There is growing interest amongst members of the Tamil diaspora in contributing their time and professional expertise in a meaningful manner to develop and empower vulnerable communities in war-affected, developing, rural, and remote regions of Sri Lanka. However, it is often difficult for these individuals to identify and connect with credible local community-based organisations in Sri Lanka. comdu.it is a growing global network of diaspora changemakers committed to the sustainable development of the traditional Tamil homelands in Sri Lanka. Since 2016, we have been committed to helping shift diaspora engagement from charity to sustainability, from aid to economic development, and from sending remittance to building a knowledge economy instead.

Program Description

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

The Sri Lanka Centre for Development Facilitation (SLCDF) is a non profit voluntary organization. They work to enhance the capacities and social capital of the needy and their organizations by developing knowledge, skills, resources and technical support to take the responsibilities in programs and policy for collaborative GO/NGO relationship towards reducing poverty and achieving sustainable human development. For more information, please visit www.slcdf.net.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Oversee the development and implementation of the Impact Measurement framework.
  • Travel within mostly the north and east, to research, collect, verify, analyze and monitor information relevant to Palmera Programs.
  • Embed the framework into the Palmera programs
  • Capacitate staff and establish systems, processes and controls to ensure the effective capture of impact data.
  • Capacitate staff and establish processes to ensure the effective review of data.
  • Capacitate staff and establish processes to enable impact data to feed back into the programs to ensure a continued  learning cycle.


  • Completed undergraduate or graduate degree in data analytics, international development, social sciences, or related field or equivalent experience.
  • Advanced excel and access skills.
  • Full fluency in English and conversational proficiency in Tamil.
  • Commitment to human rights and social justice.
  • Excellent presentation, interpersonal, analytical, and oral and written communication skills.
  • Interpersonal skills, including open and honest communication, negotiation, and collaboration.
  • Familiar with Palmera Project’s rural entrepreneurship programme.
  • Approaches challenges with curiosity, not judgement.
  • 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.
  • Contribute to the integration of gender perspectives/considerations and specific women/girls’ rights in all activities.

Preferred but not mandatory qualifications

  • Research and analytical skills
  • Full fluency in Tamil
  • Work experience in vocational institutions, post-secondary institutions, or international organizations.

Volunteer Benefits and Support

  • Up to fifty per cent (50%) of all costs subsidized for successful applicants with demonstrated financial need.
  • Guidance with booking flights, obtaining visa, accommodations, etc.
  • Participation in pre-departure training where you will have the opportunity to learn about our 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  after completion of assignment, including counselling support.
  • 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, Germany, or host country between the ages of 20 – 40.
  • Departure date is contingent upon the timely completion of all administrative requirements (e.g. visa process, medical clearance, vulnerable sector checks, travel documentation).
  • Those applicants with demonstrated financial need must raise at least fifty percent (50%) of their placement costs (travel, meals, health insurance, accommodations). Other applicants must raise funds to cover 100% costs of their placement.
  • Please read our updated FAQs before applying!