Location
  • Sri Lanka
Length
1 to 40 weeks

Program Details

Language
English
Age Min.
16
Timeframe
Year Round
Housing
Hostel
Groups
Medium Group (16-30)

Pricing

Starting Price
270
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Airport Transfers Meals Transportation
What's Not Included
Airfare Travel Insurance Visa
Jan 18, 2021
Sep 15, 2022
65 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

PMGY offers 1-week to 6-month volunteering opportunities in the lovely coastal town of Ambalangoda in Sri Lanka. Volunteers get involved in a wide-range of project work childcare, dog rescue, elephant, English teaching, medical, mental health & turtle conservation opportunities.

Our programs in Ambalangoda run throughout the year. We have two start dates every month so you decide when you go and how long you go for.

Consider your impact: Volunteering abroad can be a rewarding experience for both volunteers and local communities, and at Go Overseas, we believe all volunteers should have the resources to make informed decisions about the type of volunteer project they want to partake in. However, despite best intentions, some organizations offering placements in orphanages may unknowingly place children in danger. You can read about the potential dangers of orphanage volunteering here.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Most Affordable – PMGY’s programs are accessible to everyone who wants to make a difference, through low fees and high-impact projects.
  • Best Support – Our international and local teams provide extensive around the clock services to assist you every step of your PMGY adventure.
  • Safety Prioritised – With safety a PMGY number-1 priority, we have taken all necessary precautions to ensure our programs are as safe and structured as possible.
  • Extraordinary Experiences – With PMGY, you have the opportunity to truly immerse yourself in amazing cultural and travel experiences, ensuring you leave with unforgettable memories.
  • Friendships for Life – Your PMGY experience not only opens up a doorway for new experiences and exciting memories, but also life-long friendships when meeting new people from around the world.

Popular Programs

sri-lanka-childcare

On this uncrowded, exotic and developing island there are many vulnerable children in much need of volunteer's care and support.

sri-lanka-elephant

If you love elephants you will love this! Elephants in their natural habitat combined with meaningful research represent a perfect match!

sri-lanka-teaching

Teach novice Buddhist monks or children displaced by the Tsunami. English is a valuable skill that will greatly enhance their future career prospects.

sri-lanka-family

Do something different and amazing with your family and give back to a local Sri Lankan community whilst immersing yourselves in the culture and lifestyle.

sri-lanka-medical

Gain invaluable medical experience, an opportunity not to be missed in this gorgeous part of the world by those pursuing a career in medicine.

Program Reviews

9.52 Rating
based on 113 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 88.5%
  • 7-8 rating 10.62%
  • 5-6 rating 0.88%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Impact 9
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 9.3
  • Value 9.2
  • Safety 9.6
  • Program Selection 10
  • Pre-departure Help 10
  • In-program Support 10
  • Impact on Student 10
  • Value 10
Showing 1 - 8 of 113 reviews
Default avatar
Laura
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

PMGY in Sri Lanka

I completed two weeks of the mental health program in Sri Lanka. The programs were well organised and varied and included everything we were told we were going to do. On the mental health program this involved lectures, practicals and visiting several institutions and hospitals. The co-ordinators and sister were very kind and always there for support. PMGY planned evening and weekend trips such as cocktail evenings, bonfire nights and cultural nights. I went on the cultural triangle trip which I highly recommend and definelty get your monies worth. Overall fully recommend PMGY

1 person found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Rhys
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing project, amazing country

An amazing time with PMGY Sri Lanka. This countries programme was very well run and organised and couldn't have felt safer during the struggles and conflict that was going on when I was there (July 2022). So many different weekend trips available to enable you to explore the whole country. The team they have there made going out in your free time so easy and gave so many examples and personal recommendations of things to do. Once you have decided what you would like to do, they also helped with planning it if you needed help.

Getting around was so easy with the tuktuks they had on hand and all of the drivers were so friendly (and love Coco Jambo – search it on Spotify ;) ). Every day after volunteering we would be greeted by all the puppies from the puppy rescue project which was the best. One of the best parts was the people I met when I was over there. I honestly become so close with everyone after living with them for 3 weeks and it really was sad when we all had to leave each other. However, I now have friends from Perth, Madrid, Berlin, England, America and so many more. I went out here with my girlfriend so if any couples are planning on doing this, I would say go for it but make sure you don’t close yourself off to meeting new people because you have each other! This is what me and my girlfriend made sure we would not do when we were out there and have made so many more friends than we have expected. Overall, such an unforgettable and amazing experience and I will definitely be traveling with PMGY again!

Ps. Stay in the Spice House in Mirissa for a weekend get-away. The best couple of days!

