The Childcare Program
This essential education program supports children in the under resourced, yet fundamental, area of early childhood education in Sri Lanka. This program is available in kindergartens and primary schools the historically significant hillside town of Badulla. Early childhood education is sadly a seemingly forgotten area in Sri Lanka’s education system, lacking direction and guidelines, funding and enough quality teaching staff. This program provides volunteers with the opportunity to share their support, knowledge and skills with those children in need, helping to shape lives and ensure children get the best start. It is essential that volunteers are enthusiastic and flexible as this program needs motivated volunteers who love caring for children and are willing to dedicate themselves to a number of tasks to enable the successful running of the kindergartens.
Goals of this Project:
- Provide education and support to Sri Lankan preschool and primary school children
- Improve the future prospects of the children of Sri Lanka
- Expose non-English speakers to native English speakers in order to improve pronunciation and conversational skills
- Enable inter-cultural exchange which benefits both students and international volunteers alike.
How You Can Help
Volunteers play an integral role in achieving the goals of this project, proving teaching assistance and quality care to help these wonderful children grow and thrive! The kindergarten programs gives volunteers a wonderful opportunity to associate with children from different backgrounds and ethnic communities. Volunteers will support the children in a multitude of ways, including helping by monitoring hygiene and educating the children about personal hygiene, assisting at meal times, cleaning, playing games and developing the children’s physical health through active movement. Please note that the kindergartens and primary schools have holidays during April, August and December. Contact Love Volunteers to find out exact dates if planning to apply during these periods. While it is not a pre-requisite to joining this program, Love Volunteers highly recommend that all teaching and education volunteers complete the 120 hour TEFL course prior to volunteering.
Volunteers will contribute in a number of ways and can expect to undertake the following tasks:
- Arranging games, art, activities and playing with the children
- Helping the students to look after themselves
- Feeding the children and cleaning
- Teaching the students basic English, the alphabet and numeracy
Love Volunteers welcomes all those 18 years and over who wish to assist in the development of Sri Lanka's next generation. While this highly rewarding project does not require participants to have a background in the field of childcare, as there are many ways you can assist, 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. Ideally, volunteers on this project will have at least a basic knowledge of the local language in order to communicate effectively with staff and students, though this is not a pre-requisite. All applicants must of course display 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 year-round with the exception of holidays in April, August and December. Programs start every SATURDAY and volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 1 weeks to 12 weeks. Longer stays can be arranged directly 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.