Home » Volunteer Programs » Real Asia Encounter

START DATES

EVERY MONTH ALL YEAR ROUND

PRICED FROM

1,485 USD + 249 USD REGISTRATION FEE

DURATION

CHOOSE FROM 6-12 WEEKS

MINIMUM AGE

18 YEARS OLD ON START DATE

REAL ASIA ENCOUNTER

PMGY’s Real Asia Encounter takes in Sri Lanka, India and Nepal. We seriously can’t think of a more sublime combination of exotic and fascinating gap year destinations in Asia to volunteer in. An action-packed 6, 9 or 12 weeks lie ahead of you in some of the best places to volunteer abroad!

 

From the steep mountain ranges of the Himalayas that perch in Nepal, to the tranquil and picturesque island of Sri Lanka, not forgetting the global powerhouse enriched in culture India, Asia has it all. Asia’s abundance in physical diversity and variety is one of its standout features. Volunteer in Asia on this once in a lifetime trip and choose the trip duration, volunteer projects and travel experiences that are right for you.

 

ENCOUNTER HIGHLIGHTS

  • VOLUNTEER IN EACH COUNTRY & SUPPORT THE UN’S SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
  • TAKE IN THE BEST OF CENTRAL ASIA IN ONE TRIP
  • EXCITING WEEKEND TRAVEL OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE ACROSS EACH COUNTRY
  • EMBRACE NEW CULTURES, ADVENTURES AND COMMUNITIES WITH NEW FRIENDS
  • VISIT YALA NATIONAL PARK, TAJ MAHAL AND HIMALAYAN MOUNTAINS IN YOUR FREE TIME
  • FULLY STRUCTURED AND INCLUSIVE FROM START TO FINISH

HOW IT WORKS

The Asia Gap Year experience has start dates all year round. Moreover, participants can choose the trip duration that is right for them when completing volunteer work in Asia. There is 6,9 and 12 week gap year in Asia options to choose from on the online application. All programs commence on the first Saturday of each month, but alternate start dates can be considered on request.

 

Should you choose the 6-week option you will spend 2 weeks volunteering in each of Sri Lanka, India and Nepal. In the same vein, should you choose a 9-week Asia Gap Year experience, you will spend 3 weeks volunteering in each destination. Likewise, the 12 week program will see you join us for 4 weeks in each of the three countries.

 

Volunteers will need to plan their flight schedules to match their country-specific trip dates. Therefore, you will need to arrange your inbound flight to arrive in Sri Lanka for the beginning of the Asia Gap Year experience. Your outbound flight will need to depart out of Nepal once your time on the program is completed.

 

In addition, you will need to budget and plan your intermediary flights for your Asia Gap Year experience. More specifically, you will need to book flights from Sri Lanka to India and then India into Nepal matching your specific trip dates. This may sound a little complicated, but rest assured, the PMGY team are on-hand for assistance.

 

Across your Asia Gap Year Experience, you will meet plenty of other travellers and volunteers along the way! The numbers and types of people you will encounter will change as you move from country to country. This will allow you to make many friendships and share experiences with a range of people on your Asia encounter journey!

 

You can choose any of the standard Asia volunteer programs in each country during the online application process. Please note, some volunteer projects may be subject to availability and you should only select one project to each destination. Additionally, there may be an additional cost associated with some projects. Any additional costs will be made clear next to the volunteer project option during the online application. You can explore your volunteer options in each destination below. It will be an unforgettable 6-12 weeks!

🇱🇰 VOLUNTEER IN SRI LANKA (2, 3 OR 4 WEEKS)

Your first stop will be Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka may be small but it has 2,000-plus years of culture! Furthermore, the country is home to 8 (yes 8!) Unesco World Heritage Sites as well as endless beaches and lush rainforests! Embrace everything the country represents with its welcoming people, beautiful beaches and oodles of elephants. Finally, get ready for those taste-buds to be tickled as you enjoy some wonderful food and the infamous Sri Lankan tea. Sri Lanka is spectacular, affordable and still uncrowded so now is the time to go!

 

Your time on this largely undiscovered little island will give you the chance to explore its length and breadth. In addition, you will be able to make a positive impact when volunteering at local projects. PMGY’s development work in Ambalangoda and Wasgamuwa runs throughout the year. There is something for everyone in Sri Lanka. For example, you can teach in our community volunteer project or support on our childcare projects in the afternoons.

 

In contrast, choose your volunteer project to learn about the Sri Lankan mental health system. You can even choose your gap year programs in Sri Lanka to be more physical with renovation, elephants and sea turtle conservation opportunities. Sri Lanka is the only country you can engage in wildlife conservation projects on the Asia Gap Year experience. You will be able to select your volunteer in Sri Lanka project during the online application.

 

🇱🇰 VOLUNTEER PROJECTS IN SRI LANKA

SRI LANKA CHILDCARE

A childcare volunteer in Sri Lanka can make a vital contribution to brighten up the daily lives of children from challenging backgrounds. From supporting educational development and encouraging a positive lifestyle, you can play a key role in making a positive impact on the local community. The projects we work with provide a vital safety net for these children. The more help and encouragement they can get from volunteers, the better and brighter their future.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE CHILDCARE PROGRAM

In Sri Lanka today, care homes are the fate of many children for a multitude of reasons. According to UNICEF, out of over 21,000 children in children’s home’s in Sri Lanka, one or both parents of over 19,000 of them are still alive. Poverty is a root cause with families feeling they cannot afford to adequately provide for the child, to give them the education and start in life they need and deserve.

 

These children may have been abandoned by their parents, abused, lost both parents or not have a family who is able to support them. In addition, there are also a lot of children in care due to the high number of people who seek employment outside of Sri Lanka, especially in the Middle East. As there are not enough jobs available or a sustainable income in Sri Lanka, many parents are forced to find work abroad. In these cases, their child may be temporarily living in care.

 

If you volunteer with children in Sri Lanka, you’ll find it is a highly rewarding experience and one that people from all backgrounds can get involved in. You can support these children’s homes to ensure the kids get a positive start to their education and development. Sharing your time, skills and affection as a childcare volunteer in Sri Lanka will be deeply appreciated by the families affected.

 

CHILDCARE VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

Sun Rise Preschool & Day Care Centre – Each childcare volunteer in Sri Lanka has the opportunity to join this morning project. You’ll be providing much-needed help to the local community and working parents, who otherwise would not be able to afford quality care for their young children. PMGY provides a fully-funded safe environment for children aged 1-4 years old. Subsequently, this allows parents to work and earn an income, generally in local cinnamon or garment factories, in order to provide for their families.

 

Sri Lanka United Nation’s Friendship Organisation – In the afternoons, the volunteers will support the girls’ children’s home, which was established by the UN in 1999. There are around 30 girls at the home, between 4-17 years of age. The children at this facility are full-time residents of the home due to difficult family situations, which may range from neglect to poverty. Please note that generally only female volunteers are permitted to work at the girl’s home.

 

Government Child Development Centre – As a childcare volunteer in Sri Lanka, you may also support the government-funded Child Development Centre, which cares for around 80 boys and girls between 6-18 years of age. While some of the children may have lost both of their parents, others are rescued from broken homes and abusive families. For instance, their parents may have been involved in criminal activities, or many are given up by their families as they simply cannot afford to look after them. For any male volunteers wishing to join our childcare program then this may be where you are located.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL CHILDCARE DAY

Your main role as a childcare volunteer in Sri Lanka is to help encourage and care for these children, providing them with the opportunity to boost their confidence and to help maximise their potential. You will volunteer in Sri Lanka from Monday-Friday. The morning sessions at the preschool run from 9am-11.30am. The afternoon sessions are typically from 3pm-6pm. The placement locations take around 30 minutes to reach by tuk-tuk or private minibus.

 

The first hour or two of your afternoon on the childcare program is allocated for teaching the children English and enhancing educational development. We encourage volunteers to use engaging educational activities to hold the children’s attention, as well as inspire their learning. Be creative, use exciting ways to learn new vocabulary and introduce interesting topics in a fun way. You could use alphabet props in a matching game, create topical posters, or even find items in the garden to create a counting activity.

 

The remaining time on your Sri Lanka volunteer program will be spent inventing outdoor games, designing creative activities and playing sports. The children’s homes have a lot of outdoor space so utilise it! This time can be used to practice conversational English and commands in a more informal manner, as well as boosting confidence and encouraging the children to engage in a positive way. Our local team are on hand to support you with any ideas or activities you wish to perform whilst you volunteer in Sri Lanka.

 

At the preschool, the childcare volunteers will be supporting the preschool with basic education. Working with this age group is not as structured as teaching older children. In other words, their language can be improved simply through play and interaction. As a result, just a few words or phrases will stand them in good stead for learning English in the future. If you volunteer with children in Sri Lanka, you’ll need to prepare activities for this accordingly.

 

Each childcare volunteer in Sri Lanka will be the driving force behind some light housekeeping such as meal preparation and sanitary assistance to the young children at the preschool. In addition, your volunteer work in Sri Lanka will involve helping out at mealtimes, as well as organising free-time activities and games for the preschool children.

 

A rotation between the projects can be organised when you volunteer in Sri Lanka. For instance, if volunteers would like the opportunity to partake in both morning and afternoon programs then the local team can help to arrange this.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER WORKING WITH CHILDREN IN SRI LANKA

Top PMGY Destination – Sri Lanka is widely considered to be the best PMGY volunteer destination due to the superior local support, value for money and overall experience on offer in Ambalangoda. The local Sri Lankan team really go above-and-beyond to ensure each volunteer has the best possible experience and this is reflected in volunteer feedback. As a result, we believe this is the perfect destination for a first-time traveller who is looking for a little extra support, plenty of organised weekend trips and wants to get involved in some fantastic local initiatives in an exotic location.

 

Project Flexibility – As this volunteer project only runs during the morning period in Sri Lanka, there is an opportunity to get involved in the childcare or teaching projects in the afternoon. We do require a minimum commitment of 1 week on each project and you can make these arrangements once you are in Sri Lanka. There are no additional costs and we would always welcome any additional support across the community-based projects.

 

Resources – On the childcare project in Sri Lanka, resources can be very limited. Volunteers are recommended to bring materials to the project each day to maximise their productivity and day to day involvement. It is therefore important for volunteers to prepare well in advance to get the most out of their childcare volunteering experience in Sri Lanka.

 

Weekends – Your project work in Sri Lanka runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Sri Lanka Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Sri Lanka. We offer the Adventure Hill & Country Trip, the Cultural Triangle & Elephants Trip along with the Maldives Chill Out Trip with opportunities running every month.

SRI LANKA ELEPHANT CONSERVATION

Join us as an elephant volunteer in Sri Lanka to play a key role in education, research and conservation of Asian elephants. Based in the central province, the Wasgamuwa region and National Park is famous for hosting a large number of wild elephant herds. Volunteers will engage in a wide range of research and conservation to see how these elephants live and move in their natural habitat. Help provide solutions and education to the conflicts that exist between the elephant population and multiple villages located within the area.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE ELEPHANT PROGRAM

Over the past 50 years, the elephant population in Sri Lanka has reduced substantially. Firstly, not only are there persisting issues of keeping captive elephants, elephant riding and labour, but nearly 5,000 elephant deaths in this period are believed to be a direct result of the conflict that exists between humans and elephants. In the present day, human-elephant conflict is said to be responsible for around 250 elephant deaths and 80 human deaths annually in Sri Lanka.

 

So what is human-elephant conflict? The simplest explanation would be the elephant and human populations not getting along. One of the main reasons is the competition for land. On one side of the coin, it is humans encroaching onto the territory of elephants and habitats shrinking daily. On the other hand, rising populations and urbanisation challenges see elephants having nowhere else to go and end up in fields searching for food. This is much to the dismay of many poor farmers who haven’t changed their daily lives and routines for generations. However, they see their crops, villages and ultimately livelihoods being destroyed.

 

To expand on this, the destruction of forests through logging, encroachment and shifting cultivation are some examples of major threats to the survival of elephants. Conflicts occur when elephants raid crops of subsistence farmers, which are scattered over a large area fragmenting elephant habitat. Devastation and destruction in human settlements is another major area of human-elephant conflict occurring in small forest pockets, encroachments into elephant habitat, and on elephant migration routes. Subsequently, thousands of homes are destroyed by elephants and millions of dollars worth of crop damage arise, wrecking livelihoods and incomes of rural farming communities.

 

ELEPHANT VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT

Wasgamuwa is the core base of your work as an elephant volunteer in Sri Lanka, representing an area where human-elephant conflict is the highest prevalent issue and concern. Wasgamuwa National Park is adjacent to the villages and forest reserves where most of the volunteer work is conducted. Moreover, this is the only national park in the whole of the central province where you will encounter these gentle giants in their natural habitats. Established originally by a team of biologists in 1995, the wildlife volunteer program aimed to distinguish root causes to the conflict, as well as work with the local people to educate and establish mitigation systems. It was vital that these measures protect the villagers’ livelihoods, as well as help minimize elephant casualties. Meanwhile, allowing wild elephants to live in their natural habitat.

 

As an elephant volunteer in Sri Lanka, you will be working directly with 12 of the villages based in the Wasgamuwa area where human-elephant conflict is an ongoing issue. Your role on this wildlife volunteering abroad program will be aiding the research and conservation techniques to halt the decline of this wonderful endangered species. This includes monitoring elephant behaviour and movements. Meanwhile, your role is in tandem with helping the communities and villages learn to live side by side with these amazing creatures.

 

Working alongside local biologists, research assistants and conservationists to help conduct research, you will get involved in a number of activities as an elephant volunteer in Sri Lanka. You’ll be focusing in the fields of conservation and research on this wildlife volunteer program, all with the ultimate aim of reducing human-elephant conflict and promoting sustainable land-use practices.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL WORK DAY

Based in the wild Wasgamuwa region, each elephant volunteer in Sri Lanka will be working in one of the most spectacular and tranquil places across the globe. Your day will be split into morning and afternoon activities, often working in subgroups depending on how many people volunteer in Sri Lanka. Usually, you’ll be up early to start after breakfast around 8:30am, breaking for lunch and finishing around 6pm from Monday-Friday. You will get around the project by jeep from the accommodation into the heart of the reserve and jungle. Journey times will usually be up to 45 minutes. The schedule is designed around the activity patterns of elephants.

 

Consequently, this ensures conservation techniques and research can be maximised and your role is varied and meaningful. The timings of each activity are set in a routine to minimise the impacts on the daily cycle of an elephant. There are two main goals of the project; reducing the human-elephant conflict to protect elephants and help the local community as well as protecting elephants through applied conservation methods. Here are a variety of tasks that you will get involved with to achieve these goals:

 

Reducing Human-Elephant Conflict

 

Throughout your time as an elephant volunteer in Sri Lanka, you will work closely with the local villages to help them live compatibly with elephants. The main goal is to naturally decrease the conflict and repercussions that follow between humans and elephants. Your role in this includes:

 

Observing Interactions – Most importantly, between wild elephants and also human-elephant interactions.

 

Conducting Human-Elephant Conflict Surveys – An elephant volunteer in Sri Lanka will visit village homes that had been raided by elephants to collect information about the conflict.

 

Monitoring Electric Fences – These fences were erected to stop elephants from raiding village homes. Walking the length of solar-powered electric fences erected to protect villages and their fields, identifying the need for maintenance and repair along the way.

 

Meeting with Community Leaders – Monitoring human-elephant conflict resolution projects and to understand the cultural perceptions and attitudes of local people.

 

Riding the Elefriendly Community Bus – You can travel on the bus early in the morning when school children are transported to school and home through the elephant corridor. The bus was established in 2016 and educates the children on living alongside the elephants. The maintenance of the bus and its operation is fully funded directly through the elephant volunteer in Sri Lanka project. Before the bus, many children would not go to school or turn back home should they encounter an elephant while walking to school.

 

Promoting Project Orange Campaigns – Research by the team has found elephants dislike citrus. As an elephant volunteer in Sri Lanka, your role is working alongside the team to educate and promote citrus-based crops as natural deterrents and to provide farmers with an alternative income in the village communities of Wasgamuwa. Consequently, this will protect and conserve their crops, property and livelihoods. At the same time, it provides them with a sustainable additional income. Help farmers to take care of their orange groves, check for diseases and pests, dig holes to plant new orange plants. During the fruiting season, help count fruits, harvest and sort them for sale. The Sri Lanka elephant volunteer program will provide transport costs for the farmers to take them to the markets for sale with the long-term aim to get into supply with Sri Lanka’s largest supermarket supply chain.

 

Protecting Elephants Through Conservation Techniques

 

An elephant volunteer in Sri Lanka will monitor elephants closely in order to help develop strategies to conserve and protect the local wildlife. Here you will use an array of field methods, conduct observations and help to implement conservation measures:

 

Monitoring Tracks – Setting up sand traps across the jungle and elephant corridors to study tracks, building research, analysing findings and understanding the diversity that exists in the forest. This will require physical energy as you will dig up and rake fresh new 2 x 2-metre sand traps each week to check for new footprints. Expect to find more wildlife prints than just elephants as you look for signs of leopard, sloth bears, wild buffalos and of course elephant activity.

 

Setting up Camera Traps – As an elephant volunteer in Sri Lanka, you may be responsible for setting these up in hotspot locations across the forest. You’ll be replacing these each week with new SD cards. After a busy morning in the depths of the Sri Lankan forest, it’s time to return to the office to download data from the SD cards you collected and check the computer for what the camera traps have picked up in the last week. Be ready to make conclusions on the findings as you learn what different wildlife exists in the forests, what times of day elephants and other wildlife pass through the corridor and more.

 

Gaining GPS Experience – You’ll be polishing off your navigation skills on the Sri Lanka elephant volunteer program. For instance, in the use of GPS across your time in the forest.

 

Observing Movements – During the afternoons you might be located high up in the jungle treetop in tree huts. These are along the elephant corridor, which is the traditional popular route elephants use to move between the forest reserve and national park. Here you will observe passing elephants, collate data on their movements, behaviours and other variables.

 

Gathering Data – For example, on elephant foraging transects, plants elephants eat and their impact on various habitats and plant species.

 

Inspecting Elephant Dung – Taking measurements to assess the size and sex of elephants. After that, analysing the dung to find out what the elephants have been eating, any foreign objects inside and their movement patterns. An elephant volunteer in Sri Lanka can also learn about the elephant’s sex and age through the size of the dung!

 

Trekking Through Dense Jungles and Wetlands – As you walk along typical elephant trails to record findings, you’ll assess any seasonal variations in behaviours, habitat preferences and better understand elephants that live outside the national park.

 

Updating Records – You will get to spend a session at the Weheragala Tank looking for Sri Lankan elephants to observe and photograph for ID purposes. You will also have to fill in an elephant identification datasheet to build up a catalogue of elephant numbers, movement behaviours and any individually defining physical features.

 

Whatever the activity, being an elephant volunteer in Sri Lanka will incorporate you being based in the heart of their natural habitat as you trek through the jungles, wetlands and mountains of Wasgamuwa along the way. In your free time enjoy the incredible views offered by the volunteer accommodation, overlooking a large central reservoir surrounded by the Knuckles Mountain Range.

