VISION

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.

OBJECTIVES

Since
2014

We are focused on:

  • Facilitating diaspora technical assistance and knowledge to strengthen local community-based organisations that serve vulnerable populations.
  • Becoming an open hub that consolidates information, encourages collaboration, and streamlines resources in order to enhance diaspora engagement in sustainable development.

PROGRESS

  1. March 2018:

    Launch of 2018 Sri Lanka Mission

  2. January 2018:

    Launch of comdu.it Germany, our first international chapter

  3. November 2017:

    Launch of multi-city meetup campaign  

  4. July 2017:

    Launch of our Sri Lanka 2017 Mission  

  5. April 2017:

    Formal launch of re-design programs focused on leveraging diaspora technical assistance for development

  6. December 2016:

    Seed fundraiser kick off to raise approximately $200K over two years

  7. October 2016:

    Participated in Engaging Overseas Sri Lankans: Promoting Responsible Investment and Technical Assistance conference hosted by International Alert

  8. September 2016:

    Legally incorporated as a non-profit organization in the Province of Ontario

  9. August 2016:

    Interviewed for diaspora research studies in Canada, United States, and United Kingdom

  10. May 2016:

    Leadership team renewed

  11. April 2016:

    Review of outcomes of two-year pilot and decision made to incorporate as a non-profit organization

  12. March 2016:

    Two field volunteer placed to support after-school program in rural Jaffna

  13. October 2015:

    Helped raise nearly $10,000 for various aid efforts in the North and East of Sri Lanka, and partnered with 10 diaspora organizations in Canada

  14. April 2015:

    Participated in Cultural Communities for Sustainable Development Consultation roundtable co-hosted by the Government of Canada

  15. March 2015:

    $2,300 raised to support 19 micro-gift beneficiaries

  16. April 2014:

    comdu.it launched as a two-year pilot initiative in Toronto, Canada

  17. February 2014:

    Partnerships established with eight local partners in Sri Lanka

  18. January 2014:

    Field mission to North, East and Central Sri Lanka to complete preliminary needs assessment

  19. December 2013:

    Broader community consultation on network mandate and objectives

  20. August 2013:

    Initial meetings with founding team to plan and design network.

PEOPLE

Team Canada

Our core team is comprised of the following dedicated individuals, all of whom serve in a volunteer capacity.

Siva Dhayalan

Siva Dhayalan


Geetha Gnanapragasam

Geetha Gnanapragasam


Hansika Gunaratne

Hansika Gunaratne



Bahi Kandavel

Bahi Kandavel


Kumaran Nadesan

Kumaran Nadesan



Hamsha Pathmanathan

Hamsha Pathmanathan


Thenoosiya Ratnam

Thenoosiya Ratnam


Muraly Srinarayanathas

Muraly Srinarayanathas



Joanna Sugunathazan

Joanna Sugunathazan


Priya Tharmaseelan

Priya Tharmaseelan



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, Thuva Vanniyasingam, Ashwin Vadivelu, Melinda Yogendran, and others who wished to remain anonymous.


Team Germany

Freedanz Ferdinandz

Freedanz Ferdinandz



Mershilah Ferdinandz

Mershilah Ferdinandz

Saranga Kethees

Saranga Kethees


Suthan Kethees

Suthan Kethees


Keerthana Selvanathan

Keerthana Selvanathan


Shaumiyah Selvanathan

Shaumiyah Selvanathan


Lavanya Sreeranganathan

Lavanya Sreeranganathan


Laxciya Varathanathan

Laxciya Varathanathan


Diaspora Changemakers

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.

Deepa Bala (2016 Changemaker)
Deepa Bala (2016 Changemaker)

Angela Britto (2017 Changemaker)
Angela Britto (2017 Changemaker)

Supendra Chandrakumar (2017 Changemaker)
Supendra Chandrakumar (2017 Changemaker)

Anoshinie Muhundarajah (2017 Changemaker)
Anoshinie Muhundarajah (2017 Changemaker)

Achchana Nadarajah (2016 Changemaker)
Achchana Nadarajah (2016 Changemaker)

Raj Rajakumar (2017 Changemaker)
Raj Rajakumar (2017 Changemaker)

Sivaharan Rajkumar (2017 Changemaker)
Sivaharan Rajkumar (2017 Changemaker)

Sayanthan Ravindranathan (2017 Changemaker)
Sayanthan Ravindranathan (2017 Changemaker)

Sumu Sathi (2017 Changemaker)
Sumu Sathi (2017 Changemaker)

Lawsan Thanapalan (2017 Changemaker)
Lawsan Thanapalan (2017 Changemaker)

Sunthar Vykunthanathan (2017 Changemaker)
Sunthar Vykunthanathan (2017 Changemaker)

PARTNERS

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-web-logoBridging 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.
    Learn More
  • american-ceylon-logoThe 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.
    Learn More
  • Centre for Women and DevelopmentCentre 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.
    Learn More
  • Ceylon Spinning & Textile Mills Ltd 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.
  • cord-logoChinmaya 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.
    Learn More
  • kopay logoEstablished over 150 years ago, the J/ Kopay Christian College is a co-ed government school for grades 6 to 13.
    Learn More
  • grace-girls-logoThe 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.
    Learn More
  • grace-girls-logo
    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.
    Learn More
  • grace-girls-logo
    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.
    Learn More
  • leads-logoLanka 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.
    Learn More
  • mdcciaMannar 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.
  • grace-girls-logo
    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.
  • openeOrganisation 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.
    Learn More
  • orhan logoOrganisation 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.”
    Learn More
  • point-pedro-logoPoint Pedro Institute of Development is an independent, private, self-funded, socio-economic research institution based in Point Pedro, Northern Province, Sri Lanka.
    Learn More
  • womens education and research centre logoWomen’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.
    Learn More
  • grace-girls-logo
    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.
    Learn More
  • yarl it logoYarlIT 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.
    Learn More

CORPORATE SPONSORS

ivedha-logoturtle capitalVirtaceScarborough Rotary ClubComputek

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, Association of Sri Lankan Graduates of Canada, Canadian Tamil Humanitarian Association, Canadian Tamil Medical Association, Canadian Tamil Professionals Association, Capokoloam, Carnatic Youth Society of Canada, Childrens10 Foundation, Educate Lanka Foundation, IMHO Canada, MEDA Canada, Ontario Council for International Cooperation, Palmera Projects, Scarborough Twilight Rotary Club, Tamils in Public Service, TECH Outreach Malaysia, UTSC Tamil Worlds Initiative, Vanni Aid Canada, World Food Programme Sri Lanka, WUSC Canada, and X Change Charity.