Volunteer OverseasVolunteer Overseas

International Volunteer Work with Children in Sri Lanka

General Care Projects
  • Placement locations: Coastal towns within 2 hours of Colombo
  • Types of care projects: Day care centres, kindergartens, community centres
  • Age of children: 0 - 18
  • Number of people cared for: 15 - 90
  • Role: Volunteers work on achieving the goals set out in the Care Management Plan, including running educational games and group activities, and providing emotional support.
  • Requirements: None
  • Accommodation: Host families
  • Length of placement: From 1 week
  • Start dates: Flexible

Volunteer with young girls in a care centre in Sri Lanka on the Care project

Volunteer work with children in Sri Lanka with Projects Abroad is a way for you to make a positive impact on children in need. All volunteers have a role to play in the care centres we work with, whether you are on a gap year, an older volunteer on a career break, or even during your retirement.

You do not need to have previous experience when you volunteer on a Care project in Sri Lanka. What is important is that you have a passion and commitment to the children you are trying to help. The work you will do in Sri Lanka can be challenging, but very fulfilling.

Volunteering Abroad with Children in Sri Lanka with Projects Abroad

Based in several towns along the coast of Sri Lanka, within a couple of hours drive from Colombo, care work in Sri Lanka is a full and rich experience offering an enormous variety of choice.

Volunteer Profile Hayley Dearlove shares her story from volunteering on the Care project with Projects Abroad
Hayley Dearlove
The children absolutely loved having the volunteers there, their faces used to light up as they saw us coming, which was such a lovely gift! It was one of the hardest things to do when we had to leave, saying goodbye to all the children. Read more...

Sri Lankan children complete an activity with the help of a Projects Abroad volunteer.

Conditions at our placements are often basic and local staff are sometimes overworked, so the support of volunteers is always greatly appreciated. The majority of our volunteers work at kindergartens and community centres, however there are also opportunities to work at centres for children with learning disabilities. Please let us know if you have any specific preferences when you apply.

You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Sri Lanka Care Management Plan.

Volunteering Abroad at a Kindergarten or Care Centre in Sri Lanka

Most children at the care centres still attend school in the mornings, sometimes at the same site, or at a school nearby. Volunteers therefore often help with basic education for a few hours in the mornings, usually assisting in a local kindergarten or community centre. You can help by creating visual learning aides or organizing creative games. In the afternoons volunteers assist in numerous areas with the children, from helping with homework to organizing and playing sports and games, or providing one-on-one lessons for those identified as slow readers.

Volunteer Profile Volunteer Rocio Irisarri shares her story from working in a care center in Sri Lanka
Rocio Irisarri
Change is complicated, too complicated for it to happen in one month. But I tried to make a difference in those children’s lives because they deserve it. They are the sons of hunger and poverty with little opportunities in life. Thanks to projects like these, their future has more possibility of changing. Big and small gestures can make change possible. Thank you Sri Lanka for everything. Read more...

Volunteering Abroad in Special Needs Centres in Sri Lanka

Volunteer with a young Sri Lankan girl in a care centre on the Care project

Volunteers working at centres for children with special needs, in addition to engaging the children in regular games, may also be needed to help feed and do physical exercises with the children. There may also be the opportunity to assist with cooking. Volunteers here are greatly needed, but these placements are not for everyone, and volunteers need to be ready for a challenge. Volunteers can expect to be shocked, but will also have an incredibly rewarding experience in return for their efforts.

Volunteering on a Care Project in Sri Lanka with Projects Abroad

The Projects Abroad team in Sri Lanka organizes regular workshops for all our care volunteers. The workshops will provide you with useful insight into the care system in Sri Lanka and the background of the placement where you’re working. You will also receive advice and suggestions regarding activities to carry out at your care placement.

English at most of the placements is basic, but the enthusiasm of both the staff and children ensures that you will be able to make yourself understood. Our Projects Abroad staff and the supervisor at your placement will always be on hand to ensure you make the most of your time in Sri Lanka.

Care volunteer  in Sri Lanka working with special needs children with Projects Abroad

When you apply for a Care placement in Sri Lanka, you will be contacted to discuss the various options and find the best placement for you. We try to take advantage of all of our individual volunteers' talents and skills and put you to work where you are needed the most.

Volunteering in Orphanages in Sri Lanka

Over the years, our volunteers have worked with children at orphanages and residential care homes in Sri Lanka. They have done incredible work at these placements, improving living conditions there and creating opportunities for children by supporting their education and care. However, we have decided to move our focus away from orphanages and homes toward community and family-based care. This is because we believe stable family environments are best for the children we work with. Read more about orphanage volunteering and our position on it.

This means that instead of volunteering in orphanages in Sri Lanka, volunteers will work in placements like day care centres, kindergartens and schools, or support groups for the elderly and mothers and babies. This will help Projects Abroad build stronger relationships with local communities and – most importantly – help families stay together and flourish.

You can join a Care project in Sri Lanka for two or three weeks if you don't have time to join us for four weeks or more. This project has been selected by our local colleagues as being suitable for short term volunteering for both the host community and the volunteer. Although you will gain a valuable cultural insight and work intensely within the local community please be aware that you may not be able to make the same impact as someone volunteering for a longer period. Please note that our Special Needs placements require you to commit for a minimum of four weeks.

If you are a high school student and first-time traveller you may want to consider our High School Special programs in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka Care Management Plan

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