 

Each volunteer in Sri Lanka will receive an orientation session before heading into the field to better understand their role, impact and history of the Sri Lanka volunteer program. If you truly want to make a difference to wildlife conservation efforts by working closely with local communities, then volunteering in Sri Lanka with elephants is the project for you.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER VOLUNTEERING WITH ELEPHANTS IN SRI LANKA

Strictly Hands-Off – Please be aware the elephant conservation volunteer work in Sri Lanka is strictly hands-off. Volunteer work with elephants in Sri Lanka will involve no physical interaction with animals. This project is designed to observe elephants in their natural habitat rather than offering a human interaction experience

 

Rural Location – Please note that our Sri Lanka elephant volunteer program is based in a rural area, which is more remote than our other projects where you can volunteer in Sri Lanka.

 

Combining Projects – It is possible to join another Sri Lanka volunteer program on the south coast at the beginning of your trip, before your volunteer work with elephants in Sri Lanka. Please speak to a member of our team to discuss your options.

 

Weekends – Your project work in Sri Lanka runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Sri Lanka Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend.

SRI LANKA ENGLISH TEACHING

You can volunteer teaching English in Sri Lanka to dramatically boost future opportunities available for young people. Having the ability to speak English is a valuable tool, especially for career prospects and achieving future goals. Above all, conversing with fluent English speakers can encourage students to develop this essential language skill. If you are enthusiastic and have lots of positive energy then this is the project for you!

 

BACKGROUND TO THE TEACHING PROGRAM

Sri Lanka’s education system is pretty impressive for a developing country of its size. Universal public education is available from the age of 6 to the age of 18. However, many government schools, particularly in rural areas, receive minimal government funding. Especially considering the size of the communities they are expected to serve. The facilities at the schools are very basic. In particular, the classrooms get extremely cramped as average class sizes are around 40 to 60 children.

 

The ability to speak English is becoming of growing importance in Sri Lanka. The two main sources of income in Sri Lanka are from tourism and migrant workers going to the Middle East. Both occupations require the ability to speak English – the world’s global language. However, the level of English teaching in government schools is limited. Class sizes are large and the teachers’ English speaking skills are by no means perfect. It is only the middle and upper-class children who can afford private English lessons.

 

The children attend local government schools during the mornings but often can’t afford the tuition needed to excel beyond the basics. In Sri Lanka, these additional tuition classes are key to excelling at school. In other words, the government education system is too basic to be able to provide enough time and provisions for students. Certainly, there is not enough time allocated to learn English. The teachers will have basic English themselves, often using “parrot style learning”. For instance, students only learn to repeat from a textbook, rather than understanding words in context. However, tuition classes involve a weekly fee that many of these families cannot afford.

 

Therefore it is no surprise that children from most low-income families speak little or no English. Our aim on the English teaching program is to give the poorer children of Ambalangoda the same opportunities as their more wealthy peers. As a result, they too will have the chance to develop their ability to speak English and enhance their future career prospects.

 

TEACHING VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

A volunteer teaching English in Sri Lanka will be based at one of the locations where we provide free English lessons. Most importantly, you’ll be helping in one of the local Tsunami village communities, on our own after-school education program. In addition, you have the amazing opportunity to teach English in Sri Lanka to young Buddhist monks.

 

Community Village School Projects – These English teaching projects provide an after-school education program, initiated and ran by PMGY since 2013. This is the main project for a volunteer teaching English in Sri Lanka. We work in a number of villages across the Ambalangoda district, often with fishing communities who were displaced by the Tsunami.

 

These families were relocated further inland by the government following the natural disaster in 2004. At this time, education was not seen as essential and survival was the main priority. Each volunteer teaching English in Sri Lanka can help to provide free language lessons and education opportunities for children typically from lower-income families.

 

Our aim is to further their English language development by providing these free after-school English lessons in the afternoons. These projects will take place in a makeshift classroom or community centre within the village. One of the projects is even based at a teachers house, where the volunteers will teach in her front garden.

 

On the English teaching program, each class is divided based on the student’s level of English. Class sizes usually vary from 4-15 children per class. You could be teaching students from 6-18 years old, depending on the current project need and availability. A local team member will be on hand to help when you volunteer in Sri Lanka.

 

Temple Schools – Every volunteer teaching English in Sri Lanka will also have the option to enrol in our Temple School project. This may be joined in addition to the standard afternoon community village school project.

 

The temple schools run in the morning, where you will teach English to novice Buddhist monks. Many of the Buddhist monks speak very little English and the temple schools often welcome poor children from the community to come and learn English too. There tend to be around 5-10 students in each class, generally between 6-18 years of age.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL TEACHING DAY

Your main role as a volunteer teaching English in Sri Lanka is to share your time, knowledge and skills to teach English to the local communities in Ambalangoda, boosting their confidence in conversational English and helping to maximise their potential.

 

The after-school education Sri Lanka volunteer program is available from 3pm-6pm each afternoon from Monday-Friday. Usually, you’ll get there by tuk-tuk or minibus, which takes around 10 minutes.

 

The first two hours are spent teaching English and the last hour is allocated for games and activities. We encourage volunteers to make lessons as engaging and interactive as possible by being creative and proactive when preparing lessons. Use fun educational games like interactive word searches or Hangman, or a bit of class competition in Hot Seat or team quizzes. Games, songs, art, sport and music are all great tools.

 

The presence of international volunteers gives the children an insight into different cultures; a global perspective they greatly benefit from. Use your creativity and knowledge to help these eager young minds reach their true potential.

 

Each volunteer teaching English in Sri Lanka will lead their own classes and have the freedom to create a lesson plan of their choice. There may be a topic or curriculum materials that you can follow if you need some inspiration. Your volunteer work in Sri Lanka may be in pairs or small groups per class, however, this is dependent on the current need and the number of volunteers at the time. We usually run three to six classes in each community, but again this will be dependent on the number of volunteers.

 

There will be a local coordinator at the project each day who is on hand to support volunteers with their efforts and can help with overcoming the language barrier. Please note the local staff will not be leading the class. It is also important not to constantly rely on the coordinators for translation when you are teaching English in Sri Lanka.

 

At the temple schools the classes run in the morning, usually at 8:30am-10am from Monday-Friday. The tuk-tuk journey takes about 5 minutes. The topics and activities here can be very similar to the after-school education program, with a focus on learning in a calm environment (minus any shouting or active games). In return for your contribution to the temple, you will find the monks are often keen to invite you to learn more about their religion and way of life.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER TEACHING CHILDREN IN SRI LANKA

Top PMGY Destination – Sri Lanka is widely considered to be the best PMGY volunteer destination due to the superior local support, value for money and overall experience on offer in Ambalangoda. The local Sri Lankan team really go above-and-beyond to ensure each volunteer has the best possible experience and this is reflected in volunteer feedback. As a result, we believe this is the perfect destination for a first-time traveller who is looking for a little extra support, plenty of organised weekend trips and wants to get involved in some fantastic local initiatives in an exotic location.

 

Experience – For the English teaching program, teaching experience is not essential as the mere presence of a native English speaker is invaluable. As long as you are creative, determined and resourceful you can have a constructive impact on the development of the children’s education.

 

TEFL Course – We encourage volunteers to prepare as much as possible for their English teaching program overseas. You can make the most out of your time by completing our convenient, inexpensive and international accredited 60 hour Online TEFL Course. The cost of this course is only 120 USD.

 

Resources – On the teach English in Sri Lanka project, resources can be very limited. Volunteers are recommended to bring materials to the project each day to maximise their productivity and day to day involvement. It is therefore important for volunteers to prepare well in advance to get the most out of their teaching English project experience.

 

Weekends – Your project work in Sri Lanka runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Sri Lanka Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Sri Lanka. We offer the Adventure Hill & Country Trip, the Cultural Triangle & Elephants Trip along with the Maldives Chill Out Trip with opportunities running every month.

SRI LANKA MEDICAL

As a medical volunteer in Sri Lanka you can gain valuable medical experience in a new culture, an opportunity not to be missed in this gorgeous part of the world! If you are looking for a learning experience or would like to pursue a career in the medical field, then this program is the ideal way to give you an insight into the Sri Lankan healthcare system.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE MEDICAL PROGRAM

The history of the Sri Lankan medicine system dates back thousands of years, with a rich history stemming from their extensive kingdoms. It is believed that the concept of hospitals around the world was actually introduced by the Sinhalese, thanks to their royalty. Kings were not only demanding to have their own hospital homes built but they were often practitioners of medicine themselves.

 

In addition, the ancient practice of Ayurveda is also deeply rooted in the Sri Lankan medical system. Known as one of the oldest healing sciences around the world, Ayurveda translates from Sanskrit as “The Science of Life”. Ayurvedic medicine originated in India over 3,000 years ago, focusing on the concept of balance in one’s life. This can be linked to mental health issues, diet, lifestyle, healthcare and more.

 

Using holistic and natural health practices, Ayurveda emphasises prevention and balance in order to attain balance within your physical, emotional and mental states. Ayurvedic system government hospitals and teachings are also widespread across Sri Lanka. Moreover, many citizens will choose to follow Ayurvedic medicine practices for certain illnesses or accidents and western medicine for others.

 

The healthcare system in Sri Lanka is universal to all local citizens, offering both traditional Ayurvedic and modern healthcare for free across government hospitals. Nowadays most hospitals in Sri Lanka do follow a more “western medicine” approach, using procedures and medications that are seen worldwide. Certainly, as a medical volunteer in Sri Lanka, it may be perceived as very basic and outdated in some ways. On the other hand, there is a higher life expectancy and lower infant death rate than neighbouring countries in the region. Even so, there are often long waiting lists with a limitation of capacity, staff and resources. As a result, the number of private hospitals has risen to offer private healthcare services.

 

Working in a hospital as a medical volunteer in Sri Lanka is a great opportunity to get close up clinical exposure and learn about health care systems in developing countries. You will witness a variety of cases, which offers a fantastic contrast to what you might find in your local hospital! PMGY’s medical volunteer program is a learning experience available for both medical students and school leavers looking to pursue a career in medicine. Join as a medical volunteer in Sri Lanka for the perfect way to gain invaluable hospital work experience whilst exploring the wonders that this amazing island has to offer.

 

MEDICAL VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

Your placement timetable on the medical volunteer program will depend on your current status of study. Those who are studying a health-related degree at university will be placed at a government hospital. High school leavers and applicants not from a health-related background will be placed at a private hospital.

 

Roseth Private Hospital – You might volunteer in Sri Lanka within a small private hospital in Ambalangoda. The private hospital provides a structured observational and informative approach to give participants a broad insight into a medical facility in Sri Lanka. The following departments are available in the private hospital: Physiotherapy, Dental Surgery, Radiology (x-ray machine and computerised radiology), Laboratory, Phlebotomy, In-Patient Ward, Out-Patient Ward

 

Balapitiya Government Base Hospital – PMGY partner with a government hospital located only a 15 minute journey from Ambalangoda. It is a medium-sized hospital with over 500 stations. There are 20 doctors and 2 surgeons at the hospital. We can place participants at the following departments in the government hospital: Out-Patient Unit, Emergency Treatment Room, General Medicine, Obstetrics, Gynaecology, Antenatal, Postnatal, Labour Room, Paediatrics

 

Please note that the government hospital will not permit applicants who are not studying medicine, nursing or healthcare at university. Unfortunately, there are no exceptions to this rule. You will need to bring a supporting letter or document when you volunteer in Sri Lanka as evidence that you are a medical/healthcare university student. After that, you will be granted permission to be placed at the government hospital during your time on the Sri Lanka volunteer program.

 

Polwatta Village Hospital – As a medical volunteer in Sri Lanka, you may also be able to get involved at a local blood pressure clinic. This is based at a smaller village government hospital, whereby service users come weekly to get free blood pressure checks.

 

Sri Lankan Ayurvedic Medicine – Every medical volunteer in Sri Lanka will have the opportunity to participate in an Ayurveda medicine lecture, regardless of whether you are placed at the private or government hospital. A local Ayurvedic specialist will teach you all about the history of Ayurveda, its role within healthcare in Sri Lanka and how it is implemented to treat a variety of cases.

 

Ayurvedic concepts about health and disease promote the use of herbal compounds, special diets, and other unique natural health practices. The earliest references of Ayurvedic medicine in Sri Lanka are associated with a great physician; Ravana, a king of Sri Lanka dating back to prehistoric times.

 

Balapitiya Community Eye Clinic – We are delighted to share that through our medical program and renovation volunteers, our Sri Lanka team have funded the creation and development of a community eye clinic within the local government hospital. Previously, people in the community would have to travel long journeys outside of Ambalangoda to receive free eye treatment and eye tests. Now through developing this eye clinic, the hospital can provide free, easily accessible eye care services to the local community.

 

Whilst no project work is directly affiliated with the eye clinic, as a volunteer in Sri Lanka you can get a chance to observe the daily processes here. Subsequently, you can get a feel for the positive impact its creation has brought Ambalangoda.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL WORK DAY

Your main role is to learn and experience the Sri Lankan healthcare system, procedures and culture, observing how this may differ to the experience you have at home. In addition, you may encounter different scenarios as a medical volunteer in Sri Lanka, such as dengue fever, snake bites and motorcycle accidents.

 

The medical project takes place for around 3 hours a day from Monday-Friday between 9am-12pm, depending on the current opportunities available. For instance, each medical volunteer in Sri Lanka may have the chance to stay longer if there is a major surgery or labour whilst you are allocated to that ward. The option is available to join the project in the afternoon. However, please note the doctors will only be present in the wards during the morning. The hospitals are 5-15 minutes away by tuk-tuk.

 

Private Hospital – Your time will be allocated across the hospital departments at the private hospital. Our team will do our best to match any specific requirements you have, but this cannot always be guaranteed depending on the circumstances.

 

Your role is purely observational as a medical volunteer in Sri Lanka, so you should not expect any hands-on involvement. Depending on your interests, you will be placed within different departments and you will be attached to an English-speaking member of staff. Please note there may still be a communication barrier and the staff will do their best to translate when they can.

 

As the role is purely observational, we recommend that applicants sign up for no more than 2 weeks as a medical volunteer in Sri Lanka. In our experience, whilst you will gain invaluable medical insight and knowledge at the private hospital, after a while, most people are eager for some hands-on volunteer work in Sri Lanka. Whilst PMGY cannot offer you hands-on work as a medical volunteer in Sri Lanka, we can welcome you on to our community projects teaching English in the Tsunami villages.

 

Our local team will go through the options with you during your in-country orientation. You can join one of these projects in the afternoon and attend the private hospital in the morning – it is completely up to you. Furthermore, if you’d like to join us for longer than 2 weeks, it is absolutely fine for you to sign up for 2 weeks as a medical volunteer in Sri Lanka and then go on to do another project for the remainder of your stay. If this is something you’d like to do then please drop us an email to discuss the idea in more detail pre-departure.

 

Government Base Hospital – You can choose to spend your time across several departments or just a few. Our team will do our best to match any specific requirements you have, but this cannot always be guaranteed depending on the circumstances, We would recommend a mixed timetable in order to experience the different hospital settings.

 

Whilst you will be assigned a member of staff within the department to mentor each medical volunteer in Sri Lanka, it is important to understand that the local staff are extremely busy. Therefore, you should be proactive, ask questions and be assertive in requesting additional guidance should you require it. Please note there may still be a communication barrier and the staff will do their best to translate when they can.

 

Your role as a medical volunteer in Sri Lanka at the government hospital is largely observational. Whilst this cannot be guaranteed, you may be assigned some very basic hands-on involvement such as taking blood pressure and blood sugars etc. This is all undertaken under the supervision of the medical professionals, and such permission is at the sole discretion of the staff.

 

Government Village Hospital – During your time with us on the Sri Lanka volunteer program, volunteers will usually get the chance to support at our village clinic campaign helping the local doctor by checking blood pressure and blood sugar levels of the people of Ambalangoda.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER AS A MEDICAL VOLUNTEER IN SRI LANKA

Top PMGY Destination – Sri Lanka is widely considered to be the best PMGY volunteer destination due to the superior local support, value for money and overall experience on offer in Ambalangoda. The local Sri Lankan team really go above-and-beyond to ensure each volunteer has the best possible experience and this is reflected in volunteer feedback. As a result, we believe this is the perfect destination for a first-time traveller who is looking for a little extra support, plenty of organised weekend trips and wants to get involved in some fantastic local initiatives in an exotic location.

 

Project Flexibility – As this volunteer project only runs during the morning period in Sri Lanka, there is an opportunity to get involved in the childcare or teaching projects in the afternoon. We do require a minimum commitment of 1 week on each project and you can make these arrangements once you are in Sri Lanka. There are no additional costs and we would always welcome any additional support across the community-based projects.

 

Hands-On Involvement – Your level of involvement at the medical volunteer projects is dictated by a range of factors. First of all your medical experience, but also the duration of program and willingness to get involved. The medical staff are accountable for you whilst you’re under their supervision. Ultimately, it is completely up to them if you are permitted and want to get involved in hands-on procedures.

 

Previous PMGY medical volunteer in Sri Lanka participants have been given the chance to administer IV injections, dress wounds etc. However, please note we can never guarantee or promote hands-on involvement regardless of medical experience or background.

 

Generally speaking those with little or no medical experience assume a largely observational role. If you are studying a medically related degree, then you should have more opportunity to undertake some more basic hands-on involvement. However, to reiterate we can never guarantee or endorse hands-on experience should you choose to get hands-on. Such a decision ultimately lies with the medical staff.

 

Trained Professionals – Please note this program is not suitable for trained professionals who are looking to practise overseas. This opportunity is only suitable for students or people looking to go into the medical or nursing field and wish to learn about a healthcare system overseas.

 

Unforseen Circumstances – As Sri Lanka is a developing country their healthcare facilities reflect this. Participants on the medical program are advised to note that from time to time unexpected factors outside of PMGY’s control can limit project and schedule availability. This can be commonly associated with the hospital setting of the placement where doctors can strike at late notice or the consultants can be absent from the hospital when expected with no advanced notice. In such situations, PMGY will do their best to arrange alternative volunteer work in Sri Lanka, though this will likely be outside of the hospital setting for that day and might be another form of the community programs we operate.

 

Weekends – Your project work in Sri Lanka runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Sri Lanka Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Sri Lanka. We offer the Adventure Hill & Country Trip, the Cultural Triangle & Elephants Trip along with the Maldives Chill Out Trip with opportunities running every month.

SRI LANKA MENTAL HEALTH

As a mental health volunteer in Sri Lanka, you can gain psychology work experience and learn about mental health in the developing world. This program is designed for those currently studying in the field of psychology or mental health. Meanwhile, providing an opportunity to gain insight and awareness within a range of settings in the healthcare system. The mental health needs of Sri Lanka have continued to increase in recent decades. However, mental health services have struggled to respond to such developments.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAM

Sri Lanka’s suicide rates are amongst the highest globally, according to the World Health Organisation, and mental health needs in Sri Lanka today are soaring. It is estimated that in tsunami-affected areas 40% of people suffer from common mental disorders and there is a 3% prevalence of severe mental disorders.

 

In more recent times, the country as a whole is moving away from this traditional cultural stigma. This had always been attached to mental health in Sri Lanka, particularly stemming from the Buddhist beliefs of reincarnation. Integrating mental health into the primary care of Sri Lanka’s public health system and private sector still remains challenging. However, more recently there has been encouraging signs that right tracks are being made to do this.

 

Such progressions originated in the late 1970s with the emergence of a Non-Government Organisation – ‘The National Council for Mental Health’. Consequently, Medical Officers of Mental Health (MOMHs) were introduced, with the aspiration of having a MOMH in each of Sri Lanka’s 276 subdistricts – at a ratio of one MOMH per 70,000 population.

