Are you looking for your chance to shine and to show off your creative and enthusiastic side? Your help is needed to improve the future of many underprivileged children in the local impoverished communities.
Your dedication and time will help massively to provide the education the children need in order to grow, develop and become independent. Your primary role will be to teach English and to support the local staff, but don’t think it will all be work, work, work. There will still be plenty of time to teach the children fun new games and to play!
The ability to speak English is becoming of growing importance, especially with it being an international business language. With tourism on the increase and many of the well-paid jobs requiring English speakers, we want to give the poorer communities the chance they deserve.
This rewarding and worthwhile teaching placement encourages the children to develop a skill that will help them to achieve their full potential. The charismatic children you work with will be grateful for all your hard work as you help them to progress towards a more positive future.
Teaching within the local schools will allow you to immerse yourself within the community and get to know more about the local culture. You will be able to see the impact your time has with the children and you will get to know and love them on more of a personal level.
For a developing country, Sri Lanka’s education system is very impressive and quite advanced. Education is taken seriously and nearly all children up to the age of 16 attend school.
However, schools in the more remote and rural areas receive minimal funding and are expected to serve large communities. Facilities are often very basic and with some classes having up to 60 children, teachers are often under resourced.
The first thing you will notice when you arrive is how excited the children are to see you and how eager they are to learn! Conversing with fluent, native English speakers greatly improves their language skills and will help get the children set for their future education. You will be volunteering in one of the local pre-schools where the children are aged 3 – 6 years old.
Use your creativity and knowledge to help these eager young minds reach their true potential by providing fun and exciting lessons. We encourage everyone to plan lessons during their free time and to make them as engaging and interactive as possible.
The teachers’ English speaking skills are by no means perfect, so it is an ideal time for you to fill an important gap in the children’s development. You will be teaching things like the alphabet, animal names, numeracy, art and even nursery rhymes.
The importance of non-academic subjects such as music, drama and sports is increasingly being recognised, so there will be plenty of time to get worn out and have fun!
It is also a great chance for the children to get an insight into life in a different culture and country! You should bring along some photos of you and your family and let them know all about ‘home’.
Located along the west coast of Sri Lanka that is famed for its beautiful beaches, this unique programme will allow you to enjoy the ultimate slice of Sri Lankan paradise.
You will be living close to Galle, just a stones throw away from golden-sand beaches where you will be staying in our very comfortable and spacious accommodation. The schools are within walking distance or a short 5-minute drive away, allowing you to enjoy the most out of your day!
You will get to explore Sri Lanka’s rich cultural heritage, discover their stunning coastlines and live within the local community where everyone is so nice.
A member of our local team will be on-site everyday to help assist you and to overcome any language barriers.
During school holidays (April, August and December) you will be involved within a local community outreach programme where all activities are the same.
Although an advantage, no previous experience is required. As long as you bring lots of positive energy and are enthusiastic then your efforts and time will contribute massively to the school and local community.
If you love to work with children and want to gain international work experience, this programme will add an edge to your CV. Many volunteers use our teaching programme to advance their career and to broaden their horizons for personal growth and development.
Every day will offer you something different and the children will keep you on your toes with their funny questions and amazing attitude. You will spend every weekday morning within the school, typically working between 8:30 and 11:30. During your time at the school, you may be involved in the following:
Teaching and assisting
Most of the morning will be spent teaching the children a range of subjects and ensuring everyone has fun. Some lessons may involve English, maths, art, music, drama, sports and more! We try our best to provide all of the basic resources and on request we may be able to get some musical instruments or even a video projector.
You will be in charge of planning your own lessons that can literally be anything! We encourage all volunteers to make them as fun and interactive as possible to ensure you keep the childrens’ attention. Everyday should see you teach English and play some fun games!
No day would be complete without playing outside! Climbing trees, playing football or tag, or swinging as high as possible on the swings – it’s got to be everyone’s favourite part of the day.
For the more creative and arty volunteers! It’s always good to get some new displays up around the classroom to showcase the childrens’ work and to brighten the room up. You may even get to do some wall painting outside.
