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 non-governmental organizations and community-based organizations in Sri Lanka.

comdu.it is a Canadian 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.

The Associateship program 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 four-week period on the ground in the Northern and Eastern provinces, and continue evaluation upon their return to Canada.

Partner Description

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. It has active projects and initiatives underway in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya, Mannar, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Amparai, and Nuwara Eliya.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Research and apply current literacy and English language development theories and practices as well as technical knowledge to create an educational experience for learners that successfully teaches them new information or improves their skill level.
  • Assess learner needs and styles, define learning objectives, create the learning environment and content materials, implement training and evaluate the effectiveness of the curriculum.
  • Work closely with organizational colleagues, project manager, and other educators to determine needs throughout the design process.
  • Gain understanding of the educational system for teaching English in the Northern and Eastern province, and apply best practices from other national or international post-secondary TEFL/TESL learning environments.

Qualifications

  • Currently in or recently completed undergraduate degree in Education or related disciplines.
  • Experience teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language.
  • Experience in curriculum development and/or instructional design, and teachers’ and students’ experience of using learning materials.
  • Excellent presentation, interpersonal, analytical, and oral and written communication skills.
  • Full fluency in English and conversational proficiency in 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 Education or related disciplines.
  • Experience in designing, adapting, and using effective secondary school education and ESL curricula for Tamil non-native speakers;
  • International teaching qualifications (TESOL, TEFL, CELTA).
  • Work experience in vocational institutions, post-secondary institutions, or international organizations.

Volunteer Benefits and Support

  • Fifty percent (50%) of all placement costs covered by comdu.it (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 and briefing upon arrival in-country.
  • 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 Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada between the ages of 25 – 40.
  • Departure date is contingent upon the timely completion of all administrative requirements (e.g. visa process, medical clearance, police checks, travel documentation).
  • Successful applicants must raise fifty percent (50%) of their placement costs (travel, meals, health insurance, accommodations) – approximately $1,500.