LankaCorps: A Conversation with Dr. Naj Nagendran

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

Last week in Washington DC, The Asia Foundation held a fund-raising event to present its LankaCorps Fellowship Program, a unique opportunity for young leaders of Sri Lankan heritage to engage in social, cultural, and economic development activities in post-conflict Sri Lanka. Each year since 2012, the Foundation has selected an outstanding group of young people…

LankaCorps Fellowship Program

Monday, July 13th, 2015

LankaCorps is a unique opportunity for young leaders of Sri Lankan heritage to professionally engage in social, cultural, and economic development activities in Sri Lanka. The program aims to foster the involvement and understanding of young members of the expatriate Sri Lankan community who have limited in-depth experience with the country of their heritage. Each year, The Asia Foundation selects an outstanding group of LankaCorps Fellows to live and work for six months in Sri Lanka, granting them the unique chance to “explore their roots while giving back.”

Asia Foundation Accepting Applications for LankaCorps

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

Dinesha de Silva blogs from Colombo on Sri Lanka’s historic elections, in which citizens demonstrated “extraordinary resilience by voting overwhelmingly for a new president.” After decades of conflict, attention has now turned to rebuilding a cohesive state that restores critical institutions. Learn about LankaCorps, The Asia Foundation’s unique fellowship for young leaders of Sri Lankan heritage to professionally engage in development activities in the country. Now accepting applications.

NBC News Highlights LankaCorps Fellowship Program

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

January 7, 2015 — NBC News highlights The Asia Foundation’s LankaCorps Fellowship program. Read more: “LankaCorps Offers Youth A Connection to Sri Lanka.”

2014 LankaCorps Fellows

Friday, November 28th, 2014

November 28, 2014 — LankaCorps is a unique opportunity for young leaders of Sri Lankan heritage to professionally engage in social, cultural, and economic development activities in Sri Lanka. The program aims to foster the involvement and understanding of young members of the expatriate Sri Lankan community who have limited in-depth experience with the country of their heritage. Each year, The Asia Foundation selects an outstanding group of LankaCorps Fellows to live and work for six months in Sri Lanka, granting them the unique chance to “explore their roots while giving back.” The third class of LankaCorps Fellows and their July – December 2014 placements: Ms. Angeli Jeyarajah, Verite Research Pvt Ltd Ms. Jeyarajah was involved in an initiative to support female politicians in Sri Lanka. Her work included liaising directly with MPs and parliamentary staff, providing research on areas directly concerning women such as domestic abuse and foreign employment, conducting literature reviews, as well as drafting written proposals for different research projects. Angeli also conducted an independent study on language dynamics in Sri Lanka, the findings of which she presented at an internal seminar in December 2014. Ms. Mira Philips, Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA) Ms. Philips’ responsibilities included carrying out research on CEPA’s Post-war theme, writing literature reviews and blogs, helping to organize CEPA’s annual symposium on Post Conflict Development in Asia and Africa, and following up on papers and presentations. She also carried out research and advocacy programs for CEPA on women’s issues and other post-conflict related topics. Ms. Nayantara Premakumar, REDLIME: A Research and Design Firm Ms. Premakumar’s work at REDLIME included producing documentary films on social advocacy work, research on various forms of cultural performances in Sri Lanka, and project-managing campaigns to promote social awareness. She also supported their private sector work, including the conception and design of product and media advertisements. Ms. Suruthi Ragulan, Family Planning Association (FPA) and The Good Practices Group Ms. Ragulan was based at two organizations. At the head office of the Family Planning Association in Colombo, she regularly traveled to the east of the country and led the development… Read more

