When a few of us launched comdu.it in 2014, we did so with the vision to mobilise diaspora networks for the sustainable development of vulnerable communities in Sri Lanka that survived the long and bloody armed ethnic conflict in that country.
This vision has guided our commitment to help shift diaspora engagement from charity to sustainability, from aid to economic development, and from sending remittances to building knowledge-based economies instead. Even as we continue to advance this important work, we constantly remind ourselves of the importance of co-creation and critical introspection alongside local communities so as to strengthen their resiliency and autonomy to determine their own futures.
Our vision also necessitates the re-casting of the roles and principles of diaspora engagement as we increasingly assume shared responsibility for the next generation of leaders at home and in Sri Lanka.
In that sense, we are inordinately proud of our diaspora changemakers. Over the past two years, we have successfully placed a dozen diaspora professionals – from municipal planners to educators and lawyers to business professionals – in community building projects throughout the North and East of Sri Lanka. It has meant sacrifices for every one of our changemakers, small and large. It has meant challenges, apparent and hidden. It has meant costs, financial and otherwise. But each return is educational, and every experience life changing. In all of this, we are guided by constantly asking ourselves what impact we are creating for local communities on their terms, not ours.
Building on past successes, we are now accepting applications for qualified and deeply committed diaspora professionals (young, new, mid-career, or retired) for 20 placements that are available as part of our 2018 Sri Lanka Mission.
Covering four focus areas – including capacity building (especially in the public sector), economic empowerment, leadership development, and psychosocial support – these 20 positions are invaluable opportunities to help create much-needed sustainability in war-impacted communities through an immersive and deeply transformational personal and professional experience.
Distributed amongst these focus areas are the following exciting opportunities:
· Agronomist at the Chinmaya Organization for Rural Development (Jaffna)
· Blockchain Advisor at YarlIT Hub (Jaffna)
· Community Tourism Development Specialist at Mannar District Chamber of Commerce (Mannar)
· Early Childhood Educator at Wellspring Centre for Learning (Jaffna)
· Grant Writer at Centre for Women and Development (Jaffna)
· Grant Writer at Social, Economical and Environmental Developers (Vavuniya)
· Graphic Designer at Bridging Lanka (Mannar)
· Plant Production Management Consultant at Udupiddy Ceylon Spinning & Textile Mills (Jaffna)
· Project Management Consultant at Institute of Regional Development and Governance (Kilinochchi)
· Psychosocial Support Officer at Lanka Evangelical Alliance Development Service (Colombo)
· Research Associate at INFORM Human Rights Documentation Centre (Colombo)
· Research Associate at Point Pedro Institute of Development (Jaffna)
· Research Programme Officer at Women’s Education and Research Centre (Colombo)
· Trauma Counsellor at Organisation for Rehabilitation of the Handicapped (Vavuniya)
· Youth Facilitator – Creative Arts at Church of the American Ceylon Mission (Batticaloa)
· Youth Facilitator – ESL at Church of the American Ceylon Mission (Batticaloa)
· Youth Facilitator – ESL at Grace Girls’ Home (Trincomalee)
· Youth Facilitator – ESL at Muthu Nava Ratna Trust (Mullaitivu)
· Youth Facilitator – ICT at J/ Kopay Christian College (Jaffna)
· Youth Facilitator – Soft Skills at Organisation of People for Engagement and Enterprise (Mannar)
To see the full descriptions of the above positions, learn more about our local partners, and to apply online, please visit http://comdu.it/our-programs.
Canadian candidates must apply by April 8, 2018.
German and other international candidates must apply by May 20, 2018.
As we keep building our knowledge movement, we are excited by so many others – friends and strangers alike – who are taking up our call and starting to do similar work while we build on the work of those who came before us.
We all have to role to play – and we hope you will consider becoming a part of our vision.