Sri Lanka, the coastal country in South of Asia, is known for its dedication towards Buddhism and the series of palm-fringed beaches. Every year a number of volunteers, on their gap year, choose Sri Lanka for volunteering abroad. Out of the many projects offered in the country, volunteer teaching in Sri Lanka is quite a popular one. While there are several reasons for its popularity amongst overseas volunteers, it does carry a series of extraordinary benefits with it.
One of the key benefits of volunteering abroad, and not just in Sri Lanka, is the work experience that a volunteer gains. Through teaching volunteer program in Sri Lanka, overseas volunteers can attain valuable work experience. This will, not only, help them in escalating their career prospects, but also will help them get through the college of their choice.
With five different projects encompassing different categories, volunteers can get involved in any one or more of the five available volunteering opportunities in Sri Lanka. These include:
This project requires volunteers to assist local teachers and caretakers in a kindergarten. Usual responsibilities include teaching the kids, playing with them, revamping the center, assisting the staff in local administration and enabling the kids to speak English.
An apt project for animal lovers volunteers in this project work with a local mahout community and help them cater to day to day needs of the elephants in the allotted camp. From collecting elephant feed to taking the gentle giants for an early morning and late evening bath, this project offers time out in the wilderness where volunteers get to do things they’d never ordinarily do back home.
An opportunity to make a contribution to the turtle ecosystem of Sri Lanka, this project is especially good for passionate turtle lovers. The work entails protecting the turtle eggs as well as the baby turtles, to subsequently increase their population. This includes preserving the eggs from predators and poachers, providing a safe haven for hatchings to occur, caring for the baby, sick and injured turtles, feeding them daily and releasing the healthy ones into the ocean when ready. Besides volunteering, the monetary contribution made from the volunteering fee helps the administration manage the hatcheries.
A Truly rewarding opportunity volunteers in this project work with young Buddhist monks and help them with conversational English and computer literacy skills. A great opportunity to understand Sri Lankan Buhddism from the little monks and at the same time also make a positive difference in their lives.
For human rights enthusiasts who believe in feminist causes, the women empowerment program is an ideal project to head to. Work entails teaching conversational English to women, lessons on self-agency, employable skills to hone and being more confident in the male-dominated society of Sri Lanka.
The best part about working in Sri Lanka is that it gives the volunteers a glimpse into the lives of locals. Be it interaction during projects or staying in volunteer houses in the vicinity of a local residential area, volunteering with VolSol in the beautiful South Asian country encompasses an opportunity to contrast between its rural and urban life.
VolSol hosts volunteers from Sri Lanka that are from around the globe. And volunteering is certainly a group effort. Even if you are traveling solo to attend the volunteer program in Sri Lanka, rest assure that you will end up making a bunch of lifelong friends by the end of your tenure. There is an entire batch of volunteers, who travel from different corners of the world, working for the same program as you are. You’d be living together, eating together, taking trips together, and, of course, volunteering together.
Followed by a majority of the Sri Lankan people (more than 70%), Theravada Buddhism underlines most of the country’s spirituality. Volunteers who work in Sri Lanka get the once in a lifetime opportunity to explore Buddhism of the country. Be it visiting the temples, conversations with the monks or teaching the young monks, to get live in the Buddhist vicinity will let the volunteers get an up, close and personal view of how Buddhist teachings are intertwined with people’s lives in the region.
Additionally, the city of Galle hosts an interesting blend of different religious beliefs that include Colonial Christianity, Arabian influences, Hindu influences and even Mahayana Buddhism which is a sight to watch. The projects in Sri Lanka are located in Galle and Kegalle, both of which offer glimpses of the different religions.
Colonial rule of the Dutch, Portuguese and British, influences of Theravada Buddhism from India, Indonesian influences, the confluence of Sinhalese and Tamil languages amongst a lot of others, Sri Lanka is like a melting pot of several different cultures and that shows in its people. Plural, diverse and vibrant are the words that best describe the culture of Sri Lanka and make it a worth visit.
Sri Lanka is an island country of the Indian subcontinent and naturally has a wide variety of seafood on offer. Add to that its array of tropical spices and coconut fervor that offer the perfect blend of food to explore. From sour fish curry to coconut relish. Fish ambul thiyal (sour fish curry) Kottu (also, kottu roti) Kukul mas curry (chicken curry) Parippu (daal curry) Lamprais. Hoppers (appa or appam) Polos (green jackfruit curry) Wambatu moju (eggplant/brinjals pickle) are some of the staple culinary delights of Sri Lanka.
Long bereft of being the ‘wanderlust’ destination, Sri Lanka is slowly and steadily getting back on the travel map simply because of its beautiful topography. With more than eight different UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country, the endless beaches with a pristine coastline, the tropical rainforests housing a diverse wildlife that includes the magnificent elephants, the treks and hikes amidst lush green hills, Sri Lanka is a true traveler’s paradise.
Sri Lanka is gradually and steadily picking up pace as a wholesome volunteering travel destination and needs to feature on your bucket sooner than later. Drop our program advisers a mail at [email protected] to find out how you can do that.
A Culture, Gender And Social Enthusiast, Aparna loves being in and exploring diverse and multicultural setups. She finds solace in humor and reading up all kinds of things, including shampoo bottle directions.
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