We are a growing global network of diaspora changemakers committed to the sustainable development of the North and East of Sri Lanka. We are committed to helping shift diaspora engagement from charity to sustainability, from aid to economic development,
and from remittance to knowledge-based economy.
Our core team is comprised of the following dedicated individuals, all of whom serve in a volunteer capacity.
We are also grateful for the contributions made by our former volunteers: Aarthi Achuthappa, Amarnath Amarasingam, Fenella Amarasinghe, Haran Aruliah, Don Embuldeniya, Dharsha Jegatheeswaran, Thursica Kovinthan, Rajanthi Manivannan, Yohani Mendis, Aranee Murugananthan, Ahila Poologaindran, Suruthi Ragulan, Anupama Ranawana, Yamuna Samuel, Sashi Selvendran, Vithya Shanthasoruban, Anita Sivabalan, Gobhi Theivendran, Matangi Thillai, Kirthika Umasuthan, Ashwin Vadivelu, Melinda Yogendran, and others who wished to remain anonymous.
Annual Gala Co-Chairs
Our diaspora changemakers are re-casting the roles and principles of diaspora engagement as we increasingly assumed shared responsibility for developing the next generation at home and half way across the world.
Our 2018 Sri Lanka Mission is made possible by the support of our valued local partners in the North and East of Sri Lanka
- Bridging Lanka bridges ethnic, religious and geographic divides through people-inspired action. It harnesses the expertise and resources of diaspora participants for the benefit of locals in Sri Lanka – through livelihood support, business development, community advocacy, urban planning, education and social cohesion projects.
- The Church of the American Ceylon Mission focuses on early childhood education and nutrition, after school educational and leadership programs for children and youth, vocational training, women’s livelihoods, children’s homes, and a centre for children with mental disability.
- Centre for Women and Development is a women-led organization committed to working for the poor marginalized and vulnerable groups and communities and special attention in working with women and children.
- Having had its beginnings as a weaving mill in the 1960s and then destroyed in 2010 following the civil war, Ceylon Spinning & Textile Mills Ltd. was reactivated as a functional mill through the valuable contributions by diaspora members from the village of Udupiddy in the Jaffna district. It is now a garment factory that caters to the local community’s needs.
- Chinmaya Organisation for Rural Development – Sri Lanka works at a grass root level towards the empowerment and spiritual development of women and children. CORD has taken an initiative to form Self Help Groups (SHGs) to provide essential leadership to bring about the socio-economic development of marginalized and conflict-affected families, especially among women-headed households.
- Established over 150 years ago, the J/ Kopay Christian College is a co-ed government school for grades 6 to 13.
- The Grace Girls Home is a residence for girls aged 5-18, who are provided with shelter, food, an education, and access to medical treatment. The girls attend a nearby school, participate in extracurricular activities, and are offered religious instruction in the faith of their family.
INFORM Human Rights Documentation Centre was established to monitor and document the human rights situation in Sri Lanka, especially in the context of the ethnic conflict and civil war. INFORM works by reporting on the situation through written and oral interventions at the local, national and international level.
Institute of Regional Development and Governance was founded by like minded local and overseas professionals for regional development by providing knowledge-based solutions to the complex challenge of post war recovery.
- Lanka Evangelical Alliance Development Service is a child-focused non-government organization that has been responding to the needs of Sri Lankan communities for over 35 years – from the devastating cyclone on the east coast in 1978, through the despair of the 1983 ethnic riots, the destruction of the 2004 tsunami and assisting with rehabilitation and resettlement at the end of the traumatic 30-year armed conflict.
- Mannar District Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture is a non-profit organization which has been providing its services to business entrepreneurs, especially innovative young women entrepreneurs and women-managed enterprises.
Muthu Nava Ratna Trust is a non-profit organization focused on improving the livelihoods of war-torn communities in the North and Eastern provinces by providing micro-financing to agriculture and poultry projects. It also coordinates educational activities in remote areas of the Vanni region where there is a severe shortage of STEM and English teachers.
- Organisation of People for Engagement and Enterprise firmly emphasises a holistic and integrated programmatic approach where it works on social and economic development alongside local communities and measures progress by outcomes rather than outputs.
- Organisation for the Rehabilitation of the Handicapped provides a range of services to persons of disabilities in the Vavuniya district of Sri Lanka. Its vision is “Equal rights and equal opportunities for persons with disabilities through barrier free society.”
- Point Pedro Institute of Development is an independent, private, self-funded, socio-economic research institution based in Point Pedro, Northern Province, Sri Lanka.
- The Social Economical & Environmental Developers (SEED) aims to fight poverty and overcoming social exclusion of underprivileged groups. Likewise, it includes the promotion of environmental awareness and conservation to support the institutional goals.
- Women’s Education and Research Centre, which was founded by a small group of feminist researchers and activists, aims to increase women’s awareness, resources, and opportunities for effective participation in the economic, political, and social life of the country.
Wellspring Centre for Learning is a not-for-profit organization that provides after school tutoring for the children in addition to a recently launched pre-school, empowering youth with vocational skills enabling them to be employable.
- YarlIT Hub is a not-for-profit community initiative to create an eco system which nurtures start-up mindset, innovation, creativity, technological and business skills in the community.
Former Local Partners
We are grateful for the support of our former local partners in Sri Lanka, including: Association of War Affected Women, Capokolam, Caritas – EHED, Dr. Sam Education Centre, Glorious Jaffna Foundation, Gudppl, Khemadasa Foundation, Northern Chamber of Information Technology, and Siruvar Apiviruththi Munneduppu. We are also grateful to number of other institutions in Sri Lanka for their collaboration and advice on our programs, including: Adayaalam Centre for Policy and Research, Bismi Group, Centre for Poverty Analysis, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, CrowdIsland, Eastern University of Batticaloa, Families of the Disappeared, Grace Home for Children, Groundviews, International Alert Sri Lanka, Jaffna Managers Forum, Jaffna Rotary Club, Kaveri Kala Manram, Lankan Angel Network, Northern Women Coop Bank, Open Society Foundation, Social Development and Research Organization, Sri Lanka Centre for Development Facilitation, Suriya Women’s Centre, The Social Architects, and the University of Colombo.
Diaspora and International Support
We are grateful for the support and advice extended to us by several international organization and diaspora groups, including: Abinayalaya Natyalayam, Achieve Real Change UK, Abuse Never Becomes Us, Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention, Association of Sri Lankan Graduates of Canada, Brampton Tamil Association, Canadian Tamil Congress, Canadian Tamil Humanitarian Association, Canadian Tamil Law Students and Lawyers, Canadian Tamil Medical Association, Canadian Tamil Professionals Association, Capokolam, Carnatic Youth Society of Canada, CASA Foundation, Children Aid Rehabilitation Education Program, Childrens10 Foundation, Deutsche-Tamilische Studierende Bochum, Durham Tamil Association, Educate Lanka Foundation, Healing Northern Sri Lanka, International Medical Health Organization Canada, Innovation Ecosystem North East Sri Lanka, Isaiyarangam Performing Art Centre, Loving Mothers, Manaveli Performing Arts Group, Markham-Unionville Rotary Club, McMaster Tamil Students Association, Mennonite Economic Development Associates Canada, National Capital Region Tamils Association, National Council of Canadian Tamils, National Council of Japanese Canadians, Ontario Council for International Cooperation, Ottawa Tamil Association, Palmera Projects, Pierre Elliott Trudeau High School Tamil Students Association, Scarborough Twilight Rotary Club, Shylo Foundation, Sri Lankans Without Borders, SV Robotics Foundation, Tamil Cultural Association of Waterloo Region, Tamil Entrepreneurial Network for Women, Tamil Health Association, Tamil Literary Garden, Tamil Medical Pharma Association, Tamils in Public Service, Tamil Studies Symposium (York University), Tamil Worlds Initiative (University of Toronto at Scarborough), TECH Outreach Malaysia, Thamilisai Kaala Manram, University of Toronto at St. George Tamil Students Association, University of Waterloo Tamil Networking Association, Vanni Aid Canada, Visions Global Empowerment, Wilfrid Laurier Tamil Students Association, World Food Programme Sri Lanka, WUSC Canada, and X Change Charity.