All children stop for ‘brunch’ everyday and you may need to be on hand to help assist.
After a busy 3 hours of having fun with the children, the classroom can sometimes be a bit of a mess! You will need to help put the furniture back in its place, tidy any toys away and ensure the area is clean.
With the afternoons free, you will get the chance to explore some of the amazing places Sri Lanka has to offer. With several stunning beaches just a short drive away, you will get to bask in the glorious sun, swim in the crystal clear sea or even chill-out at a beach bar. You will be able to get involved with the local communities, go shopping for the local attire and even spot some wildlife including; dolphins, whales, sea turtles, monkeys and birds.
Weekends are free days where we actively encourage you to go and explore this beautiful country. We can help arrange all kinds of trips to national parks, to sandy beaches where you can party or to famous religious landmarks. If you prefer, you are more than welcome to stay on-site and relax.
We cannot think of anywhere better to stay when volunteering in Sri Lanka! Our volunteer accommodation is just a stones throw away (10 second walk) from a quiet golden sand beach that is lined with palm trees – paradise!
It’s the perfect place to come and relax each evening and witness some incredible sunsets. Not only this, but you can snorkel in the crystal clear waters that has an abundance of colourful fish swimming around the coral reef and you may even see a sea turtle swim by!
For all wildlife lovers, there are regular sightings of sea turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs just metres away from the accommodation! Our local team will happily come on walks late into the evening or wake you up in the night so you can witness this magnificent experience.
Our spacious and comfortable volunteer accommodation is set on a large plot of land where you will be staying in one of our purpose built houses. Surrounded by the jungle on one side and the beach on the other, you have the best of both worlds! You can sit back and relax outside under the sun while drinking from a King Coconut that grow on the many palm trees around the accommodation or top up your tan over at the beach.
Everyone comes together to eat their delicious meals outside under a traditional shelter where you can all share stories and you’ll even be able to hear the waves crashing down. This is also the perfect place for impromptu parties and BBQ’s where you can socialise into the night looking up at the dark starry sky.
You will be sharing a room with up to 5 other volunteers in spacious bedrooms in comfy bunk beds (all bedding and mosquito nets are provided). All rooms have the added luxury of air-conditioning and modern en-suite bathrooms. If you’re lucky you could be staying in one of the bedrooms that have a small balcony where you can look far into the jungle and you can even see the sea!
Wi-Fi is available throughout the accommodation although this can be intermittent. Our local team are more than happy to provide laundry services at a small charge.
The backpacker town of Hikkaduwa is just a 5-minute tuk tuk ride away where you can visit many restaurants and bars that back right onto the beach. A favourite town amongst most volunteers, there are many supermarkets, quirky shops and water activities on offer – including surfing.
The accommodation is also conveniently located close to the historic town of Galle and famous beaches including Mirissa, Unawatuna and Ambalangoda. There are also great bus and train links that allow you to easily explore the rest of the country.
Wifi – Yes
People per room – Up to 6
Single sex rooms – Yes
Nearest ATM & shops – 5 minute drive
Airport Transfers – 2 hours
This is your chance to live life like a local and try some mouth-watering local cuisine! Freshly prepared and cooked each day, you will get to try many traditional Sri Lankan dishes as well as some Western home comforts.
All meals are provided at our volunteer accommodation and are included within the programme fee. All volunteers come together each meal time to sit outside, socialise and eat – the perfect time to share stories.
Here is an example of some of the meals you can expect:
Breakfast – Toast, omelette, string hoppers, fresh fruits, tea, milk
Lunch – Rice, vegetables, chicken, fish, dhal, curry, poppadoms
Dinner – Noodles, rice, pasta, hoppers, vegetables, curry
We are able to cater for several dietary requirements, including vegetarian, vegan and gluten free. Please state any requirements when applying.
What are the requirements to join?
We welcome all volunteers from any background, religion and nationality, as long as you have no criminal convictions and are able to supply a clean criminal background check. In order to join the programme you need to be at least 16 years old on the programme start date.
