The Central Team

WHAT DOES THE CENTRAL TEAM DO?

Simply put, the Central Team provide strategic input into, and oversee all Tea Leaf Trust activities in Sri Lanka. All of the different staff teams on our different projects report to the team who report back to the UK and Sri Lankan boards.

Who are the Central Team?

 
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Yadharshini Selveraj

Country Director (Sri Lanka), Tea Leaf Trust

 

Yadharshani is one of our original staff members. She was recruited in 2009 from Nuwara Eliya by Tim and Yas (cofounders), to teach at the first Tea Leaf Vision centre, which was (and still is) based in Maskeliya.

Yadharshini quickly rose to the head of English Curriculum and in 2012, became Principle of Tea Leaf Vision.

With the expansion of Tea Leaf Trust programmes, it became necessary to create a ‘Central Team’ to oversee programme activities and to be the main point of contact in Sri Lanka. With Yadharshani’s experience at our centres, her depth of understanding of tea plantation communities and qualifications, she was offered the position of Country Director position, which she accepted in 2016.

As Country Director, Yadharshani heads up the central team and is responsible for coordinating and overseeing our Tea Leaf Trust Centres and outreach projects in Sri Lanka. She is also key in providing locally led strategic input to ensure our programmes are relevant to the people we work with and the areas we work in.

Yadharshani had an article published in the Times Education Supplement (UK). You can read it by clicking here.

Qualifications include:
⦁ Cambridge Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adult (CELTA)
⦁ TKT (Teacher Knowledge Test, Cambridge English) Modules 1–3, Band 3+
⦁ TEFL (teaching as a foreign language), online course
⦁ Diploma in Counselling and Group Work Skills.

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Sutharshan Visventhan

Deputy Country Director (Sri Lanka), Tea Leaf Trust

 

Sutharshan is also one of our original staff members, recruited in 2009 from Nuwara Eliya by Tim and Yas (cofounders), to teach at the first Tea Leaf Vision centre, based in Maskeliya.

Sutharshan is an IT guru and so we set to putting his IT skills to good use! He was instrumental in creating our Centre’s Computer Skills Lab and IT curriculum and within a year was the Head of IT and Business. Despite his very hectic day job, Sutharshan travelled 8 hours every weekend (to Kandy and back) to upskill, doing a number of courses including his Professional Graduate Diploma in I.T (equivalent to a university honours degree in England).

As part of his role for Tea Leaf Vision, Sutharshan headed up a joint project fully funded by SLANA (Sri Lanka anti-narcotics association), where he provided a coding awareness course to 340 students from the tea plantations and an advanced coding course to 15 of the best students.

In 2013, Sutharshan was promoted to the role of Professional Development and Monitoring and Evaluation Manager. This role included overseeing professional development of staff, and monitoring and evaluating all of our programmes.

With the expansion of Tea Leaf Trust programmes into areas such as peace and reconciliation and social enterprise, Sutharshan accepted the role of Deputy Country Director leading on peace and reconciliation, finance and enterprise. Sutharshan’s role currently involves working with a national peace building and reconciliation charity to overseeing our educational programmes in Mullaitivu, Ampara, Puttalam, Tallawakelle, Matara and Monaragala. He is also responsible for developing social enterprise training and supporting Tea Leaf Vision social enterprise development.

Qualifications/training include:
⦁ Professional Graduate Diploma in I.T. (PGD)
⦁ TKT (Teacher Knowledge Test, Cambridge English) Modules 1–3, Band 3
⦁ TEFL (teaching as a foreign language), online course
⦁ Oracle Certified Professional, Java SE 5 Programmer
⦁ Java Stand-Alone Application Developer Training Programme (JSAD)

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Jesmin Arumugam

Director of Curriculum and Professional development

 

Jesmin is from Maskeliya and a graduate of Tea Leaf Vision, enrolling onto, and graduating from the Main Diploma in 2010. Her commitment to learning and natural aptitude for mentoring saw her take a teaching position with us in 2011, where she excelled. In the same year, she became the Head of Speech and Advocacy, with a focus helping our students improve their fluency in English language both professionally and socially.

During her time with us, Jesmin has worked in a number of high profile positions, including the Head of Success and Ethics (helping students to cope positively with their life situations), Intern Manager and Tea Leaf Vision Volunteer Coordinator (managing the intern programme and working with our Volunteer Manager to look after volunteers working at the centre) and Assistant Principle of Tea Leaf Vision in Maskeliya.

With the expansion of our Tea Leaf Centres, continuity in curriculums and teaching standards is critical. Ensuring that the staff teams from all of the centres feel valued, are getting the professional development they need as well as enabling them to work together as a larger team is also important. Jesmin’s in-depth knowledge of our diploma curriculums as well as her ability to bring synergy to teams meant she was the perfect choice for the position of Curriculum and Professional Development Director. She is currently responsible for developing lesson plans and overseeing curriculum development, coordinating professional development sessions for staff, lesson observations and teacher evaluations.


Qualifications/training include:
⦁ Advanced Professional English Programme of BA in English
⦁ Cambridge Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adult (CELTA)
⦁ TKT (Teacher Knowledge Test, Cambridge English) Modules 1–3, Band 3
⦁ TEFL (teaching as a foreign language), online course
⦁ Diploma in Counselling and Group Work Skills

 

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