Family volunteering in Sri Lanka
Our Sri Lanka family volunteering program is about escaping the norm and designed so you can experience this incredible country as participants rather than simply guests or tourists. For most families, volunteering while on holiday gives you an opportunity to ‘give something back’ or to put one’s skills to good use in an environment or community where they are needed. They are also about introducing children to a completely different world, giving them a chance to learn about wildlife and the environment, and some encouragement to break the moulds of consumer and indeed digitally driven life.
Many families also want to spend quality time together contributing to a genuine conservation project, sharing that feeling of achievement when they have spent a night ensuring that all the baby turtles that hatched that night made their way safely to sea for instance.
Our Sri Lanka family program is the perfect blend of projects combining community development through education and and conservation work with sea turtles. As a country Sri Lanka is extremely underrated, however the culture and natural heritage here is so rich, making the trip inspiring from beginning to end. And Sri Lankan culture celebrates family, so the welcome is beyond humbling. And, if you have cricket bat and ball for free time, beyond fun.
Our family program in Sri Lanka is suitable to all age groups. Based in around Galle around the South West coast of Sri Lanka this family program offers clean and comfortable accommodation. The projects you can do include sea turtles conservation work and community work such as teaching English. Both program can combined and there is flexibility in start dates.
Sri Lanka is a very child friendly location for you to engage in further travel before or after the program. You can visit Yala National Park for an animal safari or take the children to the many beaches or spend time exploring tea and coffee plantations in Kandy and Nuwara Ela. The options are endless and we highly recommend you spend an extra few days discovering this amazing country.
Our family program in Sri Lanka will give you the opportunity to engage in different meaningful and rewarding projects helping local communities and also local conservation efforts to save sea turtles that are coming to nest on the shores of Sri Lanka. You do not necessarily have to be involved in everything and you will get an opportunity to choose what you want to be involved in.
Teaching : Our education program helps young children in local schools who are struggling with English and allows you to engage in art, playtime, singing, and any educational activities and games. You will work with age groups from 3 to 8 years old and support local Sri Lankan teachers in their daily work.
Turtles : The aim of the sea turtle project is to conserve the local nesting sites in the area and to increase turtle populations by raising and releasing baby turtles. One of the most important ways this is achieved is through the development and maintenance of hatcheries, where turtle eggs are relocated to hatch safely, away from predators before being released into the sea at night-time. The weaker turtle babies are held back from release for a ‘head-starting’ process, so that they are given the best chance of survival. You will be able to get involved with a variety of tasks, caring for turtles that live at the centre, maintaining the project area and the beach, cleaning the hatcheries, feeding the turtles and releasing them back into the wild. Kids of all age groups absolutely love this!
Galle, Sri Lanka
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|Rates are in USD $||1 Week|
|Family of 2||$1,239|
|Family of 3||$1,809|
|Family of 4||$2,379|
|Family of 5||$2,939|
|Family of 6||$3,519|
- Pre-departure guide – to prepare you for your trip
- Pick-up and drop from Colombo Airport on Saturdays*
- Accommodation in shared volunteer house**
- Wifi in the house
- Experienced bilingual local staff team
- All Meals in the volunteer house
- Location orientation
- Project training
*If you arrive/depart on any other day except Saturday there is an additional pick up/drop charge.
**During busy months you will be housed in our alternative guesthouses near the volunteer villa. Any extra nights will be an additional fee.
Whats Not Included in your program fee :
- Flights to the program destination
- Medical and travel insurance
- Visa costs
- Personal shopping and gratuities
- Local excursions
- The nearest airport for this program is Colombo Airport ( CMB )
- We recommend you apply for Visas before you arrive. Our Sri Lanka Volunteer Guide will give you guidance on how to get your visas.
- Travel Insurance is compulsory on this program. You can get in touch with our team if you need travel insurance organised.
- Vaccinations are important. We recommend you visit your local travel clinic to find out what vaccines you should take.
- We work with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office for travel to India. Goto www.gov.uk/knowbeforeyougo to find out how best to avoid trouble when abroad. Packed with essential travel advice and tips, the website also offers up-to-date country information.
