A wonderful opportunity to make a positive impact on underprivileged communities while gaining voluntary experience of other cultures during your gap year. Poverty and unemployment affect many communities in Sri Lanka, slowing the pace of development across the board. Through this project you will play an active role in improving the facilities for these underprivileged people. Giving you the chance to work with various age groups in a range of locations, there are options to work with babies, the elderly where you could be teaching and taking care of children, or taking part in construction and renovation projects.
Babies Child Care – The Child and Labour Department of Sri Lanka founded the Child Care Centre to provide a better standard of living for children who could not be given ample care, shelter or food at home. While the work carried out has a positive impact, the centre runs on low resources with a small number of staff. Participants on the project help out by increasing manpower and allowing the daily running of the centre to have minimal interruptions. You will be expected to assist in the care of approximately 15-20 babies who are under 12 months old. This will involve cleaning beds, changing nappies, bed sheets, pillows and keeping the areas clean and sterile. You will also be required to prepare baby food and give the feeds to the babies. It is important to note that the local centres have a methodology for looking after the children that may not compare exactly with Western standards. Participants must follow this methodology, adhering to rules and procedures at all times without making comparisons.
Elders’ Home – Having been established for over 15 years, The Elders’ Home provides an improved standard of living for elderly people providing food, shelter and medical facilities at no cost. Currently housing 75 adults, male and female, between the ages of 50 and 80 years, the home operates smoothly with the help of private organisations and voluntary participants. Without this extra help, they would have a skeleton staff as well as minimal resources. Centred around the motto “Give Love and Care”, the focus of your daily tasks will include listening to the elderly, holding conversations with them, helping them to bathe, playing games with them or reading to them. Additionally, you will be required to assist the sisters with cleaning the home, preparing food and administering medications. It is important to note that the methods of working at the home are very strict, you must adhere to the rules and procedures at all times and not compare the standards with those of Western Culture.
Child Care – Run by Catholic organizations, the child care centres are well established, with St Joseph’s Orphanage being more than 40 years old and the Bathshalom Boys Home being 10 years old. In this placement you will be enriching the lives of the children by teaching them new skills, playing games with them and assisting the staff with the general caretaking of the children. Without the support of private organisations and volunteers, these centres would operate with just a handful of staff and a low level of resources. With increased manpower, disruptions to the daily operations of the centre can be minimised. Again it is imperative that participants adhere to the rules and procedures already in place at the centres. You must be accepting of the conditions and not compare them to the standards of Western culture.
Building and Renovation – Volunteer your time and labour to improve the conditions of Buddhist temples in and around Kandy. Your work here will have a huge impact, whether you carry out painting, cleaning, helping with construction work or your role involves interacting with the children and villagers. You could also be required to help arrange community centres for the youth of the village to enrich their experiences.
Monday to Friday
Schedules vary at each of the project sites and the activities you carry out will be responsive to the immediate needs of the centres. However, your days could include the following tasks:
Babies Child Care Centre:
Child Care Centre:
Building and Renovation