• Sri Lanka
    • Kandy
2 to 26 weeks
Project Types
Youth Education Teaching

Program Details

Age Min.
Year Round


Starting Price
Price Details
In order to keep doing what we do, we need funds, and you can help! Once you have decided you want to come and volunteer for us we ask you to accept our challenge and be a tea-picker for a day. Your family and friends can sponsor you by donating. We ask you to raise 50 pounds, or 65$, for every week you stay, with a minimum of 150 pounds (190$) and a maximum of 250 pounds (320$), although many of our volunteers are so inspired they raise much more! 100% of your contribution goes directly to the students and projects.
What's Included
Some Meals Wifi
Feb 14, 2020
Jun 11, 2024
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About Program

We are looking for enthusiastic individuals who are passionate about making a positive impact on the lives of others. This is an amazing opportunity for you to experience the wonders of the tea estates – their beauty, the amazing smiles and generosity of the communities, as well as developing your own skills and expertise.

We offer programs varying from two weeks up to six months. We encourage volunteers who can stay for three weeks or more but do have a tailored experience for people that can only visit for two weeks. You will be assisting the school staff with their daily tasks like lesson preparations, meetings and giving lessons while at the same time engaging with the students to improve their English and confidence. If you want to stay longer, we are more than happy to discuss the options with you. Have a look at our website to find out more about what we do and how you can help, or get in touch so we can talk about the possibilities! We are looking forward to meeting you.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Immerse yourself in local culture
  • Make a positive impact on the life of others
  • Authentic experience
  • Unique options to experience the culture

Program Impact

English and confidence are the key to these young people building a better future for their families. Through chatting to and learning from you, the students will thrive and succeed. Your impact will be life-changing.

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Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 8 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 5
  • Support 4.9
  • Fun 4.75
  • Value 5
  • Safety 4.65
Showing 1 - 8 of 8 reviews
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Yes, I recommend this program

An extremely memorable volunteering experience

This was one of the most special and memorable experiences of my 6 months travelling Asia. If you want to open your eyes to how people from a disadvantaged community facing poverty live, get a deep insight into Sri Lankan culture and contribute to a cause that’s making a significant impact in changing lives, then this is the place for you!

I spent a month at TLT - 3 weeks in Maskeliya and 1 week in Nuwara Eliya - during that time I supported teachers in their lessons, helped them with their English and lead language games to support advanced students with their conversational English. Beyond that I formed wonderful friendships with the teachers and students and listened as many shared incredibly inspiring stories of the hardship they’ve faced and the resilience they’ve used to tackle problems over and over again. Outside of school I explored the stunning areas where the schools are based with teachers and volunteers and visited the homes of teachers to see how they live their lives, only being welcomed with the warmest hospitality. I think even a volunteer like me, who doesn’t have expertise in education/teaching, can have an important impact by making the students and teachers in this community feel seen and cared for by someone from outside of their world, I could really see how much it meant for them that I wanted to help them improve their English, understand their lives and be their friend.

In comparison to my experience volunteering elsewhere I think the experience of volunteering at TLT maintains a good balance between being eye opening and rewarding whilst not being something that’s too outside of your comfort zone.

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

Such a win/win experience

With Agility With No Borders, we have created a tiny NGO aiming at narrowing life divides of unpriviledged people. In Sept 2023, we spent 1 intense and great week within the MASKELYA Tea Lea Center, to share with managers, teachers and students various practices and tools directly linked to the 21st century skills (World Economic Forum), like creativity / innovation, critical thinking / problem solving, teamwork / collaboration, dialogic vs instructional teaching, agile leadership, etc.... The welcome, the energy and the willingness to learn were unforgettable. We applied the same in Nepal, and we are preparing our next and much longer stay within Tea Leaf Vision in summer 2024.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
We'll spend much more time, for a deeper dive in the culture and the local life.
  • TLC is a great organization, with incredible people and projects
  • You can also enjoy beauties of Sri Lanka, especially the PEKOE TRAIL
14 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Incredible Experience!

