Overview

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

humedica Lanka is a registered non-governmental organization that has been in existence for the past 25 years. It aims to support vulnerable populations with directed and sustainable aid. Based in Colombo and Jaffna, the different aid projects range from disaster relief after floods and landslides to long-term support such as Learning Centers, a Preschool and Mobile Clinics. It currently uses the GROW Centre model (3H learning development)  to facilitate an alternative learning style that utilizes a holistic approach to child development. It encourages active and interactive learning skills that hone their critical thinking/problem solving abilities, originality, creativity, while supporting healthy emotional growth.  The aim of the program is to create empowered future leaders of tomorrow. In addition, humendica’s  mobile outreach program supports households who struggle with mental illness. They work to eradicate the stigma attached to mental illness in Sri Lankan communities, which often prevents patients from accessing much needed support and medication. Their goal is to add value to existing systems while attempting to set up good practices through their community interventions.  For more information, please visit www.humedicalanka.org.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Work in collaboration with medical staff to provide primary health care services ( with Health education) to displaced community members in the divisions recommended  by RDHS office.
  • Take part in screening, referring patients with Non- communicable diseases ( Diabetes & Hypertension) as appropriate.
  • Ability to provide medication to individuals with mental illness in selected household who don’t go to the hospital to collect their regular medication due to stigma and lack of family support.
  • Prevailing stigma related to mental illness within communities and lack of family support.
  • Increased number of individuals  with mental illness receiving medication directly from the hospital clinics.
  • Improved early diagnosis of Diabetes and hypertension.
  • Improved referral systems from mobile services to the respective hospitals.
  • Displaced communities empowered with health education prevention messages.
  • Engage students in personal development and emotional awareness activities (strengths assessment, personal value, self reflection, etc).
  • Must be able to work collaboratively with local partner, students and translators for effective delivery of lessons.
  • Train other teachers in the region on how to follow-up on this leadership program to ensure lasting development.
  • Ensure a safe and effective learning environment.

Qualifications

  • Currently in or recently completed undergraduate degree/ postgraduate education in a healthcare field (social worker, counsellor, nurse or doctor)
  • Excellent 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.
  • All volunteers need to produce police clearance certificate from their respective countries
  • Volunteers must abide by all Humedica Lanka and local policies.
  • They must respect law and order in the host country.

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 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!