Take part in working with underprivileged children, elders and community development to improve the quality of the local communities of Sri Lanka. You'll start your programme with an exciting Introductory Cultural Week where you'll explore and learn all about Sri Lanka. Then you'll follow with this very worthwhile and satisfying Care & Community project.

Sri Lanka has various communities affected due to poverty and unemployment and also the slow pace of development. You will have the opportunity to work with various age groups of different communities. Take care of babies, spend time with the elderly, and take care of children and teach them basic values and education.


Hi, I'm Karen, Project Coordinator for Sri Lanka, and I'll be working with you to arrange your ultimate experience here, so if you've any questions, please contact me:
+44 (0)1903 502595,
or email: info@travellers
Price: £845 (approx. US$1,075) for 2 weeks
£220 (US$280) for each additional week.
Excludes flights. Please see Full Price List & prices in other currencies
Duration: From 2 weeks to 12 weeks or longer, subject to visa requirements.
Start Dates: All year round – Programmes start on Sundays. Please see ‘Work Description’ for start dates.
Requirements: Minimum age 18. You don't need any qualifications to do this project, just a good love of children and a desire to help them.
What's included: Arranging your Programme
Full pre-departure support and assistance
Payment Protection insurance
Meeting you at the nearest Airport
Transfer to your accommodation
Daily transport to and from your Project
Local in-country team support and backup
24-hr emergency support
Certificate of Completion
What's not included: Flights, Insurance, Cost of Visas, Return transfer to the airport.
Who is this
Programme suitable for?
SOLO travellers or travelling with friends.
FAMILIES with children from 10 years old upwards
GROUPS (large and small)
GAP YEAR BREAKS from School or University.
GROWN-UP GAPPERS, career breakers and retired.
ANYONE interested in care, community improvement.
Also suitable as a summer placement or short break.
Open to all nationalities.


  • An exciting opportunity to travel, see the world and experience a foreign culture first-hand.
  • New skills, more confidence and invaluable personal and professional development.
  • The enormous satisfaction of helping disadvantaged children and knowing that you made a difference to them.
  • An opportunity to take a break from the traditional academic track or your current career path in order to gain life experience and global cultural awareness
  • An entry on your CV or Résumé that will enhance your career opportunities and make you stand out from the crowd.
  • Make friends, form relationships and build memories that will last a lifetime.
  • Opportunities to enjoy some exciting adventure and cultural activities while on your programme.
  • And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!


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Volunteer with some of the children on the Baby Care project in Sri Lanka
A Volunteer with some of the children on the Baby Care section of the project
Volunteer playing ball with some of the children on the Community project in Sri Lanka
A Volunteer playing ball with some of the children.


Help the local community by assisting in a broad range of activities. Whilst you can preference which area of care you would like to be involved in, the main objective of this project is for volunteers to help out in the area that needs the most help when you arrive to Sri Lanka. Therefore your the area of care will be based on availability.

The areas of care that you could be involved with are:

  • Child Care (Baby Care Centre, Day Care)
  • Home for Children and People with Disabilities
  • Village Kids
  • Elders' Home

Child Care:
Baby Care - The baby care centre looks after babies and toddlers and provides them with food, clothing, childcare and medical care with the help of other private organizations and with the help of the participants. Participants will be required to care for around 15 – 20 babies and toddlers in the centre. Their duties involve helping the staff in cleaning beds, changing nappies, bed sheets, and pillows and keeping the area clean and sterile. You will also have to help prepare food and feed the babies and toddlers.

Day Care – The daycare center looks after children of poor families of which both parents are working and have no option to take care of their children while they go out for work. The number of children at the day care center can vary, and usually the working hours are from aprox. 8.30 am to 2.30 pm. The work you have to do at the day center would involve, teaching English to children, cleaning the daycare center and helping the staff with a variety of work that is available at the time being.

Home for Children and People with Disabilities:
This home for children and persons with disabilities is run by Mother Teresa Foundation under the supervision of the Department of Probation and Childcare, Sri Lanka. The home accommodates more than 120 children, girls, boys, women and men with disabilities between the age 1 to 60 years. By joining this project, you can extend your support, love and care to all these people in need. The typical hours of working would be between 8.30 to 15.30.However, if you take part in this project, Thursdays would be project holidays. On Thursdays you may relax or you can join with another project if available.

Village Kids:
In Sri Lanka, obtaining English education is quite expensive and most of the children in villages are not able to attend for private tuition classes to improve their English knowledge. Therefore, under this project, you will be teaching English for children in villages after their school hours are over. The teaching will occur either at a community center or a home of parent who would like to provide space to conduct the teaching related activities. Since this project will be carried out only for 2 to 3 hours in the afternoon, it is suggested that you combine this with another project, which takes place in the morning.

Elders’ Home:
We work with several elders’ homes in the area helping to provide a better quality of life to elderly people. Elderly people in these homes are being provided with food, shelter and medical facilities free of charge.

The number of elders can vary from home to home and in each place there are both male and female elderly people aged between 50 to 80 years. The home provides accommodation, food, clothing and medication with the help of private organizations and you. Elders’ Homes in Sri Lanka operate with minimal resources and a handful of staff. By placing you here we help the elders’ homes carry out daily operations without interruptions.

Local elders’ homes have their own methods of working with the elderly. The main idea of this project is to “GIVE LOVE AND CARE.” You'll help to care for the elderly in the following ways:
Cleaning them;
giving them a bath;
listening to what they have to say;
keeping them occupied by talking to them,
playing with them or reading to them;
helping the Sisters to clean the home and prepare food if required,
and attending to sick elders by giving them medicines, etc.

Sample Schedule - Monday to Friday

• Help the staff in cleaning beds, changing nappies, bed sheets and pillows.
• Keep the area clean and sterile.
• Prepare baby food and feed the babies.

Elders Home:
• Care for the elders.
• Cleaning them and give them a bath.
• Listen to what they have to say.
• Keep them occupied by talking to them, playing with them or reading to them.
• Help the sisters to clean the home and prepare food if required.
• Attend to sick elders by giving them medicines, etc.

Home for the Children and Persons with Disabilities:
• Cleaning the surroundings
• Supporting staff with the available activities
• Engaging in recreational activities with children
• Treating all the residents with love and care
• Feeding the residents.

Village Kids:
• Teaching English to children
• Preparing lesson plans
• Organizing culture sharing activities
• Engaging in games and other interactive activities to improve their spoken and written English abilities.

You'll most likely start your project with an Introduction week to help you settle into the culture so that you grow comfortable with your surroundings. The Introduction week in Kandy is the best way to embrace Sri Lanka. During this week we will ...

  • Explain the do’s and don’ts regarding safety and transport.
  • Additionally you will get acquainted with Buddhism, the mysterious mythology behind this culture
  • You'll visit a few temples, including the Temple of the Tooth.
  • We'll enrich your experience with language sessions to be able to talk to the locals.
  • You'll get to know how a traditional Ayurvedic massage feels like.
  • You'll also witness an ancient Kandyan dance performance and, last but not least,
  • You will get to look, smell and taste Sri Lankan’s cuisine during the cooking sessions.

Apr 09-14: Sinhala and Tamil New Year - All projects will be closed during this week.

Children doing handicrafts on the Care & Community project in Sri Lanka
Some children deeply engrossed in doing handicrafts.
Some volunteers helping the elders with food preparation in Sri Lanka
Some volunteers helping the elders with food preparation.
Some volunteers helping children with some tasks in the Girls Home in Sri Lanka
Some volunteers helping children with some tasks in the Girls Home.
A volunteer arm-wrestling with one of the village boys on the Care Project in Sri Lanka
A volunteer arm-wrestling with one of the village boys. She didn't say who won - I wonder why?


All accommodation in Kandy is included during your stay on our programme within the schedules/ itineraries provided. Living is comfortable and all volunteer houses and home stays have electricity and running water. Accommodation at the Volunteer House in Kandy comprises of dormitory style, shared rooms.

Private rooms and double rooms can be requested, plus there is also the option of staying with a local Sri Lankan family (home stay accommodation) in Kandy, but note these options are subject to surcharges. Please speak to your Project Co-ordinator when making your booking.

Wi-Fi / Internet: Unfortunately, there is no Wi-Fi / Internet facilities at time of writing, but you will have access to internet cafes close to the Volunteer House during your free time.

Meals will be provided three times a day during the week and twice during the weekend (breakfast and lunch combine to become brunch during the weekend). Breakfast is self-service with toast, fruits, tea and coffee.

Sri Lankan foods include roti bread, dal (Lentil Soup) and curries, vegetables, salads, milk and yogurt. Meat is rarely eaten, except on festive occasions.

Weekends are free to relax, and to explore the local area.

Dry Season (December to April) where the temperature is between 22°C to 30°C.
Monsoon (May to August) with the temperature ranging between 25°C to 29°C.
Inter-monsoon (September to November) where the temperature lies between 24°C and 29°C.

Volunteers having fun helping with maintenance and construction in Sri Lanka
Volunteers having fun helping with maintenance and construction for the local community in Kandy.


Read important information about the Support & Backup you receive before you leave and during your programme.

Read about the Safety and Security measures we take to ensure your safety and wellbeing while on our programme.

Once you have applied for a placement, we'll contact you and send you our Welcome Pack. You'll also receive Log-on details and password for our Volunteer Extranet where you'll have access to all the documentation and information which we've put together to facilitate preparations for your adventure! Your Project Co-ordinator for your country will liaise with you throughout the arrangements process, as well as while you're on your placement and on your return home.

The documents you'll have access to also include a Country Factfile, Safety Guide and any manuals that may assist you on your particular programme (e.g. Teaching Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all we can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome, elegant and beautiful country.

On Your Arrival: When you arrive you will be welcomed by a member of staff who will take you to your accommodation and introduce you to everyone. During your first few days you'll be given an induction so that you can learn about the country and its culture, as well as other useful information, like how to use the transport system, banks, safety issues, tipping, and lots more.

As well as protecting all our volunteers, Travellers Worldwide is committed to all our projects and dedicated to practices which protect children and vulnerable adults from harm. Read Travellers' Child Care and Vulnerable Adults Policy.



Please with any questions and include your phone number, if possible, to help us give you the best possible response.

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Volunteer Paul White with elephant in Sri Lanka
Volunteer Paul White taking time out to get up close and personal with an elephant!
Volunteers on the beach, sitting in a palm tree in Sri Lanka
It's not all work - there's lots to do and see, like these volunteers spending some free time on one of Sri Lanka's glorious beaches.


Make the most of your time there! To help you do that, we've put together some exciting activities, courses and tours that you can add to your itinerary. These are designed to be fun, but also to enable you to learn, and expand your personal and professional development enjoyment ... but mostly for your enjoyment! :-)

Body and Mind: Meditation and Yoga in Sri Lanka

Price: £495 for 1 week
£795 for 2 weeks
includes food and accommodation, transfers.

The Body and Mind week combines Yoga and Meditation with Ayurvedic treatments to work on a fitter, healthier and more positive you. Located in a beautifully set-up spa, Body and Mind Week will help you to gain psychological and physical well being, will help you to understand the basics of Yoga and Meditation and also educate you about the human body. In addition, you'll enjoy the luxury of Ayurvedic treatments which will deal with any physical aches and pains you may be experiencing at the time.

During the program, you will be taught the Surya Namaskar, commonly known as the Sun Salutation. This contains 12 consecutive postures or Asanas. It is essential for students to master this before moving on to the second stage of Yogasana.

Meditation is the art of focusing your mind, restraining your thoughts and looking deep within yourself. Practicing it can give you a better understanding of your purpose in life and of the Divine. It will also provide you with certain physical and mental health benefits.

PROGRAMME SCHEDULE - Monday to Friday:

  • Early Morning Yoga
  • Breakfast
  • Meditation
  • Head massage. These messages will change every day and include foot massage, back massage, front massage and full body massage.
  • Meditation - Walking meditation
  • Lunch and a relaxed afternoon

This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.

Book Now

An Elephant Experience at Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in Sri Lanka

Price: £595 for 1 week
includes food and accommodation, plus transfer to and from the Elephant Orphanage.

The Elephant Orphanage is a sanctuary for over 80 retired, abused or orphaned elephants. Visitors from all over the world come to see these magnificent animals. At times, there are also some small babies who have been born into the herd. The daily highlight is the walk from the Orphanage to take the herd down to the river to bathe the elephants. It's amazing to watch an entire herd splashing around and rolling in the river, just a few feet in front of you!

This project is an elephant experience, rather than elephant conservation ... and it is an awesome experience! You'll have about 3 to 4 hours manual work each day and you'll also get to wash and hose down several Elephants. In the late morning or afternoon, you'll usually go down to the river and spend about 3 hours amongst the Elephants. You can watch them relaxing, play with them and sometimes help to bathe them. Your main duties will include:

  • Mucking out the elephant enclosures in the morning (this is hard, muddy work!)
  • Participating in bathing some of the smaller elephants.
  • While the mahouts are bathing the larger elephants, you will be able to relax by the river, chat to the mahouts and watch the elephants play and interact with humans and each other. This is an absolutely beautiful sight and being around these serene animals in such a beautiful setting can have a very calming effect!
  • You'll also have up to two opportunities per week to feed the beautiful baby elephants.
  • There may also be the opportunity to do other things around the orphanage, however this is subject the amount of work available at the orphanage at the time of your project.

Book Now

Terms and Conditions apply for Add-Ons, please see here.




We cannot BEGIN to tell you how beautiful this paradise island is! Nor how cheap to live and get around. It is almost too good to be true! But it is true.

Towering Pagodas, Hindu temples and ancient fortresses to holy rivers and sacred mountains. The local people are very welcoming and friendly, especially in the rural areas. The tea plantations are a must, the lace making, monuments and architectural splendours, etc., but the most appealing is the Elephant Orphanage at Pinnawala. Not to be missed! It's an emotive sight that you'll never forget!

Sri Lanka has miles and miles of amazing beaches. Some of our favourites are:

MIRISSA: Perhaps a contender for the most beautiful beach in the world. Long, deserted and hot. You know you have got away from it all as you sit and watch the sunset over this horizon…The snorkelling is also incredible here.

NEGOMBO: To the north of Colombo lies Negombo, a busting fishing town with golden beaches and a pallet of colour provided by sails and boats against the deep blue of the ocean.

UNAWATUNA: A sleepy peaceful cove with deep still water and a temple overlooking the bay from the protecting cliffs.

HIKKADUWA: A long stretch of beach with plenty of hostels, restaurants and some nice bars, not forgetting the impromptu beach parties held on the beach front bars blaring Bob Marley, Eric Clapton, Led Zeplin and many other classics! Sri Lanka is a conservative island brimming with culture and Hikkaduwa offers an exciting opportunity to holiday for the odd celebratory weekend! Many a volunteer birthday has been seen in over Hikkaduwa cocktails. You can also body board and even surf on this beach.

ARUGAM BAY: This tiny fishing village is Sri Lanka’s newest hot spot and hosts the best surfing and an easy going happy party atmosphere. With its wide sweeping beach in front of the village and year round gorgeous swimming it is no surprise that this bay has developed into a low budget travellers haunt.

White Water Rafting:
Sri Lanka’s boulder stream rivers are the ideal setting for white water rafting. This is the best way to see the stunning environment what this region has to offer. Many tours are available and many begin with days of action, rafting the white waters. This high adventure is suitable for fish time ‘go for it’ rafters and experts alike. Rafting has become a very popular exciting yet safe adventure sport option.

Rock Climbing and Mountaineering:
Mountaineering is an adventure sport that requires skills and levels of fitness that few other adventure sports can match. The mountain ranges in Sri Lanka offer breath taking, enthralling, climbing routes. Climbing is all about discovering the natural world around and with you.

Hiking and Trekking:
There’s no better way to explore the natural scenic beauty of this island with diverse climatic zones. Trekking is an excellent way to explore a country, people, their traditions and beliefs. Paths and campsites have been set up to give nature lovers the experience of a lifetime. All possible steps are taken to ensure local community benefit and nature conservation in keeping with all international camping guidelines.

Canoeing & Kayaking:
This relatively new sport is rated as the most adventurous of all adventure sports. It involves descending a stream as it drops over waterfalls and boulders. In Sri Lanka they have low waterfalls for beginners and some as high as 700 feet for the very experienced - all surrounded by breathtaking scenery.

The driest and best seasons are from December to March on the west and south coasts and in the hill country, and from May to September on the east coast. December to March is also the time when most foreign tourists come, the majority of them escaping the European winter.

The coastal stretch south of Colombo offers palm-lined sandy expanses as far as the eye can see. The Kandyan dances, a procession of elephants or the masked devil dances. Then there are the ruins, ancient and inspiring architecture in the cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa to satisfy any archaeologist.


Read about Travel arrangements and what happens when you arrive in your new country.

King coconuts being sold from a stand in Sri Lanka
King coconuts are for sale everywhere in Sri Lanka. They're supposed to quench all thirst. Hmmm. I prefer their pineapples. The best in the world. Seriously!
Tuk tuks are the main form of quick and easy public transport when you're dashing around the local areas. They're lots of fun!
Volunteers taking in the views in Sri Lanka
Volunteers taking in an incredible view in peaceful serenity. Wish I was there :-)

Care and Community Volunteering in Kandy
Turtle Conservation

I decided to undertake my first volunteering at my late age because (1) I had the time available as I had recently retired; (2) I wanted to escape the British winter; (3) I wished to get under the surface of a country, i.e. not just be a tourist; (4) I wanted to do something useful.

I chose to go to Sri Lanka because I had never been before - but knew and liked other countries in South-East Asia, and because the climate, weather, scenery, culture appealed.

I chose Travellers Worldwide because from my internet research and my dealings with the company, it seemed a reputable, professional organisation which would give me appropriate advice and support.

I chose the babies' and toddlers' orphanage project because (1) I wanted to do something to help people and (2) having had children of my own, I would have relevant experience. I did the turtle project in Ambalangoda for one week as light relief - and to get me to a different location.

I enjoyed my time on both projects and hope that I made a useful contribution [but] I feel strongly that I could have been given more to do.

From the experience, I was proud that I had managed for the first time to travel on my own (though with a good deal of support from Travellers ... and that I had moved well out of my normal comfort zone, mixing mostly with late teens/early 20s and living in institutional conditions (it is 50+ years since I slept in a dormitory!).

I was also proud that I could travel by myself using local buses and trains rather than having the usual cushioned tourist experience. I would recommend it to other older people - but carefully chosen people; they would need to be pretty flexible about living conditions and tolerant/non-judgemental.

My Biggest Achievement: Making the babies and toddlers feel valued and loved (if only temporarily) by giving them attention and affection.

My Positive Impact To Project: My USP was probably my age; the average age of volunteers was 20; during my time in Kandy/Ambalangoda, I met only one volunteer older than me (71) and a few in their mid 50s, early 60s. Apparently the Orphanage liked some older volunteers (for their experience? Maturity?). I also found that some volunteers also seemed to quite like an older person to chat to... maybe more could be made of this?

I hope to volunteer again - overall, I loved it!