International Fellowships that Change peoples lives

Apply through Our Partner Institutions

To Inspire Communities

Trusted Mentorship

Experiential learning

East Africa
previous arrow
next arrow

International fellowships that change people’s lives

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Rescue workers in Sri Lanka’s capital city on Saturday dug through the debris of a garbage dump that collapsed on top of a residential neighbourhood a day earlier, burying scores of homes and killing at least 19 people (NYTimes, April 15 2017)

Shocked by this disaster, people living in a Colombo metropolitan area decided to dispose of their garbage locally. Hiruni Jayaratne, an employee of a local NGO, worked with the community to explore solutions such as setting up garbage separation, biogas and compost manufacturing units. She searched for successful projects and found a revolutionary community recycling project in the Gambia, (the Njau Recycling and Income Generation Group) which not only disposes of waste and improves the environment but also provides jobs and livelihoods to communities. Hiruni applies for a Learning for Life Worldwide Fellowship through which she can visit the Gambia and return home to work with the community to set up a pilot project that can later be rolled out to other situations in Sri Lanka. She argues convincingly that her work could contribute to Sri Lanka achieving several Sustainable Development Goals.


Just as Hiruni Jayaratne seeks a solution to the garbage situation in Sri Lanka, each fellow will seek a sustainable intervention that contributes to achieving one or more SDGs in a local context. The potential fellow may work with farmers in India who are struggling to fulfill their basic needs by cultivating pepper and beetle but need to set up a farmers’ association to ensure their products are properly integrated into the national commercial supply chain and earn a reasonable price. Another may work with villagers in Tanzania to seek alternatives to their wood-burning stoves which create so much air pollution that their children are sick. Others may work to improve the lives and prospects of street children, to improve the quality of the water supply, to control dengue outbreaks or to improve the productivity of rural dairy farming.

  • Successful fellows will have a burning desire to improve the lives and livelihoods of the people with whom s/he works and shows the initiative to look for solutions elsewhere in the world and propose a visit to explore best practices.
  • Young and Mid-Career Professionals from ages 25-40 years can apply for the LFLW fellowship.
  • Be conversant in English language to Communicate, Write and Reporting purposes.
  • Prospective applicants will have either five years of professional, educational or both in the discipline of Sustainable Development or related fields. Those who possess both professional and educational exposure in the discipline will have a competitive advantage over others.
  • We also understand that there would be exceptional individuals who does not have the necessary educational qualifications. In that regard, we would like to know your professional background in detail and the impact of your work upon local communities more elaborately.
  • All applicants must be recommended by a LFLW partner institution with the assurance that the institution will support the applicant, if selected, during the fellowship. Applicants should ask their referees to directly contact the Programme Coordinator based in Sri Lanka to submit their references via official email.
  • Funding :
    • Air tickets will be sponsored by the sending partner institutions.
    • Accomodation, travel, food and other logistics will be taken cared by the host-partner institutions
    • Fellows will receive a decent monthly stipend provided by the host-partner instituions

Expectations from the Fellows:

1. Identify and define a development problem facing society;
2. Collect and analyse relevant information to identify solutions;
3. Find creative and innovative solutions to problems
4. Communicate effectively with representatives and leaders of civil society, and governmental and non governmental groups;
5. Justify, advocate for and lead change; and
6. Set observations and solutions within both the local and global perspective.
  1. Prior to the visit: the fellow will prepare for their site visit communicating with site supervisor, mentor/s, and any past fellows who can provide them with useful advice and information about the site or their project. The programme coordinating centre would be the focal point of contact to arrange mentorship, identify issues etc
  2. During the three months’ site visit: the fellow will implement their work plan under the supervision of their supervisor and mentor/s; keep a journal and prepare a written and video report including a plan to undertake a pilot project when they return home
  3. On completion of their visit: The fellow will submit a final written and video report indicating how their experience will influence the next steps in their career.
 After selection, LFLW fellows will typically make a visit of three months to their receiving LFLW partner institution. The period can be extended by few weeks provided that the partner institution agrees to extend the fellowship.

Project Proposal

Fellows are required to contact the PCC to identify collaborative matters of interest. The PCC will fully support to pair fellow's interests and the interests of the partner institutions. Please refer to the Partner Instituions page to learn more about our hosting-partner institutions and their scope of operations. You are also free to reach them directly and identify a problem to work with.


LFLW fellowship is a commitment of a life-time. We expect fellows to network widely and connect with their local communities as well as the countries in which they succesffuly completed their projects. They are also expected to mentor future LFLW fellows and help them widely when such fellows require assistance.

Selection Process

Recruiting Cycle

There are three recruiting cycles per year, i.e Jan-March, May-July, September-November. We accept applications throughout the year to facilitate the three cycles. Recruiting calls are made throughout the year due to the high volume of applications we receive to keep the process open for all interested applicants. We thank everyone who had an interest and applied but not selected. We welcome you to re-apply in the upcoming project cycles in the event of failure and their is no limitation unless otherwise notified by the PCC. 


This international fellowship program is highly competitive. The Programme Coordinating Centre will evaluate the applications and forward the short-listed applications to the LFLW panel of experts.

The final selections will be conducted by our distinguished panel of experts guided by the expertise of the hosting partner institutions. Fellows will be chosen without regard to religion, race, gender , sexual orientation, marital status, ethnic background or finances. We will treat all submitted application information as confidential unless stated otherwise in the application.


All applicants should apply through LFLW partner institutions. We do not entertain private applicants at this stage. Fellows have a responsibility towards their sending-partner institutions and they should approach partner institutions to apply for this fellowship programme.

Application form should be self-made.

  • Application Form should consists of the following
    • Personal Information and Curriculum Vitae
    • Educational transcriptions
    • A recorded video interview (05 minutes)
      • After carefully identifying the problem, the fellows are requested to submit a recorded video interview.
      • Below questions should be address during the five-minute time frame. (You can use any available technology from a cell-phone, webcam to a professional camera. We are concerned about your answers and not the quality of the video if its audible and presentable under minimum available technology.)
        1. Addressing challenges - That addressing the challenge is important to achieving one or more SDGs in their exchanged country and how this experience would help to find solutions in their own communities;
        2. Leadership skills - That they have sufficient initiative and leadership skills to address the challenge on the target area and how they would learn lessons to take home.
        3. New knowledge - What they will learn to address the challenge by making a visit to their chosen site of interest;
        4. Institutional support - That they have the support of their employing organization to implement a change on their return from their visit abroad; and
        5. Prospects - How completion of the fellowship will enhance their career plans.
    • Written submission and action plan according to a problem of interest (Prospective fellows can contact the PCC and ask for assistance in identifying problems of the communities)
    • Two references from employees and or educational institutions as relevant.