Supendra Chandrakumar is a Social Media Coordinator at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, and worked in sales and partnerships at the same company. He received his B.Comm. in Marketing from the University of Ontario Institute Of Technology. Supendra is very involved in the diaspora community as a social media community manager for the Canadian Tamil Professionals Association and the South Asian Autism Awareness Centre. Supendra was born and raised in Canada, and visited Sri Lanka in 2016 and 2017.

Supendra will be placed in the position of Web and Marketing Coordinator with the Church of the American Ceylon Mission for approximately one month to oversee the design and development of the Church’s website and social media marketing campaign.

We asked Supendra to share some of his thoughts on his upcoming experience as he prepares to head out to Sri Lanka in a few days.

As a young woman, my mother had the courage to emigrate from Sri Lanka, our ancestral home, to live a peaceful lifestyle in Canada due to the civil war. With my sister by her side, who was a year old at the time, my mother had to go through treacherous conditions to find her way out of the country. As my father had immigrated to Canada a year before, they received their sponsorships and received the opportunity to resume a new life.

Born and raised in the city of Toronto, my parents made sure I was mindful of how our family roots integrated to where we are today. I’ve been aware of the incidents that have been taking place in Sri Lanka and how much of an impact it has created to many families that are affiliated with the island. As a committed member of this initiative, I am looking forward to contribute and collaborate with the comdu.it team with the objective of progressing the CACM’s web and social media platform. With this being an opportunity to explore my personal roots, I receive the chance to enrich connections with other community representatives and develop deeper ties with my ancestral home.

Within the past year, Toronto has made its mark in helping the northern province during the post war era of the country. With Mayor Tory signing an agreement with the District of Jaffna to advance cooperation & partnership on governance, education, library and economic development, it has helped a strong establishment with the residents in seeking opportunities. Being a Tamil-Torontonian, I am deeply interested in strengthening this Toronto-Sri Lanka relationship even further by improving the economic and social development. As the highest Tamil population outside of Sri Lanka, I believe it is our duty to support and be affiliated with the improvement for the future generations. With such a strong core of Tamil professionals within both regions, we can continue to collaborate our ideas to help pursue the development of the new generation.

One of my goals from this opportunity is to inspire others in the Tamil community (organizations and professionals in various fields) to take this initiative next year and be a part of an incredible project that supports sustaining development in post-war Sri Lanka. comdu.it has provided me with great support in becoming an ambassador of the organization and in preparation for my visit to Sri Lanka. I truly believe that it is our duty as Tamil Canadians to use our knowledge, time and courage to consolidate and collaborate with the communities in Sri Lanka to support the development and cultivation of a lifestyle with equity and support.

As an active member of this society, it is very important we take the time to volunteer with our community whether it is locally or internationally. I highly value the impact that we as humans, have on future generations. It is the contribution that we mindfully and creatively share with the world, that shapes it to be a better place. Growing up in a world-class city like Toronto, we have generously made our contributions around the globe with our knowledge, time and effort. I look forward to putting my best foot forward on behalf of Toronto, comdu.it and myself.

The world needs more Toronto.

Stay tuned to this blog to follow Supendra’s work in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka this summer.

Please consider supporting our vision to create more opportunities for the diaspora to contribute knowledge and expertise to the North and East of Sri Lanka. You can make a donation to our 2017-19 seed fund at https://www.gofundme.com/comduit.