Volunteering Opportunities in Sri Lanka

As a short-term or long-term volunteer in Sri Lanka, you would responsibly assist and gain experience in healthcare, childcare, teaching, elderly care or disabilities while immersing yourself in local cultures.

Why Volunteer in Sri Lanka?

 

Sri Lanka is a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country that has a rich cultural heritage, beautiful beaches, evergreen forests, and an amazing wildlife. At the end of a painful ethnic conflict that nearly brought the country on its knees, Sri Lanka is very safe again and showing positive signs of economic progress.

Sri Lanka like many developing countries has several challenges relating to poverty, quality education, healthcare delivery and proper legislation to support disabled and needy people.

In no doubt, Sri Lanka is now one of the most unique destinations you would want to go and donate some of your time helping out on sustainable projects while experiencing spectacular ancient cities, history, and the warm hospitality of the people.

Volunteer Projects In Sri Lanka

 

Education And Orphanage

Duties

Volunteers on this project will teach English, maths, or life skills in a school or orphanage; engage children in games, sports, health education, arts and crafts, and other recreational activities; assist in developing or providing teaching and learning materials; assist in an orphanage taking care of children (feeding, bathing, homework, etc.).

Why?

This program assists selected orphanages and schools in Sri Lanka. For many children in Badulla and Galle districts, challenges such as inadequate teachers and caregivers, lack of learning materials, and poor infrastructure get in their way for proper development and education.

Considering the power and influence that good education and proper care have in transforming lives, your contribution as a volunteer teacher or caregiver would be greatly valued, supporting local staff in selected schools and orphanages, as well as improving the lives of the children.

Requirements

You should be fluent in English. Provide proof of age (copy of passport). You must be 18 years old. Those under age 18 may attend age-appropriate projects with adult accompaniment. Provide an original or certified copy of a recent criminal background check (less than 1 year old), since you might be dealing with minors.

Possible Workplaces

Orphanages and/or public schools and/or kindergartens.

Season

Schools are on vacation in April, August, and December.

Medicine – Healthcare

Duties

Some of the things you will be able assist with in this program are updating patients’ records, organizing files, or general medical office administrative work; working in a lab, dental office, or ward depending on your expertise and interest; joining community outreach programs, assisting in educating local people about important health issues.

Why?

Generally, Sri Lanka’s health care provision is pretty good in comparison to most developing countries. Both the government and the private sector have been rapidly building and improving infrastructure, quality of services, and human capital base in the health sector. However, the Tamil tea pluckers and plantation settlements have a different story. These communities are the poorest; they are being socially and economically isolated because of their background, only having gained citizenship in 2003. You may gain experience while helping qualified medical staff in either a high-quality medical facility in a city or in one of the few under-resourced or low quality clinics with inadequate staff serving the Tamil tea plantations’ population. There are a wide range of opportunities available, depending on your experience and specialty.

Requirements

You should be fluent in English. Provide proof of age (copy of passport). You must be 18 years old. Those under age 18 may attend age-appropriate projects with adult accompaniment. Provide an original or certified copy of a recent criminal background check (less than 1 year old), since you might be dealing with minors. Provide an original or certified copy of required qualifications (medical degree or transcript), medical professionals only.

Possible Workplaces

Hospitals, clinics, community health centres.

Season

All year round.

Caregiving – Elderly Care

Duties

This program provides an opportunity for you to engage in a conversation and encourage elders to share their thoughts and memories; help out with light housekeeping tasks, such as cleaning, laundry, etc.; assist elders in keeping medical appointments, visiting doctors or nurses, and taking their medications; help elders stay active through outings and activities.

Why?

The economic and social situations have significantly changed the roles of family members in many countries, including Sri Lanka and, therefore, are unable to provide proper care and attention to their elders.

There are 2 elderly homes in the Badulla district that could use your assistance. These homes house a large number of elders, and they are supported by the government in terms of feeding and medicals. However, there are not enough caregivers to give all of them attention and the kind of help they need with their day-to-day activities.

Requirements

You should be fluent in English. Provide proof of age (copy of passport). You must be 18 years old. Those under age 18 may attend age-appropriate projects with adult accompaniment. Provide an original or certified copy of a recent criminal background check (less than 1 year old).

Possible Workplaces

Elderly homes.

Season

All year round.

Disability Program – Blind And Deaf School

Duties

Volunteers in this program may assist one-on-one with homework; assist local staff with lesson preparation and classroom activities; join in extracurricular activities such as games, dance, songs, etc.; professionals could provide various therapies; help renovate school premises.

Why?

There is a blind and deaf school in the Badulla district whose aim is to give challenged children a good education, empowering them to overcome their limitations.

Even though the school is funded by the government, it has very limited resources in providing quality education to these children. However, with the dedicated staff, it is still managing helping out children with hearing and visual impairments.

This program is a good opportunity for those who have experience in dealing with the blind and the deaf, or those who seek experience in the field.

Requirements

You should be fluent in English. Provide proof of age (copy of passport). You must be 18 years old. Those under age 18 may attend age-appropriate projects with adult accompaniment. Provide an original or certified copy of a recent criminal background check (less than 1 year old). Provide an original or certified copy of required qualifications (medical degree or transcript), medical professionals only.

Possible Workplace

Deaf and blind school.

Season

School vacates in December and July for a couple of weeks.

Sri Lanka FAQ

Start Dates

Our start dates are flexible. You are at liberty to chose a date that works for you. We’ll then crosscheck if we have a spot for you at that date.





Duration

We have both short-term and long-term volunteering opportunities, ranging anywhere from 1 week up to 1 year.





Program Locations

We currently have opportunities available in Badulla, Galle, Hambantota, and Wattala.





When To Apply

To volunteer in Sri Lanka, we don’t have a set deadline for applications. However, we do recommend that you apply at least 2 months before your intended departure date to ensure you have adequate time to prepare for your trip. If you have a spontaneous desire to volunteer, give us a call and we’ll see what we can do.





Visa

• Ensure that your passport is valid for at least up to 6 months and has a blank page in it for your visa.

• Apply for a tourist visa online through the Electronic Travel Authorization System (ETA) at http://www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa/visainfo/center.jsp. It’s recommended that you apply before you travel; there is an ETA desk at the international airport where you can apply on arrival (credit cards or US Dollars only), but you could be subject to long delays.

• You can acquire a 30-day or up to 90-day visa. Should you need to extend it, our in-coordinator is always available to help you through the process.

• Click here for the appropriate foreign embassy or consulate in your country. (select your country, and then select host country)





Vaccinations

Make sure your routine vaccines are up to date. Please visit your local travel health clinic to discuss this with a professional and which vaccinations are suitable for you. It is recommended you visit the clinic at least 6 weeks before your departure date. Click here to read more regarding travel health.





Orientation

Our in-country team will greet you at the airport. From there, you’ll be taken to a volunteer house, where you will stay for the duration of your program. There, you will have the chance to freshen up, contact home, and meet other volunteers. You will have access to phone and internet at the volunteer house. The next day, you will attend a comprehensive orientation, where you will learn everything you need to know to have a safe, educational, and exciting experience. You will also learn how to get around and be introduced to your project site.





Meals And Housing

You will be provided 3 meals per day (homemade local food). The following are examples of food you might be provided:

Breakfast: Milk rice with sambol / rice and curry / bread / fruits / milk tea/ fruit juice.
Lunch: Rice with three curries.
Dinner: Rice with three curries / Hoppers / String hoppers / Kottu.

As for housing, you will stay either with a local host family or at a volunteer center, depending on your placement. You will either have your own room or share a room with other volunteers. You will receive specifics on living arrangements before your departure.





A Typical Day's Schedule

AIAV aims to make your volunteering day in Sri Lanka a combination of valuable voluntary work, sharing of cultural experiences, and free time to loosen up and reflect. The schedules do vary from program to program. The following is a general schedule:

7:30 am – 8:45 am Breakfast.
8:45 am – 12:00 pm Working at your project site.
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm Lunch.
1:30 pm – 4:00 pm Working at your project site.
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm Sport activities/awareness programs/cultural shows.
7:30 pm Dinner.





Free Time

You will have plenty of free time to immerse yourself in local culture. During the week, you can enjoy mingling with the locals and observing their ways of living. On the weekends, you are free to go wherever your heart desires and explore the wonders of your host country.

Some key things to see and do in Sri-Lanka:

Adam’s Peak in Ratnapura, Pigeon Island, Yala National Park, Knuckles Range, Sigiriya rock fortress, Ancient Anurdhapura, picturesque town of Kandy along with Temple of the Tooth, feed elephants at Pinnawala elephant orphanage, Dambulla cave temple, Dutch fort of Galle, Bentota Beach, surf in Talalla, inhale the fragrance of and drink their finest teas, roam the lush tea plantations in Ella, etc. Remember, your in-country coordinator is always available to help you plan safe, educational and cost saving travels.

Click here to learn more.





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