San Francisco and Colombo, October 19, 2011 — Sri Lankan expatriates invited to apply for post-war volunteer program
The Asia Foundation, the premier non-profit, non-governmental organization working to promote reform, development, equality, and prosperity in Asia, today announced the creation of LankaCorps, a new and unique volunteer program for young Sri Lankan expatriates who want to contribute to the dynamic, multi-ethnic nation’s post-war recovery in Sri Lanka. U.S. citizens of Sri Lankan heritage between the ages of 21 and 30 are invited to apply for highly competitive, six-month fellowships in the public, private, and non-profit sectors to begin April 1, 2012. Asia Foundation staff will assist LankaCorps Fellows throughout the program; roundtrip international airfare, a monthly stipend, expenses, and health insurance coverage will be provided as part of the program. Extensive experience in Sri Lanka and local language skills are not required for acceptance.
“Sri Lanka lost significant economic ground during the war and must heal social divides,” said Nilan Fernando, The Asia Foundation’s Colombo-based country representative and creator of LankaCorps. “Many public and private organizations are open to an infusion of skills, leadership, and fresh, international perspectives.”
Mr. Fernando was born in Sri Lanka and raised and educated in the United States. He is a published expert on Sri Lankan politics and decentralization. He blogs on In Asia about LankaCorps.
He added: “Motivated and curious about their heritage, LankaCorps Fellows are uniquely positioned to contribute to the island’s long-term recovery. Fellows will participate in local social and economic initiatives and organizations, as well as have an opportunity to explore and discover their heritage, ultimately gaining a deeper understanding of contemporary Sri Lanka.”
LankaCorps builds on The Asia Foundation’s long-standing commitment to exchange programs that encourage understanding between Asians and Americans. Of note, the Foundation oversees The Luce Scholars Program, unique among American-Asian exchanges in that it is intended for young leaders who have limited experience of Asia and who might not otherwise have an opportunity in the course of their careers to come to know Asia.
The Asia Foundation is an active partner in Sri Lanka’s post-war development and has maintained a continuous in country presence since 1954. The Foundation’s local staff of development specialists seeks to strengthen democracy and access to justice; support post-civil war healing; promote greater citizen participation in policymaking and governance; and create an enabling environment for economic development, especially in lagging regions.
The deadline to apply is November 23, 2011. Updates are available on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/AsiaFoundation and on Twitter at: @Asia_Foundation. Candidates can use the #LankaCorps hashtag.