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Education as the Changemaker

$2,050 of $1,600 goal

Raised by 36 people in 5 months
As I embark on this journey of joining comdu.it and its' growing global network of disapora changemakers committed to the sustainable development of the North and East of Sri Lanka, two changemakers come to mind:

Mahatma Gandhi  - “Be the change you wish to see in the world”
Nelson Mandela - “Education is the most powerful weapon you can choose to change the world” 

As a changemaker through education I know this will be the start of my contribution to impacting others back home. My parents left Sri Lanka during the Civil War in 1984. I was born in Germany and grew up with very little knowledge of my culture or roots in Sri Lanka. When my family moved to Canada in 1996, I was fortunate to learn more about my culture, language, traditions and roots back home. Growing up in my teens, I had always felt a strong need to give back to the community back home as I have been fortunate to have access to education, health care, shelter, extra-curricular activities and a safe life away from war. And to this day, the feeling still lingers and with comdu.it , I am hoping to go back home with a purpose to give back in a meaningful way and build a stronger connection to my roots.

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I truly believe in comdu.it's vision of encouraging young professionals in Canada and Germany to become changemakers and give back to our roots and home in Sri Lanka. The variety of the selected programs and partnerships are a meaningful way to engage the diaspora.

With effective diaspora engagement, comdu.it is able to provide exactly that shift for the development in the North and East of Sri Lanka - "from charity to sustainability, from aid to economic development, and from remittance to knowledge-based economy"

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I am honoured and excited to start my work with the Church of the American Ceylon Mission (CACM) during the months of July and August in beautiful Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka. CACM's mission is to ensure the Right of Education for deprived children in and around Udapusselawa area. As a youth facilitator, I will be working alongside the team to improve the access to basic education for a select group of impoverished children and youth in this community by supporting evening classes, youth leadership training, sports activities and programs for students with special needs. 

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I have always been an advocate of giving my students the tools and strategies they need to be able to grow into independent and resourceful leaders. My mission is to continue to empower and educate the children who have gone through the traumas of war, loss of family, homelessness, and poverty.  As educators, we are always aware that we can not teach students until we have addressed their basic needs and that includes their need for a safe environment and a sense of belonging; a home. I hope that along with CACM, comdu.it and the many other great partnerships, I, too, can play a small part in empowering these strong, resilient children.

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My journey may start with comdu.it this summer but it will surely not end there as this is only the beginning! If you wish to support this initiative, please contribute financially to be part of an incredible project. All funds raised will go towards the program in Sri Lanka and any other subsidiaries I'll require during my placement. Please feel free to reach out to me directly for more information on how you can help. 

Thank you.
நன்றி.

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Official announcement by comdu.it in regards to my placement and upcoming mission!

We are pleased to introduce you to the first of our 2018 diaspora changemakers!

Sunitha Subramaniam is a Teacher with the Toronto District School Board where she teaches Physical Education and French as a Second Language. She received her B.A. (Hons.) in Kinesiology from McMaster University and completed her Teacher Education Program at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. Sunitha is an active member in the diaspora community as a Fitness Instructor and previously as a Clinical Supervisor with the South Asian Autism Awareness Centre. Sunitha was born and raised in Germany, and moved to Canada in 1996. This will be her first trip to Sri Lanka.

Sunitha will be placed in the position of Leadership Facilitator (English-as-a-Second Language) for approximately two months under the Right of Return Program with the Church of the American Ceylon Mission.

We asked Sunitha to share some of her thoughts on her upcoming experience ahead of her placement.

Stay tuned to our blog to follow Sunitha’s work in Nuwara Eliya this summer: http://comdu.it/blog
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With less than a week to go for my adventure to Sri Lanka, I'm trying to remind myself of words I've written not too long ago.

"Remember that all great things take patience and risks. You will not discover the greatness that is within reach until you take risks. If an opportunity presents itself — don’t shy away from it especially if it’s not in your comfort zone. You’ll never be left to wonder ‘what if’ and you’ll quickly realize that your fears made the risk seem far greater than it actually was."

...... And here I am, venturing out to a part of the world that I call my motherland, yet feels so foreign to me. And what better way to do it, than to do what I love to do and share my passion with the world.

Less than a week to go and I'm closer than ever to my goal! If you’d like to contribute to my “Education as the Changemaker” campaign, please visit my gofundme page and help me inspire children and youth through this incredible project!

#GoodbyeComfortZone #DoSomethingExtraordinary #TakeRisks #Explore #Dream #Discover #Volunteer #Education #Passion
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Woke up today to be reminded of the kindness in this world from a stranger I met a few months ago. We shared an inspiring conversation about volunteering and giving back to our communities. We didn’t keep in touch, but thanks to social media we stayed connected. This morning, I received a kind donation from that same individual to support my upcoming project with comdu.it.

It’s these little things that really make me ponder about how we live life and share our passion with the world. Two thoughts continue to linger in my mind as I reflect on this encounter and my upcoming adventure.

1. “Smile at a stranger. See what happens.”
2. “Don’t give to get. Give to inspire others to give.”

I am officially ready to venture on my adventure to Sri Lanka for the next two months! T-11 days! A shoutout to all the amazing support from friends, family, colleagues, and strangers! :) If you’d like to contribute to my “Education as the Changemaker” campaign, please visit my gofundme page and help me inspire children and youth through this incredible project!
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Once again thank you all for the immense amount of support! With a little over two weeks before I take off for the summer, I'm halfway to my goal so please check out my gofundme page to support this incredible project. 

I will be volunteering as a Youth Facilitator with CACM on behalf of comdu.it and working in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka in early July - August. As part of this initiative I will be working with children and youth in impoverished areas to improve access to basic education, extra-curricular activities, leadership training and programming for students with special needs.
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$2,050 of $1,600 goal

Raised by 36 people in 5 months
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JJ
$150
Jeyaram Jeyaraj
2 months ago (Offline Donation)
DM
$40
Diane Montemurro
3 months ago
AS
$100
Aturan Shan
3 months ago
JC
$25
Jeya Chandren
3 months ago
JV
$20
Janani V.
4 months ago (Offline Donation)
GC
$20
Geraldine Cooke
4 months ago
$50
Kingston Yogendran
4 months ago
PL
$40
Pearl Lamont
4 months ago
CB
$50
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4 months ago (Offline Donation)
TS
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