Location
  • Sri Lanka
Length
1 to 24 weeks

Program Details

Language
English
Age Min.
17
Timeframe
Short Term Spring Break Summer Winter Year Round
Housing
Guesthouse Hostel
Groups
Small Group (1-15) Medium Group (16-30) Large Group (31+)
Travel Type
Budget Solo Women

Pricing

Starting Price
270
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Airport Transfers Meals Transportation
What's Not Included
Airfare Travel Insurance Visa
Sep 06, 2023
Mar 31, 2024
93 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Volunteer in Sri Lanka with Plan My Gap Year – an award-winning, international volunteer abroad organisation with programs based in Sri Lanka. PMGY provides safe, trusted and affordable programs overseas with a wide range of volunteer projects in Sri Lanka including Childcare • Dog Rescue • English Teaching • Medical • Mental Health & Turtle Conservation opportunities.

PMGY Sri Lanka is located in Ambalangoda. The Sri Lanka programs start on the 1st & 3rd Saturday of every month. Our projects here run across the year and participants can join us from 1-24 weeks. Volunteers in Sri Lanka are provided with an extensive pre-departure support service, airport pick-up, orientation, meals, accommodation and local support.

Video and Photos

Impact

Ethical Impact

Plan My Gap Year is committed to providing ethical volunteer opportunities that truly benefit the local communities. We have personally vetted all of our Volunteer Programs in every destination. We support a small network of Volunteer Programs abroad that we have specifically chosen due to their efforts being sustainable for our volunteers and the local communities alike. We work closely with each of our local teams to ensure we are assessing and adapting to ensure quality experiences for all involved.

For this reason, PMGY does not provide volunteer opportunities in orphanages in any of our locations. Research and studies have shown that visiting and volunteering in orphanages has the potential to generate an industry that separates children from their families. In turn, putting children at increased risk of neglect and abuse. Therefore, we do not support these institutions with our volunteer network.

Instead, we focus on offering alternative childcare volunteer opportunities whereby children come to and from the placement setting each day. In other words, our local teams collaborate with childcare projects which do not offer any form of residential care. These are safe, responsible, and vetted projects, where participants continue to provide valued assistance supporting local staff.

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

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

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Get involved in making a real difference to the lives of street dogs in Sri Lanka. Help do your bit to ensure they have a bright future!

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

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

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Using a combination of lectures, meditations, consultations and community projects, further your awareness of mental health in a new culture.

Portfolio-Sri-Lanka-Turtle.jpg

Help protect and rehabilitate at-risk sea turtles whilst also taking part in community development projects. Experience a different side of Sri Lanka.

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Our top destinations mixed into one trip! Don’t miss your chance to sample and a make difference in sleepy Sri Lanka, inspiring India & beautiful Bali!

Program Reviews

4.89 Rating
based on 125 reviews
  • 5 rating 89.6%
  • 4 rating 9.6%
  • 3 rating 0.8%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 4.65
  • Support 4.95
  • Fun 4.85
  • Value 4.8
  • Safety 4.95
  • Program Selection 5
  • Pre-departure Help 5
  • In-program Support 5
  • Impact on Student 5
  • Value 5
Showing 1 - 8 of 125 reviews
Default avatar
Esha
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing experience!!

Amazing experience!
The staff at PMGY were so helpful and organised so much for us. Everyday there was something going on, whether that be a culture night with traditional dancing, henna and sari night or an opportunity to try Tuktuk driving lessons, there was something for everyone!
The volunteering was very well structured, a great opportunity to help the local community and make an impact. I spent the first two weeks of my trip taking part in the childcare project, where I played with the children as well as taught them some basic English, such as colours and the alphabet. The final two weeks I spent on the dog project – I really enjoyed looking after the puppies, daily tasks included walking and bathing the dogs as well as giving them medicine. One day we even had the chance to take the dogs to the beach and help them swim, this was so much fun! Overall, I really enjoyed the mornings volunteering and found the experience very rewarding!
As well as the volunteering during the week, the weekends were also very enjoyable. I took part in two of the PMGY weekend trips – the Maldives chill out weekend and the Cultural Triangle Trip. Maldives was so beautiful and a great chance to take part in activities such as paddle boarding and snorkelling as well as relax in between the busy weekdays. The Cultural Triangle Trip was also amazing, and I think the day where we went on the elephant safari was my favourite day of the 4 weeks!
Overall, I had the best month volunteering with Plan My Gap Year and highly recommend visiting Sri Lanka!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The most nerve-racking moment was probably landing in Sri Lanka! I travelled solo and was so nervous before going but I really had nothing to worry about. Everyone was so friendly and I had the chance to meet so many amazing people.
Pros
  • Safe environment
  • Amazing weekend trips
  • Enjoyable dog project
Cons
  • A month wasn't long enough!
  • Food became slightly repetitive
  • I felt that the childcare project had a few too many volunteers but I realise that January was a popular month
8 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Hattie
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

My Plan My Gap Year Experience.

