Sri Lanka

RCDP International Volunteer Abroad

I volunteered at the Ruhunu Childrens Orphanage and stayed with Michael and his family in Galle, Sri Lanka. I felt very welcome the whole time and his wife made us three meals a day which were delicious. I spent two weeks at the orphanage working with children 2 years old and under and had a really incredible experience. I raised $2600 CAD which I used to buy supplies, medicine, instruments and toys for the orphanage. Michael helped with everything and made the process really easy. Overall it was a great few weeks and I would highly recommend this program!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Sri Lanka
Posted: Aug 17, 2017
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
8

Institute for Field Research Expeditions - IFRE

My experience in Sri Lanka has been very good. I had an amazing time during my time as a volunteer. I was helping with kids in the orphanage in Galle and I am so glad I did that. It is an incredible experience which changed my viewpoint on many things in life.

In relation to company I went through, I can only say positive things about them..especially my coordinator in Sri Lanka - Michael. He is so great. He was very helpful, he was taking care of me as I was one of his children... he made my stay brilliant and I can only recommend being volunteer in Sri Lanka.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Sri Lanka
Posted: Aug 9, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Crossroad

I volunteered at three different locations: at an orphanage, a temple, and a preschool. At the orphanage, I had the opportunity to run around with a group of 3~5-year-olds. Even though they have very caring employees who live with the kids, I sensed that the kids were deprived of love. I felt this way on the first day I volunteered there—most of the kids asked for a hug in spite of the fact that we have just met for the first time. My interactions with the kids convinced me that the kids need as much attention and love as possible. I was fortunate enough to be able to give a small amount of attention and love, but I believe that each kid needs more care and love, which can only be provided by people.
At a temple, I taught English to monks of different ages. I faced some challenged since I did not speak sufficient Sinhala and they had different English fluency. My program coordinator asked me to mainly have some conversations with them in English, so that they can practice speaking. At first, they were shy, but eventually they started speaking to me in English. I would not say that it was the most productive English class, but I still cherish the time I spent with the monks.
Lastly, I also volunteered at a preschool. The kids there were very well-behaved. My job mainly consisted of playing with them and teaching them different colors in English. I do not remember any struggles with these kids. I had a very pleasant experience just interacting with them and communicating with the teachers.

What I described above is just a glimpse of my time in Sri Lanka. The more I immersed myself deeper into the Sinhala culture, the more meaningful experience I had. Also, words cannot possibly describe how kindly my host family, the Ferreira family, treated me over the course of my volunteering. My sincere and huge appreciation goes to the beautiful island of Sri Lanka, the kids and teachers who allowed me to volunteer with them, and the warm Ferreira family.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Sri Lanka
Posted: Aug 4, 2017
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9

Institute for Field Research Expeditions - IFRE

Hello

I am Vanessa and I am from France. I am doing a volunteer program in srilanka . I have picked the teaching Buddhist monks program . I am staying at Michael's family house in Mahamodara , Michael is a very kind person and always helpful if you need anything he will help you , his house is really nice, comfortable and clean . His wife is a very good chef, you will be happy to eat her cuisine. Overall i am very grateful to have met Michael and his family, I could not thank them enough for having me over and make my stay enjoyable.

If you want to volunteer in the future I would recommend to do the teaching Buddhist monks program , it is very interesting, and the Buddhism culture will keep you on your toes . People in srilanka are so nice, polite and very kind . I have learnt a lot during my stay and I feel really rich inside . What a beautiful experience!

In the end I will definitely come back to Srilanka to travel around the country and of course to visit Michael and his family .

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Sri Lanka
Posted: Jul 20, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

RCDP International Volunteer Abroad

I am Nadja from Norway and I joined RCDP international volunteering program in Sri Lanka, Galle, at the orphanage for children.

The children at the orphanage are incredibly kind, thoughtful and beautiful. After just three days I had gotten really attached to the kids and started wondering how I would manage to leave them. During my stay I have seen their kindness close up. I have seen the oldest kids look after the younger kids. The children at the orphanage are so incredibly beautiful, and they're always smiling, which made me smile the whole time I was there.

I stayed with Michael and his family. They have been wonderful, really kind, helpful and loving. Every time I asked the family about something they did their best to help me. Michael's grandchildren even started teaching me singalese because they wanted to help me.

Michael's wife made such good food, it was incredible. The other volunteers and I started saying that all of the meals
were our favorite meal, because everything tasted so good.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Sri Lanka
Posted: Jun 24, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
8
Value:
10

RCDP International Volunteer Abroad

I volunteered at the orphanage for 3 weeks while staying at Michael's house.
Michael and his family are all so nice and I am so grateful for them. Michael's wife has amazing cooking skills and I will miss her food a lot! The house was reasonably comfortable, and it is amazing that we can see the sea from the balcony!
Before arrival, Michael made everything so easy for me as his replies were very fast (he replied to my emails all almost within a day) and although when I felt like I was asking too many questions he was very understanding and explained everything very thoroughly.
Because I landed very late in the evening, Michael arranged a host family for me near the airport. The village around the host family there was amazing and I would recommend anyone staying there to take a walk around. Michael arranged all the transports for me and this made everything so easy and comfortable.
Upon arrival, Michael explained everything about the orphanage and Galle (this town). There were three more volunteers staying with me on my first week as well so I felt very welcomed.
The children at the orphanage range from age 0 to 5 and on my first day Michael came with me to introduce me to the nurses and to show me around the orphanage. Some nurses spoke english and I was mostly free to choose which part of the orphanage I would volunteer at. The children there are so wonderful! I got to bond with a few of them especially and it breaks my heart that I have to be leaving.
Michael told me about all the must-visit places on this town, and all of those were very close by, some of them were even within walking distance. He arranged all the tuk tuks, and when I wanted to buy some things he told me where I should go and how much I should be paying, and the things to be careful of. He even arranged a 4 day trip in the north east part of Sri Lanka, which was absolutely amazing.
Overall, I had so much fun while staying here in Galle and while on the trip! I met some amazing people here, both from in and out of the orphanage and I have learned so much. I've had the best time and I will never forget my time here. I am eternally grateful for Michael who made everything possible for me, I don't think I would have been able to get anything done without him and his advice. I will miss everything about this place and the people so much and I would 100% recommend. It was truly an eye-opening experience.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Sri Lanka
Posted: Jun 22, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Frontier

I spent two and a half weeks volunteering with Frontier in Sri Lanka after hearing about the organization from a previous participant in Thailand. Gene had spent three months with Frontier and was full of great stories and enthusiasm for the project. I had wanted to visit Sri Lanka since my teenage years and after returning home from Thailand, Gene's tales stayed with me. As a keen photographer of elephants I also wanted the opportunity to photograph them in the wild and see them roaming freely.

I was met in Negombo by the very friendly Aravinda and Sampath and immediately felt at ease in their company. We set off on the 7 hour journey it would take to arrive at the project site near Wasgamuwa National Park and we chatted easily, with me bombarding them with questions! About Sri Lanka, the elephants I would see, the project. Aravinda was very knowledgeable and answered all my questions good-naturedly. The journey went quickly, stopping for a delicious lunch and a bit of sightseeing in Kandy on the way.

Arriving at the project site late afternoon, the sky was a dusty pink and the view from the house did not disappoint. Overlooking a grassy plain with a thin river running through it, usually a full lake during the wet season, and distant mountains we feasted on wonderful curry and rice and turned in for an early night, tired after our long journey. The house had five simple rooms with which to house volunteers but as the only volunteer I had a room to myself!

Aravinda and I set off early the next morning down onto the plain for our first bird watching session and I was immediately amazed at the varied bird life. We wrote down each bird we saw, also recording our GPS location and weather conditions and after just an hour had recorded a staggering 27 different types. Bird watching fast became one of my favorite activities and looked forward the daily, early morning twitching.

We also did transect in various locations recording the signs and movements of elephants. We reordered elephant dung size, its location and age, also measuring footprints to determine the approximate age and size of its owner. As well as recording elephant signs we also did a long trek up into the mountains through beautiful jungle searching for other mammal signs such as those from leopards and sloth bears. Some of the immense trees we passed were awe inspiring and the stories of leopards passing closely to meditating monks at the hut high up the mountain fascinated me.

But by far the most enjoyable activity was afternoon time in the tree hut, a surprisingly comfortable structure high up in a tree which creaked and moved with the branches in the wind. It was the perfect spot to view the elephants as they made their way from the forest to the lake and made it easy to record their movements and behaviour. Monsoon rain became a regular afternoon occurrence and provided incredible lightning storms, also filling the surrounding water catchments with much needed water. Because of the wet some of our tree hut time became jeep time but also gave us a couple of very close encounters with the elephant herds. On one rainy occasion we observed a large herd being followed by a number of males, some of the females obviously in estrous. One large male approached us from behind sending Siriya clambering to the front of the Land Rover! But he turned to return to the females. It was absolutely exhilarating seeing them up close and being able to observe their behaviour, I felt very privileged.

We also did fence monitoring, recording any posts that may have been broken or wire that had become slack. It was interesting to see the electric fences at work and even greater to know that they were doing their job by dramatically reducing the instances of human/elephant conflict.

Visiting the local school was also a great highlight. The kids were so gorgeous, with friendly, open and curious smiles. Aravinda showed them some nature videos as well as one about the work that Frontier does. The headmaster seemed very pleased the whole exercise and was also keen to have the children exposed to things outside of their daily lives. He became very interested in my practice of yoga and so we decided I would teach about 50 of the students a thirty minute yoga practice. Aravinda and I put together a short video presentation about yoga, its history, connection with Hindu and Buddhist religion, etc., to show them before the practice. On the day the kids were great, although the girls remained in their skirts which meant a quick rethink of poses! But they were very enthusiastic, and eager to please, and did really well. It was great fun and I thoroughly enjoyed being able to give something to the school.

Everyone on the project was so accommodating and friendly and I felt very well taken care of. Leela's food was absolutely delicious and I don't think there was a single dish that I didn't love. Siriya provided ample entertainment! Sampath and Aravinda were also kind enough to take me on an excursion to Dambulla and Sigiriya which were both staggeringly beautiful. And our trip into the lovely Wasgamuwa National Park provided lots of great elephant and bird viewing.

All in all it was an unforgettable experience and I leave feeling that I have contributed just a little to the great work that Frontier does. I will definitely be back.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Sri Lanka
Posted: Jun 19, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Crossroad

My experience at the orphanage with the children is one of an emotional and heart-warming adventure. I shared a lot of good memories, affection, and love with the kids.
Furthermore, I got attached very quickly to the kids, and their ignorance, beauty, and kindness are extremely inspiring. I had the chance to discover the environment and to see the wild animals. I also went to some environmental conservation, which was very pleasant, and learning about the culture was really amazing. I had the best two weeks of my life here in Galle, Sri Lanka. Mickael is an amazing person, and his family's members are as kind as himself. They were willing to help me whenever I needed. Plus, Mickael's wife is a good cook. I will never forget them. :)

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Sri Lanka
Posted: Jun 14, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Frontier

When it first arrived on the project I thought it was a bit daunting at first, made lots of friends from all over the world, it was a eye opening experience. For me the most enjoyable part of the project was being with the children it was the highlight of the trip.
The project could be improved if the timekeeping of the people in the country was better. I recommend the future volunteers do the project you can't understand what the project is like until you actually do it. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Program: TEFL
Location: Sri Lanka
Posted: Apr 7, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Institute for Field Research Expeditions - IFRE

Hello, my name is Lara and I'm from Hamburg, Germany. I stayed in Galle at Michaels place for 4 weeks and was a volunteer at Ananda College.
The school is located about 15 minutes by tuktuk from the host family in a rural area. It was fun to work with the kids and very interesting to get to know a different school system. Overall it was a good experience and I had a good time at the school, though sometimes we spend more times correcting papers and books than actually teaching the kids. If you are interested in teaching, it is definitely worth it to come here but keep in mind that it is completely different to schools of western societies, e.g. most of the time the kids are simply copying sentences from the book or board instead of discussing and interacting plus some teachers still hit the children, which was very surprising for me. Nevertheless, the pupils are very happy and lovely, the teachers are nice and supportive.
The location of Michaels home is perfect, right at the beach though I only went swimming there once, and very close to the bus station to Hikkaduwa, another beautiful beach. The Fort and the main bus station and railway station is about 15 minutes by foot. The family welcomed me with open arms and was very nice. The food was good and Michael can give you a lot of information of trips to go on or places to go to. I would highly recommend staying in Galle and do volunteering, it is a great experience and I would always do it again!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Sri Lanka
Posted: Mar 9, 2017
Overall:
9
Support:
8
Value:
8

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