I live in Ottawa, Canada and first visited Sri Lanka in August 2014 on vacation with my daughter. After I visited I knew I wanted to get more deeply involved with the people and learn more about the culture.

I had 17 years of not for profit experience in Canada and as such felt I could offer long term support to a charity in Sri Lanka. After a lot of internet research and sifting through many “voluntourism” opportunities, I found Tea Leaf Vision.

In January 2016 I visited for a month as a general classroom volunteer with the understanding that if the project was a good fit I would make a longer term commitment. It did not take long for me to know that I had found my place and before the end of that first trip I had committed to becoming the TLV Volunteer Coordinator.

I have visited at least once per year since that first visit in 2016. The students and teachers are a constant source of inspiration as they meet each day with big smiles and such a positive attitude.

As a volunteer, I love to spend my time in the classroom sharing ideas and helping students and teachers to improve their English language skills. The desire to learn is strong and as such so is my commitment to support them.

I think what first drew me to TLV was it is a genuine volunteer program. There is no big fee that fills the pockets of some overseas for profit organisation and the support you can give to the staff and students with their language learning or other projects is truly valuable and appreciated. That’s what got me there – but it’s my love of the Sri Lankan people and this very special school and those beautiful smiles that keeps me coming back year after year…