 

However, such a ratio led to its own constraints. MOMHs often suffer from excessive workloads, with too many patients to see or not enough valuable time spent with each patient in the clinic. Shortage of essential medicines in both clinics and inpatient units is also a problem. Plus, a lack of community based psychiatric treatment settings.

 

Systematic training programs have been introduced to help support mental health officers. This includes a process for them to then pass on such training they receive downwards to the medical staff in their district. Their training includes multiple discussion sessions and role-plays that facilitate active learning and practising core competencies. For example, they will have assessments about the severity of depression/suicide and explanations of medication side effects to facilitate adherence.

 

In line with this, emerging mental health issues are now being ingrained, accepted and made accessible to the general population as part of Sri Lanka primary healthcare, both in government and private hospitals. For instance, the healthcare system now provides for coping with trauma and stress-related problems and understanding the mental health problems of those physically ill. Rehabilitation for people with prolonged mental illnesses is becoming more important, as well as raising awareness through community mental health education problems. Our mental health & psychology program provides participants with the opportunity to gain a broad overview, understanding and insight into mental health care and needs within a different culture.

 

The Sri Lanka volunteer program is based mainly in the Galle District. This was one of the worst affected regions from the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami and to this day today has left a lasting impact both physically and mentally on Sri Lankan people.

 

MENTAL HEALTH VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

The mental health & psychology program aims to provide you with an opportunity to work within a range of settings in a new environment and culture:

 

Balapitiya Government Base Hospital – As a mental health volunteer in Sri Lanka, you will spend time shadowing and observing mental health doctors in a hospital setting. This will be during consultation periods with in-ward and out-ward patients at government hospital clinics. You may encounter various forms of mental health disorders and conditions.

 

Each mental health volunteer in Sri Lanka will usually spend time across two hospitals where the mental health consultant sets up their out-patient clinics. This is usually the local Balapatiya Government Hospital near Ambalangoda, plus another Galle District Hospital.

 

When in the hospital setting, the doctor will aim to translate and explain as much as possible to participants whilst the consultation with the patient is taking place. They will speak good English so should be able to debrief and receive questions from you accordingly. It is important for participants to be flexible in the environment they are in and appreciate that a doctor’s schedule is busy. Therefore, the doctor may not be able to translate and explain to you each patient consultation.

 

National Institute of Mental Health – In addition, participants will usually get the chance to spend time at the National Institute of Mental Health. This is the largest hospital for mental health in Sri Lanka.

 

Here participants receive a presentation around mental health in Sri Lanka and get a tour of all the in-patient services. For instance, you’ll learn about the psychogeriatric, ECT and isolation units and how they administer therapies, drugs and injections. There is also a range of out-patient services that you will be able to visit as a mental health volunteer in Sri Lanka, such as day rehabilitation centres.

 

Generally speaking, the first line of treatment for mental health patients in services remains to be medication. It is a lot more available and accessible than other therapeutic medications such as creative therapies and meditations. As a consequence, in reality, these alternatives treatments are often not widely received by those with mental health needs.

 

National Council for Mental Health – Part of your placement will be at the National Council for Mental Health. This serves as a “half-way home” treatment centre to integrate those with mental illness back into society. Each mental health volunteer in Sri Lanka will be able to partake and observe their daily schedule of activities or consultations, depending on the available timetable.

 

Located close to Colombo, this is a weekly placement that is one of the highlights of the mental health experience. The NCMH is very much a forward-thinking framework, which is all about rehabilitation for the patients and providing a wide range of occupational therapies. Moreover, the long term goal us for patients at the home to return back into mainstream society without relapsing. The setting is mostly home to adults and has a team of nurses to support the day to day running and support at the halfway home.

 

Each volunteer in Sri Lanka will get a chance to interact with those based at the home, so you can ask them questions and learn about their experiences. In addition, you can provide hands-on support with occupational therapy, such as creative arts and learning, as well as structured daily exercise classes to encourage positive wellbeing.

 

Participants will also get the chance to have one on one time with the director at the NCMH. You can ask questions and learn more from the experts around mental health in Sri Lanka, as well as the stigmas attached.

 

Community Setting – Participants will spend time at the heart of community projects, providing care and attention for mentally disabled children in a government school or NGO.

 

Each mental health volunteer in Sri Lanka will be expected to be dynamic and creative when preparing engaging activities and games. For instance, arts, crafts, drawing and painting. These can be used as a fun mechanism to help support creative therapy amongst children who have mental health disabilities. The children may range from small groups of around 5-10 to groups of up to around 30-40 children.

 

Participants are advised to note that around the holiday times of April, August and December availability at the community placement setting may be limited or unavailable.

 

Lectures, Seminars & Workshops – You will also get the opportunity to take part in a series of workshops relating to mental health in Sri Lanka.

 

Firstly, you will learn about Ayurveda, which is an ancient medicine system rooted in the Indian subcontinent. Ayurveda consists of concepts and practices that promote the use of herbal compounds, special diets, and other unique natural health practices. The seminar will explain a different dynamic and perspective onto how patients are treated with regard to mental health and the traditional Sri Lankan medical system.

 

Every mental health volunteer in Sri Lanka will also be welcome to a lecture from a Buddhist monk. Here you will explore how Buddhists and Sri Lankan people are dealing with mental health problems. In addition, you may learn how core values, practices and beliefs are helping with this, such as meditation.

 

On an ad hoc basis, you may also be invited to attend additional mental health events and workshops. It is usually quite rare that these opportunities become available, but if they do our local team are on hand to provide such opportunities for you.

 

We are able to support students who would like to join our mental health & psychology program as part of an elective or university placement. Please contact a member of our team to discuss this in detail.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL WORK DAY

Your main role as a mental health volunteer in Sri Lanka is to learn and experience their mental health system, procedures and culture. Subsequently, you will be observing how this may differ to the experience you have at home. The project timetable will vary each day, including a range of activities and placement settings, combining consultation observations, lectures, meditations and local community project work.

 

At the start of your mental health experience, every volunteer in Sri Lanka will receive a workbook. This can be completed each day as you go through your psychology project journey. There will be questions to test your knowledge on each different section of the mental health experience, encouraging proactive learning and engagement across your placement.

 

Placement Timetable – As a mental health volunteer in Sri Lanka, your schedule and timings will vary each day. Usually, you will be at your placement for 2-5 hours per day from Monday-Friday, ranging between 8am-6pm. Depending on the placement, you may travel by tuk-tuk or private car. Journey times will range from 5 minutes to the local schools and hospitals to possibly an hour for the institutions in Colombo.

It is advised to note that the mental health & psychology program is always changing and this is just a sample schedule. Therefore, it is likely to run differently when you volunteer in Sri Lanka.

 

The schedule usually includes one placement per day. Participants may be split into teams for an equal chance to experience and participate in a range of volunteer work in Sri Lanka. In particular, this is relevant when there are higher numbers.

 

The day by day breakdowns here are examples of typical morning and afternoon activities:

 

Monday – Galle District Hospital & Lectures & Seminars
Tuesday – Community Setting & Galle District Hospital
Wednesday – National Council for Mental Health & Community Setting
Thursday – National Institute of Mental Health & Galle District Hospital
Friday – Community Setting & Galle District Hospital

 

As Sri Lanka is a developing country their psychiatric facilities reflect this. Participants on the mental health & psychology program are advised to note that the project and schedule availability may be limited from time to time. This is due to unexpected factors outside of PMGY’s control. For instance, it is commonly associated with the hospital setting of the placement where doctors can strike at late notice. In addition, the consultants can be absent from the hospital when expected with no advanced notice.

 

In such situations, PMGY will do their best to arrange alternative project work for each mental health volunteer in Sri Lanka. However, this will likely be outside of the hospital setting for that day and maybe at another form of community program we operate.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER AS A MENTAL HEALTH VOLUNTEER IN SRI LANKA

Top PMGY Destination – Sri Lanka is widely considered to be the best PMGY volunteer destination due to the superior local support, value for money and overall experience on offer in Ambalangoda. The local Sri Lankan team really go above-and-beyond to ensure each volunteer has the best possible experience and this is reflected in volunteer feedback. As a result, we believe this is the perfect destination for a first-time traveller who is looking for a little extra support, plenty of organised weekend trips and wants to get involved in some fantastic local initiatives in an exotic location.

 

University Students Only – Please note the mental health & psychology program in Sri Lanka is only available to those already studying a psychology/mental health-related degree at university and is not be available to those with no exposure or studying at levels beneath this (e.g. A-Levels). The project is available to graduates, but as this is a learning and insight experience graduates may not find this suitable to what they would be looking for from the placement.

 

Project Duration – We recommend four weeks on the program to gain experience and get a broad insight into your mental health placements. This should allow you to experience most of the placement settings described above within the mental health & psychology program.

 

Hands-On Involvement – As a mental health volunteer in Sri Lanka, your level of involvement at the project is dictated by a range of factors. First of all your medical experience (if any), duration of your program and willingness to get involved. The medical staff are accountable for you whilst you’re under their supervision, so it is completely up to them if you are permitted and want to get involved in hands-on procedures.

 

Generally speaking those with little or no medical experience assume a largely observational role. If you are studying a mental health-related degree, then you may have more opportunity to undertake some more basic hands-on involvement. However, to reiterate we can never guarantee or endorse hands-on experience should you choose to get hands-on, as the decision ultimately lies with the medical staff and their patients.

 

Trained Professionals – Please note this program is not suitable for trained professionals who are looking to practise overseas. This opportunity is only suitable for students looking to go into the mental health or psychology field and wish to learn about a healthcare system overseas.

 

Weekends – Your project work in Sri Lanka runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Sri Lanka Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Sri Lanka. We offer the Adventure Hill & Country Trip, the Cultural Triangle & Elephants Trip along with the Maldives Chill Out Trip with opportunities running every month.

SRI LANKA RENOVATION & COMMUNITY WORK

You can join our Sri Lanka renovation volunteers to make a positive impact in the local community of Ambalangoda. This is a great opportunity to help out whilst immersing yourself in the local culture. From Buddhist temples, government hospitals and primary schools, you can assist the local community with renovation in a number of different settings.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE RENOVATION PROGRAM

Our Sri Lanka renovation volunteers can be based at a wide range of community facilities in and around Ambalangoda. You could be helping out at schools, government hospitals, children’s homes or Buddhist temples. These institutions often struggle to find the funding and manpower to undertake important development work.

 

Even for government schools and hospitals, most of the allocated budget it stretched for the basic necessities. Resources such as books, medication and health supplies are often understocked, as well as being understaffed. As a result, renovation work is a very low priority and often overlooked in these establishments.

 

Meanwhile, Buddhism is the most practised religion in Sri Lanka, with over 70% of the population following this ancient philosophy. With a deep history preserved by Sinhalese kings, this religion retains its importance to the country, promoting Buddhist education and learning to this day. In each town and village, there is a Buddhist temple for followers to worship Lord Buddha and learn about his teachings. These temples require a lot of maintenance and upkeep from the local community.

 

Therefore, our Sri Lanka renovation volunteers offer a helping hand whilst also learning about their fascinating culture. With your help, we can continue to support Ambalangoda’s community projects and you can do your bit to leave a lasting impression!

 

Volunteers don’t need to have any previous construction or renovation experience, just bags of energy and the willingness to help. Your Sri Lanka volunteer program will mainly be during the morning, so you will have the opportunity to teach English and support in our afternoon childcare program if you wish.

 

VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

Balapitiya Primary School – At one of the village schools within Ambalangoda, the Sri Lanka renovation volunteers have created a new playground area for the children. This included renovating an entire area of abandoned land. After clearing the debris and weeds, they assisted with digging the base and creating the infrastructure for the new playground. This included replacing the broken, rusty equipment for new swings, slides and climbing frame.

 

The volunteers made the playground fun, safe and exciting, with colourful paintings and enough space for all the children to play. Next to the playground, a vegetable patch was planted to teach the students about the different plants and how to take care of them. This brought an educational and sustainable aspect to the new area. The children and staff have loved their new addition to the school, bringing a brighter and safer playtime to their day!

 

The Sri Lanka renovation volunteers have also helped re-plastering and re-painting the old, crumbling classrooms in the school. As a result, the students have a better environment to work and study. The volunteers have relieved this task from the staff and teachers, who can now focus their time and limited budget on teaching and essential resources for the school.

 

Balapitiya Hospital Eye Clinic – Through our medical program and Sri Lanka renovation volunteers, the team have funded a new community eye clinic within the local government hospital.

 

Previously, people in the community would have to travel long journeys outside of Ambalangoda to receive free eye treatment and eye tests. Through building this eye clinic, the hospital can now provide free, easily accessible eye care services to the local community.

 

Buddhist Temples – Our Sri Lanka renovation volunteers regularly support three Buddhist temples in the local area with much-needed renovation and maintenance work. You may be helping to construct offering tables, where worshippers will offer flowers, incense or oil lamps to Lord Buddha. This acts as a symbol of their gratitude, virtue and inspiration, deepening one’s commitment to the philosophy of Buddhism.

 

It is of the deepest importance to Buddhists to keep the temple areas clean and respected, with constant upkeep and maintenance. When you volunteer in Sri Lanka, you will notice that you must remove your shoes when you enter the temple area, even outside. In addition, Buddhists will also always ensure that they are freshly bathed to enter the temples, often wearing white. These are signs of respect and tradition for their beliefs and the monks who reside there.

 

Sri Lanka renovation volunteers have helped to redecorate an entire temple within a small local village, in preparation for a special full moon celebration. The local community were extremely grateful for their contribution, which they also believe brings merit to your “karma”.

 

During their volunteer work in Sri Lanka, the renovation volunteers were able to see everyday life in the temple. In particular, the intriguing life of a Buddhist monk. The monks will often share their stories and philosophies with you, as well as introducing you to the exotic fruits they grow in the temple gardens!

 

Sun Rise Preschool & Day Care Centre – Our renovation volunteers have also helped to create the preschool at our childcare project. This day centre now provides a fun and educational space for the younger children who don’t have access to school to learn at the children’s home.

 

The volunteers have provided much-needed help to the local community and working parents, who otherwise would not be able to afford quality care for their young children. Subsequently, this allows parents to work and earn an income, generally in local cinnamon or garment factories, in order to provide for their families.

 

Our PMGY Sri Lanka renovation volunteers supported local builders with the main construction, as well as digging pits for the plumbing. After that, they painted all the classroom walls with inspiring artwork, bright colours and educational alphabets to aid their learning. This preschool is now in full swing, with thanks to the help of our renovation and childcare volunteers.

 

Polwatta Village Hospital – At this local village hospital, the Sri Lanka renovation volunteers have helped to spruce up the aged hospital wards. As you can imagine, funding is low and will be directed towards medicines and equipment for the hospital, which has very basic facilities and limited resources.

 

Each renovation volunteer in Sri Lanka helped to scrub, clean and brighten the wards, creating a more pleasant environment for the patients and staff. As a result, the newly painted walls and clean areas boosted the hospital atmosphere. The in-patient wards are very basic and cramped. Therefore people from all over the hospital were intrigued and thankful for the international volunteers who gave their time to improve the living and working conditions in this village hospital.

 

YOUR ROLE & TYPICAL VOLUNTEER DAY

Our PMGY Sri Lanka renovation volunteers are usually placed at local establishments that have expressed a great need for volunteers and request help in renovation or restoration work. Your project runs from Monday-Friday, usually starting from 9am-12pm. Your placement will probably be a 5-10 minute tuk-tuk journey away, depending on the current project and location.

 

Each renovation volunteer in Sri Lanka will spend their mornings helping out with the required tasks for your designated project. For example, you may be busy mixing paint, digging holes, assisting builders, scrubbing walls, moving blocks, decorating a room, whatever is required for your local community. In the afternoons, you’ll have the chance to help out at one of our community volunteer projects teaching English in Sri Lanka.

 

A coordinator will be at hand to help you with your tasks. Make the most of your placement location too. For instance, learn about the Buddhist culture from the monks living at the temple, teach the children English songs during your breaks at the school, or learn more about the Sri Lankan healthcare system at the hospital.

 

All Sri Lanka renovation volunteers are welcome to join us as an individual or a larger group. If you sign up as an individual then we are only able to organise renovation work for you. This usually involves stripping walls, plastering, painting and light building activities. However, bigger construction and renovation projects can be arranged for group applications of 6 or more people.

 

In short, the size of the project is really dependent on the duration that volunteers stay as well as the number of volunteers on the renovation and community project at the time. The need in the community is our main focus. This is a great project for those looking to get a bit more hands-on. By the end of your time with us, you’ll be able to see exactly what you’ve contributed towards. Your placement is likely to be outside, make sure to bring plenty of suncream, a water bottle, and old clothes too!

 

Working outside with your fellow volunteers in the gorgeous sunshine whilst making a tangible impact on the local community – sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER VOLUNTEERING IN SRI LANKA

Top PMGY Destination – Sri Lanka is widely considered to be the best PMGY volunteer destination due to the superior local support, value for money and overall experience on offer in Ambalangoda. The local Sri Lankan team really go above-and-beyond to ensure each volunteer has the best possible experience and this is reflected in volunteer feedback. As a result, we believe this is the perfect destination for a first-time traveller who is looking for a little extra support, plenty of organised weekend trips and wants to get involved in some fantastic local initiatives in an exotic location.

 

Project Flexibility – As this volunteer project only runs during the morning period in Sri Lanka, there is an opportunity to get involved in the childcare or teaching projects in the afternoon. We do require a minimum commitment of 1 week on each project and you can make these arrangements once you are in Sri Lanka. There is no additional costs and we would always welcome any additional support across the community programs.

 

Project Donation – All participants in this project will need to make a donation whilst they volunteer in Sri Lanka, which goes towards the costs for materials and skilled labour that are required to support the initiative. The donation each volunteer on the program must contribute is 50 GBP per person or the local currency equivalent. Our local team will collect this from you during the orientation and you may assist them in purchasing the relevant materials for the project work. Remaining donations will go towards larger renovation projects that our project supports.

 

Weekends – Your project work in Sri Lanka runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Sri Lanka Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Sri Lanka. We offer the Adventure Hill & Country Trip, the Cultural Triangle & Elephants Trip along with the Maldives Chill Out Trip with opportunities running every month.

SRI LANKA TURTLE CONSERVATION

You can protect and rehabilitate sea turtles whilst also helping at community development projects as a Sri Lanka turtle conservation volunteer. Many species of turtles are under threat and at risk of becoming endangered, hence there is a great need for wildlife conservation efforts. Raise awareness of plastic pollution, care for injured and disable turtles and release freshly hatched babies back into the wild, safe from natural risks and local poachers.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE TURTLE CONSERVATION PROGRAM

In Sri Lanka, there are five species of turtles that are commonly encountered. These are the Green Turtle, Hawksbill, Loggerhead, Olive Ridley and Leatherback. The Green turtle is the most common turtle species and will likely be the one you come across the most if you volunteer in Sri Lanka. The Loggerhead turtle is the rarest and thus hardest to spot in Sri Lanka. They are more commonly found on the East Coast of America.

 

The Hawksbill (renowned for its beautiful shell), Olive Ridley (smallest of the sea turtles) and Leatherback (largest of the 5 species) are harder to spot for different reasons. Sadly they are critically endangered and sit on the brink of extinction. This is mainly because they have been heavily hunted and fell victim to other human activity as well.

