During their time in Sri Lanka volunteers are accommodated in the home of Janaka de Silva and his family in good sized bedrooms, with en suite shower and toilet facilities. Their house, which was built between 1996 and 2001, is set in tropical surroundings with monkeys in the trees around the house as well as numerous birds. It was extended in 2006 when the volunteer accommodation was completed, but the Project didn't start taking volunteers until 2009.
Volunteers are free to use the house and grounds as fully and freely as all family members. Despite the ensuite facilities, this is Home Stay accommodation and not a hotel. You have the opportunity to live, work and participate in the relaxed atmosphere of family life rather than the more rigid formality of a hotel.
Janaka and the monks at the Temple
Janaka, the birthday boy, and Manel his wife. March 2010
The children, Sandali, Samadhi, Koeli and Seth
The team! Janaka and Manel with her mother and two of her three sisters
The house is set in a lush and abundant surroundings. These photos were taken prior to the erection of the domed shelter, but are still included on the website as they show the structure of the main house.
The domed shelter over the garden and monkeys in the trees at sunset photographed from the top balcony.
Volunteer Gene Mason with another delicious home-cooked meal.
Volunteer Phil King checking his email in the garden.
Some rooms in the new accommodation block have mosquito nets and all bedrooms are equipped with plug in insect repellent vaporisers. All rooms have fans and are en-suite.
The three rooms, pictured below, have air conditioning for an extra fee which covers electricity and machine maintenance. Electricity is very expensive in Sri Lanka and the wattage of the machines is 2,200 watts. That means they uses 2.2 units of electricity per hour of usage. Please see the volunteer documents for the volunteer fee structure and A/C costs.
The volunteer fee of $200 per week plus 16% VAT and other government taxes includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and accommodation as above. Free Wi-Fi is available for volunteers. Volunteers without their own laptops may use the family computer in the house. The volunteer fee does not include sodas, mineral/bottled water, alcoholic drinks or snacks, nor does it include sanitary supplies and toiletries such as soap, toilet tissues, shampoo, bath gels, hand wash, shower caps, hand/face or bath towels etc. Note that part weeks are counted as full weeks. Please see full details of costs on the Fee Structure page.
The house is a short distance from the Temple grounds and the Tsunami Memorial Library. Volunteers are responsible for paying for their transport to and from the volunteer venues. Local transport by tuk tuk is very cheap. Some venues are within walking distance from the house. None are far away.
Each bedroom is provided with a cleaning kit of a large bowl in which you can wash your clothes, and cleaning supplies are available so that you can maintain your own room. You can ask the family's trusted employee Siri to clean your room for a small tip. Sheets and towels are given to Manel once a week for washing.
If volunteers would like a box of bottled water to be there for their arrival at the accommodation, they should ask Janaka and he will arrange it. It may be paid for at the time of paying the volunteer fee and airport transfer fee. The provision of subsequent supplies of bottled water is the volunteer’s responsibility.
2 of the bedrooms for volunteers.
All the bedrooms have double or king size beds, ensuite shower rooms and good furniture. One room has two double beds.
The largest bedroom and ensuite bathroom - photographed when volunteers were using it.
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 may be found on the Contact Us page.
There are also downloadable maps on the Volunteer Workplaces page that show the location of the various sites where volunteers will be spending their time.
A 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. The photo above shows the sign at the bottom of the lane up which you walk to reach home. This is where you catch and alight from the bus.