Get ready to experience the beauty of Sri Lanka while helping on this hugely rewarding project. You and other volunteers will play a crucial role in interacting with the children keeping them entertained and happy, while building their confidence and teaching them basic English and life skills.
Explore Sri Lanka’s famous palm tree lined beaches, take a train ride of a lifetime, walk through the jungle and fully immerse yourself into the Sri Lankan culture and way of life. Along the way you will make lots of new friends and will make a real difference to the lives of young children.
Our day care centre is located just 10 minutes down the road in a small fishing town called Ambalangoda. Established over 20 years ago, the day care centre has been providing crucial care to the local community for generations.
You will offer invaluable assistance to the local staff and provide the care and love the children need. You’ll be involved in a variety of activities such as playtime, meal times and basic teaching and you can be sure that the children and community you help will be extremely grateful for having someone there to support and care for them
We encourage you to get as involved as possible by helping with all of the day-to-day activities where you will primarily be acting as a carer. You will be instrumental in keeping the children engaged and happy, where you will join in with games and other fun activities and hopefully introduce some of your own new ideas along the way.
As a volunteer you will become a big brother or sister to the children, working alongside local staff to assist with teaching and caring for the 15 or so children than attend everyday.
Our day care centre is attached to Sujatha Pre-School where you are more than welcome to split your time volunteering between the two. The pre-school provides basic education to children under 6 years old.
The children will be sure to fill your life with laughter and unconditional love and you’ll be overwhelmed by the energy that they show you.
You will be staying and volunteering on the shores of the Indian Ocean where you can spend your free relaxing on a hammock as the sunsets.
There is no better way of helping, than by volunteering at our community run day care centre. There are around 15 children that attend the day care centre and are aged between 3 and 6 years old. As you get to know the them and their routines you will soon develop a special bond with them.
With limited resources and staff, we need volunteers like you to help take some of the burden and to ensure that the proper care and attention can be given to everyone.
You will typically be at the day care centre Monday to Friday from 8am to 4pm where you will be involved with all aspects of the centre. You can choose to do just half days (either morning and afternoon) and spend the rest of your time exploring Sri Lanka with the other volunteers.
During your time at the day care centre, you may be involved in:
- Providing care and attention to the children
- Organising and running fun games
- Assisting with meal times, washing and cleaning
- Planning and delivering creative activities
- Teaching basic English
- Teach the children life skills and health management
- Assist in the pre-school attached
There’s no better place to stay when you think of Sri Lanka. Located down the west coast that is famous for its stunning coastline, our accommodation is just a stones throw away from a quiet palm-tree lined beach where the beautiful clear sea from the Indian Ocean crashes down.
Our spacious volunteer accommodation is ideally situated between Ambalangoda and Hikkaduwa where you can experience the best of both worlds and is only a short drive away from the historic town of Galle! Both towns have excellent bus and train links where you can explore more of this beautiful country.
You will be just a short drive away from the hustle and bustle where you can relax in one of the many beach bars, have a meal right next to the sea in one of the restaurants or even go snorkelling and diving!
Depending on numbers at the time, you could be sleeping with up to 2 other volunteers in spacious bedrooms with nice comfy full size beds with mosquito nets and modern en-suite bathrooms. Most rooms have air conditioning and a small balcony where you can look over into the jungle with some even being able to see the sea!
You can sit back and relax in one of the communal areas where you can socialise with the other volunteers and play some card games. There is plenty of room outside to where you can even eat your meals under a traditional shelter looking up to the dark starry night.
Our local team will make you feel so welcome and you will become part of their family.
Wifi – Yes
People per room – Up to 3
Single sex rooms – Yes
Nearest ATM & shops – 5 minute drive
Airport Transfers – 2 hours
All meals are provided at the volunteer house and are included within the programme fee. Meals are aimed to be as varied as possible across the week and include many traditional Sri Lankan cuisine. You can expect some of the following meals:
Breakfast – Toast, string hoppers, fresh fruits, tea, milk
Lunch – Rice, vegetables, chicken, fish
Dinner – Noodles, rice, pasta, hoppers
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 dose 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 ATM’s, 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, Chairth 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 to 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 to.
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 to 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 are 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 effect the project?
Although we try to be as clear as possible of all holidays that effect 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. Its 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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