 

For instance, fishing is one of the major industries in Ambalangoda. The location of the volunteer work in Sri Lanka is very close to the local fisheries port. Sea turtles are often found in fishing nets and many have lost limbs, becoming disabled and are no longer able to survive in the wild. Many of these disabled turtles are found by local fishermen who bring them to the project site for rehabilitation and care.

 

Most importantly, each environmental choice we make every day as a human has an impact upon all marine life. Millions of microplastics, straws and bottles are found in the sea and beaches across the globe. Plastic pollution is becoming a huge problem worldwide and our Sri Lanka turtle conservation volunteers aim to fight the battle against this environmental catastrophe.

 

Volunteering with turtles in Sri Lanka on our wildlife conservation program is an incredible opportunity to do your bit to care for these incredible creatures, whilst spending time in a country that will amaze you on so many levels.

 

TURTLE CONSERVATION VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

Ambalangoda Turtle Conservation Sanctuary – Each Sri Lanka turtle conservation volunteer will be based at a turtle sanctuary in Ambalangoda. Here, the Sri Lanka volunteer program aims to provide daily care and rehabilitation for the disabled turtles. They have a long term goal to release the healthy turtles back to the wild, as well as protecting turtle eggs that have been stolen by local poachers.

 

Beginning from the orientation, volunteers will learn a great deal about turtle conservation. For instance, how to nest eggs, identify different kinds of turtles, how eggs hatch, how to treat turtles, the differences between the species, how to send turtles back into the sea and so much more. In short, this is a project where you will learn a lot and be able to make a tangible difference with your time.

 

Beach Cleans – As female turtles will only lay their eggs on beaches that are safe environments to them, it is crucial the area is maintained in order to encourage them to nest. Consequently, every Sri Lanka turtle conservation volunteer will get involved in cleaning the local beaches for litter and dangerous debris.

 

Climate change, waste and plastic pollution is increasing at an alarming rate across the world and we want to continue raising awareness and promote conservation through our wildlife volunteer program.

 

Turtle Hatchery & Baby Turtle Release – Volunteers will help to nest, monitor and care for turtle eggs that have been brought to the turtle hatchery. Usually, these are removed from an unsafe area where they may be at risk from human activity. This often includes outside tourist hotels but also if they can be stolen by local poachers.

 

Across Asia, there is an ancient myth that eating turtle eggs and meat will increase your life span. As a result, turtle eggs are sold illegally on the black market. The hatchery provides a safe environment for the turtles to be nested and monitored for conservation. They follow the National Wildlife Department guidelines and release the babies back into the wild with the help each Sri Lanka turtle conservation volunteer.

 

Community Conservation Awareness – You can lead sea turtle conservation sessions at the community village school projects, as part of the English teaching program. Increase awareness in the next generation by educating them about the issues and solutions surrounding turtle conservation and plastic pollution.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL WORK DAY

Every PMGY Sri Lanka turtle conservation volunteer will spend their days next to the beach caring for the sea turtles that have been rescued and are now living in the project site. Your project will run from Monday-Friday between 9am-12pm. You will get your project usually by tuk-tuk, which takes about 10 minutes. Your typical duties as a volunteer in Sri Lanka will include:

 

• Preparing fresh food and assisting feeding on a daily basis
• Cleaning within the project premises and nearby beach area
• Taking care of the nesting area
• Cleaning and refilling the turtle tanks
• Assisting with medication
• Cleaning the turtles’ shells
• Counting and burying turtle eggs safely
• Designing education boards around the sanctuary
• Painting and drawing for information and animal welfare education
• Releasing hatched baby turtles into the sea

 

Each Sri Lanka turtle conservation volunteer will join with the local staff at the project to get to grips with the daily tasks and what is expected of them. This will include tasks as part of a team as well as individual roles. In addition, our local team regularly arrange a day for the volunteers to engage in a mass beach clean across the Ambalangoda area.

 

You can do your bit to help tackle the global issue of plastic pollution by cleaning the beaches where many turtles lay eggs in the south. Although this may be one of the more mundane aspects of the program, its importance cannot be underestimated. The volunteer’s efforts are recognised positively by the Wildlife Department. It is not uncommon that after one beach clean we have collected up to 20 bags of litter!

 

As a Sri Lanka turtle conservation volunteer, may also wish to get involved with community awareness education. The purpose of these sessions is to educate young Sri Lankans in the local communities about the importance of protecting these endangered species.

 

From factual presentations on sea turtles to information on what the community can do to aid conservation, we aim to introduce the concept of conservation on a community level and so bring about long term change. Please note these sessions run on an ad hoc basis. If it is something you are interested in then please speak with our local team, who can help to make the appropriate arrangements.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER VOLUNTEERING WITH TURTLES IN SRI LANKA

Project Flexibility – As this volunteer project only runs during the morning period in Sri Lanka, there is an opportunity to get involved in the childcare or teaching projects in the afternoon. We do require a minimum commitment of 1 week on each project and you can make these arrangements once you are in Sri Lanka. There are no additional costs and we would always welcome any additional support across the community-based projects.

 

Weekends – Your project work in Sri Lanka runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Sri Lanka Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Sri Lanka. We offer the Adventure Hill & Country Trip, the Cultural Triangle & Elephants Trip along with the Maldives Chill Out Trip with opportunities running every month.

🇮🇳 VOLUNTEER IN INDIA (2, 3 OR 4 WEEKS)

Your second stop is India. Architectural splendours, chaotic street life, tranquil havens and culture shocks are all guaranteed during your time in India. Consequently, there will be lots for you to experience in this vast, endlessly diverse and hugely inspiring country. India’s Golden Triangle comprises the three most visited cities in the country’s north-west – Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. All of these three bustling cities are accessible from our project location.

 

Jaipur, the capital of the largely desert state of Rajasthan, is home to the iconic Amber Fort. In addition, it boasts some of Asia’s best bazaars. You could spend weeks in Delhi and not see it all! The sprawling, fascinating Indian capital has so much to offer! Agra, once the heart of the Moghul empire, boasts the unparalleled beauty of the Taj Mahal.

 

Your volunteering choices are very varied. Contribute to the lives of children with learning difficulties. On the other hand, you can choose to teach English to help children reach their full potential. In the same vein, you can choose to gain practical medical experience and insight on elective programs. Finally, during your gap year travel in India, choose your volunteer project to engage in the lives of underprivileged children in children’s homes. You will be able to select your volunteer in India project during the online application.

 

🇮🇳 VOLUNTEER PROJECTS IN INDIA

INDIA CHILDCARE

As a childcare volunteer in India, you will brighten the days of young ones, making an important contribution to their lives. As a volunteer with children in India, you will act as role models to underprivileged individuals. Our volunteers coordinate fun activities and assist with tasks such as homework, to make a positive impact on local Indian communities. Above all as a volunteer with children in India, you will be assisting with the general childcare and daily activities at the volunteer placement.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE CHILDCARE PROGRAM

Similar to other developing countries, across India, hundreds of thousands of children find themselves with insufficient levels of care. Over 5% of all children in India are without any form of support from a parent or guardian – approximately 20 million of India’s population. Not all of these children have physically lost both of their parents. However, many of them are sadly abandoned, with poverty a leading factor of this. Across India, many parents simply do not have the income or resources to provide care for their children. Consequently, many of these children find themselves in the undeveloped childcare system with nowhere else to turn. Typically, this system lacks the funding, resources and manpower to take proper care of these children.

 

Volunteers with children in India with PMGY work to support children centres in the Faridabad community. Not only do volunteers provide a friendly face to brighten up a child’s day, but they work hard to support and lead activities, making days at the centres fun and productive. Volunteers with children in India are required to have masses of energy, enthusiasm and creativity to ensure that contributions to the project can be as successful as possible. Volunteering with children is a highly rewarding experience and one that people from all backgrounds can get involved in.

 

Each day as a volunteer with children in India is different and you will get out of the project what you put in. It is a good idea to join the project well prepared with lots of ideas of activities so that you can get stuck in as soon as possible. As a childcare volunteer in India, you have the opportunity to think and act creatively. As a consequence, they make a positive impact on the lives of young ones within the local community.

 

CHILDCARE VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

Alice In Wonderland – PMGY fund and support a children’s home for 7-10 children aged from 6 to 17 years old. The home is located next to the main Volunteer House, so the children receive regular support from our volunteers. There is a house father who manages the home on a day-to-day basis. However, volunteers play an important role in looking after the children in their free time. This ranges from helping them with their homework to playing games. The local team frequently arrange activities for the children to engage in, from kickboxing to yoga. Childcare volunteers on this program in India will accompany the children. Not only do volunteers provide encouragement to the children, but they provide a helping hand as they develop new skills.

 

Lakshya Kadam – Set up in 2004, Lakshya Kadam is a youth home. The home is operated by once run-away street children, working with children rescued from Delhi Railway Station. Although PMGY does not directly run this home, our childcare volunteers make regular visits. Our international volunteers both support and complement the services mediated by the local staff.

 

Lakshya Kadam is a self-funded project in India. The home employs local people from the community to make handmade crafts from newspaper and fabric bags. The income generated through this allows the children to have an education, with all children, enrolled at a local Convent School. The overall aim is to give the children the best opportunities in life. This helps prevent them from becoming involved in negative activities, such as drugs or theft.

 

Volunteers with children in India will go to project in the late afternoon. Here, during this volunteer work in India, you will help the children with their homework. As a children volunteer in India, you will also have the chance to lead activities, play games and dance!

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL CHILDCARE DAY

As a childcare volunteer in India, you will coordinate activities and provide care, attention and support for underprivileged children. As the children attend school in the morning, your help is needed in the afternoon. There, the volunteer project runs in the afternoons for between 2-3 hours, Monday to Friday. Typical hours at the volunteer program are between 3-6pm. However, this may vary depending on the needs of the project at the time.

 

The role of a childcare volunteer in India can vary. Some days, you may work hard to assist the children with homework or a school project. Other days, you may be responsible for arranging activities, providing the children with some relief after a busy day at school! Childcare volunteers in India must, therefore, be proactive in their role. This means that they must identify the needs of the children each day and coordinate activities accordingly. With any challenge will come reward, meaning that volunteers in India can expect to find their time both rewarding and fun!

 

As a volunteer overseas with children in India, you are welcome to join one of our morning projects for additional volunteer work. Alternatively, a childcare volunteer in India is welcome to use their mornings to lesson plan or explore Delhi and surrounding areas.

 

PMGY’s India volunteer program has its own private transport network that will transfer you to and from the projects every day. You will travel to and from the project by either tuk-tuk or minivan. This service is included in your Program Fee.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER WORKING WITH CHILDREN IN INDIA

Alternative Opportunities – On the India childcare project, participant roles mainly involve the organisation and coordination of activities with the children. For individuals looking for a more challenging experience, PMGY recommend joining one of our other childcare volunteer programs. PMGY recommend our volunteer in Cambodia childcare program offers participants with a more defined and structured role.

 

Project Flexibility – For the majority of the year, childcare volunteers in India will only be able to participate in the late afternoons. This will be after the children have returned from school and had an opportunity to rest. We, therefore, encourage participants to become involved in other PMGY India volunteering experiences during the mornings, such as the teaching English program. This is a great opportunity to spend your mornings doing something really productive and impactful before heading to support at the children’s homes in the afternoons. These arrangements can be discussed in-country.

 

Please note that there may be instances where this opportunity is not possible, or volunteer project options are limited. This could otherwise lead to overcrowding at the project and thus limited project work opportunity. Therefore, such flexibility is not always possible. Priority will always be given to those signed up to that specific community-based programs originally.

 

Resources – On the childcare project in India, resources can be very limited. Volunteers are recommended to bring materials to the project each day to maximise their productivity and day to day involvement. It is therefore important for childcare volunteers in India to prepare well in advance to get the most out of their childcare volunteering experience in India.

 

Weekends – Your project work in India runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our India Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for India. We offer the Dharamshala Trip along with the Golden Triangle Trip.

INDIA DISABLED CHILDREN

As an India disabled children volunteer, you will help care for children with special needs. As a volunteer with disabled children in India, you will assist local staff in essential education and support sessions. On this volunteer community work, you will brighten the days of young ones, making a vital and important contribution to their lives.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE DISABLED PROGRAM

Traditionally, people with disabilities in India have had vastly reduced opportunities in life. Many attitudes towards disability have been influenced by the concept of Karma. Unfortunately, it is frequently perceived that disability is a punishment for actions in their past life. In recent years, India’s Government has changed policies and laws which now enable young people with disabilities to receive an education. However, conflicting goals and a lack of clarity still affect disabled young people’s experiences and outcomes of education.

 

People with disabilities face many barriers within and outside the Indian school system. Lack of awareness and limited access to resources has left many disabled people in India without the care many desperately need. According to the India office of the World Bank, Indian children with disabilities are 5.5 times more likely to not be enrolled at school compared to abled-children. Those who do attend school rarely progress beyond the primary school level. Currently, 52% of adults with disabilities are illiterate, compared to 35% amongst the general Indian population. In India, 74% of people with physical impairments are unemployed.

 

Our volunteers with disabled children in India work hard to provide support for centres across Faridabad. Volunteers in India on this program support local staff to complement and further enhance opportunities of children with special needs. The role of a volunteer with disabled children in India is varied and rewarding. Whilst also challenging, volunteering on this project offers volunteers the chance to showcase their skills to support others in need.

 

VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLE

KRC for Special Children – This centre was founded some years ago by a physiotherapist. The project aims to provide children with disabilities the care and attention they deserve. The overall goal is to provide children with the skills and rehabilitation for the greatest chance of independence. Staff at the centre have worked with local people and children with conditions that include Down Syndrome and Infantile hemiplegia.

 

There are local staff at the volunteer project, but most of the additional support is provided by PMGY volunteer with disabled children in India participants. Daily activities often include storytelling, physical exercise, basic life skill lessons, singing songs and games. You may even get involved in some English language teaching. It is hoped that through these activities, the children will also interact with each other. This, in turn, helps to promote social skills that the children may not otherwise have the opportunity to develop extensively. Volunteers with relevant experience may be able to assist with physiotherapy and speech therapy sessions. Such interaction will be under the guidance of the local staff. Volunteers will usually take along toys and educational aids each day to the community centre project.

 

When participants arrive on the volunteer program, they take over the room with their energy, stimulating and supporting children. The project is very hands-on. Volunteers will have important roles in teaching English and feeding, as well as assisting in activities that focus on motor skills.

 

Although the project can be challenging, feedback from participants suggests the project is one of the most rewarding volunteer opportunities. The bonds international volunteers build with the children at the project are very unique and special to each participant. As funding and volunteer support increases, we can continue to maximise our support to communities and the centre.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL VOLUNTEER DAY

Working with special needs children in India, you will provide valuable daily hands-on care and attention for children who need it most. Typically, there will be no strict itinerary or activities that must occur on a day-to-day basis. Volunteers with disabled children in India can expect to get involved in a range of different roles during their time. This means that a volunteer with disabled children in India must be proactive in their role.

 

As a volunteer with disabled children in India, a large amount of patience, energy and enthusiasm is required. Each day will be different, and a strict structure cannot be expected. With each day will come with different activities, challenges and perhaps even a different set of students! As a volunteer with disabled children in India, tasks may include teaching basic English, introducing activities to promote fine motor skills, and assistance with both meal and assembly times.

 

In general, volunteer work in India is Monday to Friday. You will usually spend 3-4 hours at the India volunteer program each day, usually, from 9am-12:30pm. If not within walking distance, you with travel to and from the project by either tuk-tuk or minivan. The cost of this is included in your Program Fee.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER VOLUNTEERING IN INDIA

Your Approach & Project Structure – Please note that this project relies on the proactivity of PMGY volunteers. Each individual child offers a unique set of characteristics and behaviours. It is, therefore, an important task for a participant to explore these and tailor tasks and activities towards these.

 

Although our local team/staff will be at hand at the project, you will not always be working as a group. During your time on the project, most of your time will be spent working with children individually or in small groups.

 

The structure across the classes can be limited. As mentioned, this is because of the varying needs across the children. Together, this naturally can be very challenging. However, this is found to equally be one of our most rewarding volunteering opportunities in India.

 

Naturally, this project can be quite challenging to structure and plan for. Volunteers are encouraged to be good time managers, adaptable, resilient, creative and able to maintain a positive attitude. This is because many of the children and young adults lack the ability to speak or communicate functionally. Additionally, individuals may find it difficult to follow instructions. This means that interaction and engagement for volunteers can require a lot of patience, time and effort. Language barriers can add an additional hurdle into the mix. Regardless of this, as you persevere, you will begin to see what a truly inspirational experience you are a part of. Although not always visually recognised, your efforts will be met with appreciation and warmth by all staff, local coordinators and children. Any small differences you can make, even just the care and attention you can give will go a very long way.

 

Project Flexibility – There may be an opportunity as a volunteer in India to get involved with other India volunteer programs. However, there may be instances where this would lead to overcrowding on these volunteering experiences, and thus limited project work opportunity. Therefore, such flexibility on a volunteer trip to India is not always possible. Priority will always be given to those signed up to that specific program in India.

 

Weekends – Your project work in India runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our India Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for India. We offer the Dharamshala Trip along with the Golden Triangle Trip.

INDIA ENGLISH TEACHING

As a volunteer teaching English in India, you will encourage students to develop skills, helping to achieve future goals. Conversing with fluent, native English speakers greatly improves student’s language skills, essential for future employment. This project provides the perfect opportunity for India English teaching volunteers to put leadership skills into practice and make a profound positive impact within poor communities in India.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE TEACHING PROGRAM

India has made some rapid economic advancement in recent years. Despite this, around 28% of the Indian population lives below the poverty line. The disparity of wealth in India is plain to see. It can be shocking to witness the extreme differences in living conditions. However, unfortunately, the slums are a regrettable fact of life in India.

 

Indian culture places a major emphasis on education, but unfortunately, the education system in India is still a work in progress. For one thing, class sizes go far beyond suitable capacities. Additionally, schools are highly understaffed. PMGY, therefore, supports two schools located within Faridabad’s largest slum community. Our team provides free education, school supplies and uniforms to local children. This aims to encourage parents to let their children go to school. Without this, they may be forced to wander the streets, begging and collecting rubbish to earn money.

 

The children at the schools range from 3-16. The schools we support are located within the slum areas, making facilities are extremely basic with cramped conditions. However, you will find the spirit of the children and their passion to learn a real joy to behold. English teacher volunteers provide invaluable support to the limited local staff. In particular, the presence of a fluent English speaker brings a major boost to the children’s educational development.

 

When there are a higher number of volunteers teaching English in India, we may also be able to support more slum communities or disadvantaged areas with English classes. Consequently, as a volunteer organisation, this helps us to further community development.

 

TEACHING VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

Eco Slum School – Based in the heart of Faridabad’s largest local slum community, this is our main English language teaching volunteer project. The children are aged between 3-15, although the average age is between 7-10. The school was set up by our team in 2010. The aim is to provide children from underprivileged backgrounds the opportunity to receive free basic primary education.

 

Volunteers are encouraged to teach English in India, as well as some Maths. However, volunteers teaching English in India are welcome to discuss other ideas with their project coordinator. In addition to teaching, volunteers are expected to carry out the assembly daily, which consist largely of nursery rhymes and dancing. The majority of volunteers teaching English in India will spend their time working with this school. However, this cannot always be guaranteed.

 

Eco-School is also the hub for several other initiatives within the slum community. Here, our local team have also set up medical clinics and a woman empowerment program, with the aim to increase opportunities and the provision of health care within the community. Volunteers teaching English in India may have the opportunity to engage in or learn about these projects during their time on the India volunteer program.

 

Nehru School – The Nehru School is a high school, based in a neighbouring local community to that of the Eco-School. Unlike the Eco Slum School, students here are required to pay a fee to receive an education. Several students who have previously attended the Eco-School have received sponsorship to attend here. In 2019 alone, 15 children have been sponsored to receive education at Nehru School. This funding has largely been generated by volunteers.

 

This is an additional project which some teaching volunteers choose to support, and here lessons can be operated more formally. The children are a little older here and usually aged between 10-12 years of age. Volunteers are actively encouraged to lead lessons and teach more advanced English and Maths to the students. There may also be the opportunity for volunteers to get involved in other areas such as assemblies, sports and drawing/painting.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL TEACHING DAY

As a volunteer overseas teaching in India, you will teach English and Maths lessons to one or more classes in an underprivileged school. India English teaching volunteers are also welcome to lead other subjects such as Science and Geography.

 

If you’ve never taught before then there is no need to worry! To be successful in teaching English in India, you just need to be energetic, creative, patient and proactive. Should volunteers require it, our local coordinators can guide you as to how to prepare lessons and what to teach. However, volunteers are required to be proactive in establishing the levels and educational needs of the class.

 

The volunteer project runs in the mornings for between 3-4 hours, Monday to Friday. Typical hours at the volunteer program are between 9am-12:30pm. However, this may vary depending on the needs of the school at the time. We highly recommend that volunteers use time outside of the project to prepare lessons in advance. If you are new to teaching, your confidence will grow massively once you have taught a couple of classes! Additionally, the more time spent planning, the easier classes will be to run.

 

You will usually spend your first few days working with children alongside a local teacher or another volunteer. After this, due to staff shortages, it is appreciated if volunteers can lead their own classes. If you are uncomfortable teaching independently, we will do our best to ensure you work alongside a local teacher or peer.

 

PMGY’s India volunteer program has its own private transport network that will transfer you to and from the projects every day. You will travel to and from the project by either tuk-tuk or minivan. This service is included in your Program Fee.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER TEACHING IN INDIA

Experience – For the English teaching program, teaching experience is not essential as the mere presence of a native English speaker is invaluable. As long as you are creative, determined and resourceful you can have a constructive impact on the development of the children’s education.

 

TEFL Course – We encourage volunteers to prepare as much as possible for their teaching program overseas. You can make the most out of your time by completing our convenient, inexpensive and international accredited 60 hour Online TEFL Course. The cost of this course is only 120 USD.

 

Resources – On the teach English in India project, resources can be very limited. Volunteers are recommended to bring materials to the project each day to maximise their productivity and day to day involvement. It is therefore important for volunteers to prepare well in advance to get the most out of their teaching English project experience.

 

Project Flexibility – There may be an opportunity as a volunteer in India to get involved with other India volunteer programs. However, there may be instances where this would lead to overcrowding on these volunteering experiences, and thus limited project work opportunity. Therefore, such flexibility on a volunteer trip to India is not always possible. Priority will always be given to those signed up to that specific program in India.

 

Weekends – Your project work in India runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our India Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for India. We offer the Dharamshala Trip along with the Golden Triangle Trip.

INDIA MEDICAL

As a medical volunteer in India with PMGY, you will have a fantastic opportunity to gain first-hand experience and insight into Indian health care. Medical volunteers in India work with highly trained local staff. This gives individuals exposure and tuition that you are unlikely to obtain in your own country. If you are thinking of studying or even pursuing a career in healthcare, joining PMGY’s India medical programs will offer you essential first-hand experience that will assist in your career development.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE MEDICAL PROGRAM

Despite advances in India’s healthcare system, the majority of the population still experience poor health. This is largely due to a lack of awareness of health issues. Additionally, many Indians simply cannot afford regular, if any, medical treatment. The projects we support therefore offer free, or highly subsidised, healthcare to local people from slum and rural communities.

 

Our main project for India medical volunteers focuses on supporting medical camps within slum communities. In these areas, there is a prominent lack of health education and access to medical help. To contribute to improving this, we have established our own primary healthcare clinic, running all year round in the heart of the core slum community we support. Additionally, our team establish pop-up clinics across some of the local area’s poorest communities. This helps to ensure our team and international volunteers are able to make the biggest impact possible.

 

As a medical volunteer in India, you will have the opportunity to experience a variety of different medical facilities. This can range from shadowing in surgeries to sitting in on GP consultations. We offer medical placements for people of all backgrounds. Therefore if you’re a school leaver looking for work experience to boost your university application we can accommodate you. Alternatively, if you’re a nursing/medical student organising an overseas elective placement, we also have you covered.

 

MEDICAL VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

Eco-School Slum Clinic – The healthcare clinics we run really are the core of the medical volunteer project in India. Our main clinic is based in our Eco Slum School. The centre acts as the main point of health access for the local community. This is particularly important since individuals here may not otherwise have access to any other form of healthcare. Our medical staff can see anywhere from 40-100 patients daily. There are two clinics where doctors undergo consultancies – one general and one gynaecology. There is also a lab.

 

The gynaecology clinic is a newer development, with hopes of further expansion in the future. This clinic provides women from the local community with education about female health. We have also developed our own lab at the program. Here, the lab technician carries a variety of health checks. This often includes testing urine glucose levels, blood type and for pregnancy. Since the clinics are located within the slum school, medical volunteers in India will also have the opportunity to engage with the local children. Individuals can even try teaching English!

 

Whilst it cannot be guaranteed, medical volunteers in India may be assigned some very basic hands-on involvement. This may include taking blood pressure, blood sugars and dressing minor wounds. This is all undertaken under the supervision of the staff you will be attached to during your time. The local staff are extremely welcoming and very keen for volunteers to learn. Although the patient interactions will be in Hindi, the doctors speak English and will explain everything to you in English.

 

Slum Outreach Health Campaigns – PMGY periodically run free medical camps across other poor communities in Faridabad. The slums we work in at any point in time are dictated by the communities that have the greatest need. Additionally, during the summer months, we receive higher numbers of participants. This often allows us to run these outreach campaigns as an extension of the Eco-School Slum Clinic operation. These campaigns are designed to offer primary healthcare and medical check-ups to members of local slum communities.

 

We hire a local doctor to lead the campaigns and supervise volunteers. Our team also supply the relevant medical supplies and equipment needed. An interpreter is also recruited to help PMGY India medical volunteers overcome the language barrier when interacting with patients.

 

We welcome medical volunteers of all backgrounds to join this initiative. Participants often have the chance to learn basic skills. This might include taking blood pressures, checking blood sugars and assisting doctors in seeing the patients. You will also get the chance to see and learn about interesting clinical signs and syndromes typically found in slum communities. Volunteers receive ongoing training and mentoring from the local doctor, enabling each participant to get as involved as possible. The range of health conditions encountered in the slums is vast. Although many patients only have simple problems, there are many that would benefit immensely from specialist input.

 

Shadowing in a Hospital Setting – We have a number of hospitals within our network. Generally speaking, volunteers will have the opportunity to shadow within hospital departments. Here, individuals may be able to carry out basic health checks on patients during doctor’s rounds. Common departments volunteers in India will be placed within include: ultrasound, paediatrics, ophthalmology, non-urgent care and theatre.

 

Medical volunteers in India can also witness surgeries. However, these are on an ad-hoc basis. You will, therefore, be notified a day in advance or even on the day, once the surgeries have been confirmed. Naturally, we cannot guarantee those specific surgeries will take place. In any case, it can be a real eye-opening experience to see the difference between hospitals in India compared to those at home.

 

GP Clinic – Here, participants have the opportunity to work alongside a local doctor. Medical volunteers will assist in carrying out basic health checks on members of the local community in a bustling street market. Usually, the doctor sees up to 100 patients daily. The clinic can run in both morning and late evening time, usually around 2-3 hours each session. This may allow for basic hands-on involvement if volunteers choose to undertake such an opportunity.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL WORK DAY

As a volunteer in India, most participants in the medical program will have the chance to experience a number of different facilities. On a volunteer trip to India, our main placement base will be within the health campaign programs that we operate in the slum communities. India medical volunteers can expect to work 3-5 hours in the morning. This will usually be from 9:30am-1pm. Surgeries may be available for observation at any time of the day. Afternoons may be used to engage in hospital placements, the India childcare program or explore Delhi.

 

It is advised, where possible, that volunteers spend a minimum of three days on a specific placement. Doing this allows relationships with the staff to be made, often leading to increased exposure and responsibility. However, this will ultimately be dependent on the level/qualifications of volunteers.

 

PMGY’s India volunteer program has its own private transport network that will transfer you to and from the projects every day. You will travel to and from the project by either tuk-tuk or minivan. This service is included in your Program Fee.

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER AS A MEDICAL VOLUNTEER IN INDIA

Top PMGY Medical Program – The medical volunteer work in India is rated as our top overseas medical program across all PMGY destinations. This is due to the exposure our participants get and the range of projects involved. The program is not only for general medicine and nursing students but also for all those with health-related interests. This opportunity is available to school leavers and those who have never studied medicine before. This is the ultimate experience to make a positive impact within poor communities, regardless of your experience.

 

Hands-On Involvement – Your level of involvement at the medical volunteer projects is dictated by a range of factors. First of all your medical experience, but also the duration of program and willingness to get involved. The medical staff are accountable for you whilst you’re under their supervision. Ultimately, it is completely up to them if you are permitted and want to get involved in hands-on procedures.

 

Previous PMGY medical volunteer in India participants have been given the chance to administer IV injections, dress wounds etc. However, please note we can never guarantee or promote hands-on involvement regardless of medical experience or background.

 

Generally speaking those with little or no medical experience assume a largely observational role. If you are studying a medically related degree, then you should have more opportunity to undertake some more basic hands-on involvement. However, to reiterate we can never guarantee or endorse hands-on experience should you choose to get hands-on. Such a decision ultimately lies with the medical staff.

 

Trained Professionals – Please note this program is not suitable for trained professionals who are looking to practise overseas. This opportunity is only suitable for school leavers & medical students looking to go into the medical or nursing field and wish to learn about a healthcare system overseas.

 

Project Flexibility – There may be an opportunity as a volunteer in India to get involved with other India volunteer programs. However, there may be instances where this would lead to overcrowding on these volunteering experiences, and thus limited project work opportunity. Therefore, such flexibility on a volunteer trip to India is not always possible. Priority will always be given to those signed up to that specific program in India.

 

Weekends – Your project work in India runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our India Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for India. We offer the Dharamshala Trip along with the Golden Triangle Trip.

🇳🇵 VOLUNTEER IN NEPAL (2, 3 OR 4 WEEKS)

Your final stop is Nepal which has been a hotspot for travellers, dating back many years. Whilst the world has changed, Nepal is still catching up. Certainly, this provides one of the many reasons that make it such a fascinating country. Its landscape is diverse and harsh yet beautiful beyond belief. Many of its people live in poverty yet remain as proud and welcoming as ever. You may leave Nepal at the end of your duration but you are certain never to forget it.

 

Combine adventure travel with community volunteering as well as ticking off all the ‘must-see’ things in Nepal. You can choose to volunteer and live in a Nepalese Buddhist monastery teaching monks English. As a result of living at the monastery, you will also learn and embrace the monks’ cultures and ways of life.

 

Alternatively, you can choose to teach young people English in a school community development setting. Finally, choose your volunteer project to make a difference in the lives of underprivileged children. You will be able to select your volunteer in Nepal project during the online application.

 

🇳🇵 VOLUNTEER PROJECTS IN NEPAL

NEPAL CHILDCARE

As a childcare volunteer in Nepal, you can contribute your time and affection in making a difference to children facing poverty or neglect. You will become part of the family as you integrate into their daily lives. Encourage learning through creative and stimulating educational activities as well as assisting in day-to-day care. From helping with homework to supporting the maintenance of the children’s home, you will be spending time surrounded by the natural beauty of our rural locations.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE CHILDCARE PROGRAM

Nepal is considered one of the poorest and least developed countries in Asia and even across the world. Almost half of the Nepalese population live below the poverty line and families’ needs are often not provided for. As a result, children are repeatedly the worst affected by high levels of poverty and malnutrition, hence facing the greatest need.

 

Around 1 in 3 children are engaged with child labour and the literacy rate is particularly low, especially for girls. Subsequently, through volunteer work in Nepal you can help the younger generation to thrive and develop, focusing on education and inspiring young minds.

 

PMGY’s childcare program in Nepal works with children who have lost their parents or whose families cannot afford to look after them. There is minimal to no support or funding provided by the government. Consequently, these children’s homes appreciate all your support when you Volunteer in Nepal.

 

The kids live together in the children’s homes to receive love, care and their basic needs. Most importantly, this means they also have access to education and future opportunities. As a result, they are diverted from skipping school to work or subject to a life in poverty. They have been dealt a bad hand in life, but you can volunteer with children in Nepal to make a real difference. Giving your time and affection will be a vital contribution to brighten up their days.

 

CHILDCARE VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

Chitwan Khusi Ko Ghar – The children’s home for girls is based in the south of Nepal, amongst the forest lowlands of Chitwan. This project was set up in 2008, becoming a crucial lifeline for many girls after the 2015 earthquake that shook Nepal, from Chitwan and the surrounding mountainous areas. There are now usually 15 girls living here, where we support the house mother in looking after the children. As a childcare volunteer you will assist with hands-on support and making a positive impact. In addition, this is the best project to experience Nepali village life and a traditional lifestyle.

 

Pokhara Khusi Ko Ghar – As a childcare volunteer in Nepal you may also be based at the boy’s children’s home in Pokhara, in a small village near the foothills of the Himalayas. There are around 7 boys who live here, all with a huge love for studying and football! They will live here until they finish their exams. After that, they get help training different jobs and learning to support themselves. The house auntie cares for the children, so you will be supporting her as well as developing the boy’s education. In addition, you can take a break from your volunteer work in Nepal by enjoying a swim in the local river during the monsoon or hiking to Shanti Stupa World Peace Pagoda. Set on top of Anadu Hill, this beautiful temple overlooks Phewa Lake and the Annapurna Range beyond.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL CHILDCARE DAY

On the Nepal volunteer program you’ll be up early (around 6am) to help prepare breakfast and get the children ready from Monday to Friday. After walking them to school, you can help out with chores around the home. For example, cleaning, tidying and preparing meals as well as helping to feed any livestock or maintain the garden area. These tasks tend to finish at around 10am.

 

You are then free until the children return from school. There may be childcare or teaching work available during the day at a nearby project, but this depends on your placement location and need at the time. You can discuss this option with our local team during your in-country orientation to you volunteer work in Nepal. Alternatively, this may be your opportunity to explore the local market or learn about the local community.

 

After that, volunteers pick up the kids from school at around 3pm. As a childcare volunteer in Nepal, your role involves assisting many different tasks. For example, helping to prepare and serve dinner, assisting the kids with their homework, teaching English, playing games and sports and organising activities for the little ones. Furthermore, the children will have lots of energy. Consequently, you will need to have the energy to match as you will be based on-site during the project week. The children are of various ages (5 to 16 years of age) and backgrounds.

 

Both children’s homes have outdoor space for games and activities with the children as well as resource cupboards for board games and learning materials too. Sharing your time and skills will be much appreciated during your volunteer placement, engaging the children and making a positive impact on the local people. In the evenings the children have free time for an hour after dinner to watch TV, play board games or read books. Volunteers are encouraged to get involved and help them burn out the kids’ energy so they are ready for a good night’s sleep!

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER WORKING WITH CHILDREN IN NEPAL

Resources – On the childcare project in Nepal, resources can be very limited. Volunteers are recommended to bring materials to the project each day to maximise their productivity and day to day involvement. It is therefore important for volunteers to prepare well in advance to get the most out of their childcare volunteering experience in Nepal.

 

Project Location – When you volunteer in Nepal you may have the option to choose which location you will be placed in. This will be determined during your orientation day when you arrive in Kathmandu – a staff member will discuss the current need, availability and any preferences you might have. You may meet other volunteers in your orientation who you enjoy spending time with too!

 

Weekends – Your project work in Nepal runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Nepal Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Nepal. We offer the Chitwan Safari Trip along with the Pokhara & Annapurna Trek Trip Trip with opportunities running every month.

NEPAL ENGLISH TEACHING

As a volunteer teaching English in Nepal, you will make a positive impact at a community level. In addition, you will immerse yourself in a fascinating local culture. From kindergartens to primary schools, you can lead classes and assist lessons to educate and inspire the next generation, preparing them for a better future.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE TEACHING PROGRAM

PMGY Nepal English teaching volunteers encourage students to develop a skill that will help them to achieve their future goals. By conversing with fluent, native English speakers, their language skills will greatly improve, which is essential for future employment. Therefore, education is the key to driving economic, political and social development. With the help of your volunteer work in Nepal, you can help to achieve this via the younger generation.

 

However, the education system in Nepal is of an extremely low standard. It seriously lacks real investment and many teachers are under-qualified, particularly English teachers. The sad result is that 41% of the Nepalese adult population is illiterate, leading people to basic jobs involving labour and low pay.

 

Tourism is Nepal’s biggest industry and source of employment, aside from agriculture. In addition, working in tourism brings in serious money and offers huge employment opportunities. However, a key requirement for a job in tourism is the ability to speak English. As a result, being able to speak English opens up so many doors for young people in Nepal. Nonetheless, the level of English in government schools is poor, so effective English tuition is only a viable option for children from wealthy backgrounds in international schools.

 

As a volunteer teaching English in Nepal, you will expose the children to more opportunities in their future. Consequently giving hope and inspiration to the young minds who do not have access to private school education.

 

TEACHING VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

On your Nepal volunteer program you will be placed at one of the local schools or kindergartens that provide education to some of the most deprived communities. Depending on your placement location and needs of the projects at the time, there may also be the opportunity to get involved in working at a day-care centre, which involves providing care and basic education to children of pre-school age.

 

Smart Kids Kindergarten – Located within Kathmandu Valley, this kindergarten was set up in 2015 with a strong focus on education in a child-centred infrastructure. They aim to provide an enriching and exciting environment for young children aged 3+. Although, they often have minimal resources and limited English communication. As a volunteer teaching English in Nepal, you can offer your language skills and passion to help boost the children’s education from a young age. The activities here are focused on high interaction and engagement, underpinned with a focus of fun, as the children will not be so confident or able in English.

 

Chitwan Primary School – Our volunteers teaching English in Nepal may be based in the south, at a small local school within Chitwan town. The class sizes generally range from around 20 – 30 children, with ages varying from five years old up to lower teens. You will often be paired with one teacher for your whole placement, although this usually depends on the need and availability at the time. Additionally, there is usually a curriculum that you can follow at school. Otherwise, you may be free to design and lead your own classes. During your volunteer work in Nepal you’ll find the resources at the schools can often be quite limited. Consequently, it’s good to find props and use your imagination!

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL TEACHING DAY

You’ll be up early with your host family to get ready for the day ahead. Make sure you wake up with plenty of energy! Depending on your location, it will probably be a short walk from your homestay to your volunteer placement, Otherwise, transport will be provided.

 

Your main role as a volunteer in Nepal is to teach English, Although, there is also the chance to teach other subjects such as Maths and Arts when required. The schools have local staff who will assist volunteers, but most of the time international volunteers lead their own lessons. In addition, the lessons are largely informal and volunteers have the freedom to be creative with their lesson plans.

