Textile Design Advisor

Sri Lanka

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Assignment Type:
Canadian International Volunteer
Eligibility Requirements:
Open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada only
Assignment ID:
Assignment Title:
Textile Design Advisor
Selyn Exporters (pvt) Ltd.
Sri Lanka
4 to 12 months (flexible)
Time Commitment:

Assignment Context

Do you have a passion for social enterprises, fair trade and empowering local artisans? Do you have experience working in the fashion industry? If you would like to share your flair for fashion and textile design, then this is the role for you! 

As the Textile Design Advisor with Selyn in Kurunegala, Sri Lanka, you will support the creation of a new colorful, modern and vibrant clothes and household linen. 

Apply now and support rural entrepreneurial Sri Lankan women!

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Collaborate to develop a new range of textile designs for the production of men, women and children’s clothing and household linen
  • Increase the understanding of Selyn staff on suitable color coordination and designs that maintain simplicity and elegance
  • Conduct training, provide technical guidance and share best practices in fashion design in order to strengthen the capacity of staff members
  • Work with the partner to offset the environmental footprint of their textile ranges and ensure the use of environmentally products and processes
  • Use an intersectional lens to ensure the inclusion and participation of young women and other marginalized youth, as well as their representation, in all activities related to fashion design and production
  • Ensure that a gender equality lens is consistently applied in the execution of all the activities
  • Participate in pre-assignment training
  • Participate in at least 3 public engagement initiatives before, during, or after the assignment. Volunteers will be equipped with the tools, training, and support to achieve these goals. Volunteers will also have one virtual check-in with the Public Engagement Officer throughout the course of their assignment
  • Set up a personalized volunteer fundraising page on the WUSC fundraising platform and share it in your networks. Volunteers will be supported with the tools, training and support to achieve the fundraising goal
  • Submit reports as required by the partner organization and by WUSC.

Experience and Qualifications

  • Degree and/or formal qualifications in Fashion Design or any other relevant field
  • Experience in developing aesthetically pleasing color pallets and textile samples
  • Experience in working on traditional handloom materials considered an asset
  • Minimum two (2) years relevant professional experience in your field of expertise
  • A commitment to gender equality, youth inclusion, and international volunteering
  • Flexibility, adaptability, excellent interpersonal skills and cultural sensitivity
  • Experience with group facilitation and trainings, including content development considered an asset
  • Experience living and working internationally considered an asset
  • Written and oral fluency in English.

Project Description

Volunteering for development is one of the important ways in which WUSC pursues its mission. The IGNI+E project, funded by Global Affairs Canada, supports over 70 partner organizations to advance gender equality and the economic empowerment of 1.2 million youth around the world. IGNI+E harnesses the knowledge, capacity and expertise of skilled Canadians through volunteer assignments and public engagement activities to assist partners in improving their performance, advocating for gender equality, and implementing more sustainable, innovative and inclusive initiatives and services for poor and marginalised youth, particularly young women. Overseas, our volunteers collaborate with a wide variety of partners, including enterprise and social enterprise development incubators, skills training centres, women's organizations, and youth groups. In Canada, WUSC works with institutions and individuals to identify, prepare, and support volunteers who travel overseas to support our partners. Our network in Canada also works with WUSC to raise awareness among Canadians to inspire greater action on global development issues. Our collective focus is on sustainable and inclusive changes to create a better world for youth.

Partner Description

From humble beginnings to nurturing over 1000 artisans across Sri Lanka, Selyn is a women-led social business that has been empowering women in rural communities since 1991. Selyn’s homegrown ethical lifestyle brand is Sri Lanka’s only Fair-Trade handloom company and operates as one of the country’s largest social enterprises. Selyn’s range of fair trade, vegan and eco-friendly products reaches over 500 export and corporate customers worldwide and retails in our own stores in Sri Lanka. The organization has built an operational model which allows women the flexibility to work taking into context their social and cultural obligations. From part-time work to working from home to setting up their businesses at home, Selyn assists largely rural based artisans who are unable to find work in the mainstream job market. “Skills to Empower” provides a support network for the artisans to improve in three key areas of wellness, financial management and leadership and entrepreneurship development.

Support Package

  • Support and guidance from the WUSC Volunteer Mobilization Team prior to departure and from WUSC Country Team while on assignment
  • Pre-departure training to learn about the volunteering for development program, gain practical skills for living and working in an intercultural context and network with other volunteers
  • In-country orientation upon arrival in country of assignment
  • Language training in country of assignment, where required
  • Modest monthly living and accommodation allowance
  • Airfare to and from the assignment country
  • Visa/work permit
  • Pre-departure medical exam
  • Health insurance
  • Vaccinations and antimalarial medication
  • COVID-19 PCR testing
  • Criminal record verification
  • Vacation leave entitlement
  • Debriefing after completion of assignment
  • An incredible opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to global development, enhance your professional skills and participate in an experience of a lifetime!

WUSC’s Safeguarding Policy

WUSC’s activities seek to balance inequities and create sustainable development around the globe; the work ethic of our staff, volunteers, representatives and partners shall correspond to the values and mission of the organization. WUSC promotes responsibility, respect, honesty, and professional excellence and we will not tolerate harassment, coercion and sexual exploitation and abuse of any form. Successful applicants will be required to sign off on the WUSC Code of Conduct and the Self-Disclosure Form. International and national volunteers will also be required to submit a criminal record verification.

WUSC is a signatory to the Cooperation Canada Leaders’ Pledge on Preventing and Addressing Sexual Misconduct. The pledge represents the shared commitment as Canada’s global development and humanitarian leaders to ensure the full implementation of practices and policies that will protect and respond to our own staff, volunteers and the communities we serve. We are committed to creating safe and respectful workplaces and programs that promote gender equality and are free from gender-based violence, including by addressing and responding to all abuse of power, holding people to account, and protecting the vulnerable. Read the full pledge.

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