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.
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.
The Organisation for the Rehabilitation of the Handicapped (ORHAN) provides a range of services to persons with disabilities in the Vavuniya district of Sri Lanka. Its vision is “Equal rights and equal opportunities for persons with disabilities “through barrier free society. ORHAN’s work covers three thematics areas: daily living skills development for persons with disabilities, vocational training and inclusive sports for youth with disabilities, and health and self-advocacy programs. For more information, please visit www.orhansrilanka.org.
Roles and Responsibilities
- Provide training to staff responsible for the education of children with mental disabilities.
- Act as an educational and supportive resource to staff and clients in areas of trauma and mental health.
- Mentor and train teaching and social worker staff on providing appropriate educational tools and care tactics for children who require training in daily living skills, speech therapy, physiotherapy, sign language, vocational training and yoga therapy.
- Prepare and implement staff development plans, and conduct theoretical and field training sessions.
- Research and produce relevant reports on providing special needs education support to children in Sri Lanka.
- Contribute to the integration of gender perspectives/considerations and specific women/girls’ rights in all activities.
- Completed undergraduate degree or diploma in Education, Psychology, Social Work, Social Services, or related disciplines.
- Experience in providing special needs education.
- Experience in conducting training sessions for educators.
- Excellent presentation, interpersonal, 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.
- 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.
Preferred but not mandatory qualifications
- Completed graduate degree or post-graduate diploma in Education, Psychology, Social Work, Social Services, or related disciplines.
- Experience in providing support for children with special needs.
- Ability to clinically manage high-risk cases, including clients who are a threat to self or others.
- 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.
- Applicants must be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada, Germany or host country 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).
- 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!