 

During your lessons, we encourage volunteers teaching English in Nepal to use engaging educational activities to hold the student’s attention, as well as inspire their learning. Be creative, use exciting ways to learn new vocabulary and introduce interesting topics in a fun way. Use educational games like interactive word searches or Hangman to test the students. Or try a bit of class competition in Hot Seat or team quizzes. Games, songs, art, sport and music can all be great tools.

 

The schools usually have basic resources available. Some of the teaching project sites do have outdoor space and playground facilities as well as a range of toys and books to engage with the children. However, these can be limited at times so you may wish to bring some extra educational books or games to assist with your teaching whilst you volunteer in Nepal.

 

Flashcards and stickers are a good idea as well. Plus you’ll find it much cheaper to buy resources during your Nepal volunteer program, which puts money into the local economy too. Additionally, souvenirs from your home country can also be a great resource, especially for introducing yourself to the children and helping them learn about you and your culture.

 

As a volunteer teaching English in Nepal, you will typically be teaching around 3-5 hours a day from Monday-Friday, depending on which placement you have joined. School often starts around 9-10am, after a busy morning of cooking Dal Bhat to fuel your day! You’ll have a break for lunch and most projects will be finished between 2-4pm. Use your free time after your Nepal volunteer program to meet the local community in your neighbourhood, explore the local market or join in cultural activities.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER TEACHING CHILDREN IN NEPAL

Experience – For the English teaching program, teaching experience is not essential as the mere presence of a native English speaker is invaluable. As long as you are creative, determined and resourceful you can have a constructive impact on the development of the children’s education.

 

TEFL Course – We encourage volunteers to prepare as much as possible for their teaching program overseas. You can make the most out of your time by completing our convenient, inexpensive and international accredited 60 hour Online TEFL Course. The cost of this course is only 120 USD.

 

Resources – On the teach English in Nepal project, resources can be very limited. Volunteers are recommended to bring materials to the project each day to maximise their productivity and day to day involvement. It is therefore important for volunteers to prepare well in advance to get the most out of their teaching English project experience.

 

Project Location – When you volunteer in Nepal you may have the option to choose which location you will be placed in. This will be determined during your orientation day when you arrive in Kathmandu – a staff member will discuss the current need, availability and any preferences you might have. You may meet other volunteers in your orientation who you enjoy spending time with too!

 

Weekends – Your project work in Nepal runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Nepal Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Nepal. We offer the Chitwan Safari Trip along with the Pokhara & Annapurna Trek Trip Trip with opportunities running every month.

NEPAL ENGLISH TEACHING TO MONKS

Would you like to immerse yourself in a completely new culture, whilst teaching others your skills? As a volunteer teaching English to monks in Nepal, you will experience a fascinating culture. Live within a Nepalese Buddhist monastery and learn about a whole new way of life in this unique experience. You’ll be joining the monks’ daily routines and practising meditation before the sun rises, ready for a day of sharing knowledge and helping these communities to learn English.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE TEACHING PROGRAM

Although Buddhism is not the most practised religion in Nepal, the influence of this religion can be found throughout; well Nepal is the birthplace of Buddha! From the countless temples and stupas located around the country to the thousands of Tibetan Buddhists who have sought refuge, Nepal remains an important place for Buddhists.

 

Many young Nepalese men spend a period of their life training as a monk. The majority of the children at the monasteries are Tibetan refugees and impoverished children from ethnic hill tribes. Therefore becoming a monk offers many children the chance of a better life.

 

Training to become a monk starts at an early age. Firstly, young monks are taught about Buddhist practices and philosophies as well as receiving general mainstream education – including learning English. Consequently, the ability to speak English allows monks to translate religious text and communicate the teachings of Buddhism to all. As the Dalai Lama said, “To learn English is to spread the word”.

 

It is very important that monks receive a formal education as well as religious training. It is not totally uncommon for monks to leave the monastery when they get older, therefore it is important for them to learn English in order to boost their career prospects in mainstream society.

 

As a volunteer teaching English to monks in Nepal, you can enormously benefit their learning and language development. As a result, by working with international volunteers the monks can vastly improve their communication and pronunciation skills on a new level.

 

TEACHING VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

If you would like to teach English to monks in Nepal you will be living at the monastery, in separate living quarters. The location of where you Volunteer in Nepal will be at one of the monasteries that we support in either Kathmandu or Chitwan. The monasteries in Kathmandu are situated in various locations across the valley – some are close to the city centre and others are more rural outside of town.

 

Nala Monastery – This monastery is a couple of hours outside of the main town of Kathmandu. It lays within a peaceful rural setting, close to the ancient Bhaktapur City. Here around 150 male monks of all ages are living at the monastery. Around 50 of the young monks are divided into four classes for teaching. The rooms are basic but comfortable with a modern ensuite. However, there is usually no hot water or Wi-Fi. In addition, there’s a snack shop on-site and a sports field to unwind with the monks next door.

 

Kwung Gumba Monastery – In contrast, your volunteer work in Nepal may take place with another monastery in Kathamandu, which is located amongst a small neighbourhood. This placement is close to the shops with easy access to the main town. There are western toilets and Wi-Fi available here, although the signal is often intermittent. Volunteers teaching English to monks in Nepal will be based in one of the three classrooms that surround the library. Each room is equipped with a whiteboard and benches, and the students will be split according to ability.

 

Daunne Monastery – The monastery placement in Chitwan, on the other hand, is very rural and located within a jungle environment. Monkeys will be your new neighbour on this Nepal volunteer program! Consequently, international volunteers are advised to note the Chitwan monastery offers a much more authentic experience, where facilities are very basic and general resources are more limited. Another unique aspect of the monastery in Chitwan is that volunteers will work with both male and female monks. The school here is also open to children in the local village and is a short walk uphill into the forest.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL TEACHING DAY

For every volunteer teaching English to monks in Nepal, expect to be woken early each morning as the gong is sounded and morning prayers commence. What a unique opportunity to learn and get immersed in the Buddhist way of life!

 

You will generally be given a timetable for your classes for 3-5 hours a day, from Monday-Friday. Above all, English teaching is the main way you will help whilst you volunteer in Nepal, but there may also be the chance to teach other subjects like Maths and Science.

 

As a volunteer in Nepal you will follow a flexible curriculum syllabus when conducting your lessons, whereby most of the time you will plan your own lessons and activities, working independently or alongside a fellow volunteer. There is usually a government course guide book available according to class standards that focuses on English, Maths, and Science.

 

In Kathmandu expect there to be around 40-150 young monks, depending on your monastery. If your volunteer work in Nepal is based in Chitwan, then there are around 100 monks. The ages range from around seven years old to lower teen and average class sizes tend to be around 10-15 per class.

 

The level of English will vary depending on which class you’re assigned. Therefore, you should be prepared to spend time planning for each lesson. Anything that you can teach about your own culture will also be gratefully received. In the evening times, volunteers in Nepal are encouraged to help the monks with their homework and any one-to-one learning experiences formally or informally.

 

You will have a lot of free time on your Nepal volunteer program, which you can spend travelling, relaxing or learning about the Buddhist way of life. Meanwhile, this may be your opportunity to explore the local market or learn about the local community. Alternatively, you could spend the evenings playing sports, games or extracurricular activities with the young monks.

 

Depending on your Nepal volunteer program, you may be able to provide extra help like preparing meals or collecting firewood and wild mushrooms from the jungle. You will find the monks to be accepting and genuinely grateful for your help. As a result, they will be interested to teach you about their unique culture. As a volunteer in Nepal, this will give you an insight into the Buddhist religion not granted to tourists.

 

On arrival, young monks will be keen and excited to meet you. However, some will also be shy of you in your first few days at the monastery. You will get the chance to eat with the monks and have the opportunity to take part in some meditation rituals if you are up early enough to learn this practice too!

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER TEACHING CHILDREN IN NEPAL

Experience – For the English teaching program, teaching experience is not essential as the mere presence of a native English speaker is invaluable. As long as you are creative, determined and resourceful you can have a constructive impact on the development of the children’s education.

 

TEFL Course – We encourage volunteers to prepare as much as possible for their teaching program overseas. You can make the most out of your time by completing our convenient, inexpensive and international accredited 60 hour Online TEFL Course. The cost of this course is only 120 USD.

 

Resources – On the teach English in Nepal project, resources can be very limited. Volunteers are recommended to bring materials to the project each day to maximise their productivity and day to day involvement. It is therefore important for volunteers to prepare well in advance to get the most out of their teaching English project experience.

 

Project Location – When you volunteer in Nepal you may have the option to choose which location you will be placed in. This will be determined during your orientation day when you arrive in Kathmandu – a staff member will discuss the current need, availability and any preferences you might have. You may meet other volunteers in your orientation who you enjoy spending time with too!

 

Weekends – Your project work in Nepal runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Nepal Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Nepal. We offer the Chitwan Safari Trip along with the Pokhara & Annapurna Trek Trip Trip with opportunities running every month.

ITINERARY

Please make sure you arrive into Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo (CMB) on the selected Saturday start date.

 

The following itinerary is based on a standard 6-week Real Asia Encounter (i.e. 2 weeks per destination). If you opt for the 9 or 12 week options then you will split your time equally across each of the 3-destinations. For example, the 9-week option involves spending 3 weeks across the destinations and the 12 week option involves 4 weeks per destination. The itinerary will follow a similar format as below. For the Sri Lanka segment of the route, this itinerary is based on joining us in Ambalangoda. The itinerary for the Asia Gap Year experience will follow a similar format as below.

 

Day 1 (Saturday) Welcome to Sri Lanka

Welcome to Sri Lanka! You will be met at Colombo airport by a member of our local team who will be holding a name sign. The journey to Ambalangoda will take around 2 hours, depending on traffic. You will have the rest of the day to relax and settle in.

Day 2 (Sunday) Orientation in Sri Lanka

Your orientation will begin on Sunday. Our local team will teach you about life in Sri Lanka, the “dos and don’ts”, local culture and religion. Your coordinator will introduce you to the transport system, safety advice and outline all the projects we support in the community. If you wish to take part in multiple projects during your time as a volunteer in Sri Lanka, this can be discussed during your orientation.

 

In the afternoon, our local coordinator will take you to see some of the famous sites around Ambalangoda. You will visit the longest sleeping Buddha statue in Asia, an original blue moonstone mine and perhaps some famous Buddhist temples. You will also have the chance to change money, buy a local phone or SIM-card and visit the supermarket.

Day 2-6 (Monday-Friday) Volunteering Begins in Sri Lanka

You will start your volunteer work in Sri Lanka on Monday morning.

 

Should you need anything whilst at the project, remember our local team are only a phone call away. You will see Sri Lanka coordinators throughout the day at the Volunteer House and they are always happy to help.

Day 7-8 (Saturday-Sunday) Weekend in Sri Lanka!

After a week of volunteering, it is your time to explore the wonders of Sri Lanka. Whether you are staying local in Hikkaduwa and Galle, travelling to Ella or completing more adventurous activities hiking Adam’s Peak or taking an elephant safari – Sri Lanka has it all. As a volunteer in Sri Lanka, our team both welcomes and encourages participants to explore the country’s wonderful treasures. They will be very happy to help you plan your weekend opportunities and outline any travel tips. There are also set dates across the year in which our local team run structured trips on a Cultural Triangle and Adventure Safari weekend trip.

Day 9-13 (Monday-Friday) The Following Week

Your next week will follow a similar pattern, as you will be volunteering from Monday-Friday. Time will fly so make sure you make the most of it. Our local team are there to support you throughout your stay. Whether you’ve lost your phone, want some advice for weekend travel plans or just need someone to talk to, they are there for you.

Day 14 (Saturday) Last Day in Sri Lanka!

Today is your last full day as a volunteer in Sri Lanka! We hope you have enjoyed your time in your first destination and we encourage you to use your last day in Sri Lanka to say goodbye to the local team, pick up some last-minute souvenirs and prepare for your onward journey!


Day 15 (Sunday) Goodbye Sri Lanka - Hello India!

Unfortunately, it is time to say goodbye to Sri Lanka but get ready for India! We can help you arrange your return airport drop off. Please note that this is not included in your Program Fee.

 

Welcome to India! Volunteers in India will be met at Indira Gandhi International Airport by a member of our local team, or one of our appointed drivers, who will be holding a name sign.

 

As a volunteer in India, you will be taken straight to our Volunteer House, which is about 40 miles away. This can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours to get to depending on the traffic. The rest of the day is relatively informal, as we may have volunteers arriving throughout the day. This is the perfect opportunity to get some much-needed rest, get to know the rest of your group and become familiar with your accommodation.

Day 16 (Monday) Orientation in India

Your orientation as a volunteer in India will begin on Monday. After a good night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast, we will begin the orientation day. The day will kick-off with the theoretical aspects. During this, our team will cover everything from health and safety, language, money matters, cultural differences, rules and regulations. This part of the orientation usually lasts between 1 and 2 hours in the morning.

 

Following this, you will have the opportunity to visit our main project base within the local slum community. Here, the team will outline the background behind the project and introduce you to the local staff. Our teaching and medical volunteer opportunities are based within this location. Then, following a hearty lunch back at the Volunteer House, the local team will help arrange SIM cards and money exchange for those who require assistance.

 

As a volunteer in India, you are strongly advised to purchase an Indian SIM at a cost of roughly 300 INR. This means that volunteers are required to have an unlocked phone. SIM-cards are very important, allowing volunteers in India to contact each other and the team. This is particularly vital in times of emergency. Mobile numbers with the local team must be exchanged upon arrival.

 

The group will then venture out to explore a local temple and visit the market. On an ad hoc basis, the local team may be able to arrange an afternoon tour around Delhi for a small cost. Other options may include: visiting a monkey temple (~ 500 INR), pottery lesson (~ 600 INR) and a culture class. These afternoon activities are voluntary and can also take place across the week. This means that the associated costs, including travel, are paid for by volunteers, dependent on participation. Please note that all activities are not guaranteed and are both weather and staff dependent. The evening is then free for volunteers to lesson plan, relax or arrange to go into Delhi if they so wish.

Day 17-20 (Tuesday-Friday) Volunteering Begins in India

On Tuesday, you will start your volunteer placement. The first couple of days should be spent learning the ropes and getting to know the people at the project. As the week goes on you will find that your role develops as you begin to get more comfortable. You will also have regular interaction with our local coordinators. Whatever the problem, big or small, you’ll be fully supported throughout your time with PMGY.

 

On average, you will volunteer for around 3-5 hours per day. This will usually take place in the morning, however, this will ultimately be dependent on your project. You will also have the chance to discuss with your local coordinator about the possibility of getting involved in more than one project.

 

To help make your evenings more entertaining, our local team are always happy to arrange cultural activities if volunteers wish to join. These include a Bollywood dance class (~200 INR), cooking class (~300 INR and a Yoga class (~200 INR).

Day 21-22 (Saturday-Sunday) Weekend in India!

The choices in India are endless! Whether you are looking for a relaxing weekend in the mountains, some adventure activities, or a more cultural experience – India has it all! As a volunteer in India, our team both welcomes and encourages participants to explore the country’s wonderful treasures. They will be very happy to help you plan your weekend opportunities and outline any travel tips.

 

As PMGY receives a high number of volunteers to India, particularly in the summer months, you will have no problem finding a travel buddy or two to travel around with! Also during this period, our local team also help to arrange a trip to Dharamshala, as well as a Golden Triangle Trip.

 

There isn’t a huge amount to do in Faridabad itself, meaning that evenings during the weekdays tend to be quiet. This means that you should take the opportunity to travel at the weekend.

Day 23-27 (Monday-Friday) The Following Week

Your next week will follow a similar pattern, as you will be volunteering from Monday-Friday. Time will fly so make sure you make the most of it. Our local team are there to support you throughout your stay. Whether you’ve lost your phone, want some advice for weekend travel plans or just need someone to talk to, they are there for you.

Day 28 (Saturday) Last Day in India!

Unfortunately, today is your last full day in India! Spend your last day packing, buying any last-minute gifts and bidding farewell to the friends you have made along the way.


Day 29 (Sunday) Goodbye India - Hello Nepal!

It is time to say goodbye to India and get ready for Nepal! We can help you arrange your return airport drop off. Please note that this is not included in your Program Fee.

 

Welcome to Nepal! You will be greeted at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu by one of PMGY’s local coordinators holding a PMGY sign. We will transfer you to the volunteer host family accommodation, where you can relax and let home know you have arrived safely. In the evening you will get the chance to experience your first Nepalese dinner.

Day 30-31 (Monday-Tuesday) Orientation in Nepal

Your orientation as a volunteer in Nepal will begin on Monday. After a refreshing breakfast, your day will kick off with a 2 hour Nepalese language lesson. Learning Nepalese is not only a great cultural experience, but it is also an important preparation for your volunteer placement. Being able to readily communicate with the locals will make your experience all the more enriching.

 

You will then continue with an introduction to the transport system, safety advice and our Nepal volunteer programs. This theoretical part of the day will be based in your in-country director Asim’s house.

 

After lunch, we will then head into the heart of Kathmandu’s tourist centre. Our local team will take you sightseeing around the city. This will offer you the chance to check-out the famous Monkey Temple, Boudha stupa and Pashupati temple. You will be accompanied by a local team member who will teach you all about Kathmandu’s rich and diverse history.

 

You will also have the chance to change money, buy a local phone or SIM-card and visit the supermarket. You’ll then return back home for a home-cooked evening meal. The rest of the day is a further chance to better know your fellow volunteers.

 

You will complete your orientation the following morning with a cultural lesson. Our local team will teach you about life in Nepal, the “dos and don’ts”, the local culture and religion. After lunch, you can spend the rest of your day how you wish. Perhaps you’ll start your souvenir shopping early, or tick-off some more sightseeing locations.

 

The evening will be your time to pack and prepare before your journey to your volunteer placement location the next day. If the location is close by, you may be dropped off here this evening instead.

 

During your orientation period (Monday-Tuesday), your lunch is not included in your Program Fee. Additionally, you must budget for entrance fees to any tour sites visited during the orientation.

Day 32 (Wednesday) – Travel To Your Placement in Nepal

On Wednesday morning you will move to your project location. If you’re a volunteer in Nepal placed in Chitwan or Pokhara, then you will take the tourist bus. Our local team will take you to the bus station and ensure you have your ticket and seat on the bus. The buses are comfortable, come with air conditioning and reclining seats.

 

On arrival into Chitwan or Pokhara bus station, each volunteer in Nepal will be picked up by one of our local coordinators who will take you to your accommodation. The cost of your bus ticket and transfer to/from the bus station is included in your Program Fee.

 

Each volunteer in Nepal is advised to note that depending on road, weather and traffic conditions the journey times from Kathmandu to Chitwan or Pokhara can take anywhere from 7-12 hours.

 

If your placement is in Kathmandu then one of our local coordinators will take you to your host family or project residence.

Day 33-34 (Thursday-Friday) - Volunteering Begins in Nepal

You will start your volunteer work in Nepal on Thursday morning. Should you need anything whilst at the project, remember our local team are only a phone call away.

Day 35-36 (Saturday-Sunday) Weekend in Nepal!

The weekend is your time to explore the wonders of Nepal. Each volunteer in Nepal is offered a choice of rural and urban locations in this stunning and visually arresting country, with volunteer programs in Chitwan, Pokhara and Kathmandu. Each location is unique in its own way. These off the beaten track destinations offers such stark and beautiful scenic contrasts from mountains to jungles. There are few countries in the world that are as well set up for independent travel as Nepal. Wandering the trekking shops, bakeries and pizzerias of Thamel and Pokhara, it’s easy to feel that you have somehow landed in a kind of backpacker Disneyland. Alternatively, there are also plenty of local sites to explore too! From jungles to lakes to mountains – Nepal has it all.

