With its diverse landscapes ranging from rainforest, to arid plains, to highlands and sandy beaches, Sri Lanka is truly magical.
Historically this beautiful country has been run by the British, Portuguese and Dutch, gaining independence in 1948, all of whom have left their mark. It is now a democracy that continues to make economic progress, moving on rapidly from the 2004 tsunami and the tensions of the last decade. Sri Lanka is now a peaceful, safe destination for travelers and many international travel magazines have selected Sri Lanka as a go to destination.
It’s famed for its ancient Buddhist ruins, the city of Anuradhapura, the fort of Galle, rolling tea estates, national parks, jackfruit curry and, of course, cricket. Whether you are talking to a Buddhist monk or a kid they will want to find out which team you support.
Working in care is hugely rewarding as you will quickly see and feel the impact of your energy and kindness.
We have numerous care projects found along the coast in Negombo, Moratuwa, Panadura, Wadduwa and Kalutara, on the outskirts of Colombo.
Each project offers different activities and challenges, so when you apply we will discuss your options and match your expectations and skills accordingly.
Care Community Centres and kindergartens
The children here attend school in the mornings and return back to their care community centre or kindergarten in the afternoons.
Expect a typical day to involve helping at the school in the mornings to create visual learning aides or organising creative games.
In the afternoons you will be assisting with the kid's homework, playing sport and games, or providing one-to-one reading sessions.
We support 3 community centres, both financially and physically, for children affected by the Tsunami. Volunteers are sent in to help and without them these life changing centres would not exist.
Care with Disabled Children
Here you will be asked to engage the children in various games and reading as well helping with cooking, feeding and with their physical rehabilitation.
During the holidays alternative care opportunities will be provided, which will be more informal. Holiday time in Sri Lanka includes the first 2 weeks in April, August, December and the first week in January.
Our in-country team in Sri Lanka organize regular ‘care’ workshops so you can gain an insight into the care system of Sri Lanka and the background of our projects. You will also receive support, advice, activity books and a box of arts and crafts resources to use.
Minimum age is 18, no experience required.
CRB check essential, which costs about £20.
The main office is about an hour outside Colombo where the Country Director and all members of staff base themselves.All our staff are trained to follow best practice procedures, including monitoring, security, and emergency procedures.
The office acts as a general meeting point for all the volunteers.Our overseas staff organize the details of our projects and accommodation to ensure everything is running smoothly.
They are there to assist with any concerns, problems, advice, and general administration that may arise during your time away - available during the day at the office and directly contactable 24 hours a day by phone.
On arrival you will appointed with a project supervisor who will go through your ‘induction’, work schedule and will be your first point of contact.
Your induction will include: • A Welcome Pack with details of the local office and other volunteers, maps, and other useful information (such as banks, doctors, and public transport). • A tour of the area on local transport that you'll need to use regularly. • Advice on local customs and what to expect while you are away to help you feel confident in your new environment.
Project Details: One month before you go you will be allocated your project details. These include addresses and phone numbers of your host family, project and supervisor.
We will help organise your flights to Sri Lanka.
You'll need to fly into Bandaranayke International Airport, also called Colombo Airport, where you will be met by a prearranged taxi who will take you to your host accommodation.
Your project supervisor will contact you as soon as you arrive and will meet you at your accommodation.
A taxi will be organised for you at the end to take you back to the airport.
Your supervisor will organize your accommodation and make sure it is all ready for you on arrival.
You will live with host families who live in small towns and close to your project. There are always multiple host families in each town so you will meet up with other volunteers.
Your accommodation will be clean and comfy, with great food, but don’t expect any hot water!
Your host family will speak basic English.
3 meals a day will be provided.
Expect to eat a lot of spicy curries, dahls, salads and exotic fruit.
Typical ingredients include beef, chicken, fish, seafood, aubergine, lentils, vegetables, potatoes - vegetarians easily accommodated.
The local currency in Sri Lanka is the rupee. US$1 is about 130 rupees.
A realistic amount for exploring at the weekends (budget accommodation & public transport) and occasionally eating/drinking out during the week = about ₤60 per week.
November to January are the coolest months (30 degrees Celsius).
Rains – two monsoon seasons; May to August in the south and west, October to January in the north and east.
The Highlands are spring-like all year round.
Our projects are based along the coast, south of the busy city of Colombo. During the week you will be project focused but your weekends will be free to travel and explore.
The transport infrastructure across Sri Lanka is pretty good so getting around will be fairly easy.
Top trips include:
Head off to Sri Lanka to get stuck into one of our life changing care projects.
Flexible departures (every Monday) for a flexible duration (min 2 weeks) making it easy for you to include an experience such as this in your gap year plans.
Whilst you will be busy during the week you will have plenty of time to explore this amazing country at the weekends
When you arrive we will hook you up with other volunteers so your social life is taken care of.
Just get in touch if you have any questions.
Over the last 12 years we've taken thousands of young people overseas to experience the trip of a lifetime.
That success has drawn industry-wide recognition. We're an accredited member of both the Year Out Group, an association designed to promote the benefits of well-structured gap year programs, and The American Gap Association.
We're big on safety too; everywhere we work is carefully researched, audited and risk assessed in accordance with the British Industry Standards for organising and managing adventurous activities outside the UK.