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. 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 Right of Return program stream provides post-secondary students and recent graduates with the opportunity to discover, connect, and explore their heritage and history in the North and East of Sri Lanka. Applicants will be placed in children’s homes, vocational schools, and other appropriate institutions to volunteer their skills and time to help build capacity of local communities in the Northern and Eastern provinces.

Partner Description

The Point Pedro Institute of Development (PPID) is an independent, private, self-funded, socio-economic research institution based in Point Pedro, Northern Province, Sri Lanka. PPID undertakes research studies, surveys, needs assessments, and project evaluations commissioned by bilateral and multilateral international development partners and INGOs within the country, and occasionally commissioned by foreign universities or research/policy institutions. For more information, please visit

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Conduct interviews based on a questionnaire in Tamil or Sinhala, covering topics such as people’s perceptions about the current economic and political situation in the country compared to immediately after the end of the civil war in May 2009, and the role of the media and the law enforcement agencies in the post-civil war period.
  • Coordinate, monitor, and supervise the enumerators of the aforementioned survey in different locations and verify the completed survey questionnaires.
  • Other various responsibilities assigned based on mutually beneficial agreement reached between the Principal Researcher of the PPID and the volunteer.


  • Completed undergraduate degree or diploma in Economics, International Development Studies, Political Science, Social Sciences, or related disciplines including physical sciences or political psychology.
  • Relevant programmatic and technical experience in the field of intersectionality of caste, class, ethnicity, and  gender and development.
  • Excellent presentation, analytical, and oral and written communication skills.
  • Interpersonal skills, including open and honest communication, negotiation, and collaboration.
  • Full fluency in English and conversational proficiency in Tamil or Sinhala.
  • 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 completed graduate degree or post-graduate diploma in Economics, International Development Studies, Political Science, Social Sciences, or related disciplines.
  • Conversational proficiency in German, Sinhala, or Tamil.
  • 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’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 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 18 – 30.
  • Departure date is contingent upon the timely completion of all administrative requirements (e.g. visa process, medical clearance, vulnerable sector check, travel documentation).
  • Successful applicants must raise fifty percent (50%) of their placement costs (travel, meals, health insurance, accommodations).