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 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

Healing Opportunity for Person for Empowerment (HOPE) organization provides an enriching and nurturing environment for children with disabilities. The organization works closely with educators and parents to support and encourage children with disabilities to participate in activities as a way to build confidence and skills, while empowering them to learn and grow.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Provides research-based specialized instruction to address the instructional goals and objectives to meet the individual needs of each student.
  • Employs various teaching techniques, methods and principles of learning to enable growth in the children.
  • Works cooperatively with teachers and parents to conduct workshops around reducing stigma related to having a child with disability.
  • Creates a positive learning experience with emphasis in individualized instruction using appropriate sources.
  • Dedicated and committed to creating learning and training programs and activities that go beyond one-time interaction and actually provide meaningful and lasting impact for these youth.
  • Excellent presentation, interpersonal, analytical, and oral and written communication skills.
  • Ensure that lessons are geared towards achieving appropriate outcomes that are beneficial to the children.
  • Contributes to the integration of gender perspectives/considerations and specific women/girls’ rights in all activities.
  • Must be able to work collaboratively with local partner, students and translators for effective delivery of lessons.
  • Train teachers and provide lesson plans for the class and specific children.
  • Ensure a safe and effective learning environment.

Qualifications

  • Currently in or recently completed undergraduate degree or diploma in Special Education, Mental Health, Disability studies or related disciplines.
  • Thorough knowledge of the principles, practices and procedures of special education and specialty area.
  • Thorough knowledge of the principles and methodology of effective teaching of students with disabilities
  • Must have minimum of 2 years working with children who have a wide variety of physical, mental, and emotional disabilities
  • Interpersonal skills, including open and honest communication, negotiation, and collaboration.
  • Full fluency Tamil or 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

  • Currently in or recently completed B.Ed with a specialization in Special Education or related disciplines.
  • Formal or informal experience in designing and delivering training programs for children with disabilities.
  • 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 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 18 – 30. Older applicants are also welcome.
  • Departure date is contingent upon the timely completion of all administrative requirements (e.g. visa process, medical clearance, vulnerable sector checks, travel documentation).
  • Successful applicants must raise fifty percent (50%) of their placement costs (travel, meals, health insurance, accommodations).