 

As a volunteer in Nepal, our team both welcomes and encourages participants to explore the country’s wonderful treasures. They will be very happy to help you plan your weekend opportunities and outline any travel tips. There are also set dates across the year in which our local team run structured trips on a Chitwan safari and Pokhara trekking trip.

Day 37-41 (Monday-Friday) The Following Week

Your next week will follow a similar pattern, as you will be volunteering from Monday-Friday. Time will fly so make sure you make the most of it. Our local team are there to support you throughout your stay. Whether you’ve lost your phone, want some advice for weekend travel plans or just need someone to talk to, they are there for you.

 

Sadly Friday is your last day at the project residence but the good news is you’re heading back to Kathmandu.

Day 42 (Saturday) Back in Kathmandu

Saturday is your last full day of the Real Asia Encounter and you will spend this in Kathmandu. You will have a full free day to explore this fascinating city further. Your transport costs back to Kathmandu are included in your Program Fee and you will be met at Kathmandu bus station to come back to our local teams’ accommodation.

Day 43 (Sunday) Last Day

Sunday is your last day in Nepal and on the Asia Gap Year experience. We will arrange your return airport drop off. This is included in your Program Fee. A member of our local team will transfer you back to the airport at a time that is convenient for your travel itinerary.

* This itinerary is subject to change as a result of unforeseen circumstances.

CHOOSING A VOLUNTEER TRIP

Can people from outside of the UK or USA volunteer with PMGY?

Of course! Although PMGY was founded in the UK, with offices now extending between the UK and US, we welcome participants of all nationalities onto our programs. Within the last decade, we have hosted tens of thousands of volunteers from across the globe. From France to Italy, Mexico to India, Namibia to Russia and Ireland to China – these are only a handful of the countries volunteers have joined us from! We want everyone from across the world to have an equal opportunity at experiencing a different perspective on life, and make friends across the world.

Why are PMGY’s fees so much more affordable than other travel organisations?

The PMGY International Team works hard to ensure that our fees are kept as low as possible. Consequently, this makes our experiences affordable and accessible without sacrificing the safety and quality of the overall experience.

 

Registration Fees to join our programs are assigned to the high levels of comprehensive support that we are renowned for. This includes telephone and online support staff available 24 hours each day, as well as detailed hand-guides and interactive webinars. Therefore, the remaining Program Fees to join the program go directly to our in-country teams, covering everything for your time volunteering. In general, these fees are reflected in your accommodation, meals, airport pick-up, in-country support and project upkeep during your time abroad. Furthermore, we make sure our fees are transparent, which is something our volunteers really appreciate.

 

Similar organisations offer fancy brochures, run large high-street offices and are usually owned by larger travel organisations with many shareholders. As a result, participants are charged an extremely high price to cover all of these overheads. Therefore, at PMGY, we have embraced the online age by focusing everything around an online presence. We have done away with out-dated brochures, an unnecessary high street presence and we are an independent organisation without any outside financial interests.

What are the requirements to volunteer on the Real Asia Encounter?

PMGY welcomes Asia Gap Year experience volunteers of all nationalities, religions and backgrounds. The minimum age to join the program is 18 and there is no upper age limit. Furthermore, all volunteers need to have a good level of English, although it does not need to be your first language. Of course, you do not need to speak the local dialects. However, you will find that learning a few local words in each destination in your days with us will go a long way.

 

As an Asia Gap Year experience volunteer, you must be able to provide a clean criminal background check in advance of volunteering with us abroad. Thus, we are unable to accept anyone who has any previous criminal convictions. In general, no formal experience or qualifications are required for the projects, just lots of energy, enthusiasm and preparation! However, medical and healthcare projects usually require additional documentation before participation begins in-country.

 

Volunteering overseas can be both physically and mentally challenging. Therefore, all participants must be fit in both areas. Consequently, if you have any medical/mental health conditions that may affect your participation overseas, then these must be declared to us during your online application. If you have any queries regarding your suitability to participate, we recommend that you contact us before committing to the program.

What are the Real Asia Encounter volunteer program start dates?

The program start dates as an Asia Gap Year experience volunteer are as follows –

 

4th September 2021
2nd October 2021
6th November 2021
4th December 2021

 

1st January 2022
5th February 2022
5th March 2022
2nd April 2022
7th May 2022
4th June 2022
2nd July 2022
6th August 2022
3rd September 2022
1st October 2022
5th November 2022
3rd December 2022

What date should I arrive and leave the Real Asia Encounter volunteer program?

For your Asia Gap Year experience volunteer trip, you should book your flights to Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo on the Saturday start date. The airport code is CMB. You will be met at the airport by a member of the local team or an appointed driver, who will be holding a named sign. They will take you to your accommodation where you will spend the rest of your day at leisure.

 

The program ends in Nepal on the Sunday of your final week. Therefore, you must depart the accommodation on this day. As a result, your final flight as an Asia Gap Year experience volunteer should depart from Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. The airport code is KTM.

When is the best time of year to volunteer on the Real Asia Encounter?

Feedback from Asia Gap Year experience volunteers often suggests that it is best to join a PMGY project outside the European summer months. This is since June-August tends to be when we have peak numbers at each of our projects and volunteer accommodations. Conversely, outside of these months, there is typically the greatest opportunity to become fully immersed in the project and within the local community.

Are there any age restrictions to be a volunteer on the Real Asia Encounter?

In order to join as an Asia Gap Year experience volunteer, you need to be at least 18 on the program start date. Generally, the average age range of volunteers is 18-25.

 

There is no upper age limit to our programs, and in the past, we have hosted participants up to the age of 70-years old. Whilst we have found that our more mature participants get a lot from the experience, at times individuals have found it more challenging to integrate with a younger crowd. Furthermore, some participants have perhaps expected a higher level of accommodation, the structure within the local community, and general overall communication at the project setup. Consequently, whilst we welcome volunteers of all ages, we stress that all participants should remain open-minded and flexible. Additionally, participants must appreciate that the majority of our participants are across the 18-25 age range.

When should I apply to be a Real Asia Encounter volunteer?

For the majority of our programs, you can apply at any time. However, we advise that you apply as soon as possible to ensure we have availability on the program. This is since some of our programs only have limited capacity, meaning that spaces get filled very quickly. Therefore, it is particularly important that you apply in good time if you’re looking to travel between our peak period of June and August. This is because spaces can fill up very quickly during this period. Furthermore, please only apply if you are 100% committed to joining the program. You need to apply online by locating the “Apply Now” button on the individual project page. This will guide you through our online Application Process.

 

Indeed, once you have applied and confirmed your place on the program, it may be possible to change your start dates and this will not incur a fee. However, please note that this will be subject to availability and any changes should be made at least 60 days prior to your start date.

Can I volunteer abroad with my friend/parent/boyfriend/girlfriend?

You’re more than welcome to travel and volunteer with friends, family members or with a boyfriend/girlfriend. If required, we can make sure that you stay in the same accommodation and volunteer for the same project. However, please note the majority of our volunteer accommodation is on a single-sex basis. Consequently, we cannot guarantee that you would be able to be placed in the same room.

 

Please outline in the ‘Special Requirements’ box of your online application if you’d like to make sure you’re placed alongside another applicant/s.

Is it safe to travel to PMGY destinations?

Although our volunteers work in the developing world, we work hard to ensure that our host locations are safe. Firstly, volunteer safety in each of our destinations is monitored regularly. Each of our volunteer programs has been inspected by a member of the PMGY International Team. Additionally, PMGY closely follows advice published by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Alongside the frequent contact we have with our local teams, we are able to ensure that our volunteers are never placed in unstable or unsafe regions.

 

The PMGY International Team have visited and participated in every program we offer. Thus, we have carefully inspected every little detail of our set-up, from the living conditions to local neighbourhoods and even the food you’ll be eating. Through these checks, we are able to ensure that all of our projects are up to scratch. Furthermore, all of our local teams are experienced development professionals, with years of experience hosting international volunteers. They are PMGY’s representatives on the ground and assist volunteers 24/7 throughout their stay. Our teams are therefore always on-hand to assist in any emergencies that may occur. Additionally, our 24 hour international emergency telephone line is always accessible. PMGY’s in-country staff also have access to local medical professionals should these be required during a participant’s time with us.

 

When you join as an Asia Gap Year experience volunteer, we will send you a Volunteer Handbook. This document addresses a range of issues such as health, safety, visas and dress codes. For any unanswered or specific questions, PMGY offers a comprehensive support network, with online and telephone support staff available 24 hours each day. Our advisers welcome participants to ask as many questions as needed for them to effectively prepare for their trip overseas. On a monthly basis, our International Team also hosts both an Introductory Webinar and Safety Webinar. These are interactive opportunities for international volunteers to learn more about our projects and managing their safety overseas.

 

When you arrive in-country, you’ll be given a comprehensive introduction to the general volunteer program and your specific project. During this session, our team will also cover important safety advice specific to your country. You’ll also be given the opportunity to purchase a local SIM-card. This is something we strongly suggest, so you’re contactable at all times. In like manner, we will provide you with a full list of the important contact numbers that you’ll need to know.

 

Although we cannot guarantee your volunteer experience to be 100% trouble-free we have taken all the necessary precautions to make sure each program is as safe as possible.

When do I pay for my volunteer program? Can I pay in instalments?

In order to confirm your place as an Asia Gap Year experience volunteer, you need to pay a deposit of 249 USD. The remaining fee is then due no less than 60 days prior to your program start date. During this period if you need to make a change to your trip (destination, program or date) then this can be facilitated free of charge. If you’re applying within 60 days of your program start date then you’ll need to pay the full amount to confirm your place. Likewise, in the unlikely event that we are unable to offer you a place on the program then your payment will be refunded in full within 48 hours of applying.

 

Payments made in advance of the 60 day window can be made in one lump sum or in several instalments. Payments can be made directly through our website using all major debit and credit cards. We will outline instructions to make payment in our email communication with you. Please note credit card payments are subject to a 3% additional fee to cover the bank charges that PMGY incur. Bank transfers can be accepted by UK participants only.

Can I use the program as part of a university or college placement?

It is certainly possible to be an Asia Gap Year experience volunteer as part of your university or college placement. However, PMGY is unable to guarantee that your time as an Asia Gap Year experience volunteer will fulfil the requirements of your establishment. Therefore, participants are encouraged to speak to a member of the International Team to establish whether the required parameters can be met. This should be done in advance of applying to the program. When appropriate, school/college/university representatives are welcome to contact PMGY to discuss further the suitability of the program in meeting the participant’s requirements.

 

First of all, the PMGY International Team are able to complete paperwork after an Asia Gap Year experience volunteer has confirmed their place on the program. Additionally, project staff in each destination can also sign-off any paperwork that is required by your course tutors. However, while our team will do their best to complete any paperwork, we are unable to guarantee that we will be able to comply with every learning objective and requirement or your university/college. PMGY regularly receives medical, nursing, childcare and psychology placement students on our projects globally, with ties with some leading universities.

 

If you’re a course tutor and would like further information about how one of PMGY’s programs could meet the placement requirements for your course, please contact us directly to schedule a meeting.

BEFORE YOU DEPART

Do you offer an online TEFL course?

For PMGY Asia Gap Year experience volunteers, the only real ‘qualifications’ you need are bags of energy, commitment and enthusiasm. However, if you have chosen an English teaching volunteer program in one of your destinations and would like a chance to do some preparation work before you hit the classroom, we’ve got the perfect introductory online TEFL course for English language teaching abroad.

 

At only 60 hours and completed online, this course is obviously hugely convenient. The course can be done in your own time, at your own pace and you don’t even need to leave the house! You have got a whopping 75 days to complete the course, so there is no rush and you can fit it in when you can. Obviously, an hour here and there certainly adds up. Therefore there really is no pressure.

 

Once completed, you’ll not only have acquired key skills for teaching English abroad but also an internationally accredited certificate. If you find that teaching really is your calling, this course can be built upon with more modules in the future. There are 5 modules to this 60 hour course, covering aspects including ‘The Roles of the Teacher’ and ‘Lesson Planning’.

 

The cost of the course is 120 USD. If you’ve already signed up for one of our programs and would like to enrol on the online TEFL course then please contact us.

Can I fundraise for my volunteer trip?

With PMGY, the money our volunteers pay goes towards the structure you receive on the Asia Gap Year experience volunteer program. The fundamentals of this cover aspects such as accommodation, airport pick-ups, around the clock support from our international and in-country teams, pre-departure training as well as the implementation and monitoring of the projects.

 

We do our best to keep our program costs as low and affordable as possible, without sacrificing quality and safety. However, with flights, travel insurance and spending money to factor into your overall budget, you may find you need a little bit of help with the finances. Consequently, a large number of PMGY volunteers decide to fundraise for their trip. In these instances, we recommend that Asia Gap Year experience volunteers set up an online fundraising page to notify friends and family of your trip.

 

PMGY have partnered with the online crowdfunding website GoGetFunding for volunteers to create a personalised fundraising page for their trip. This professional online fundraising service allows you to set financial goals and get the message across about what you’re doing. You can also share your PMGY fundraising page across various social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to spread the word.

Can I raise money for the projects?

The PMGY Foundation is a UK registered charity (1169415). This charity has been created to help provide financial aid and assistance to projects we work with on an ongoing basis. Importantly, the objective of the PMGY Foundation is the prevention or relief of poverty for people living in the communities we support. This is achieved by providing or assisting the provision of education, training, healthcare and general living support. Therefore together, we hope that the support offered by the PMGY Foundation helps to enable individuals to generate a sustainable income and be self-sufficient. Consequently, donations made to the PMGY Foundation will be directed to the projects most in need. This is determined by the trustees of the charity during our International Team overseas visits.

 

If you are looking to help raise money directly for the PMGY Foundation, you can do so via our Virgin Money Giving fundraising page. 100% of all money raised will be donated directly to the projects we support around the world. However, please note that participants are unable to raise money through the PMGY Foundation to help finance the cost of their trip overseas. For Asia Gap Year experience volunteers looking for further information on how to raise money for their trip abroad, please visit our fundraising page.

How do I register for your online webinars?

Every Tuesday at 4pm (London time), the PMGY International Team hosts one of four pre-departure webinars. These last approximately 45 minutes each and importantly provide Asia Gap Year experience volunteers with invaluable advice on their upcoming trip. The webinars are hosted by a member of our International Team, who all have extensive knowledge of our projects around the globe. You can attend (and even ask questions) from anywhere in the world, simply by logging in through your own computer. All you need is a computer, a good internet connection and a pair of headphones. In addition to this, if any family or friends would like to attend the session as well, they are more than welcome to do so.

 

For individuals who have not yet signed up to one of our programs, but would like to learn more about us, we encourage you to join our Introductory Webinar. Across 45 minutes, a member of the International team will introduce you to the concept of volunteering abroad, our destinations and both social and safety aspects of our programs.

 

For Asia Gap Year experience volunteers who have already confirmed their volunteering role on the program, there are three for you to choose from. Please note that you need to sign up for the webinar a few days in advance.

 

Travel Essentials Pre-Departure Webinar – covers all the basics.

 

Program Preparation Webinar – covers specifically childcare and teaching community work programs.

 

Safety & Wellbeing Overseas Webinar – covers the risks associated with overseas travel and how you can keep as safe as possible.

Will I require vaccinations and malaria tablets for my volunteer work?

It is possible that as an Asia Gap Year experience volunteer you may require a course of vaccinations in preparation for your volunteer work. However, unfortunately, PMGY is unable to legally advise on these matters, since we are not medical experts. Therefore, it is vital that you contact your local doctor or travel clinic a few months in advance of your intended travel. Your local doctor/nurse will be able to advise you on vaccinations and malaria prevention you may need for entry into your volunteer destination. Additional information can be found on the NHS Fit For Travel website.

How do I arrange my flights to volunteer on the Real Asia Encounter?

When you apply to be an Asia Gap Year experience volunteer, we cannot guarantee your place on the program immediately. Indeed, on receiving an application, we have to liaise with our local team to ensure there is space available on the program and to assess your suitability for the specific project. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not make any flight and/or travel arrangements until your program has been confirmed by us in writing. Of course, once your place as an Asia Gap Year experience volunteer has been confirmed, you are then free to book your flights either with PMGY or through a third-party travel agent.

 

After confirming your place on a PMGY volunteer program, we strongly advise that you book your flights as early as possible. This is since it will help ensure that you get the lowest airfare. You can choose to book your flights independently or we can help you with arranging them. PMGY has a wealth of experience in travelling to and from our host countries. Therefore, we know the most affordable ways to travel and the best airlines to use. Therefore, if you would like any assistance booking your flight, you can request an optional flight quote during your online application. Alternatively, feel free to contact us on the phone or by email.

Do you offer travel insurance?

Importantly, having an appropriate travel insurance policy during your time abroad is essential. Therefore, it is mandatory for all of our international volunteers to be appropriately covered across all of their trip dates. This includes your travel to and from the host country, as well as any onward travel. Although PMGY does everything to ensure your trip is safe, inevitably things can go wrong. Therefore, having a travel insurance policy in place helps you effectively deal with any problems you may encounter during your time away.

 

We have partnered up with the insurance company Endsleigh to create an affordable and comprehensive optional policy. This has been designed with our international volunteers in mind, to cover our participants for all of their travel essentials. The policy is available to anyone across the globe, up to the age of 65 years. The document will cover you for your time on any PMGY destination and any onward travel (excluding the US and Canada). You can purchase PMGY Travel Insurance during your online application or you can contact us directly to arrange it.

How do I obtain a background check?

To become an Asia Gap Year experience volunteer, you’ll need to provide us with a clean DBS or Police Check before you travel. This is a check that must be issued by an official Governmental or Police Body. PMGY have a commitment to the projects we support to ensure the volunteers we send are trustworthy and of sound moral character. Consequently, we are unable to accept participants who have had any previous criminal convictions.

 

If you hold a current DBS or Police Check, then we can accept this, providing it is clear and issued no more than 18 months prior to your program start date. You will need to upload a copy of this to your online portal after confirming your place on the program. Furthermore, the DBS or Police Check must be submitted to us no less than 21 days prior to your program start date.

 

If you don’t have a valid DBS check , then you will need to apply for one. UK volunteers need to apply for a “Basic Disclosure” through Gov.uk (which serves all people in the UK). This costs 23 GBP and takes around 15 working days to process. Full information on how to obtain a DBS check through Gov.uk is outlined in the Volunteer Handbook, received once you have confirmed your place as an Asia Gap Year experience volunteer.

 

For Asia Gap Year experience volunteers from the US, you can apply for a background check through US Criminal Checks. It costs 17.95 USD and is usually processed immediately. Alternatively, you are welcome to arrange your own background check through your local Sheriff’s Office or governmental body.

 

For all other international participants, we recommend you obtain a Police/Criminal Background Check through your local police station or official governmental body.

When will I receive my Volunteer Handbook?

All Asia Gap Year experience volunteers will receive a PMGY Volunteer Handbook for each destination they join us in once they have paid their deposit and confirmed their place on the program. We will send you an email entitled ‘Welcome to PMGY’ which will include a link where you can download the Volunteer Handbooks. Please note that we do not send a hard copy of the PMGY Volunteer Handbook.