Rhys
21 years old
Wales
Turtle Conservation – 3 weeks

Pros
  • People
  • Animals
  • Scenery
Cons
  • Infected mosquito bites
7 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Ellie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Best Experience Ever

I had the most amazing experience doing turtle conservation in Sri Lanka. I met so many amazing people from all over the world and I will never forget it. It was all so well organised and I always felt safe which made a big difference especially when travelling for the first time. As someone who was nervous to travel so far from home, I instantly felt at ease as soon as arrived. Its surprising how quickly you settle in and it becomes your new home. I stayed 3 weeks and I wish I could have stayed 4. Most people say 2 weeks is not enough so bare that in mind when booking! I found it was the perfect balance of volunteering and free time meaning I felt like I was making a difference but I also got to see so much of Sri Lanka. The weekend trips are definitely worth going on, you get to see so much in such a short space of time and you don’t have to plan a thing! P.s stay as the Spice House in Mirissa it’s if you travel on weekends… its heaven <3. I Loved the culture, the food, the people and everything about it. Everyone is so kind and big shout out to Ash who keeps everything running smoothly at London House no matter what <3

My overall experience with Plan My Gap Year was amazing as well. Any questions I had, they responded straight away and any issues got resolved immediately. They provided support and reassurance throughout and I plan to do more experiences with them in other countries in the future. I cannot recommend enough to anyone who is thinking about doing it!

Pros
  • Met amazing new friends from all over world
  • Grew in confidence travelling alone for first time
  • Always felt safe and very organised
9 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Jaime
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Fantastic

Everything was fantastic, the people the place and above all the experience. The program is well structured, leaving loads of free time that you can use to explore Sri lankas coast both during the evenings and at weekends, when you are free to travel away. Not only once arrived there, The pre-departure support which PMGY offers is amazing and I felt very prepared for my trip! When I booked my trip I got added to a Facebook group to chat with my fellow volunteers which really gave me peace at heart. This was my first solo trip but the volunteer handbook helped so much for my preparation towards the project. Ashika and the team are great and everyone is very helpful.

Pros
  • People
  • Outside and weekend activities
  • Safety
Cons
  • Some time is wasted after having food
10 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Rachel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Just book and go!

If your thinking about it, just book!

6 months ago today I’d booked 4 destinations with PMGY, quit my job, packed my bags and I was on my way to Ghana (thinking what on earth am I doing?!). I spent months and months going over it in my head and eventually just went for it and it is the best decision I have ever ever made! PMGY are simply amazing. Every country I have been to, every project, every member of staff I have met/spoken to, every weekend trip I’ve been on; has just been outstanding! Every new volunteer I meet asks which country has been my favourite and I just can’t answer, every destination has been great for all different reasons!

Ghana is a very authentic experience and you really really make a difference at the projects. The people in Ghana are so full of life and infectious energy!

Tanzania is such a beautiful country with some amazing day/weekend travel opportunities. Safaris, Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar- beautiful! The childcare project at Rafiki School is just the best!

South Africa (Game Reserve) was insane! Working with the big 5 everyday, taking care of the ones in the rehabilitation centre, going out on game drives and helping maintain the reserve, very surreal! The accommodation is great and you have access to all of the hotel facilities too!

Sri Lanka is everything! Projects, travelling, partying, relaxing… you name it we did it! Staff are amazing and the friendliest people I’ve ever met- I miss it sooo much! It felt and still feels like home even though I’ve left.

I’m now in India (which is equally as amazing) and will be moving onto Nepal, Bali and hopefully Vietnam if my savings can stretch to it!

My biggest worry was being homesick but having a routine with the volunteering, living at the houses and having the staff around to help with anything straight away; has really helped. Every weekend I go away travelling and always look forward to going back ‘home’ to the volunteer house afterwards.

I can’t wait to see what the rest of my year has in store! Thank you PMGY!

Pros
  • Meeting so many people from all over the world!
  • Volunteering gives you a whole other experience compared to just going and sight seeing.
  • Everyday is different!
18 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Elina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best two months in Sri Lanka

I spent 8 weeks in Sri Lanka and it was an incredible experience!
It’s hard to say anything negative about the pre-departure support. Whatever I had in mind I got an answer, sometimes even in few minutes! In country Ash and the rest of the local team were always happy to help when needed and with their help we got to experience so much more than what a ”normal” tourist would experience! I did the childcare project at girls home and everyday I left the project with a smile on my face. When we taught them English, they taught us to dance in return!

I highly recommend PMGY Sri Lanka, my advice is to book flexible flights because you might want to extend your trip!

28 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Madison
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

PMGY Sri Lanka

One of the best decisions I have ever made was to volunteer in Sri Lanka through Plan My Gap Year. As an inexperienced traveler, I wasn't quite sure what to expect and I was hoping (at the very least) for a safe and happy trip. I can confidently say that PMGY FAR exceeded my expectations.