Individuals need to have a good level / understanding of English but it does not need to be your first language. As some programmes can be quite strenuous, we recommend that you should be physically fit.
What date should I arrive and leave?
You should arrive at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo (CMB) on your selected start date, being the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month. You will be met by one of our local team members or an appointed driver who will be holding a named sign and who will then take you straight to the volunteer accommodation.
The programme ends on a Saturday of your final week and you should depart the accommodation on this day. Our local team will be happy to help organise any onward journeys or book transport back to the airport.
Are there any age restrictions for solo travellers?
The only age restriction in place is that you have to be at least 16 years old before your programme start date. Anyone over this age is welcome. Generally the average age range for our programmes is 18 – 25, although this is by no means definitive and we regularly have volunteers of all ages.
What is the minimum age for travelling with my family?
If you are travelling with family and at least one member is aged 18 years old or over, then we welcome anyone from 5 years and up.
When should I apply for the programme?
You can apply for this programme at anytime, however we advise that you apply as soon as possible to have the best chances of securing your placement on your selected dates. Some of our programmes have limited capacity and spaces can get filled up quickly.
If you are wanting to volunteer within the next few weeks, then please contact us and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.
It is possible to change your start dates once you have been accepted, however this is subject to availability and can attract a small administration fee.
What duration would you recommend?
On gaining feedback from previous volunteers, we believe 3 – 6 weeks is the ideal time to get settled in and really involved with the programme. This also allows you to make the most of your free time, to explore this beautiful country and to participate in any activities.
We regularly have volunteers come for 1 to 2 weeks that tell us that they did not believe they had enough time and wish they had stayed for longer.
What will my itinerary be?
Please make sure you arrive into Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo (CMB) on Saturday.
Day 1 (Saturday) – Arrival
A member of our local team will be waiting for you in arrivals holding a named sign. If your flight lands before 6pm, you will be taken straight to our volunteer accommodation, approximately 2 hours away. If arriving after this time, you will make your way to our accommodation in Wattala to get some much-needed rest. The following morning you will then head down to our accommodation to meet everyone else.
Day 2 (Sunday) – Orientation
After a good nights rest and a delicious breakfast, it is then time for your orientation. Charith and the team will go through all of the health and safety information as well as show you all of the local amenities in nearby Hikkaduwa. The rest of the day will be for you to explore the stunning beaches and enjoy what Sri Lanka has to offer.
Day 3-7 (Monday – Friday) – Volunteering
Your volunteering begins! Most of our programmes run from 8am to midday and a member of our local team will accompany you to the project site. After introductions, you will be told what is expected of you and shown the ropes. Volunteering times will generally be the same each day and as time goes on you will become more confident and independent and given more tasks to do.
Day 8-9 (Saturday – Sunday) – Weekend
Being next to the beach and with so many great sights and activities to do nearby, weekends are never boring! Whatever you plan on doing, our local team can advise and help organise any trips.
The following weeks
The following weeks will follow the same kind of pattern, with volunteering between Monday and Friday and exploring Sri Lanka at the weekends. You will find that time will really start to fly by, so it’s important to make the most of your time! Don’t forget, our local team are there to support you and to answer any questions you may have.
Last day (Saturday)
Time has flown by and it is already time to leave. If you are heading home then our local team can arrange your return airport transfer (not included within the programme fee) or recommend plans for your onwards journey.
How will I get to the project?
You will be transported to your project by either a private car or tuk tuk. All programmes are located within 30 minutes of the volunteer accommodation and a member of our local team will accompany you.
Is there Internet and phone signal?
There is Wi-Fi within the volunteer accommodation although this can be intermittent. If you are wanting to call home or use the internet while out and about, we recommend that you bring an unlocked phone and purchase a local sim card – our local team can assist. Alternatively, you can buy a cheap phone while in Sri Lanka for under £15.
What is Akurala like?
