun tools and games he explored with us. We were all thoroughly engaged trying to beat our AI opponent in word association games and other fun activities. One of the key highlights was when you got to scan part of your body and actually conduct an orchestra. There was a lot of random arm waving for sure!


Thank you to Geethika Cooray who led an inspirational talk and activity on reaching for the stars! In his version, if you don’t land on the moon, it could even be a coconut tree!


“Jump into the middle of things, get your hands dirty, fall flat on your face, and then reach for the stars.”

Ben Stein


On that note, see you next week 🙂


– Anju