How you can help
There are many different ways to help those in need in Sri Lanka:
People with almost every skill you can think of are needed! Whatever your age, from 17 to 70, provided you are in good health we welcome you to come and help us. Whatever your skills, they can be used to alleviate suffering, improve learning, health, living conditions and the ability to earn a living, to enable children, some of whom are orphans, to have fun and bring comfort to the sick and lonely.
Go to Volunteer With Us to learn more about volunteering.
You can make a donation to the Volunteer Sri Lanka Project which will be added to the fund until there is sufficient to pay for items the project needs. Please contact Janaka de Silva (email@example.com) for details about how to send payment by bank transfer or with Western Union Agencies.100% of donations will be spent on providing equipment and developing the project. Every donor receives an itemised list of how their money was spent. One of the beauties of this project is that there are NO administrative charges. Any expenses incurred are borne by the Project Manager as part of his personal contribution to this mission.
If you want to make a donation for a specific project or purpose, that's fine. Just ask Janaka about the options and feel free to suggest anything yourself. You should also expect either to see the completion/purchase from your donation during your time at the project or at the very least solid progress towards it. At the time of completion/purchase you should expect to receive photos of what you have paid for. If we are tardy about this, please don't hesitate to contact us to remind us. Sometimes, things get forgotten during our busy days, but you are entitled to have a visual record!
There is now a community help shop at the project house where we display various products made by six families that need financial support. The items are priced for volunteers (not tourist prices). Amongst the items for sale are beach dresses, comfy clothes for work placements, tshirts, towels, souvenirs, handicrafts, picture post cards etc.
Urgently needed help
Sometimes we have projects that need immediate support. When those occur, we will list them here.
We are always very grateful to any of our volunteers who raise funds to help the project, but we do realise that not everyone likes to do this. Any amount anyone raised is greatly appreciated, but not expected.
It's a good idea to discuss this with Janaka prior to starting so that you are clear about how your money will be spent. You have the option to choose how we spend your donation.
The same conditions about donor choice and visual records of how your money is spent also apply.
It doesn't make sense to send items by post as they weigh too much and are often subject to duty which drains the resources of the project. Many items are available in Sri Lanka and buying things here provides local income and employment.
However, it is worth asking the airline you are flying with for an extra luggage allowance so that you can bring some items with you that are expensive or hard to find in Sri Lanka.
We always need the following.
1. working laptops with chargers.
2. digital cameras with chargers.
3. mobile phones with chargers.
4. Data sticks.
5. Reading books in English which are up to date, in good condition and culturally appropriate. Text books other than maths and science are not required due to different syllabus requirements. Reference books and lesson materials for teaching English.
6. Tools for carpentry, bricklaying, plastering, sewing and art work.
If you have other ideas about things you might bring, please feel free to discuss this with Janaka to check that the items are appropriate.
Please be aware that schools and nurseries do not provide paper, pens, pencils, blue tack, prit sticks, ring binders, dividers, etc. Their meagre budgets just don't stretch that far. The project cannot afford to fund such items other than on a minimal basis.
An area of Janaka's house has been converted to make a small resource store, but please come prepared to make your own resources to use and add to the store when you leave. Please don't use master copies of existing resources, copy them so that the masters are available for others.
Many items (for example, exercise books, pens, pencils, pencil sharpeners, erasers, rulers, maths equipment etc.) may be bought in Sri Lanka where your money will go further and where their purchase will provide employment and income for Sri Lankans.
We wish to stress that we are grateful that volunteers come to help us at all. We don't expect volunteers to bring or buy extra things for the Project. If they do, it's an unexpected bonus for which we are very grateful!