 

Each Handbook contains everything you need to know to prepare for each of your destinations as an Asia Gap Year experience volunteer. Ranging from what to pack to how to obtain a visa, we do our best to ensure you are ready to hit the ground running. Therefore, it is really important that you read through the Volunteer Handbooks for each destination carefully once you’ve downloaded it. If you find any of your questions unanswered after reading through this, then our team are always on hand to assist you. You can contact us via email, telephone, Skype, Facebook, online chat…whatever works best for you!

ON YOUR TRIP

Can I arrange a private room?

All of our accommodation options on the Asia Gap Year experience volunteer program involve sharing a room with other participants (usually same-sex). Unfortunately, we are unable to arrange private room options for our Asia Gap Year experience volunteers.

Can you cater for my dietary requirements?

Our teams will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, this cannot be guaranteed as an Asia Gap Year experience volunteer. Consequently, there may be instances where you need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Importantly, any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the program.

Are there any public holidays that affect project availability?

We aim to communicate as clearly and accurately as possible all holidays that impact project availability. This information can be found via our Holiday Dates page and in the Volunteer Handbook. However, due to the nature of developing countries, holidays can often be sporadic or prone to change. In turn, these can unexpectedly affect project availability. Therefore in such instances, we ask our volunteers to be flexible and appreciative of this. These periods often provide volunteers with a unique experience to enjoy the festivities and holidays themselves. However, our local teams will always do their best to find alternative project work if applicable/possible.

What is the dress code at the projects?

Dress code varies from country-to-country and sometimes from project-to-project. Importantly, we ask that our volunteers adopt a smart and responsible image during their time in the communities. Of course, we will outline the specific dress code requirements in your Volunteer Handbook so you know exactly what to pack. In addition to this, our local team will also brief you during your in-country orientation on arrival in each of your destinations.

 

The general rule of thumb for girls is to cover shoulders, chest, stomach and thighs. In a like matter, for men, shorts should not lie above the knee and shirts should cover shoulders. Whilst we do not wish to impose strict regulations on our volunteers, we do ask that you respect the local culture during your travels. Moreover, dressing appropriately will earn you the respect of the people you’ll be working with. Therefore, our Volunteer Handbooks, outline preferred dress-codes in detail.

 

Additionally, it’s also a good idea to take some nicer clothes for the weekends and special occasions. However, please avoid tight and very short clothing. You should also avoid clothing that may have potentially offensive slogans on it. Tattoos and piercings should be covered where possible whilst you’re at your placement, particularly if you’re working with children.

How much spending money will I need?

The amount of extra spending money you should take with you as an Asia Gap Year experience volunteer can depend on a multitude of factors. Considerations include what you undertake during your free time and how many souvenirs you purchase! Therefore, if you plan to go for a safari in Tanzania or perhaps go trekking in South Africa, you will need to budget accordingly. However, for general expenses and some independent travel, you should find 100-150 USD per week a suitable amount.

Will I be able to travel whilst on the program?

You’ll have plenty of opportunities to travel during your time with PMGY. In fact, we encourage you to travel during your free time! Most of our programs have been designed so that you have weekends off. Therefore, this gives you the opportunity to explore the local area or even travel further afield within your host country. Our local coordinators will provide you with all the weekend opportunities and travel tips you need to help you plan any independent adventures. During your time as an Asia Gap Year experience volunteer, you are sure to make some travel buddies along the way!

 

Before booking your flights, we recommend that you look into travel opportunities across dates on either side of your volunteering placement. It is always great to spend some time travelling and seeing more of the country you wish to volunteer in. However, if you plan to travel extensively, please factor this into your flight itinerary. This is since we only encourage travel during weekends while you’re volunteering, as you have made a commitment as an Asia Gap Year experience volunteer.

ACCOMMODATION

SRI LANKA - AMBALANGODA

Volunteer House

 

During your time on the Sri Lanka volunteer program, you will live in our Volunteer House just outside of central Ambalangoda, in a peaceful part of town on the south coast of Sri Lanka. It is just a 10 minute tuk-tuk journey into the main town, where you can find ATMs, supermarkets and local restaurants. You’ll be living with other PMGY volunteers from around the world, so you’ll make plenty of friends along the way!

 

The accommodation is basic but comfortable and clean, fitting up to 10 people per room in single-sex bedrooms with bunk beds. Volunteers are provided with air conditioning in the room and bed linen. You will have cupboard space to store clothes and accessories as well as a personal locker to store your valuables. However, volunteers are still encouraged to only bring essential items during their volunteer work in Sri Lanka.

 

The bathrooms are shared, each with a shower and western style toilet. The water is cold but this shouldn’t be a problem if you volunteer in Sri Lanka, as the climate is hot and humid all year round!

 

The house has a voucher-based Wi-Fi system and a communal area for international volunteers to relax, hang out with new friends or prepare lesson plans if you are teaching English. There is also a refrigerator to store any items you need to keep chilled. A member of our local team will also live at the house. This ensures you have round the clock support and security.

 

We will transport you via tuk-tuk or private car to and from your volunteer placement, which is usually between 5-30 minutes away from the house. This service is included in your Program Fee.

 

During our busiest months you may be placed at alternative accommodation. This could be a nearby guesthouse or one of our alternative Volunteer Houses.

SRI LANKA - WASGAMUWA

Volunteer House

 

When you volunteer in Sri Lanka with elephants, you’ll be staying in the central region of Sri Lanka. The Volunteer House, also known as the Pussellayaya Field House, is located on a scenic hill overlooking a lake and the Knuckles Mountain Range. The accommodation is just 15 minutes from the Wasgamuwa National Park and the local town is named Hettipola.

 

The project accommodation is very basic, but comfortable and clean, fitting up to 8 people per room. On your Sri Lanka volunteer program you will be sure to meet volunteers from around the world, to mix with other cultures and countries in this fantastic setting, as well as having the security to know that the local team also live on site.

 

The Volunteer House has same-sexed bedrooms, sectioned off for privacy situated around two communal social areas. There are shared bathrooms that have western style toilets and cold showers, which will prove refreshing after a hot, humid and energy-sapping day on the project!

 

All of the essentials are provided for you, such as mosquito nets, electric fans, pillows, plug sockets and clean bedsheets. A fridge is provided for volunteers should you want to store any cool items. The Volunteer House has a dining room and lounge area where volunteers gather and socialise at lunch and evenings.

 

The accommodation is open and spacious with a high roof, which catches breezes off the lake to keep the house relatively cool during hot days and nights and ensures the house remains dry during the rainy season. You are awoken every morning by the gorgeous sunrise and the songs of the local birds around. If you wake up early enough, you will be lucky enough to catch the sunrise from the open entrance of the accommodation!

 

There is a communal area where everyone comes together in free time. The accommodation is very simplistic with no entertainment or media such as television, giving a perfect opportunity to interact with fellow volunteers. The walls of the field house are covered in decorative paintings done by past volunteers and you are encouraged to pick up a paintbrush and contribute to brightening up the house surroundings! There are many board games and local games to get involved with to keep you occupied or simply choose to read a book on the veranda as the sunsets down in the evening!

 

You will be transported to the national park for your project, where your schedule of tasks may vary each day for your volunteer work in Sri Lanka.

INDIA

Volunteer House

 

On the India volunteer program, you will live in our Volunteer House. Our accommodation is based within the centre of Faridabad – a satellite city, located around 15 miles south of India’s capital Delhi. Our main India volunteer programs are also located in this region. There are a number of restaurants, convenience stores and ATMs only a walk or short tuk-tuk journey away from the Volunteer House.

 

As a volunteer in India, you will be living with other international volunteers. Consequently, you will find that the Volunteer House is large, basic but comfortable. Bedrooms conform to a single-sex dorm-style setup, with up to 8 people per room. Each bedroom is provided with fans and individuals will be provided with their own bed linen. During the winter months, participants are also recommended to bring additional bedding, such as a sleeping bag. Bathrooms at the Volunteer House are communal, with a western-style toilet and shower. There is no hot-water in the accommodation.

 

There is free Wi-Fi within the house, however, this can be intermittent. Volunteers in India are therefore also recommended to purchase a local SIM card in-country to use with an unlocked mobile phone. Throughout the accommodation are numerous communal areas for international volunteers to relax and socialise. There is also a large space for handwashing to be completed, and for clothes to be hung. Alternatively, a laundry service is available for a nominal fee. Individuals on a volunteer trip to India are recommended to bring a small padlock. Any valuables can also be stored with our local team, however, volunteers are encouraged to only bring essential items during their volunteer work in India. Furthermore, there is a fridge space within the accommodation for volunteers to cool items they need to keep chilled. Please note that power cuts are fairly commonplace in India, although they tend not to last more than a couple of hours.

 

The Volunteer House is located on the same quarters as the wonderful host family who coordinates our projects in India. There is a clear divide between the two houses, however, international volunteers still have regular interaction with our local coordinators. Most of our volunteer projects in India are not within walking distance of the Volunteer House. In these cases, our local team will, therefore, transport you to and from the project each day. The cost of this service is included in your Programm Fee. Transport to our volunteering opportunities in India may be via tuk-tuk or minivan.

 

During our busiest months (June to September), you may be placed at alternative accommodation. This could be a nearby guesthouse or one of our summer Volunteer Houses.

NEPAL

The first few days of your Nepal volunteer program will be based in Kathmandu, living with our host team in their family home. The accommodation here is nice and comfortable, has Wi-Fi and is a nice welcome to life in Nepal. Your accommodation after these few days will depend on which program you are joining. The host team will keep in touch with you throughout your stay, plus there will be local staff at your accommodation site as your main point of contact during your volunteer placement. Your final night on the program will be back in Kathmandu at the family home before you depart for the airport.

 

It is important to note that for your volunteer work in Nepal the accommodation will be comfortable but generally very basic; particularly in rural locations. Most accommodation will have western-style toilets, however, some options only have Nepali style squat toilets so be prepared! More rural placements have bucket showers. Most accommodation does not have Wi-Fi access and electricity is intermittent so it’s a good idea to bring a torch and plenty of books! It’s a wonderfully rustic way to live and a million miles away from today’s hectic, hi-tech lifestyle, so enjoy every peaceful second!

 

Children’s Home

 

The children’s homes we support in Chitwan and Pokhara have separate living quarters for childcare volunteers in Nepal, which are located next to the project. Each site will have the house mother as your main point of contact for support and safety. The rooms are basic and fit between 2 and 4 people with bedding provided. Wi-Fi may be available in communal areas but generally, it is quite intermittent and unreliable. You should expect cold showers, potentially even bucket showers, and usually, there are western toilets. International volunteers have their own space and privacy but are encouraged to only bring essential items during their volunteer work in Nepal and use a padlock to keep valuables safe. There are small shops around 15 minutes walk from the accommodation, otherwise, the local team can help you to get a bus or taxi into the local towns.

 

Monastery

 

During your time as a volunteer teaching English to monks in Nepal, you will live at one of the monasteries in Kathmandu or Chitwan. International volunteers will sleep in separate living quarters to the monks, where the accommodation is basic but comfortable, usually up to 4 people per room. Volunteers have their own space and privacy, but are encouraged to only bring essential items during their volunteer work in Nepal and use a padlock to keep valuables safe.

 

The monastery in Chitwan is located in a rural setting so volunteers should not expect western-style toilets, hot water showers or internet access at this monastery. It is situated on a hillside within a jungle, a couple of hours bus ride from the local town.

 

The monasteries in Kathmandu tend to be more modern and are situated in various locations across the valley – some are close to the city centre and others are in more rural areas outside of town with only small shops nearby. Generally, you should expect not to have Wi-Fi or hot showers, but they usually have western-style bathrooms.

 

Living at the monastery is a truly unique experience that can bring with it some amazing views. You’ll hear the gong go off at 5am every morning to call the monks for prayer and meditation – something you’re welcome to take part in! Living life side-by-side with the monks and engaging in simple ritual life is definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity!

 

Host Family

 

If you are a volunteer teaching English in Nepal you will be staying with a host family close to your project, usually within easy walking distance. This is a great way to immerse yourself into the Nepalese way of life and get involved in the local community and cultural traditions. The more questions you ask and the efforts you make to socialise with the host family generally correlates to how much they interact with you and open their home to you. You can be sure you will be made to feel like part of the family!

 

You will either have a private room or share with fellow volunteers. In general, you will be provided with bedding, a mosquito net and fan. There may be intermittent Wi-Fi available, however, volunteers in Nepal can purchase a local SIM card in-country to use with an unlocked mobile phone. You are encouraged to only bring essential items during your volunteer work in Nepal and use a padlock to keep valuables safe.

 

Please note that some host families have Nepalese toilets. These are squat toilets with a bucket of water to flush, and in more rural locations it can be a hole in the ground. Usually, there will not be hot water and you may have a bucket shower. The level of facilities at the host family will vary depending on how rural the location is, including access to nearby shops.

 

It’s always handy to carry toilet paper and some hand sanitiser when you volunteer in Nepal – just in case. Toilet paper is easy to find in the shops but hand sanitiser is only available in the cities, so it’s worth bringing a couple of bottles from home.

MEALS

SRI LANKA - AMBALANGODA

You will be served three meals per day at the Volunteer House. Most meals are traditional Sri Lankan dishes that can be typically quite spicy. Sri Lankan cuisine consists of a lot of rice and the meat is mainly fish or chicken – vegetarian options are always available.

 

All meals are freshly prepared each day. If you fancy some western comforts, you will find plenty of restaurants serving western meals in the nearby town of Hikkaduwa.

 

A weekly menu has been introduced that blends Sri Lanka cuisine with Western cuisine so you will know in advance what is on the menu for that day!

 

Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, this cannot be guaranteed. This means that there may be instances where you need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the program.

SRI LANKA - WASGAMUWA

You will be served three freshly prepared meals per day at the Volunteer House. You will have some free time after lunch for your stomach to settle before the afternoon session! Most meals are traditional Sri Lankan dishes that can be typically quite spicy. Sri Lankan cuisine consists of a lot of rice and the meat is mainly fish or chicken – vegetarian options are always available and the meals tend to be mainly vegetarian anyway.

 

There are tea and coffee facilities provided for volunteers whenever required as well as water filters, so remember to top up before you head into the jungle!

 

Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, this cannot be guaranteed. This means that there may be instances where you need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the program.

INDIA

During your volunteer trip to India, you will be served three freshly prepared meals per day. Most meals are traditional Indian dishes. Typically, these are made up of vegetarian ingredients. Our team do their best to ensure that dishes are not too spicy, however, remain flavoursome. On occasion, the local team will prepare western dishes, such as pasta and vegetarian burgers. Filtered water is also available at the accommodation free of charge.

 

Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, this cannot be guaranteed. This means that there may be instances where you need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the program.

NEPAL

You will be served three freshly prepared Nepalese meals a day at your project residence, which will generally be traditional Nepalese food. You’re more than welcome to lend a hand in the kitchen and learn how to cook Nepalese dishes! Traditional food generally uses a variety of fresh, local ingredients including; lentils, potatoes, tomatoes, cumin, coriander, chillies, yoghurt and lots of rice, so it may take a little getting used to. Some dishes may typically be quite spicy too.

 

Dhal Bhat is the national dish and is usually served for breakfast and evening meal every day. It is a dish comprised of rice, lentils and seasoned vegetables.

 

Most meals are vegetarian with typical dishes being pasta or noodles complemented by locally grown vegetables. There is the occasional chicken, pork or fish dish served up from time to time.

 

Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, this cannot be guaranteed. This means that there may be instances where you need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the program.

FEES INVOLVED

DURATION

PROGRAM FEE

REGISTRATION FEE

TOTAL

6 weeks
1,485 USD
249 USD
1,734 USD
9 weeks
1,935 USD
249 USD
2,184 USD
12 weeks
2,235 USD
249 USD
2,484 USD

* These fees apply to each individual application.

 

 

In order to apply to join PMGY you are required to make your Registration Fee payment of 249 USD. In the unlikely event that we are unable to offer you a place on the program then your Registration Fee will be refunded in full within 48 hours of applying. The remaining fee is then due no less than 60 days prior to your program start date. During this period if you need to make a change to your trip (destination, program or date) then this can be facilitated free of charge.

 

If you’re applying within 60 days of your program start date then you’ll need to pay the full amount to confirm your place. Likewise, in the unlikely event that we are unable to offer you a place on the program then your payment will be refunded in full within 48 hours of applying.

 

Any remaining payments must be made no less than 60 days prior to your start date. This payment can be made in one lump sum or in several instalments. If you chose to take our insurance or book a flight with PMGY then these must be paid for (in full) at the time of booking.

 

Payments can be made directly through our website using all major debit and credit cards. We will outline instructions to make payment in our email communication with you. Please note credit card payments are subject to a 3% additional fee to cover the bank charges that PMGY incur.

 

OPTIONAL TRIPLE CARBON OFFSET SCHEME – 60 USD

PMGY provide participants with the opportunity to contribute towards our Triple Carbon Offset Scheme. This not only helps eliminate your carbon footprint but helps the planet with a positive contribution every time you fly. The Triple Offset Idea for volunteers works as follows –

 

🇰🇪 Kenya – 53 mango trees are planted in Kenya. These are capable of absorbing the total carbon emissions for a volunteer trip to Asia and also help provide a sustainable income for local farmers.

 

🇮🇳 India – 80 days of access to a solar cooker are provided to a family in India. This means the family don’t have to spend on firewood and thus reduce their dependence on trees.

 

🇺🇸 USA – 1.25kg of rescued meals are provided to the homeless in the USA. This recycles wasted food reduces methane emission from food waste which is equivalent to 1lb of CO2 emissions.

 

This optional add-on can be added during the online application process or can even be added on at a later date. The offset platform is provided by our charity, the PMGY Foundation and ensures that 100% of contributions are put towards high impact projects around the world.

VOLUNTEER IN ASIA REVIEWS

   

COSTS INVOLVED

WHAT'S INCLUDED

PROGRAM FEE

  • ACCOMMODATION YES
  • MEALS (BREAKFAST, LUNCH & DINNER) YES
  • AIRPORT PICK UPS YES
  • AIRPORT DROP OFF (NEPAL)YES
  • PRIVATE PROJECT TRANSPORT (IND & SL)YES
  • IN-COUNTRY ORIENTATIONSYES
  • PMGY T-SHIRTYES
  • 24 HOUR IN-COUNTRY SUPPORTYES

REGISTRATION FEE

  • 24 HOUR EMERGENCY SUPPORT YES
  • DEDICATED PMGY TRAVEL MENTOR YES
  • EMAIL & TELEPHONE SUPPORT YES
  • VOLUNTEER HANDBOOK YES
  • LIVE PRE-DEPARTURE WEBINARS YES
  • 100% FINANCIAL PROTECTIONYES
  • REGULAR PROGRAM INSPECTION YES
  • CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETIONYES

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

  • NEPAL MEALS DURING ORIENTATIONNO
  • NEPAL ORIENTATION ENTRANCE FEESNO
  • FLIGHTSNO
  • TRAVEL INSURANCENO
  • RETURN AIRPORT TRANSFERSNO
  • VISASNO
  • CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKNO

WEEKEND TRIP ADD-ONS

TRIPLE CARBON OFFSET SCHEME

OPTIONAL 60 USD PAYMENT

  • TREES PLANTED IN KENYA53
  • DAYS OF SOLAR ACCESS IN INDIA80
  • HOMELESS MEALS PROVIDED IN USA1.25KG