Our volunteer accommodation is conveniently located between Hikkaduwa and Ambalangoda. With the palm tree lined beaches just a 20 second walk across the road, you can spend your evenings relaxing and watching the sunset. Most amenities are a short drive away and are easily accessible by tuk tuk – costing just a few pounds.
Hikkaduwa is a 10-minute drive south and has a string of mellow beach bars and restaurants, good diving and surf schools as well as many activities and excursions. You will spend most of your free time here on the beaches and at the funky bars, leaving the weekends to head further afield!
Ambalangoda is just 6 kilometres in the other direction and is normally overshadowed by Hikkaduwa. Famous for its production of devil masks and dances, there are many random things to see and do. The town has a rich Buddhist history and has the longest sleeping Buddha statue measuring 35 metres.
All amenities are nearby, including ATMs, hospitals, restaurants (serving local and western food), as well as good transport links to the rest of Sri Lanka – including a bus and train station.
The Mighty Roar Local Team in Sri Lanka
Our programmes in Sri Lanka are run by our dedicated local team, who are committed to ensuring you have the best time ever. Harsha, Charith and other team members provide the structure for your stay, including the accommodation, meals, airport pickup, in-country orientation and of course support.
They are sure to become your good friends and you will not meet nicer people that are willing to do everything in their power to make your stay the most memorable.
Will I get an in-country orientation?
Yes. Your orientation will be on Sunday morning and will go through everything you need to know for your time in Sri Lanka. You will be shown around Hikkaduwa, where the shops, ATM and taxi rank will all be pointed out to you. If you need to, our local team can assist with any currency exchange and help you pickup anything you may need.
We will also show you the main points of interest, such as western restaurants, the stunning beach, bars and other attractions.
Our local coordinator will go through all of the important health and safety information that you should follow during your time in Sri Lanka. You’ll learn about the Sri Lankan way of life and the cultural differences.
What is the weather like in Sri Lanka?
Sri Lanka has a rather complicated climate due to the fact that the island is affected by two separate monsoons. This does mean however, that there is good weather somewhere on the island at most times of the year.
As Sri Lanka is positioned close to the Equator, it does mean there is a fairly consistent temperature all year round. Coastal and lowland areas enjoy average daytime temperatures of around 26-30°C, which often rises well into the 30°C’s during the hottest part of the day.
Humidity is high everywhere, rising to a sweltering 90% at times in the southwest, and averaging 60 to 80% across the rest of the island.
If you have checked the weather report on your phone then no doubt it will say rain or thunderstorms all week. This simply is not the case. Even during the wettest months, rain will come in short bursts, so although there may be a lot of rainfall in a day, it does not mean it rains for a long time.
Can I volunteer if I live outside of the UK?
Yes of course. We welcome volunteers from around the world, no matter how far away from the programmes you are. The majority of volunteers that we host, come from the UK, US, Germany, Canada and Australia.
Can I go with my friend / partner?
We have many volunteers that travel with their friends, family members or with their partner. If required, we can ensure that you are based on the same project and stay within the same accommodation. On request, we can normally organise a private room too.
Is it safe to travel to Sri Lanka?
We regularly visit and participate in each and every one of the programmes we offer in Sri Lanka to rigorously check all aspects of the project and accommodation are safe and that all procedures are being followed. These include but are not limited to checking the living conditions within the volunteer accommodations, checking the neighbourhoods you’ll be staying in, tasting the food you’ll be eating and going on any weekend trips recommended by us or our local team.
We monitor the stability of all of our volunteer destinations on a daily basis and have constant contact with our overseas teams to ensure that our volunteers are safe.
All volunteers will receive a comprehensive volunteer handbook when you choose to join us on one of our programmes. This detailed document addresses a large range of issues such as health, safety, visas, as well as going into details about local cultures and traditions.
When you arrive in-country, you will be given a safety briefing during your orientation that will cover things like emergency procedures, how to use local transport and any cultural differences.
Our in-country team are on hand to help with any issues or to answer any questions and please do not forget that our UK office is available 24/7 in case of any rare emergencies.
While we can never guarantee your volunteer experience will be 100% trouble free, we have taken all of the necessary precautions to minimise all risks and to ensure the programme is as safe as possible.
Before You Depart
When do I pay? Can I pay in instalments?
To confirm and guarantee your placement on one of our programmes, you need to pay the registration fee of £129 within 7 days of receiving confirmation that your application was successful. The remaining balance is then due no less than 60 days prior to your programme start date.
Payments can be done all at once or be spread out over several months and can be paid via BACS (bank transfer). We do accept additional payments methods, such as debit and credit cards, although there may be additional fees.
Do you offer an online TEFL course?
If you are joining us on one of our teaching programmes around the world, then why not do some preparation work before you head into the classroom. Our Level 5 TEFL Course (168 hours), can be studied completely online over a 6-month period, which is ideal for those with other commitments – and leaves you the freedom to study wherever and whenever suits you!
If you believe teaching may be the career for you (here in the UK or abroad), then our TEFL course is the perfect starting point to launching your new career. After completing the course, not only will you have a greater understanding, but you will also gain an internationally accredited certificate that qualifies you to teach English as a foreign language. Our course is a level 5 qualification, which is the same as a diploma / foundation degree, one step above a-levels, but below a university degree.
You can find out more about our online TEFL course here.
Do I need any vaccinations and / or malaria tablets?
As we are not trained medical experts we cannot tell you exactly what vaccinations or other medication you may need for your trip. You will need to consult with your local doctors or travel clinic.
You can also find additional information on the NHS Fit For Travel website.
How do I arrange my flights?
All flights need to be booked by you, although we can point you in the right direction on where you may be able to find the best prices.
Before booking any flights, we strongly recommend that you wait to have confirmation that your application has been successful.
Do you offer travel insurance?
Travel insurance is a compulsory part of your volunteering trip, that’s why we have teamed up with Endsleigh to create an affordable and comprehensive travel insurance policy. It is suitable for all of the programmes we offer and can be taken out at any time. You can read more about our insurance here.
If you decide to purchase your travel insurance from an alternative provider, please ensure it covers you for everything you will be doing. Adequate travel insurance must be in place no less than 60 days before your programme start date. Without proof of this insurance, we will not be able to accept you onto the programme.
When will I receive my volunteer handbook?
You will receive a welcome email from us as soon as you have paid the registration fee and your placement has been confirmed. The welcome email will include the volunteer handbook that provides a wealth of information that will help you better understand all aspects of your upcoming trip as well as details about our insurance policy.
Please note, that all material is sent via email and hard copies cannot be sent.
On Your Trip
Can I arrange a private room?
The majority of our accommodation only offers shared rooms that are usually same-sex. However, if you would prefer a private room please let us know and we will at least try for you.
Can you cater for my dietary requirements?
We will try our best to cater for any dietary requirements. When you submit your application please include any required details within the dietary section and we will liaise with our local coordinators.
Are there any public holidays that would affect the project?
Although we try to be as clear as possible of all holidays that affect project availability, due to the nature of some countries, holidays can often be sporadic or prone to change.
If such a holiday falls when you are on your placement, this is generally a good time to experience unique festivities where you can join in with the locals.
What is the dress code at the projects?
We ask that all volunteers take the approach of a smart and responsible image during your time in the communities and on projects. It is best to also take some older clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty.
Generally, it is best to avoid tight and very short clothing and anything that may have offensive slogans on it. It’s recommended that you take some nicer clothes for weekends or any free time you may have.
We do not wish to impose strict regulations, however we do ask that you respect the local culture and do your best to adhere to the clothing guidelines within the volunteer handbook.
How much spending money will I need?
For general expenses and some travelling, you should find that £50 – £100 per week is sufficient. However, this can vary greatly depending on the amount of activities or trips you do and if you are eating out during the week.
Will I be able to travel whilst on the programme?
There should be plenty of time to travel while on your placement and we actively encourage that you do! The local coordinators will be able to give you lots of travel tips and provide any help needed for your independent adventure.
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