There is growing interest amongst Canadians, and especially members of the Canadian Tamil diaspora, in contributing their time and professional expertise in a meaningful manner to develop and empower vulnerable communities in war-affected, under-developed, rural, and remote regions of Sri Lanka. However, it is often difficult for these individuals to identify and connect with credible local community-based organizations in Sri Lanka.

comdu.it is a growing global network of diaspora changemakers interested in sustainable development of vulnerable communities in war-affected, under-developed, rural, and remote regions of Sri Lanka, with an emphasis on the Northern and Eastern Provinces. Its mission is to help shift diaspora engagement from charity to sustainability, from aid to economic development, and from remittance to knowledge-based economy. It currently operates in Canada and Germany.

The Associateship program stream provides new and young professionals with the opportunity to discover, connect, and explore their heritage and history in the North and East of Sri Lanka. Applicants will pre-plan a project prior to their arrival in Sri Lanka, do a high-intensity implementation over a specified period of time on the ground in the Northern and Eastern provinces, and continue evaluation upon their return to Canada.

Partner Description

Wellspring Centre for Learning is a not-for-profit organization that provides after school tutoring for the children in the neighbourhood, in addition to a recently launched pre-school, empowering youth with vocational skills enabling them to be employable, i.e., providing them with English language and office skills, and empowering women subjected to violence by coaching and teaching. For more information, please visit https://www.facebook.com/Wellspring-Centre-for-Learning-266717746845556.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Develop and implement child care programs that support and promote the physical, cognitive, emotional and social development of children impacted by war and conflict.
  • Lead activities by telling or reading stories, teaching songs and providing opportunities to express creativity.
  • Teach and coach children in all subjects in Tamil and provide English language training on reading, writing, conversation and comprehension to children.
  • Train preschool teachers on modern techniques of Early Childhood Education, and how to follow-up on this type of leadership programming to ensure lasting development.
  • Ensure that lessons are geared towards achieving appropriate outcomes that are beneficial to the children.
  • Plan and maintain an environment that protects the health, safety and well-being of children.
  • Establish and maintain collaborative relationships with co-workers and community service providers working with children.
  • Contributes to the integration of gender perspectives/considerations and specific women/girls’ rights in all activities.

Qualifications

  • Completed undergraduate degree or diploma in Early Childhood Education or related disciplines, and certified as an Early Childhood Educator.
  • Minimum 2 years of experience with strong and demonstrated programming experience with young children and families.
  • Excellent presentation, analytical, and oral and written communication skills.
  • Interpersonal skills, including open and honest communication, negotiation, and collaboration.
  • Full fluency in English and Tamil.
  • Strong personal initiative, resourcefulness and capacity to be self-motivated and also work as part of a team.  
  • Must be driven to improve the lives of marginalized people, and work with them to do so, in a way that is led by them, for them, and is sustainable and achieves their objectives.
  • Must be committed to equality, and by extension, open to learning about resilience, diversity and solidarity from the vulnerable communities they are working with.  
  • Must be able to lead by example by being open minded, humble and embrace opportunities to grow personally.

Preferred but not mandatory qualifications:

  • Currently in or recently completed graduate degree or postgraduate diploma in Early Childhood Education or related disciplines.
  • Formal or informal experience providing educational training for preschool teachers.
  • Work experience in vocational institutions, post-secondary institutions, or international organizations.

Volunteer Benefits and Support

  • Fifty percent (50%) of all placement costs covered (travel, meals, health insurance, accommodation).
  • Guidance with booking flights, obtaining visa, accommodations, etc.
  • Participation in pre-departure training where you will have the opportunity to learn about comdu.it’s work, gain practical skills for living and working in a lower middle-income country, and meet other volunteers.
  • In-country orientation upon arrival.
  • Potential tour and briefing of the Northern and Eastern provinces.
  • Support and guidance prior to departure and while on assignment in Sri Lanka.
  • Return debriefing in Canada after completion of assignment.
  • The opportunity of a lifetime to provide meaningful assistance to war-impacted communities in the North and East of Sri Lanka.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants must be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada or Germany between the ages of 25 – 40.
  • Departure date is contingent upon the timely completion of all administrative requirements (e.g. visa process, medical clearance, vulnerable sector checks, travel documentation).
  • Successful applicants must raise fifty percent (50%) of their placement costs (travel, meals, health insurance, accommodations).