2013 LankaCorps Fellows

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

November 28, 2013 — LankaCorps is a unique opportunity for young leaders of Sri Lankan heritage to professionally engage in social, cultural, and economic development activities in Sri Lanka. The program aims to foster the involvement and understanding of young members of the expatriate Sri Lankan community who have limited in-depth experience with the country of their heritage. Each year, The Asia Foundation selects an outstanding group of LankaCorps Fellows to live and work for six months in Sri Lanka, granting them the unique chance to “explore their roots while giving back.” The second class of LankaCorps Fellows and their July – December 2013 placements: Mr. Charles Aruliah, Regional Center for Strategic Studies Mr. Aruliah was primarily engaged with the RCSS’s South-East Asia Department. In this capacity he was responsible for conducting research, drafting and editing policy papers, and assisting with various ongoing projects pertaining to Sri Lanka’s relationship with China and Southeast Asia. Ms. Natale Dankotuwage, Sri Lanka Unites Ms. Dankotuwage was based in SLU’s Colombo office where she was involved with their Reconciliation Center. There she was drafting reports on employment initiatives, updating blogs, authoring articles, and assisting the Business Entrepreneurship Program. Ms. Tara de Silva, Federation of Environmental Organizations Ms. de Silva’s main task at FEO was to undertake a documentary film project on environmental awareness. Her travels across the island involved environmental sustainability advocacy and outreach work, as well as contributions to critical environmental research. Ms. Kaitlin Emmanuel, Raking Leaves Raking Leaves is an independent publishing organization that commissions and publishes contemporary art projects. During her fellowship, Ms. Emmanuel was involved with the production of a new Raking Leaves book project featuring 9 contemporary Sri Lankan artists. She also helped launch Raking Leaves’ new initiative the Sri Lanka Archive of Contemporary Art, Architecture & Design in Jaffna, a public space dedicated to collecting materials about the development and study of visual culture in Sri Lanka. Ms. Emmanuel continued to work for Raking Leaves as a Project Manager past the end of her fellowship. Ms. Harshi Hettige, Foundation of Goodness Ms. Hettige was involved with FOG’s Income… Read more

Inaugural LankaCorps Alumni Share Experiences with Sri Lankan Diaspora

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

In July 2012, five strangers – Ann Selvadurai, Sabina Martyn, Seshma Kumararatne, Sahani Chandraratna, and Sivashankar Krishnakumar – boarded a plane to Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, under the auspices of a unique Asia Foundation fellowship program.

The Asia Foundation Hosts Inaugural Class of LankaCorps Fellows in San Francisco

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

San Francisco, March 22, 2013 — On March 22, The Asia Foundation hosted the 2012 inaugural class of LankaCorps Fellows at its San Francisco headquarters for an informal luncheon entitled, “Exploring Their Roots While Giving Back.” Alumni fellows Mr. Sivashankar Krishnakumar, Ms. Seshma Kumararatne, Ms. Sabina Martyn, and Ms. Ann Selvadurai discussed their six-month experience with LankaCorps, an Asia Foundation program that provides a unique opportunity for young leaders of Sri Lankan heritage to live and work in Sri Lanka as volunteers engaged in development activities benefiting the country. The group later visited Southern California for a presentation to members of the Sri Lankan community in Los Angeles. The recent settlement agreement between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE follows decades of conflict. Attention has now turned to rebuilding a cohesive state that restores critical institutions. The Asia Foundation Representative Office, present in Sri Lanka since 1954, is a vital partner in the ongoing rehabilitation of this dynamic and multi-ethnic nation. As part of this effort, the Foundation created LankaCorps to help members of the broader community of Sri Lankan heritage engage with post-conflict Sri Lanka; and to enhance understanding of contemporary Sri Lanka within the community of Sri Lankan heritage and the broader public. The program’s intent is to foster identification with Sri Lanka among the young leaders of Sri Lankan heritage with limited in-depth experience with the country. Six-month placements are arranged by The Asia Foundation’s Sri Lanka office with established businesses, nonprofits, and government departments. The fellows participate in social and economic initiatives and community activities while gaining a deeper understanding of contemporary Sri Lanka. Learn more about LankaCorps and The Asia Foundation’s work in Sri Lanka. For media inquiries, please visit the Press Room.

Asia Foundation Accepting Applications for LankaCorps

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

The Asia Foundation is now accepting applications for LankaCorps, a unique fellowship opportunity for young leaders of Sri Lankan heritage to professionally engage in development activities in Sri Lanka. Those who are selected will be placed across the country with host organizations in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors for six months.  Learn how to apply, or read reflections from a current fellow in the blog.

In Post-Conflict Sri Lanka, Language is Essential for Reconciliation

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

As a Canadian of Sri Lankan heritage, I am part of the growing diaspora living in the West who grew up speaking English as my first language. Since arriving in Sri Lanka as a LankaCorps Fellow I have been able to explore my “mother tongue,” taking lessons in both Tamil and Sinhala.