- We understand it can be difficult to pay for your flights, program fees and other travel costs. Many fundraise for their journey. If you need ideas and a platform for fundraising ideas Click Here
- For support on any of the above email us firstname.lastname@example.org
What your week looks like:
Arrival weekend : Once you get picked up from Colombo airport (on Saturday)you will be taken to your accommodation in Galle. The journey takes about 2 hours on the highway. On arrival at the volunteer house our Operations Manager Rishad will come and meet you. After an initial house orientation we will give you a project orientation and we will give you emergency contact numbers. The next day (Sunday) you will be given a wonderful area tour by Falik our Program Manger.
Monday and the rest of the week : Breakfast is generally quite early as we begin our projects for turtles at 7am! After breakfast you will be volunteering at local education or turtle projects. Expect to work about 2-3 hours a day. In the afternoon you will come home for lunch. On some days we have afternoon projects instead of morning projects. You will be advised about this by Falik or Rishad. You will have evenings free for activities in the area that you can plan with our local team.
We highly recommend utilising your free time to explore Sri Lanka. Falik from our team can help you organise paddy field bike tours (which the children absolutely love), whale watching trips, and safaris in Udawala National park where you can see elephants. Of course if there is anything else you would like to do our team will gladly advise or help you book.
What Happens When I Arrive?
You will stay in the beautiful Galle district of Southern Sri Lanka. We also have our own 9-bedroom volunteer house**, with a separate kitchen, dining room, recreation area, front lawn and private terrace. The house is located in a laid-back peaceful village surrounded by lush greenery and tropical beauty. It is only 8-10 minutes from historic Galle Fort and Unwatuna beach (just a 5 min walk to the nearest beach). The house is equipped with 7 CCTV cameras, several fire alarms and secure iron main gate for safety. Our office is located on the ground floor and we have a full operational team consisting of a program manager, an operations manager, various project coordinators, in-house chef that cooks 3 fresh meals a day, cleaning staff, van and driver. Wifi is available and you will be walking distance to a local supermarket, beach and within 15 mins to Galle Fort.
All meals will be provided in the volunteer house and will consist of fresh, delicious and local Sri Lankan vegetable and fruits. Breakfast includes pancakes, eggs and fruits usually. Lunch and Dinner is Sri Lankan curry, rice, hoppers or bread.
In the evenings there is plenty to do- we can help to organise cooking class or bike tours in Galle in the paddy fields, you can walk around the Galle Fort Area or go down to the wonderful beaches. We also have a yoga class in the house every week that you can enjoy.
**During busy times we may house you in a alternative accommodation of similar standard near the volunteer villa. If you would like an accommodation upgrade to a private room or with air-conditioning please get in touch with us beforehand. There is an extra charge for all upgrades.
The Galle Team:
Why Volunteers Love Us!
‘My experience in India was absolutely fantastic. Having never done anything like this before, Volunteering Journeys made sure I settled in well and supported me throughout my time. Being placed with an amazing family gave me the chance to experience Indian culture first hand. I was part of the Disabled Childcare Programs for two weeks. Although short, I felt the time I spent was so valuable for the children. If this is something that you are interested in I would 100% recommend it. The memories, friendships and experiences you will develop will be ones that you will never forget.’
‘The teaching experience was second to none. I was overwhelmed by the respect and politeness all the children have, which made it some much easier to work with them, even with the language barrier. The amazing thing about the schools I visited was that all the children are like little sponges, they absorb everything you say, teach and do! It’s quite outstanding how much they gain from just a small conversation in the playground or in the class room.
So in general if you are questioning whether you want to volunteer and you don’t know what company to go with, it has the be Volunteering Journeys. You will be well looked after, gain an immense experience and make friends for life!!!’
‘I took a short sabbatical from work in November 2013 and decided to come to India. I was helping at a small school in Fort Kochi, teaching English, Maths, Science and the odd nursery rhyme. The school where I volunteered had amazing teachers and the kids were great. Ridhi and the team organised everything brilliantly – from cycling tours to the backwaters, to hosting me with a family that made my stay feel like home. If you’re going to volunteer in India then I highly recommend Volunteering Journeys’
“J’ai passé deux mois formidables à Kochi en travaillant comme volontaire avec Volunteering Journeys. Deux mois de ma vie que je n’oublierais jamais. J’ai rencontré des gens incroyables et participé à des projets qui me tenaient vraiment à coeur. J’ai pu voir l’aboutissement de mes efforts et le sourire sur le visage des enfants. Une expérience magique que je recommande à tous. Merci Rainbow”
‘I spent 3 wonderful weeks with the Volunteering Journeys team in Kerala, it marked the beginning of almost 2 months adventuring through India, and I can say without a doubt it was one of my favourite experiences of my time spent in incredible India! From the moment my plane landed and I was greeted by a friendly face and whisked away to a wonderful home, the local staff were incredibly welcoming, helpful, supportive and great fun to be around!
I spent my time volunteering in 2 local schools, assisting with English studies. The enthusiasm and joy with which the children approach their days will ensure you never want to leave!I cannot recommend Volunteering Journeys highly enough, it was such a joyful introduction to India – it’s culture, people and crazy beautiful way of life. You will leave with some fond memories and firm friendships’
‘I volunteered by teaching English both at a school and at an all girls’ orphanage for two months. It has been the best experience of my life so far. I really got to know the children I was teaching and seeing the children’s English improve over my time was an incredible feeling. From being introduced to yoga to tasting delicious flavoursome Indian cuisine and living in “God’s own country”, has left me eager to return. I have made friends across the World who made my time spent in Kerala unforgettable. I highly recommend volunteering with Volunteering Journeys; Kerala is beautiful and you will gain fun memories.’
‘I spent two weeks running an art workshop which was absolutely fantastic. The children were so enthusiastic and bustled about with paste and paint, putting together the most amazing creations. They were not used to producing collaborative work and were thrilled when their individual efforts achieved a glorious whole. Their personalities really shone through and I became very fond of them in the short time I was with them. Thank you to Volunteering Journeys for enabling me to have such a wonderful experience!’
‘There is some kind of magic that happens when you’re in India. The climate, the people, the warm welcome, the happiness in every person, the culture, it’s simply inspiring. On top of that having a group of friendly, thoughtful organizers guiding me through the program made my time volunteering with Volunteering Journeys one of the most memorable moments in my life.
If anyone reading this is considering becoming a volunteer, don’t hesitate, become a volunteer. It will be the most rewarding experience and adventure of your life. I assure you that you will have a vital impact on the community, the place and the children. I would recommend Volunteering Journeys without hesitation. Well organized and hassle free adventure. You get help and guidance with everything you need. Kerala was my destination. Safe, beautiful and very friendly. Just do it and have an adventure of your life!’
“Volunteering at the schools was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Once again the friendships you create are irreplaceable. Admittedly, the first few days were scary, in the sense that my partner and I were only 18 & 20 yrs old and we were teaching women and children a language that was not their first. However the persistence and willingness of Indians is not to be tested. Each of our students put in 100% and naturally we became very personal with everyone and these women and children taught us much more. We came out of this experience with more than we had ever anticipated. It can’t be put into words just how much we learnt from volunteering. Ever aspect of our lives and mindset has changed.”
‘I think it was quite an eye opening experience to kind of see how people live and enjoy their lives very differently to what we do probably in UK. Even though comparatively they didn’t have as much, the children still came to school with a smile on their face and they were really keen to learn. They were ever so happy and always had a smile on their face regardless of the circumstances that they are living in, and I think that was an amazing experience for us to take back. We have comparatively much more wealth in the UK and we have much more available at our fingertips. Yet we were quite not so happy’
‘We decided to volunteer as part of our family vacation. It was the perfect balance: making a contribution but not being asked to do too much, with Volunteering Journeys staff with us every step of the way to help, support, clarify, etc. I was also impressed that they didn’t feed us a line about how we were changing the world in a week; I knew going in that *we* would be the ones most changed, and the staff’s perspective’s was the same: we were making an impact by showing we cared and sharing experiences, which hopefully meant something to a lot of people.’