Prior to the trip even starting, Philip was a huge help in making sure everything was in order before I took off. Anytime I had a question, he got back to me immediately and we were able to talk on zoom about what I needed help with. I would not have felt comfortable going halfway across the world without being consistently supported and assured, which is exactly what I received.

The PMGY Sri Lanka staff are absolutely incredible. I have never felt so safe and comfortable in an unknown place, and I can confidently say I am beyond pleased with the service we were provided. Our program coordinator, Ash, made sure to be there for us 110% of the time. His communication with us was consistent- which provided opportunity for us to speak up about adventures or excursions we wanted to explore and allowed us to understand the culture we were immersed in so much better. He arranged tuk tuk rides to the supermarket and ATM if we needed and was present at every project so he could help translate if we didn't understand something. All the drivers and support staff in the house went above and beyond to create an enjoyable environment for us everyday. For those wondering about the house itself, it certainly did not disappoint. The rooms have AC and lockers (if you want to keep something extra safe) and the house is securely protected with security cameras and locked doors. The dining room is on the rooftop where we could eat while watching the sun go down. The food, oh the food! We ate so many delicious dishes served from the heart of Sri Lanka. Tamari (the cook) was so good about adhering to food restrictions as well, no problem.

I did half my time on the turtle project, and half on the mental health project. Both projects were such an amazing experience for me, but the mental health project proved to be my favorite and I will definitely be back to learn and volunteer more through it! Some of what we did through the mental health experience was visit temples and learn more about Buddhism and its approach to mental health (meditation and mindfulness), learn about Ayurvedic medicine and the mind-body connection, and even visit mental health institutions to talk with therapists and psychiatrists. I have so many fond memories from this project!

I was worried we weren't going to get a full experience because of Covid, but I actually think we received an even better one in so many ways. With safety as his top priority, Ash made it so we could visit so many breathtaking places with virtually no one there but us. He made sure we stayed in our own little bubble while still getting to experience what the island has to offer!

There's so much more I want to say about my trip with PMGY but I think I've covered the majority of what made it so worthwhile. I will forever remember everyone I met and bonded with, and Sri Lanka will always have a special place in my heart. If I have any words of advice, it would be to TAKE THE TRIP! It will be the best decision of your life.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice would be to embrace everything that comes your way, even if it is unfamiliar! You never know until you try, and for me this mentality ended up giving me experiences that I will cherish forever.
32 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Lucy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Sri Lanka PMGY Childcare Project

I have recently spent 6 weeks in Sri Lanka on the Childcare/Teaching project at the SUNFO girl's home. The whole trip was amazing and I cannot thank everyone at PMGY enough for giving me this opportunity at a time when I didn't think it would be possible to travel and volunteer abroad.
From the beginning Phillip, at the UK office, was so helpful. He supported me through applying for a visa and answering any questions I had including what PCR tests I would need and when, the quarantine process in Sri Lanka and travel insurance queries. He also kept me informed of any Covid-19 travel updates that may affect my trip to Sri Lanka in the weeks leading up to my departure.
In-country, Ashika (the PMGY coordinator) stayed in contact with me throughout my quarantine stay to make sure I was comfortable. The hotel was really nice and right on the beach with a pool and friendly staff. On arrival at London House, Ashika welcomed us into his home and went above and beyond for our entire stay. Everyone there treated us like family and couldn't do enough for us. I am going to really miss the Sri Lankan food that Ashika's mother makes and all of the jokes with Manoj!
I was honoured to be part of the first group of volunteers to go to the SUNFO girl's home since the Covid-19 pandemic began. Ashika gave us all the support we needed throughout to enable us to carry out the project safely and adhere to Covid-19 guidelines. The project was extremely rewarding and by the time we left we saw a huge difference in the girls' confidence and ability to speak English. Every afternoon at the project we spent around an hour doing more formal teaching and then played games to include a more fun element too. I was extremely sad and emotional to leave the project as over the 6 weeks we got to know the girls' personalities so well! I would highly recommend this project to anyone looking to really make a tangible difference.
Whilst I was in-country there were changes to the Sri Lankan Covid-19 restrictions, which Ashika always kept us up-to-date with. Despite the changes to restrictions Ashika made every effort to make sure we could still go on trips to all parts of the country on our days off, which I am so thankful for! There are no lengths that he will not go to in order to make your experience the best it can be.
I feel so grateful for all the PMGY team that helped me to travel to Sri Lanka during the pandemic. I cannot recommend PMGY Sri Lanka enough, it is an experience that I will never forget where I met some amazing people. I will definitely be returning to see even more of this beautiful country.
Thank you for everything Ashika and all the PMGY team! ❤️❤️

35 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers