American Liaison Network and Citizen Liaison Volunteers (CLV)
The American Citizen Services unit at the U.S. Embassy in Colombo is in the process of building our American Liaison Network of Citizen Liaison Volunteers (CLV) to ensure that we are able to communicate as effectively as possible with U.S. citizens in the event of an emergency. We are looking for volunteers to serve as CLVs in various regions of Sri Lanka. If you or someone you know may be interested, or you just want to learn more – let us know!
CLVs are private citizens who assist the Embassy with helping U.S. citizens in need. They assist travelers in distress, help us track down missing U.S. citizens, and, in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency, help us locate other American citizens so we can help get them to safety. Most often, however, CLVs are called on to be our ‘eyes and ears’ in the community, providing valuable feedback on what life is like for ordinary U.S. citizens living in Sri Lanka. CLVs are usually American citizens who are longer-term residents of Sri Lanka. They must speak English and, ideally, some Sinhalese and/or Tamil. Please note that this is a voluntary position with no financial incentive.
We need CLVs in the following cities: Jaffna, Trincomalee, Kandy, Elle, Yala, and Arugam Bay. CLVs in smaller cities and rural areas are uniquely important because those can be the hardest places for us to reach in an emergency. We also welcome those that live in other regions.
What is a Citizen Liaison Volunteer?
- A private American citizen resident in a foreign country who volunteers to assist consular sections in disaster preparedness, welfare & whereabouts, and alerting fellow Americans to emergency situations.
- Citizen Liaison Volunteers often have close ties to the U.S. expat community; therefore, they are often the fastest and most effective route to distributing information to Americans and are essential when normal communication channels fail.
- They facilitate distribution of routine administrative information (I.e., changes in section work hours, procedures, embassy closures, and voting information, etc.) of interest to the U.S. private community.
Citizen Liaison Volunteers provide important, timely safety and security information, which might include the times and locations of upcoming local demonstrations, areas of potential unrest due to local celebrations or elections, or information about a specific medical issue.
CLVs are not U.S. Embassy official representatives, employees, spokespersons, consular officers, or consular agents.
WHAT ARE THE ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF A CLV
- Providing updates about situations in their district;
- Assisting/encouraging the registration of newcomers in STEP;
- Assisting in crisis: natural disasters, civil unrest, etc.;
- Alerting American citizens without immediate e-mail or Internet access to emergency situations; &
- Disseminating information about routine topics such as voter registration, income taxes, etc.
If you would like to be a CLV, please email us at ColomboACS@state.gov with your full name, date of birth, and passport number. Please tell us a little about yourself and why you would like to volunteer. Once you notify us of your interest, we’ll get back to you with more information and further instructions.