Affordable Volunteer Programs in Sri Lanka from $285
93% Rating
(21 Reviews)

Affordable Volunteer Programs in Sri Lanka from $285

Volunteer with IVHQ in Sri Lanka! Highly affordable volunteer projects are available for anywhere from 1 week to 12 weeks. The Sri Lanka volunteer program is based in the sacred city of Kandy, with placements located in and around the city and further afield. The Rural Community Development project is based in both Hanguranketha in Nuwara Eliya and in the surrounding areas of Sigiriya, in the Central Matale District. The Wild Elephant Conservation project is based in the Wasgamuwa National Park. Volunteers can assist on a range of community-driven projects and will be accommodated in volunteer houses and homestays.

IVHQ Volunteer Programs available in Sri Lanka:

  • Teaching
  • Medical
  • Elderly Care
  • Special Needs
  • Childcare
  • Rural Community Development
  • Temple Renovation
  • Wild Elephant Conservation


  • Programs available year-round, starting on the first and third Monday of every month
  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support
  • Highly affordable program fees from $285 for 1 week Community-driven projects focused on supporting local needs and delivering sustainable positive impacts
  • Superior support services both pre-departure and while volunteering
  • Free online volunteer training for all IVHQ volunteers
  • Between 10 and 40 volunteers start in Sri Lanka each month
  • Weekends are free to explore Sri Lanka with fellow volunteers - such as Colombo, Galle or Mirissa.
Sri Lanka
Starting Price
Price Details
Sri Lanka Program Fee includes airport pick-up, orientation, program supervision, accommodation and meals during volunteer program period, in-country 24/7 volunteer support and in-country administration costs.
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Questions & Answers

Hi, I stayed in a volunteer house during my 3 week stay in Sri Lanka. It was the best experience as you make new friends whereby you go out on the weekends, play board games and go on walks after work each day. It's truly amazing meeting and being together with so many people from different countries. The girls who did home stay tended to come to the volunteer house after volunteer work as they...

Program Reviews

based on 21 reviews
  • Impact 9
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 9.4
  • Value 8.9
  • Safety 9.2
Showing 16 - 21 of 21
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Breaking the Barrier

I love kids. Always have and always will. I also love summer and the heat. I study a degree that will allow me to one day work with children and has provided me with numerous pracs in childcare and clinics. It was this passion and my love of endless summer that led me to choosing to volunteer at a childcare in Sri Lanka.

On the 18th of December I embarked on my 3 week journey with my brother whom was also going to volunteer. The first week was spent taking part in all the cultural and touristic sights of Sri Lanka with the other volunteers. This was by far one of the best weeks of my life. Due to the Christmas period there was only a total of 11 of us as opposed to their norm of 60. We went to Sigiriya (natural wonder of the world), climbed the Rose Quartz Mountain, went to numerous Hindu and Buddhist Temples and as well as this received a beautiful ayurvedic massage on Christmas Day. The coordinators were fantastic and they catered and listened to all our needs and wants and even cooked us a fantastic traditional western Christmas Dinner. Most of the week we of course lived off rice and curry. Can you believe after eating this for breakfast, lunch and dinner for three weeks straight I am craving it each day at home? All in all the first week was a massive hit, I made life long friends and truly experienced Sri Lankan custom. However, the holiday week was needing to finish as we were all here of course for volunteering!

I chose the new program of working in the Daycare in the heart of Kandy City. Due to the small number of us I was alone on this program. I was nervous of course, I did not know how to speak Sinhala and these were just children... what if they do not like me? Day one was a hard one for me emotionally and mentally. After just helping at a clean, planned-to-the-minute childcare back home I was shocked. I mean I knew what I would be coming into but seeing everything in real life really puts a new perspective into everything. That day I held back my tears and ended up forming a close bond with the children, we played chase, I fed them and I let them do my hair. Other than that there were no toys, books and the day was not planned out for them. The three teachers however, could not speak a word of english and I sensed they saw me as an outsider. They did not offer me the tea they all drank nor attempted to speak to me. I trudged on home on the local bus that afternoon with the coordinator, feeling sorry for myself.

That night the manager came to my friend who chose the babies orphanage and loudly exclaimed a large donation of toys and diapers had been given to them. My emotions from that day got the best of me and I blurted out to him that the children at the daycare would benefit just as much with these toys as the babies. He agreed and handed me some to take tomorrow.

So day two I excitedly caught the local bus with bags of toys under both arms. I do not think I will ever forget the joy on the children and the teachers faces when I walked in with two bags of colourful building blocks. In Australia the blocks are hardly ever touched at the childcare and if they are then only for around 10 minutes. We spent a good three hours playing and making castles with the blocks and the children even learnt some numbers and colours in english. However, the biggest change that day was the teachers attitude, they stopped seeing me as this outsider and shared their first cup of sugary tea with me!

The next few days were a blur as I grew so used to seeing the smiley children's faces each morning as I walked through the gate as well as the teachers. My days were spent cleaning, painting the chairs and tables, changing and feeding the children, playing with them and teaching them simple english words. On my last day the children and teachers all stood up and loud and proudly counted from 1-10 as well as naming the simple five colours. That was the most moving and touching moment in my entire 21 years of existence. As well as this I received at least 3 cups of tea a day as well as biscuits and marshmallows.

Would I recommend this program to others? Definitely. However, you need to be aware that english will hardly be spoken and this may cause some frustration with both the children and the teachers. Also, you are not just there to 'play' with the children but need to help out with all the duties including toileting.

How can this program be improved?

Making sure that the volunteers are aware of the minimal english that is spoken at this daycare and therefore learning a couple of handy words before the start date.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Christina, Thanks for taking the time to give a run down of your experience volunteering in Sri Lanka with IVHQ. The first day at a placement can be a shock for many of our volunteers and it is great to read you were able to move beyond this and do what you could to improve the children's learning experience and in doing so make your own experience more positive. Thanks for the recommendation and for being an IVHQer, we hope to see you on another program again in the future.

Yes, I recommend
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Awesome Volunteer Trip

I spent 2 weeks in Kandy doing the Teaching project, in the preschool and the girls' orphanage, and I loved every minute I was there. In the mornings, I would work in the preschool. Here, I would help the teachers conduct their school activities, and made sure that the children were paying attention and taking part. They are only 3-4 years old and there's about 30 of them, so there are times when they become a little uncontrollable and you would have to help to make sure they behave. But they're very sweet and love asking questions. Then, in the afternoon, I would go to the girls' orphanage. Here, I worked on sewing projects with 4 of the girls. I don't know how to sew, but that wasn't really a problem, because the girls are very good at it. We made a lot of things together. The accommodation was way better than I was expecting. Every room had a bathroom (yes, there's hot water!), the house was neat, the food was excellent, and the staff and coordinators were always extremely helpful.

How can this program be improved?

The day I first arrived at the house, some other volunteers got into an incident after a night out. Because of this, the main coordinator moved up the curfew to 8PM to be safe. This caused some tensions for most of the volunteers, because we felt it was unfair. The curfew limited the time we had to go out. I think that when making decisions that affect everyone in the house, we all should've been allowed to help make the decision. I do know the curfew was lifted after I left.

Yes, I recommend
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Don't say good bye, say until next time!

My international volunteer experience was the trip of my life! I've travelled alot too! I felt like the staff were flexible and worked hard to make myself and the other volunteers happy, despite how extreme the requests. Two friends and myself decided to spend our first of two week volunteer experience doing interactive cultural activities in Kandy. This gave us a meaningful understanding of the culture and oppportunity to feel embedded within the community. Our second week was doing sea turtle conservation in Ambalangoda and this was a nice transition, ending on the beach. I felt like my work with the turtles really made a difference through feeding, cleaning, and caring for them. The staff continued to reiterate the importance of the fees paid to program sustaining the turtle farms and staff. What made the experience special was the relationships with the other volunteers and staff. I felt like a family member by the end. My favorite activity was releasing the baby turtles to their real home! Make sure to bring bug spray, pad locks for safes, and games to play in free time.

How can this program be improved?

While in Kandy, the communication with the program coordinator was minimal. We were told that he had an eye infection, but everything had to be approved through him so at times decisions were difficult. The staff still did a nice job of getting our questions answered.

The other thing that was a surprise was the sudden 8:00pm curfew that was imposed. Apparently this was due to the begavior of volunteer in a different volunteer house, but as full on adult in my 30s, I felt that this punitive for us all.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Monique, Thanks for sharing a little about your time in Sri Lanka. It sounds like you had a really positive experience. Thanks for volunteering with IVHQ.

Yes, I recommend
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Teaching Buddhist monks English

My experience teaching the Buddhist monks English was an unforgettable and inspiring experience. I taught them and I also learnt a lot from them. The young boys were so placid and sweet. One day they took us to the Temple and showed us how to meditate. It was so peaceful and I will always remember my time with the Monks. I also loved meeting other volunteers and made some lovely friends.

How can this program be improved?

There is nothing that I would change about the program.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Kathy, It’s great to hear that you had such an unforgettable time volunteering in Sri Lanka with IVHQ. Thank you for sharing your experience.

Yes, I recommend
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IVHQ Sri Lanka

The programs are very well organised, with staff always checking that things are running smoothly and ethically and the communication is great. The accommodation in Kandy and Ambalangoda are fantastic. There are a lot of programs to choose from and there was more being organised when I was there. Overall the volunteer organisations were fantastic. Would definitely go again.

Yes, I recommend
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Childcare Volunteering in Sri Lanka

As an 18 year old, I had no idea what to expect going to a third world country to volunteer. It was the most amazing experience, and the children show their appreciation for your help with the smiles on their faces. Language isn't a barrier. The most difficult experience in my opinion is getting used to the constant hustle and rush people always seem to be in, however after a few days you become accustomed to their ways and join in on the hustle and bustle yourself. I loved everything about working at the baby orphanage, playing with them, feeding them, changing their diapers, making them smile and laugh, drying their tears, but most of all just giving them the love they need. My journey is not one I will ever forget.

Yes, I recommend

About International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

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