After spending a year working with different non-profits around the globe, my time as a photographer with Tea Leaf Trust in Sri Lanka was an absolute highlight!

I spent 3 weeks living in Nuwara Eliya (documenting a newly opened Tea Leaf school) and 1 week in Maskeliya (documenting a more established Tea Leaf school). It was an incredible experience learning about life in the upcountry tea estates, while simultaneously supporting groundbreaking work in education, health, and social development.

This would be an especially valuable experience for those with or looking to gain teaching experience, or with a passion for improving grassroots education. Most needed are volunteers to assist in the schools, which support some of the most under-resourced - and high potential - young adults in the country.

  • Definitely stay at Sky Heaven with Krishan and his family
  • Stay for 1 month+ if you can
  • Warm, welcoming team and community
  • Foreign female travelers should be careful about walking or using public transport alone
17 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Meaningful Community Volunteering

When looking for a volunteer experience I wanted to find an opportunity that was meaningful, very much linked and integrated in the community and with the chance to get to know local people and culture in a way beyond the usual travel experience. Tea Leaf Trust looked great on paper and from the first moment chatting with the founders and the volunteer coordinator to the three-week experience in Maskeliya, I was not disappointed.

I am a teacher so I was looking forward to sharing some of my skills but I think the school does very well with matching skills to the programme and welcomes a diverse range of people.

At school there was support, inspiration and friends to be found at every turn. The local staff are very welcoming and inspiring people. Sharing moments with them in classes, over lunch and even in social times was a real highlight. Working with the students there, with their drive to make the best of the education they were receiving and develop not only themselves but the community, was also an incredible experience.

We stayed with a local family which really added to the experience as we would spend evenings sitting round the dinner table eating the best food I tasted in Sri Lanka and chatting with the family.

All round the experience was fantastic and I really hope to go back in the future to this amazing country, town and school.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I might stay a bit longer! We were there for 3-weeks which is a good amount of time but I think if it's possible for you to stay longer you can integrate even more into the school and local community.
81 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Life changing for all involved.

Back in December of 2017, my partner Jenny and I made a decision to change paths. We were determined to embrace change and take intermittent breaks from our chosen careers, an array of furloughs as such. One night as we sat together in our flat in Spain, we fortuitously discovered Tea Leaf Vision.

From the very beginning we were inspired by Yasmene and Tim's story, it seem both righteous and compassionate. After a delightful interview with Carol Workum we were even more convinced that TLV was the volunteer project that we truly wanted to be part of. By the end of the month we got the confirmation that we had been selected to volunteer in February of 2018.

Filled with glee, we vowed to give all we could to the project. Coincidentally it was at this time (January 2018), that Jenny and I were to marry. We decided that instead of people giving us gifts of cash that rather they should sponsor us to volunteer with TLV.

Arriving in Maskeliya was a hugely enriching experience, the lush green rolling hills, the smiles on everyone's faces the tangible sense of hope. At the first Monday morning assembly we got to know all the teachers, interns and students. We could immediately tell that everyone was driven by passion and resilience. This became contagious.

All our interactions with locals, staff and students were life enhancing and fulfilling. Long-lasting friendships were established almost immediately.

In the end, we spent a mere three weeks at TLV in Maskeliya, yet it will stay with us for a lifetime. The positive effects that TLV has on the local and wider community is both admirable and essential.

I would encourage anyone who believes in people's inherent desire to overcome difficult situations and strive to better themselves, to spend at least a few weeks at this unique Sri Lankan/British sanctuary.

65 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

An amazing time with Tea Leaf Vision in Sri Lanka

Becoming a volunteer with the Tea Leaf Trust was a life-changing experience for me. From my first time travelling in a tuk-tuk and my first experience of eating thosas at Ambals on my first evening in Nuwara Eliya, I had the most amazing time in this beautiful country. Of course, I was there to work, and it was a pleasure to play a small part in the running of Tea Leaf Vision Schools in Nuwara Eliya, Maskeliya and Palmerston, although it was such fun that a lot of the time it didn’t even feel like work. It was very moving to witness at first-hand the impact of Tea Leaf Vision's programmes on students from the tea estates and, for me, although improving students’ knowledge of English was, of course, extremely encouraging and very important, it was the impact that their programmes have on students’ self-esteem, belief in themselves and hope for their future that I found the most powerful. It is not an exaggeration to say that young students’ lives have been transformed by their attendance on Tea Leaf Vision programmes and it was a privilege to see this for myself. I worked with some truly inspiring people during my 3-month stint as a volunteer and I have memories that will stay with me forever. I learned in Sri Lanka to expect the unexpected and the personal journey I experienced, both literally and metaphorically, during my time there had a profound effect on me, to the extent that I felt that I came back a different person. I went with the idea that I would do my best to give all I could to support the work of this amazing charity, but I left feeling I had received so much more from this experience than I had given and, as someone who spent the whole of my working life involved in education, I learned much more there than I could ever have imagined.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I was very honoured to be invited to a Hindu wedding, something I had never done before and it ended up being one of the most amazing days during my time in Sri Lanka.
77 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

A humbling and life-changing experience with inspiring people.

Before I left for Sri Lanka I was excited, intrigued and a little daunted. I am not a teacher and following my last experience of teaching over 10 years ago I decided that teaching was not for me. Yet here I was in Sri Lanka, on my own, in front of twenty-five 17-25 year olds with a lesson plan in hand- aagh! However as the weeks went on I looked forward to my own classes and spending time with the students, being able to get to know them more and helping them increase in confidence. Seeing the school in action and being part of their team was incredibly special. The positivity of the students and staff is infectious and you really are filled with hope for these young people. I feel privileged and humbled to have been part of and supported this amazing charity.
During my time with TLT I supported and taught a range of classes. The key role that you have as a volunteer is to provide these young people with a listening, interested ear and a chance for them to practise conversational English.
From there it really depends on your passions and interests. We helped to implement admin systems, ran first aid workshops, proof read speeches and even taught some folk dancing!
If you are willing to learn from and experience a new culture, and in turn share some of your own - then volunteering with TLT could be the opportunity for you!

78 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

An honest, personal and invigorating volunteering experience.

I completed 6 months with Tea Leaf Trust in 2018 at their centre in Maskeliya. My wife and I are education and health professionals in the UK and we were looking for an opportunity to support a project with our skills, but also live alongside and learn from a vibrant culture. Having visited Sri Lanka before we knew how friendly and welcoming the people were - but the staff, students and citizens of Maskeliya surpassed this! We are still in touch with many students, staff and locals and 2 years on have also visited again.
I would wholeheartedly recommend volunteering with TLT. From our first email everything was personal and relational - the beauty of being a smaller charity whose founders are still extremely active.
Furthermore, the project is bringing real hope, skills and aspiration to a generation of young people who feel isolated and abandoned. As a volunteer you have the chance to help support these young people by listening to them, speaking English with them and teaching them about your own experiences and sharing skills. One day I sat working at the reception desk and numerous students would stop and converse, taking every opportunity to hone their skills and build their confidence.
An added bonus is that the school is based in a remote and beautiful part of the Sri Lankan highlands - largely off the tourist trail. When we weren't in school we tended to be walking around and enjoying the beauty of Maskeliya. It’s akin to the Scottish Highlands or Lake District - and the weather can sometimes be quite similar! The beauty, simplicity and friendliness of the area is staggering with mountains, waterfalls and plenty of views!
TLT wants “every person on the tea estates to realise that they are valuable members of society, who can help transform their communities into places of happiness and hope.” The positivity of the students and staff is infectious and you really are filled with hope for these young people. If you want a volunteering experience where you can really get under the skin of a culture, make new friends and share your own experiences and skills - jump in!

80 people found this review helpful.

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