I Volunteered with PMGY Sri Lanka for a month. I chose to do the English teaching project. It was probably one of the craziest 4 weeks of my life, but I loved every single moment of it.

I taught on an afternoon at a temple. There were about 10 children, ranging from the ages of 4-17. (though the attendance did range depending on the weather)
The lessons were a combination of both teaching and many many games. Break time was one of my favourite times, the utter joy a simple game a duck duck goose brought the children was infectious.
I also chose to teach English to monks one of my weeks in the morning. Which was an unforgettable experience in itself. One of my favourite parts of teaching was the things the children taught me.
If you are even considering volunteering at all with Plan My Gap Year, DO IT. You will not regret it. This experience was one of my first times travelling and I was a little nervous but it's a lovely environment, you settle in very quickly and all the coordinators are so supportive, kind and funny.
It was probably one of the craziest 4 weeks of my life, but I loved every single moment of it.
If you are thinking about doing English teaching do not worry about experience and do not worry if English is not your first language. As long as you can speak it confidently enough to teach others. There is also masses of support available both from Plan My Gap Year coordinators and a Sri Lankan teacher (who teaches English) if you require it.
When I started teaching I was given a curriculum to follow, then I pretty much designed the lessons myself. Choosing how to teach each topic.
Everyday it was a joy to teach. All the games brought the children so much joy and their laughter and cheekiness was infectious.
On weekends you could go on organised trips, which were incredibly fun and a brilliant time to explore more of the beautiful country. The weekend trips were some of my favourite memories. There was also organised evening activities, games, henna, performances and more.
There was not a moment when something interesting and fun was not happening.

What was your funniest moment?
One of the funniest moments was definitely when our tuk-tuk got a flat tire and our hilarious driver just hoisted the tuk-tuk up on his shoulder and changed the tire.
Pros
  • amazing support
  • lovely food
  • good accommodation
Cons
  • Some of the food didn't agree with my stomach
  • leeches (wear long socks and you will be fine)
  • losing personal items
29 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
rosie
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

The real sri lankan experience

I went to Sri Lanka on the real experience, it was amazing! Recommend for anyone thinking about it. The staff were all really nice and made the experience, shout out to Ishan!!! Everyday was something new, I got to travel around Sri Lanka and meet great people. The real experience was great we were so busy for the first two weeks visiting temples, going on safaris, boat trips and seeing Sri Lankas incredible landmarks. My favourite day was climbing up Sigiriya Rock, the views were incredible, and the tour was really interesting. The real experience was well organised, and I felt safe the entire time. The food we ate on the first two weeks of travelling was mostly a buffet. There were loads of options and Sri Lankan food is very tasty.

Then I volunteered on the turtle sanctuary for my final two weeks which was so much fun. We got to feed, release the turtles to the sea, clean their tanks and give them medicine. The volunteer house was fun to be at with plenty of activities each evening and also the option to travel to Hikkaduwa where there were lots of things to do and places to go. I recommend going to citrus for karoke!!! They also had options to do canoeing, boat trips and a waterfall day trip. The staff were also great with helping us plan weekend trips. PMGY was such a great experience, and I can’t wait to sign up for my next trip! Thanks for all the hard work the staff put in to make my experience so amazing!!!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Bring bug spray and medication!! A few people had food poisoning so it’s best to have some things just in case. The first two weeks on the real experience I barely spent any money but when you get to London house expect to be spending a lot more. This is just because there’s you end up going to the nearby town. Also bring a neck pillow, this was my best thing I brought with me. For the first 2 weeks you will be travelling loads and a lot of the locations are around 2 hour distance away from each other. Everyone was sleeping on the coach and having a neck pillow just helped a lot for a good nap.
Pros
  • Travelling Sri Lanka
  • Friendships you make
  • The staff
Cons
  • Busy days, make sure to get your naps in as it can be very tiring!
  • Mosquito bites, bring insect replent!
  • At the airport on the way back you can't use your Sri Lankan currency so either use it before or exchange it.
43 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
SAIRA PAREEN
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

PMGY Sri Lanka-Mental Health Project

This was my first experience with PMGY and I must say that I truly had a smooth journey from the start to end.

All the administrative works were done well with prompt reply and support, easy process with applications, in-depth details on the volunteer’s handbook, everything was structured professionally through webinars, emails and paperworks. Appreciate Josh’s and Rachel time and work(intl. team) who assisted me in the process and get my application done in a bit of tight timing.

Prior the trip, things were clearly explained on departure and arrival into the country in email , getting all volunteers in social media group to connect.

In-country team was excellent, members including everyone from the drivers, cooks and others. A special thanks to Mr Ashika and Ms Amelia who I got in touch with in terms of clarifications etc and worked closely with during my placements in Sri Lanka.

The accommodation was good, safe and was surrounded by lovely people and family at the home where I stayed in and all the essential resources were provided.

The programme I enrolled for is mental health and I enjoyed with new/varies of study placements each day into hospitals observation, mental health centre, also seeing another form of knowledge connection to mental health like Ayurvedic/Spirituality. It had an impactful learning and growth.

All the volunteers were approachable and friendly. It was also nice to know their experiences during the stay and on their projects.

Pleasant weeks of stay and placements there and with all of the members who contributed so much with care and support. I would come back again!

85 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Leah
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Real Sri Lanka Experience

I recently spent four weeks in Sri Lanka on the real Sri Lanka experience, for two weeks we travelled around the country seeing and taking part in all the different places and experiences Sri Lanka has to offer. The next two weeks I volunteered on the turtle and English teaching projects. The projects were well organised and interesting and there was still plenty of time to go to the beach or do activities like kayaking or even tuktuk driving lessons, as well as activities the coordinators organised for volunteers to try like cooking classes, beach bonfires and so many more. The coordinators were always available if you had any issues or needed recommendations for the best places to go/see. This was the experience of a lifetime with the most amazing friendships and memories made, I’m already planning my next trip with PMGY.

98 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Leah
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Real Sri Lanka Experience

I spent four weeks in Sri Lanka on the real Sri Lanka experience, for two weeks we travelled around the country seeing and taking part in all the different places and experiences Sri Lanka has to offer. The next two weeks I volunteered on the turtle and English teaching projects. The projects were well organised and interesting and there was still plenty of time to go to the beach or do activities like kayaking or even tuktuk driving lessons, as well as activities the coordinators organised for volunteers to try like cooking classes, beach bonfires and so many more. The coordinators were always available if you had any issues or needed recommendations for the best places to go/see. This was the experience of a lifetime with the most amazing friendships and memories made, I’m already planning my next trip with PMGY.

100 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Isabelle
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Plan my gap year Sri Lanka

PMGY Sri Lanka is an amazing organisation all the staff go above and beyond to help you and are super accommodating to any requests you might have and always organise fun evenings activities for volunteers. I always felt safe while I was there and there are many things put in place to keep volunteers safe for example the PMGY tuk tuk taxi service. The food is freshly prepared and tasty. The weekend trips and real Sri Lankan experience are a great way to be able to explore the country and the culture.

Pros
  • Make new friends around the world
  • Opportunity to volunteer
  • Explore a new country and culture
Cons
  • There is often a Que for bathrooms
91 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Caroline
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Absolutely amazing!

If you’re considering going to Sri Lanka, definetely do it! I had the best 9 weeks of my life there, and have made so many amazing friends and had so many amazing experiences.
I was supposed to stay with PlanMyGapYear in Sri Lanka for six weeks, but ended up extending for three more weeks because I found it so amazing there. And if I hadn’t already made plans after that, I would have extended for even longer.

Everyone comes to PMGY with an open mind and is ready to make new friends and experiences. Not to say that the local team in Sri Lanka is amazing. They do everything in their power to make you feel welcome and happy, from several afternoon activities during the week to checking if you’re okay if they sense that something is wrong. The local team practically becomes family while you’re there, and they do so much to let you into their culture and everyday life.

The projects in Sri Lanka are very well-organised, and I woke up and really wanted to go to project every day. I can especially recommend the turtle project, but from what I have heard from everyone else who was there during my nine weeks, all of the projects are amazing. PMGY Sri Lanka also has a lot of different projects to offer, so if you’re not loving the project that you originally chose, you can always switch to another volunteering project.

I am definitely gonna go back to my second home in Sri Lanka, and I would recommend everyone to go and get an experience of a lifetime with PMGY Sri Lanka.

116 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers