In 2009, mass military action by Sri Lanka’s armed forces brought an end to the long running and bloody war with the LTTE. The 26-year long conflict, which grew from ethnic tensions between the Buddhist Sinhalese majority and the Hindu Tamil minority, cost more than 100,000 lives and 200 billion USD, destroying lives throughout the nation.

We learn about the history of the conflict, and then examine the process of reconciliation amidst the dire needs for economic development, working with local NGOs focused on empowering economically disadvantaged children and youth. These deep connections allow students to gain real insight into the process of sustainable development and reconciliation.

Goals and objectives

  • conflict analysis

    Learn the elements of conflict that have taken place in Sri Lanka, and gain an understanding of the true horrors of civil war

  • processes of reconciliation

    Learn how individuals and civil society have responded to the conflict and reconciliation process in Sri Lanka

  • resilience after conflict

    Inspire students to understand that there are different ways to respond to conflicts, and build respect for the resiliency of nations and individuals

  • international organizations and peace building

    Evaluate the role and responsibility of international organizations in fostering peace within Sri Lank

  • peace building and economic development

    Evaluate the potential for different models of social enterprises working to spur economic development and create peace in Sri Lanka

Program Elements



ELF is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering economically disadvantaged youth by enhancing their access to education, mentoring, and employment opportunities. We meet with key ELF ground staff to learn about the process for coordination, selection, and scholarship distribution.



Taking a holistic approach to bridging the gap between the urban and rural sector in Sri Lanka, FoG empowers over 30,000 lives in 100+ villages annually. Students learn about large scale and multi-faceted efforts for development within the country.



The ruins of the capital built by the King Kassapa I (477–95) lie on the steep slopes and at the summit of a granite peak standing some 180 meter high and surrounded by jungle. Known as the ‘Lion’s Rock’, Sigiriya is considered to be the symbol of Sri Lanka.


TEA Plantations

We explore the “far end of the global product chain”, meeting with tea plantation workers and learning about the multiple actors involved with producing the famed Ceylon tea.


Cross Cultural Interactions

We spend time interacting and traveling with Educate Lanka students and liaisons to engage on an equal level with our global peers. Through these interactions, we begin to understand how education serves as an avenue to peace in Sri Lanka.


Theravada Buddhism

Since 300 BC, Sri Lanka has been a center of Buddhist scholarship and learning, with over 6,000 monasteries spread throughout the island today. We learn the main precepts of Theravada Buddhism, and seek ways to apply the practices in our own lives.