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.
RENOVATION VOLUNTEER PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
CONTRIBUTE TOWARDS THE UN’S SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL NO.9 – INFRASTRUCTURE
SUPPORT LOCAL HOSPITALS, SCHOOLS OR TEMPLES WITH ESSENTIAL RENOVATIONS
GET STUCK IN WITH A HANDS-ON PROJECT WITH A TANGIBLE OUTCOME
STRUCTURED WEEKEND TRIPS TO KANDY, YALA NATIONAL PARK & THE MALDIVES
WIDELY CONSIDERED TO BE PMGY’S TOP OVERALL DESTINATION & BEST LOCAL TEAM
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 development volunteer abroad 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.