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
Jan 16, 2023
69 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

4.88 Rating
based on 116 reviews
  • 5 rating 88.79%
  • 4 rating 10.34%
  • 3 rating 0.86%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 4.65
  • Support 4.95
  • Fun 4.8
  • Value 4.75
  • Safety 4.95
  • Program Selection 5
  • Pre-departure Help 5
  • In-program Support 5
  • Impact on Student 5
  • Value 5
Showing 1 - 8 of 116 reviews
Default avatar
Kate
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Best two months with PMGY Sri Lanka

If you're considering volunteering with PMGY Sri Lanka – do it. The time I spent there from October 15 to December 17 were the best months of my life. The volunteer work was super rewarding, I made so many incredible friendships, and the opportunities to travel and explore the country meant there was never a dull moment.

I volunteered with the dog rescue project (@bringthemhome_srilanka) for my entire time there, and it never got old. Besides falling in love with the dogs at the shelter, it was beyond incredible to get to be a part of the early stages of this project. Ashika is super open to working with the volunteers, and I always felt super heard when I came to him with concerns or ideas for the project. I also did three weeks at the girls home in the afternoons. I so wish I had more time with these girls – they're some of the coolest, funniest, and smartest kids you'll ever meet. I highly recommend spending some time volunteering with the afternoon childcare project.
Some memorable volunteering moments:
- Three new tiny puppies came in on my group's orientation day. Me and the other dog project volunteer at the time got to give them names – Mocha, Peanut, and S'more <33. I got to watch them grow up over my time there (and we had the same first day which I thought was adorable).
- There was a turtle release in my first week and there were enough turtles / few enough volunteers that we each got to release one of the babies. Incredible experience.
- English lessons at the girls home, then playing hangman with all the new words – so many laughs!
- Spent a day doing Christmas crafts with the girls and dancing and singing to Christmas music.

There was a ton to do in our free time as well. Some out-of project activities that are definitely worth doing:
- Waterfall hike (about 45 minute tuk tuk ride away from London House) – hilariously chaotic experience in the rainy season; super quick and pretty stroll in the dry season.
- Badminton nights
- River boat tour (beautiful way to spend an afternoon; don't engage with the guy outside of the boat with the tied up baby crocodile though – blatant animal abuse)
- Hang out at Coral Rock – the pool's super nice and, depending on the season, so is the beach
- Visit Chicken Chop down the street – the guys who work there are super nice and the food's really good, plus it's only about a 5 minute walk from the volunteer house
- Mask museum in Ambalangoda
- Tsunami museum in Hikkaduwa (really emotionally intense, so go when you're in an okay space for that)
- Day trip to Galle

I did both PMGY-organised weekend trips (cultural triangle / Kandy weekend, hill country / Ella weekend) and highly recommend doing both if you're able. And I'll never forget my weekends in Weligama, love Hangtime Hostel with my whole heart.

The local team was super helpful and accommodating – we had weekly house meetings where they would check to make sure everything with the food and house was okay, if projects were going smoothly, if anyone wanted to change projects, what evening activities we wanted help organizing, etc. In between that, if we had any questions or needed help with anything the local team was super accessible and helpful. Ashika and his team go above and beyond to make sure volunteers are safe, comfortable, and having a good time. He approved multiple extended curfew requests, helped us to find and organize all kinds of reliable third-party activities and day trips, and just generally always had all of our backs. One time, I called him in a bit of a panic from a weekend trip I was on with some friends in Ella – one of my friends got pretty sick and I was freaking out and didn't know what to do. Ashika talked me through it, told me what the nearest hospital was and helped me come up with a plan, allowed me to return a day late, and even helped me figure out the bus schedule since I would have to travel back on my own the next day.

Originally, I'd signed up for 6 weeks and was super nervous that it was going to be too long, but the first 4 weeks flew by and I didn't want to leave at all. Even at the end of my extended time, it felt too short – I will definitely be back :))

4 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Lucy
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

the most amazing experience

Highly recommend the PMGY program in Sri Lanka. I spent 4 weeks there and had the most amazing time. From start to finish I can’t fault anything, it was so well organised and their communication throughout was great. The volunteer programs that we were involved in were really well set up and I made so many special memories with the children that I worked with in Sri Lanka that will stay with me for life. Ashika and his team in Sri Lanka were incredible and made every effort to ensure that we had the opportunity to see the country in our spare time. The volunteer house felt like home away from home and had a really positive atmosphere. If you are thinking about going to Sri Lanka but are skeptical given the current crisis definitely go, the only regret I have is not staying longer.

Pros
  • Make friends that you will have for a lifetime
  • Make a difference
  • Experience a different culture
Cons
  • honestly don't have any cons to give
8 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Sophie
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching English for 4 weeks

I recently returned from a 4 week trip to Sri Lanka, and I can easily say it was the most amazing thing I’ve ever done. As a young, female solo traveller I felt completely safe and taken care of by Ash and the Team which I can’t thank them enough for. I signed up for 4 weeks of teaching English, but Ash was flexible in my last week to let me do the childcare project which I was very grateful for. Every evening after project there were activities such as badminton, beach volleyball, karaoke, cocktails and various culturally enriching options which made my time in Sri Lanka so special as it gave us time to bond and have fun. London House as accommodation is basic but clean and has everything you need. The only helpful suggestion I would say to new volunteers is come with an open mind and realistic expectations. As for the team in Sri Lanka, I had a wonderful time and would like to point out that Ash and the team are incredibly helpful and always available if problems arise - which isn’t often but nonetheless. Thank you PMGY for the wonderful memories, I’ll never forget.

Pros
  • Social aspect
  • 24 hour support - even when not in the volunteer house.
  • Fun activities arranged by the team every evening.
16 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Laura
5/5
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

16 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Rhys
5/5
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
24 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Ellie
5/5
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
26 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Jaime
5/5
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
28 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Rachel
5/5
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!
35 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers