Planning your Trip
This page includes information that will help you plan and prepare for your trip. It is important that you know as much as possible about what to expect during your time in Sri Lanka, and what the Project expects of you.
We have been surprised to find that many volunteers arrive at the project without even reading these pages. They are designed to give you as much information as possible so that you can make an informed decision. Please read them carefully! They will probably answer all your questions but if, after reading them, you still have other questions, email Janaka de Silva through the form on the Contact Us page or using his email address and he will gladly help you.
It's a good idea to print off all the documents and bring them with you as the information they contain will mean you find your way around and adapt more quickly once you are here.
The Possible Additional Costs and Important Information page contains useful information about planning your trip, what items to bring, additional costs you may incur during your stay, and tips on how to ensure that your time with the project is successful. (Click here to download this page as a Word document.)
The Code of Conduct page contains important information that will help you manage your working relationships whilst volunteering and includes advice about culturally appropriate dress when volunteering in establishments such as schools, hospitals, orphanages, old peoples' homes and kindergartens etc. (Click here to download this page as a Word document.)
The Daily Routine page gives the schedule for a typical day in the life of a volunteer. It is meant to give you an idea of when meal times are and when you will be at one of the volunteer workplaces. (Click here to download this page as a Word document.) You can also download a Word document that shows one volunteer's Weekly Schedule, although of course your schedule will be different and will be tailored to your interests and skills.
The Fee Structure page gives a detailed description of what your volunteer fee pays for in terms of accommodation and food, as well as how your fee is used to support the work that the Project does. (Click here to download this page as a Word document.)
We are trying to be transparent in our utilisation of the volunteer fee and the small surplus from that fee after accommodation, food and other running expenses are deducted. The surplus is regarded as a small volunteer donation to the project which enables us to provide support and assistance to individuals and institutions in the community. So please read this and if you have any further questions just ask Janaka who will be pleased to discuss it with you. Records are kept of the spending of these donations. Please feel free to ask to see these, if you wish.
Visitors from most countries require a visa to visit Sri Lanka. Requirements are subject to change, and it's essential that volunteers inquire in their home country before planning their trip. UK nationals may find the following document useful: Sri Lanka High Commission in London Visa info. Nationals from countries other than the UK must seek advice from the Sri Lanka Embassy/High Commission in their own country.
All volunteers should consult Janaka as he deals with volunteer visa enquiries all the time.
Getting to the Volunteer Accommodation
Janaka's house is a short bus or tuk-tuk ride from the bus station in Galle. The house is near Galagediya junction, and that's what you should ask for if you're having trouble finding it. When you're coming from Galle bus station you'll pass the wall of the Nursing school on your left - Galagediya junction is the next stop. The lane to the house is on the same side of the street you'll be on when you dismount from the bus. The lane is across the street from the MJM Chinese Restaurant. Follow the main part of the laneway to find the house. Anyone you meet should be able to point out Janaka de Silva's house.
A map can be found on the Contact Us page. There's also a map on the Volunteer Workplaces page that shows the location of the various sites where volunteers will be spending their time. Maps are also available for download: the Local area map can be helpful for finding your way around the immediate area of the house, and the Map of Volunteer Workplace Locations shows where the house is in relation to Galle bus station.
School Term Dates
School holidays are variable. They generally occur for a month in December into January, 2 to 3 weeks in April and a few weeks in August. However, the Library is always open for children and volunteers during the holidays so that the children can receive help and coaching plus of course Elder's Homes, orphanages and hospitals are always open. For up to date and accurate information ask Janaka.
Children at the Sunday school at the Temple and Memorial Library