This wonderful project was created with the goal of helping to improve the English speaking abilities and the IT skill level of students in the Sri Lankan town of Badulla. Volunteers on this project will work with local teachers to support children in their efforts to learn English and IT skills. The aim of the project is to lay a good foundation for students and depending on the volunteer’s skill areas, activities tend to include delivering lessons in basic computer skills, and teaching English at different levels. English is becoming increasingly important for students in Sri Lanka, however a shortage of teachers in the language is making it hard to access this important skill. An ability to speak English is hugely beneficial to youth, allowing them to pursue further education opportunities and to seek employment where English is an advantage, such as the tourism sector.
Goals of this Project:
- Provide free lessons to children and youth to help them improve their English language skills
- Expose non-English speakers to native English speakers in order to improve pronunciation and conversational skills
- Improve the future prospects of some of Sri Lanka’s most impoverished people, and help them to break the poverty cycle
- Expose volunteers and children to different people and cultures
Volunteers play an essential role in teaching the English language to children in Sir Lanka. Volunteers will work in classrooms with students to teach this language, through lesson plans, games and activities. The volunteers will be supported by local teachers who will also gain the benefit of improving their own language skills through conversing with volunteers. There will also be a component of producing lesson plans, preparing and evaluating tests and helping with clerical duties.
Volunteers will contribute in a number of ways and can expect to undertake the following tasks:
- Teaching English or IT to children attending the school
- Helping teachers plan their classes, tests and helping with administrative duties
- Assisting other teachers and volunteers in classes
- Help other teachers translate materials
- Create games in English for the students and spend time playing with students
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Upon arrival into Colombo you will be met at the airport by our local team and taken to the Volunteer Centre in Wattala where you will stay until being assisted onto the early morning train to Badulla on Sunday. An orientation session will take place as and when time permits to cover local and regional customs, basic words and phrases, transport and, of course, what to expect from your volunteering experience.
On Sunday you will take the scenic 12 hour train journey inland to Badulla. Be sure to ask for a window seat and try to sit on the right hand side as you face forward from Colombo to Kandy as this will give you the best views once you get past Rambukkana. Vendors ply the train with refreshments (drinks, fruit, spicy snacks) at reasonable prices.
You will be met off the train in Badulla and taken to the Volunteer Centre and your host family (if applicable). Local staff will provide a training session pertinent to your placement and provide an orientation to cover local amenities, transport and answer any questions you may have.
All transport and accommodation arrangements are made for you by the local team and included in the program free.
- Arrival Day: SATURDAY
- Departure Day: SATURDAY
- Arrival Airport: Bandaranaike International Airport, Colombo, Sri Lanka (Code: CMB)
Volunteers on this wonderful program will either be accommodated within the fully equipped Volunteer Centre or with trusted local host families. In both cases rooms are comfortable and may be shared with up to 2 other volunteers.
The first night is spent at the Volunteer Centre in Wattala before travelling Badulla the following day. Our local team makes all in-country transport and accommodation arrangements so it’s stress-free.
The Volunteer Centre provides all the necessary amenities and is open to all volunteers regardless of where they are accommodated. Facilities include hot showers, laundry and kitchen areas, free Wifi, fans and air-conditioning (available on request in the summer months). Bed linen is provided at both the Volunteer Centre and host family homes so volunteers need only take personal toiletries and towel(s).
Host families are experienced at caring for our volunteers and make everyone feel welcome. Their homes may be basic by international standards but this is more than made up for by generosity of spirit. Wifi and laundry facilities may not be available in the host family home and volunteers are encouraged to make use of these at the Volunteer Centre.
Three simple and delicious meals are provided daily throughout the placement at both the Volunteer Centre and host family homes. Sri Lankan cuisine is redolent of many neighbouring countries including Thailand, Vietnam and Indian. Full of flavoursome spices it is sure to delight every palate. Staples of rice and a wide range of curries are accompanied by divine vegetable dishes and condiments such as the chilli based sambal.
Registration Fee: The registration fee is USD 299 for those volunteering for the first time or USD 149 for any subsequent volunteer placements. The registration fee includes: lifetime Alumni Membership, fundraising support & advice, dedicated pre-departure support, certificate of completion (on request), and exclusive access to the Trip Planner.
Requirements: We welcomes all those 18 years and over who wish to help create a brighter future for children through the power of education. This project best suits those with experience and/or qualifications in the field of childhood development and education, though volunteers who simply wish to explore an interest in this field are also welcomed as there are many ways you can assist in the classroom. Whist not mandatory, completing a TEFL course prior to joining this project would prove to be highly beneficial. Ideally, volunteers on this project will have at least a basic knowledge of the local language in order to communicate effectively with staff and students, though this is not a pre-requisite. Importantly, all applicants must first and foremost have a genuine willingness to help, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive ‘can-do’ attitude. If this sounds like you, we want you on the team!
Additionally, volunteers applying to join this program will be required to supply to following documentation:
- Emergency contact
- Police check
Project Location: Volunteers on this engaging program are based in Badulla, a historically significant town located in the southern central hill country region, high above sea level but still dwarfed by nearby mountain ranges. Both the Portuguese and British left their mark but very little remains of that era and the Sri Lankan spirit and jungle atmosphere have successfully reverted the town almost to it’s original state. Popular as an eco-tourism base and surrounded by tea plantations, Badulla is a restful and authentic place to spend time.
Start Dates & Duration: This project is available year-round and programs start every SATURDAY. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 1 week to 12 weeks.
A volunteer’s work day on this project will generally last between 4 and 6 hours and while we ask all volunteers to be flexible in this regard, a typical daily schedule is likely to go something like this:
7:30am Breakfast at your accommodation
8:30am Travel to the program site
8:45am Pre-start meeting with the program supervisor
9:00am VOLUNTEERING DUTIES START
Lunch is provided at the Volunteer Centre, normally from 12:00 – 1:30pm.
4:00pm VOLUNTEERING DUTIES END
Volunteers may wish to take part in optional activities after 4pm including sporting activities, awareness programs and cultural shows.
Evening Free time to relax