• Sri Lanka
1 to 12 weeks

Program Details

Age Min.
Year Round
Host Family Hostel
Small Group (1-15) Medium Group (16-30) Large Group (31+)
Travel Type
Budget Family Older Travelers Solo


Starting Price
Price Details
IFRE is a 501(c)3 organization, so your program fee will be tax deductible. IFRE Volunteers is proud to offer the world’s best fee.
Our programs are now more affordable than ever. We are proud to focus on the humanitarian aspect of our business, not on profit. We work very hard and smart to keep our costs down, especially for the volunteers because we know the value of your donated time and efforts.
What's Included
Accommodation Airport Transfers Meals Some Activities Travel Insurance
What's Not Included
Airfare Transportation Visa
Mar 09, 2020
Jan 07, 2024
2 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Looking for a life-changing experience that will completely revolutionize your life? Imagine a trip to exotic Sri Lanka, an unforgettable experience, then combine it with the opportunity to help the wonderful people there.

When you travel to the island of Sri Lanka, you’ll be taking in a popular tourist destination, plentiful with attractions such as golden beaches, tropical forests, and magnificent mountains as well as its history that dates back some 2500 years.

In this mystical country, you will find your own happiness through assisting others. Whether you choose to work alongside us in an orphanage, teach English to the local children or monks, or dispense your compassion in an “elephant orphanage,” you’ll prove to yourself that giving is always the best way to receive.
IFRE’s volunteer in Sri Lanka programs will open your heart and mind and enrich your life forever.

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

  • The world’s most affordable volunteer programs – starting at $155.
  • Low Fees are paid directly to host families and projects with absolutely no middlemen!
  • Experience the personal satisfaction of improving the lives of those in need who desperately need assistance.
  • Your one-time low fee cover accommodations, food, project costs, and support by expert and trustworthy local staffs.
  • Your safety is our utmost priority. We fully understand it can feel intimidating to be far from home in an unfamiliar country. But you’ll never feel alone with our 24/7 expert support staff and services.

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Program Reviews

4.46 Rating
based on 26 reviews
  • 5 rating 50%
  • 4 rating 46.15%
  • 3 rating 3.85%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 4.25
  • Support 4.8
  • Fun 4.65
  • Value 4
  • Safety 4.65
Showing 1 - 8 of 26 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Medical Volunteering, Sri Lanka

This was my first time visiting this beautiful country and my trip and experience was well facilitated by the IFRE staff. The sceneries and beaches in Galle were breath taking. The people were welcoming and respectful. The food was really good. On one weekend, the country coordinator, Michael took us to the 'Elephant Orphanage' where we learnt about the Asian elephants and their life cycle. We also go to ride the elephant, feed her and give her a bath and in return the elephant showered us with water from her trunk. It was a great memorable experience. On the contrary, the hospital experience wasn't as 'Hands On' as expected. It was more of an 'observation' rather than actually being assigned tasks to perform.

16 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Medical Volunteer in SriLanka

I have had the privilege to do a medical volunteering experience in Galle, Srilanka. Firstly, we stayed with the host family which were very nice and hospitable, made sure we felt comfortable during our stay.
Secondly, the medical exposure was a bit of a let down. Due to the main reason being the language barrier between me and the patients as well as some of the healthcare workers, which made me shift my program from the pediatrics department to the emergency medicine department which was a much better decision, the cases I saw were much more interesting and the doctors their were more engaging. However, the overall medical volunteering experience felt more of a medical elective rather than a hands on experience.

15 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Medical exposure in Sri Lanka

Overall my experience in this program was a good one. With the help of this program I feel like I have grown so much. Sri Lanka is a beautiful country with some of the most amazing people I have ever met.

My partner and I stayed with Michael and his family, which were all just incredible. Michael was an amazing host, he guided us throughout the entire two weeks of our program and even after we left to travel around the country, he was always ready to help through Whatsapp. Michael organised our daily transport to and from the hospital which was great. He also organised trips for us which were also so much fun. They prepared food for us every day which was delicious. He and his family are very caring and always with a smile on their face. They thought us so much about their culture. We will definitely stay in touch with them.

The actual medical exposure was also eye-opening. We could see how the medical team makes use of little resources to provide the best health care that they can. Nonetheless, my partner and I were a bit disappointed in the fact that the program was not a voluntary type but a more of a medical elective. We did not participate in any medical procedures, something which we both thought we will do.

  • Amazing country and people
  • Not a medical voluntary experience, more of a placement/elective
  • language barrier between us and the patients
27 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Sri Lanka Medical Elective

Sri Lanka Medical experience was an eye opening experience I was able to observe and see medical pathologies and conditions that we do not really get in the western world. During my 2 weeks placement at the hospital I was able to appreciate the art of clinical diagnosis via examination, something that again in the western world is being lost due to the increase accessibility to radiological and laboratory investigations.

The host family that we were living with in Sri Lanka have been amazing, they made us (my partner and I) feel at home. Michael (Host), is an amazing guy, he used to help us and guide us through everything we wanted to do in Sri Lanka both throughout those 2 week while doing our medical placement and even after since we decided to travel around Sri Lanka after finishing the placement.

The only disappointment that both my partner and myself have expressed is that this is not a volunteering project but instead this is a medical elective, but none the less we still made the most out of it and we were still able to obtain some medical knowledge both from the doctors themselves and even from the other medical students.

  • Very nice people and a vibrant smile
  • Language barrier, patients don't speak English so I had to really on other medical student to translate for me.
  • Some doctors did not speak in English during their ward round so at time I felt completely lost
25 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

First experience with captive asian elephants

I wanted do to something very useful for cative elephants, to improve their life. Here, you can discover how elephants are used by sri lankan people, and why. It is not just a place where captive elephants can rest, the staff really try to change the mentality of sri lankan people about elephants and their need of care. All the staff is very kind with volunteer, and answer to any questions. The vet is really important in this program because he works with owners of elephants to assure a good quality of life of their elephants, and try to make them understand that perahera and poja is not good for elephants, because it is a lot of stress, loud sound, and cages on their back hurt them a lot.
The foundation is not perfect, but they try to changes a lot of things.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Take old clothes, gloves, and come ! The work can be difficult, but it is really a satisfactory work.
84 people found this review helpful.
Response from IFRE Volunteers Abroad

Dear Constance,

Thank you for volunteering with us and lending a helping hand to the elephants in Sri Lanka. We greatly appreciate your help, time and effort. We also wish you all the best for your future endeavours.

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteer In Children's Orphanage in Galle, Sri Lanka

The experience at the orphanage was incredible, life changing and deeply humbling. When you embark on an experience such as this there is a lot that goes through you mind. You wonder how everything will be and you hope that your time is part of a bigger picture that is helpful and I guess important.

The children at the orphanage were a true delight! Mischievous, good, kind, funny and at times, yes naughty! All the things you would expect from any child around the world! They are a real mix of personalities and you can see despite the reason that has brought them into a government system that they are still individuals with a lot to offer the world.

Michael, the Co-Ordinator is lovely.

Sri Lanka overall is a beautiful country with amazing, kind and helpful people. I was there when the bombs went off in Colombo. The people were devastated by what happened and rallied together. There is a great fear that this will completely destroy the tourism industry that has started to boom. I felt completely safe in Sri Lanka, more so than any other country I have traveled to. Remember - something bad can happen anywhere in the world at anytime. Do not let this make you change your mind in going there. It is a special country.

What would you improve about this program?
Some of the staff are not very friendly, I felt in the way at times. Maybe more cohesion between volunteers and the staff. A wee guide booklet could be amazing helpful. On transport types, applying for visa extensions etc. Actually I would be happy to write one!
83 people found this review helpful.
Response from IFRE Volunteers Abroad

Dear Samantha, we thank you so much for being a part of our Orphanage Project and we feel happy to know that you enjoyed working with the children. We also really admire your courage during the turmoil in Sri Lanka and that you stayed behind to help.

We are sorry that you had to face some issues with some of our staffs. We will try to improve on this matter so our future volunteers can fell at ease.

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Orphanage Volunteering Galle

The volunteering has been amazing and eye opening, the children are the most kid and sweetest I have ever met. The teachers are nice but some can be cold to new comers. The hours at the orphanage are great as you can do the whole day (8:30-6) or half day (8:30-12/1:00) and explore the city of Galle and the surrounding towns. The other volunteers I live with are amazing and have become close friends over the course of the 5 weeks staying here. Micheal’s house is a great place to stay as it is on the main Colombo-Galle road and right across from the beach, the other volunteers and I love to walk on the beach and watch the sunsets, see turtles and watch kids play cricket and soccer at the beach. The food served at Micheal’s is fresh and just like the way my Sri Lankan Acci makes at home, it’s amazing to watch and see the process. I would highly recommend doing this trip it has changed me as a person so much (for the better) anyone and everyone should do it

What would you improve about this program?
No curfew and more cooperative teachers at the orphanage
81 people found this review helpful.
Response from IFRE Volunteers Abroad

Dear Amy,

Thank you for volunteering with us. We greatly appreciate your help in the project and are happy that you enjoyed the project. We wish you all the best for your future endeavours.

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Working at the oephanage

I would definitely recommend this experience. I worked at the orphanage for only 3 weeks, and still I felt like those kids were mine. They need so much love and they give love to you as well. It was hard to leave them...
It is also hard to see them leaving in those conditions, but after a while you get used to it. However, as I mentioned below, most of the teachers and the stuff working there are very rude wirh any volunteer. They do not give any love to the kids and they get angry if you try to play with them or kiss them. I honestly thought that that was very sad; even if they are clearly frustrated they should not treat the children like that.
They stay at Michael's was good! He and his family are super kimd, and available for any kind of need you can have. He also organized few trips for the foreigners that were staying at his place, all of them at a fair price.

What would you improve about this program?
Most of the teachers and the stuff working at the orphanage are rude with volunteers. They do not give any kind of love to those kids and they do not appreciate if you do it.
71 people found this review helpful.
Response from IFRE Volunteers Abroad

Dear Caterina,

Thank you for your wonderful feedback. We greatly appreciate you for taking out the time to volunteer with us and are happy that you enjoyed the project. We wish you all the best for your future endeavours.

Questions & Answers