Dear supporters, partners, and friends:
On April 14, 2016, we marked the second year anniversary of the launch of our network.
We are an independent pilot network of students and professionals interested in facilitating meaningful connections between our peers and community-based, long-term sustainable development efforts in Sri Lanka, with a primary focus on empowering communities impacted by war.
As we informed many of you a year ago, we focused our efforts this past year on testing our Give Time programming model.
In September 2015, we launched the Associateship Program, which seeks to facilitate short-to-mid-term “on the ground” placements of individual members of the diaspora to strengthen local non-governmental organizations and community-based organizations that primarily assist those who live, work, and study in war-impacted, under-developed, rural, and remote areas of Sri Lanka.
We successfully met 40% of our target, and placed two (2) Associates in Oori, a rural fishing village in Karainagar, Jaffna, to teach English as a Second Language and implement creative leadership programs for children and youth. Although the success rate of our Give Time model was less than the nearly 90% success rate of our Give Money model in our first year, we have learned a great deal from testing out a program specifically focused on leveraging diaspora technical assistance. We are excited about applying these lessons learned to further build up the Give Time model this year.
The past year also saw us further embedding our work and values in Canada.
We were honoured to be an Official Supporter of the International Medical Health Organization – Canada’s convention, the Canadian Tamil Medical Association’s “Lights of Healing” gala, the Carnatic Youth Society of Canada’s “Sangeetha Sagaraa” fundraiser, X Change Charity’s summer fundraiser, Visions Global Empowerment’s “Voices of Empowerment” documentary screening, UTSC Tamil Worlds Initiative’s “Learning from Sri Lanka” seminar, SACHA Canada’s breakfast fundraiser, Abinayalaya Natyalayam’s annual fundraiser, Childrens10 basketball fundraiser, the launch of Innovation Ecosystem – North East Sri Lanka, and the Khemadasa Foundation’s “Kandy Rama” fundraiser.
We also organized meetings for our supporters and partners with Nimmi Gowrinathan from the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership (CUNY) as well as Manjula Dissanayake of the Educate Lanka Foundation when they visited Toronto, Canada. In recognition of our work, we were also invited to participate in a national roundtable on leveraging Canadian diasporas for international development that was organized by the Ontario Council for International Cooperation and Global Affairs Canada (formerly known as Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development Canada).
It has certainly been an exciting year for us!
On behalf of our volunteers and the Board of Directors, I would like to thank you again for your valued support and contributions. We look forward to collaborating with many of you this year as we formalize the work of comdu.it.