About the Program
Volunteers on this important program (available during the school holidays in April and August each year) will work in the hillside town of Badulla, in Sri Lanka's southern central hill country region. This program provides quality care to children in need and desperately requires volunteers to help with caring for and spending time with the children. The recent war, poverty and a very low standard of living has sadly resulted in many cases where children are left orphaned and un-cared for – requiring a home and adults to supply much-need care and attention. Volunteers will supply this – providing hands-on care and, most importantly, their time, talking to and playing with the children. They may also like to read to them, and help with their studies. This one on one time will greatly help and boost their confidence levels. The children greatly benefit from the support and attention that they receive from international volunteers, who are greatly appreciated by the local carers and children.
Goals of this Project:
- Provide essential care to vulnerable children in Sri Lanka
- Improve the future prospects of children with education support
- Give orphaned or abandoned children quality care, compassion and a sense of hope
- Enable inter-cultural exchange which benefits both locals and international volunteers alike.
How You Can Help
Volunteers play an essential role in helping disadvantaged children through this program. Volunteers undertaking this placement assist local staff with daily routines such as bathing, dressing, feeding, assisting with nursing care, organizing exercise activities and games, assisting with personal and environmental hygiene education, cleaning and laundry tasks. Depending on their experience, volunteers may also give additional assistance by providing basic English lessons, and assisting the older children with their homework. Please note that this placement has a strict dress code. Volunteers should wear conservative clothing with knee length pants or skirts, and appropriate tops. Volunteers on the program are encouraged to use their skills and interests to assist carers in developing activities for the children, such as music and dance, sports, arts and crafts, etc. Volunteers will contribute in a number of ways on this program and can expect to undertake the following tasks:
- Help to feed and care for the children
- Help to teach the children
- Attend to and interact with the children
- Create activities and entertain the children with games
Love Volunteers welcomes all those 18 years and over who wish to assist in the ongoing support and development of marginalized and at-risk children of Sri Lanka. This highly interactive and varied project does not require participants to have a background in the field of childcare, as there are many ways you can assist. However, volunteers with suitable education, qualifications or experience are highly sought after. Regardless, a volunteer’s individual role can often be tailored to suit their particular skills and interests. Importantly, all applicants must first and foremost have a genuine willingness to help, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive 'can-do' attitude. If this sounds like you, we want you on the team!
Additionally, volunteers applying to join this program will be required to supply to following documentation:
- Emergency contact
- Police check
Volunteers on this incredibly worthwhile program are based in Badulla, a historically significant town located in the southern central hill country region, high above sea level but still dwarfed by nearby mountain ranges. Both the Portuguese and British left their mark but very little remains of that era and the Sri Lankan spirit and jungle atmosphere have successfully reverted the town almost to its original state. Popular as an eco-tourism base and surrounded by tea plantations, Badulla is a restful and authentic place to spend time.
Volunteers arrive into Colombo and spend the first night in the Volunteer Centre in Wattala before being assisted onto the train to Badulla the following day. The 12 hour scenic train journey takes participants through some of the most amazing scenery this beautiful country has to offer and is highly recommended. The local team make all of the arrangements and assist volunteers onto the traina and the cost of travel to the program is included in the program fee (return train tickets are not included as not all volunteers require this, however, the local team will assist with the arrangements and the cost is approximately US$20).
Start Dates & Duration
This project is available in April, August and December each year. Programs start every SATURDAY and volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 3 weeks to 12 weeks. Longer stays can be arranged with the local team, but will be subject to availability and individual visa conditions
Spaces on this project are limited and therefore subject to availability. Early booking is recommended.
For current available start dates please check the calendar on the right.
Arrival & Orientation
Upon arrival into Colombo you will be met at the airport by our local team and taken to the Volunteer Centre in Wattala where you will stay until being assisted onto the early morning train to Badulla on Sunday. An orientation session will take place as and when time permits to cover local and regional customs, basic words and phrases, transport and, of course, what to expect from your volunteering experience.
On Sunday you will take the scenic 12 hour train journey inland to Badulla. Be sure to ask for a window seat and try to sit on the right hand side as you face forward from Colombo to Kandy as this will give you the best views once you get past Rambukkana. Vendors ply the train with refreshments (drinks, fruit, spicy snacks) at reasonable prices.
You will be met off the train in Badulla and taken to the Volunteer Centre and your host family (if applicable). Local staff will provide a training session pertinent to your placement and provide an orientation to cover local amenities, transport and answer any questions you may have.
All transport and accommodation arrangements are made for you by the local team and included in the program free.
- Arrival Day: SATURDAY
- Departure Day: SATURDAY
- Arrival Airport: Bandaranaike International Airport, Colombo, Sri Lanka (Code: CMB)
Accommodation & Meals
Volunteers on this wonderful program will either be accommodated within the fully equipped Volunteer Centre or with trusted local Host Families. In both cases rooms are comfortable and may be shared with up to 2 other volunteers.
The Volunteer Centre provides all the necessary amenities and is open to all volunteers regardless of where they are accommodated. Facilities include hot showers, laundry and kitchen areas, free Wifi, fans and air-conditioning (available on request in the summer months). Bed linen is provided at both the Volunteer Centre and Host Family homes so volunteers need only take personal toiletries and towel(s).
Host families are experienced at caring for our volunteers and make everyone feel welcome. Their homes may be basic by international standards but this is more than made up for by generosity of spirit. Wifi and laundry facilities may not be available in the host family home and volunteers are encouraged to make use of these at the Volunteer Centre. The Volunteer Centre is located close to the placements and to host families so it’s super easy to get around.
Volunteers spend their first night in the Volunteer Centre in Wattala before travelling to Badulla the following day. Our local team makes all in-country transport and accommodation arrangements so it’s stress-free.
Three simple and delicious meals are provided daily throughout the placement at both the Volunteer Centre and host family homes. Sri Lankan cuisine is redolent of many neighbouring countries including Thailand, Vietnam and Indian. Full of flavoursome spices it is sure to delight every palate. Staples of rice and a wide range of curries are accompanied by divine vegetable dishes and condiments such as the chilli based sambal.
*In addition to the program fees listed above a Registration Fee is payable to secure your place. The registration fee is USD 299 for those volunteering with Love Volunteers for the first time or USD 149 for any subsequent volunteer placements. The registration fee includes: lifetime LV Alumni Membership, fundraising support & advice, dedicated pre-departure support, certificate of completion (on request), and exclusive access to the LV Trip Planner.
Some things are not included in the program fees listed above, such as flights, visas, vaccinations, travel insurance, additional foods and snacks, spending money, local transport, in-country trips and excursions, return airport transfer (unless mentioned above).
Please note that prices are subject to change without notice. Please ensure you have read the Love Volunteers Terms and Conditions & Refund Policy.