Volunteers working in this program will work in Kegalle taking care of abandoned elephants as well as getting involved in other community projects in the area
Sri Lanka is a beautiful island on the Indian Ocean and it is one of those countries where Buddhism was spread in the earliest days. The diverse landscapes of the country range from rainforests and arid plains to highlands and sandy beaches, making it one of the most gorgeous Southeast Asian Nations. Explore the beauty of the country, and know more about the lifestyle and culture of the locals while volunteering in Sri Lanka. VolSol offers unique and affordable volunteering projects in Kegalle and Kosgoda.
There are 4 Projects available in Sri Lanka at 3 different locations, which are: Elephant and Community Volunteer Project (Kegalle), Turtle Conservation (Kosgoda), Teaching Program and Disabled Care (Colombo). The minimum duration to be a part of any project is 1 week to a maximum of 18 weeks.
Although there's no fixed time to apply for the projects, we would suggest you to apply as soon as you decide to volunteer. You must apply at least 45 days before traveling abroad to join your project. The procedure to apply is very simple. You simply have to create an account, and then Login to your 'My Account' to update the details as required and pay your Program Fee.
Projects in Sri Lanka are available throughout the year. The minimum duration is 1 Week and the maximum is 18 weeks and participants can choose the duration as per their convenience.
Participants will have to take a flight to Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) in Colombo, which is well connected with all major airports across the globe. The recommended airlines are Srilankan Airlines, Air India, Mihin Lanka, SpiceJet, Emirates.
Once you arrive at the Airport, you shall be greeted by our Local Coordinator, who'll be there to receive you and transfer you to the project location.
All enrolled participants are provided adequate information about Visa for Sri Lanka in the Pre-Departure booklet. You can also get in touch with your pre-departure point of contact to know more about the Visa requirements.
Sri Lanka's position close to the Equator means that temperatures remain fairly constant year-round. The country experiences a tropical climate. The best time to visit the west coast is from December to March, while the best weather on the east coast is from April/May to September. However, since there's the sea, you'll enjoy Sri Lanka at any time of the year!
You can also head towards the hill stations if you wish to feel the chills! For people traveling from North America, Europe or any other colder part of the world, we would suggest you to carry a hat, an umbrella and consume lots of water in order to be healthy during your volunteering trip.
This small island nation is a popular tropical tourist destination that attracts travelers from all over the world. It's absolutely safe for travelers to move from one place to another while in the country. However, it is recommended to consult your in-country coordinators before you step out alone or go to any other locations outside your volunteering destination. We would also suggest you to stay with your group whenever you venture out or stay out late in the night. You’ll be provided with more detailed information during the orientation session.
Before you travel to Sri Lanka, you must consult your physician and take the vaccinations as instructed. We generally suggest our volunteers to take the Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid, Tetanus vaccines. You must also carry your regular medicines along with you, in case you need them.
You need to get a Travel and Medical Insurance before setting out for a volunteering trip. VolSol also provides the insurance facilities, at an additional cost.
Volunteers usually work at the project site on the weekdays (Monday to Friday) for a duration of 5 - 6 hours daily. (This timing may vary, depending on the intensity of work) Volunteers working with kids can make a day-to-day plan and set a goal, that would fetch a more sustainable outcome. Apart from teaching and playing, volunteers often engage themselves in renovating the centers, making them more vibrant and attractive. At the Elephant Project, volunteers will have to help the mahouts in doing the daily chores. You'll have to take the animals out for a walk, clean their shelters, bathe them and feed them as well. At the Turtle Conservation project, participants will have to keep monitoring the eggs, look after the little ones after the eggs hatch and also patrol the beaches at night.
The evenings would be relaxing, and volunteers can head out to explore the local markets, or stay at the accommodation and get to know their peers better.
There's so much to do in Sri Lanka, that the weekend might seem to be too short! Explore the beaches and try out some water sports at affordable costs, if you need some adrenaline kicks! Experience the thrill of wildlife adventure at any of the several national reserves, including, Sinharaja forest reserve, Bundala National park, Minneriya National park, and more. Visit some of the best tourist hotspots in and around Colombo such as Sigiriya, Adam’s Peak, Dambulla Cave temple and Kandy Lake. You can also book for Anuradhapura Tour, Bentota and Beruwala Tour with VolSol, through the 'ADD ON TOURS' in your 'My Account', for an additional cost. Seek guidance from the country coordinator before planning your weekend trips.
The local on-ground team in Sri Lanka comprises of dedicated and highly experienced staff members who are there to provide you with any sort of assistance and support that you might need during your program.
The local staff shall be there to assist you at every step during your program, from arranging your airport pickup, giving you in-country orientation and will offer you full support while you are there at the project site. We'll ensure that you get a good backup support during the program while immersing in the local Thai culture.
VolSol makes sure that all our volunteers in Sri Lanka are provided best of the services to make their volunteering enjoyable and comfortable. We make all the efforts to get the best of lodging, transportation and travel tie-ups possible for you in Sri Lanka.
VolSol makes sure that all our volunteers in Sri Lanka are provided best of the services to make their volunteering enjoyable and comfortable. We make all the efforts to get the best of lodging, transportation and travel tie-ups possible for you in Sri Lanka
As we have limited spots available in our programs and we serve on first come first basis, it is recommended that potential volunteers book their programs well in advance to get confirmed placements. You can book your slot by filling the application form online and pay the application fee of $225. You can pay your program fee later and also, in installments. However, the complete payment should be made 45 days prior to the starting of the program. If you are volunteering in a group, you can also fill a group application form.
After you complete your application, your personalized ‘My Account’ will be activated.You will need to upload your CV/Resume along with your photo in the same. Our backend team and the placement site takes around 10-12 days to review your application. After we review your CV and documents, your booking is confirmed and booking confirmation is updated in your ‘My Account’. Some projects need a mandatory criminal background check and the same is mentioned in the project info of your program. Approval of your application depends on your qualification and eligibility criteria for each project.
Below are the necessary requirements to participate in the Sri Lankan volunteer projects:
The minimum age requirement for the programs in Sri Lanka is 17 years.
Volunteers participating in the Medical Program should be at least 18-year-old.
Volunteers need to have an open mind and flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment. They should bring energy and enthusiasm to make a difference.
The participant must be in good health.
We encourage our participants to volunteer in a group. We take special care in providing you a placement and also customize your itinerary to make sure you get exactly what you are looking for. Also, we can design special group programs for groups of 5 or more. Our programs are designed to be safe, affordable and offer a great group volunteering experience to the volunteers.
In our experience of more than 10+ years, we have enabled and facilitated volunteer program placements for college groups, university groups, high school groups, group of families, group of couples as well as groups of colleagues.
All volunteers need to arrive at Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on the starting date of their project. Volunteers are picked from the airport by the local coordinator or representative and are transferred to their accommodations. Accommodation will be provided in the volunteer house located near your placements.
A short orientation is given after arrival about the city and placements. The volunteers are also taken for a short tour of Colombo before they start with their program. However, the tour depends on the arrival time of your flight.
If you are planning to come for multiple programs in your trip, you will have to pay the application fees just once. Your application fee is valid for a year's time ( from the date of application). You will not have to pay the application fees again if you come within the mentioned time frame.
For our returning volunteers, $50 discount is provided for the application fee for their next VolSol program.
Yes, we will provide you with the Certificate after successful completion of your program. The certificate is provided on request.
Volunteers usually work for 5 to 6 hours a day depending on their program. However, volunteers need to be flexible, open minded and understand that work requirements can alter at times.
Volunteers traveling to Sri Lanka need to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) prior to their arrival or on their arrival in Sri Lanka. You can then obtain a Visa on Arrival in Sri Lanka for 30 days.
Volunteers can apply for ETA online and the approval of the same will be communicated via email.
Volunteers can be provided with the supporting documents if needed. More information will be provided once you enroll for the program.
The Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) in Colombo is well connected with all major airports across the globe and flights are easily available. The recommended airlines are:
There are frequent in-country flights from Colombo to Galle and Kegalle as well.
Sri Lanka is one of the popular tropical destination in Asia and attracts travelers from all around the world. The locals are friendly and helpful as well, however, it is recommended to consult your in-country coordinators before you step out alone or go to any other locations in Sri Lanka. Also, it is recommended to be with your group whenever you venture out or stay out late in the night. It is strongly recommended to follow the safety rules and regulations provided by the in-country coordinator.
We recommend you to consult your physician or travel doctor before traveling to Sri Lanka. However, we recommend you take general vaccinations such as:
Hepatitis A and B
Yes, for all volunteers it is mandatory to have a travel medical insurance. To provide the best option to our participants, we offer comprehensive insurance coverage in collaboration with a leading insurance provider.
Considering the fact that Sri Lanka is a tropical country, the weather is mostly hot and humid. For people traveling from European and North American countries, it might seem to extremely hot during the days and sultry at night. We would advise you to consume a lot of water and protect yourself from the sun in whichever way possible. Carry an umbrella.
You can consult your doctor once, before traveling to Sri Lanka.
Your coordinator will meet you at the airport and will take you to your accommodation and introduce you to our team and other volunteers. You will then be provided with the orientation covering areas like culture, customs, safety, locations, placement, greetings, local transportation etc.
Volunteers are accommodated in the Volunteering house. The house is comfortable and clean and the rooms are provided on the same gender sharing basis. The accommodations are simple and volunteers should not expect the luxury of fancy hotels.
Volunteers involved in the Elephant Camp Project are given accommodation in the vicinity of the project location.
Three meals are provided in a day including both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. The food is tasty, hygienic and nutritious, suitable for all volunteers.
Breakfast usually comprises of Bread, Butter, Jam, Bun or Rolls, Eggs and Fruits like Banana & Pineapple & Tea. The lunch includes Sri Lankan style rice and curry and the dinner includes noodles, spaghetti, pasta, chapati, hoppers or String Hoppers with curry.
If you have special food requirements, please mention the same in your application form.
Depending on your project placement, you will get free evenings and weekends to explore in and around the city. You can utilize the evening time to visit local markets and other places around your project location. Make the most of your weekends by exploring Sri Lanka to the fullest.
We encourage our volunteers to travel. We have designed various weekend tours which can be booked under the ‘Add-on Tours’ section in your ‘My Account’. Your in-country coordinator will also help you book and organize the tours once you are in Sri Lanka.
Places like Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Rumassala Mountain, and Galle fort are major attractions in Galle, and Kegalle is a city of ancient architecture and natural beauty. Volunteers are free to plan quick getaways and explore Sri Lanka during the weekends.You can also relax at the beachside and enjoy the taste of the delicious seafood.
Your program fee covers your accommodation, airport pick-up, orientation, pre-departure booklet, and 24x7 in country staff support. You will need to cover your personal expenses, such as traveling, telephone, the internet, shopping, sightseeing, return airport drop, weekend tours etc. You should carry around $50 - $60 per week for your basic personal expenses, such as water, local transport, phone etc.
You can change money at any bank or at the airport by showing your passport. There are ATMs located all around the city (Galle, Kandy, Ambalangoda and Kegalle) as well.
We encourage volunteers to connect with former Volunteering Solutions participants and also other program participants joining our projects. You are recommended to join the Volunteering Solutions Facebook Page or Facebook Group to connect with other participants and our team.
To read alumni interviews from past participants, visit the Meet a Volunteer section on our website