Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

With over 2,000 years of history, this small island contains a multitude of opportunities for learning.

With a documented history spanning over 3,000 years, Sri Lanka’s geographic location and deep harbours have allowed the country to serve as an international trading station from the time of the ancient Silk Road through to World War II. While the 20th century saw the nation wracked by internal conflict, developments over the past decade have put Sri Lanka on a course for peaceful development. This program focuses on learning about the model and impact of one of the most significant social organizations, Educate Lanka.

Program Goals

Develop a more nuanced appreciation of human universals
Build and demonstrate greater appreciation for the complex beauty of Sri Lanka’s history, culture, and modern challenges
Develop an understanding of the dimensions of the global community and their responsibility as citizens within that community
Gain a greater sense of personal strengths and areas of improvement in the areas of empathy, cultural competency, and leadership

Program Partners

The Educate Lanka Foundation

Founded in 2007, Educate Lanka Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering economically disadvantaged children and youth by enhancing their access to education, mentoring, and employment opportunities. With ELF’s long-term micro-scholarship funding and targeted guidance, these young leaders empower themselves to make their aspirations a reality. In return, this network of motivated leaders with positive attitudes and a sense of accountability, give back and contribute to Educate Lanka and their own communities through financial and voluntary means. ELF serves all communities, regardless of their ethnicity, caste, or religion.

Itinerary

International flights into Colombo

Following a thorough health and safety briefing, Envoys students and staff work together to review the content covered and learning goals set during our online courses. Students set out goals for learning about Sri Lankan culture, interacting with local citizens, exploring the country, and sharing the adventure with their families and classmates. This process empowers students to take responsibility for their own development during the trip, both for their research outputs as well as their individual growth.

With our hosts from Educate Lanka, we explore Sri Lanka’s capital, including the Old Fort, Cinnamon Gardens, and ‘Slave Island’. After a brief visit to the US Embassy for a country briefing on the US-Sri Lankan relationship, we depart for a one hour drive to meet students in ELF’s Negambo/Ja Ela Portfolios, where we tour the school, participate in scholarship distributions, and engage in a personal dialogue with selected Educate Lanka students.

We take a two hour ride to beachside Galle, stopping to visit with the Foundation of Goodness NGO and learn about large scale holistic community development projects undertaken in Sri Lanka and how they have impacted the lives of the poor. During the early afternoon, we tour Galle Fort, the largest remaining fortress in Asia built by European occupiers, and the amazing Martin Wickramasinghe Cultural Center, learning about the impacts of European colonialism on Galle and Sri Lanka.

We travel to Kandy, the ancient capital of Sri Lanka and one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Upon arrival, we utilize story-sharing exercises drawing on Narrative Four’s pedagogy to facilitate deeper connections between students and their peers from Educate Lanka. A mixture of structured and unstructured activities, including group exploration of cultural sites, gender-based discussion groups, cultural sharing games, and home visits, allows both groups of students to develop their global awareness and ability to appreciate different perspectives, traditions, and practices. Through group travel to cultural sites, collaboration on service projects as well as cultural sharing exercises, we build a foundation for relationships that transcend the trip We also spend time learning about the daily procedures of the Educate Lanka Foundation, delving into what it means to conduct a real change-making organization in a developing-world context.

We travel to the town of Dambulla and visit Sigiriya, an ancient castle perched atop a massive hill of solid stone. Considered by many to be the eighth wonder of the world. Sigiriya is both a symbol of Sri Lanka as well as a part of the world’s heritage, and provides a spectacular close to our time abroad.

We travel back to Colombo, spending one final night in the capital before boarding our international flights home.

Envoys Testominals