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Volunteer Testimonial-Tamika Weerasingha PDF Print E-mail

Education: B.A. in International Relations, Georgetown University Second-year law student, University of Michigan Law School.

Plans for the future: Attorney

My dream is to someday use my legal skills and expertise to advocate on behalf of women in the developing world. In particular, I hope to contribute to the empowerment of women in Sri Lanka, as I have a deep attachment to this beautiful and ravaged country. Prior to joining Habitat for Humanity, I worked on issues of domestic violence for nearly a year through a local Sri Lankan women’s rights organization. In working with survivors of domestic violence, I learned that the lack of available, affordable, and adequate housing played a significant role in the reluctance of women to report and/or leave abusive homes. I sought to learn more about housing in Sri Lanka, and this led me to work with Habitat for Humanity during the summer of my first year of law school.

As a legal intern with Habitat for Humanity, my chief project was to complete an ongoing research project to establish and define indicators for adequate housing in Sri Lanka. This assignment helped me to gain a basic understanding of housing issues in Sri Lanka, which is exactly the experience I was hoping to have. I researched and wrote about Sri Lanka’s obligations to provide access to adequate housing under both international and domestic law. I reviewed records from expert panels on housing, coordinated by Habitat, to learn how individuals with years of experience in housing, development, construction, and poverty-alleviation in
Sri Lanka defined “adequacy” for poverty-level housing. I collaborated with sociologists from the University of Colombo to analyze the results of a housing survey, commissioned by Habitat, in order to produce statistical information on the current status of housing in Sri Lanka.

Although it was at times challenging, I gained a tremendous amount of knowledge, experience, and insight into housing in Sri Lankan from my internship with Habitat. I hope to continue my relationship with Habitat and to continue to learn more about the complex issues surrounding development and housing provision in Sri Lanka. I fully anticipate that this experience will inform my future career and work in the field of development on behalf of women, and for that I am truly grateful to Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka.

 


(c) 2017 Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka.