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Women's Education Volunteer Program in Sri Lanka

Women's Education Volunteer Program in Sri Lanka

Inspired to be a Women’s Education volunteer in Sri Lanka? International Volunteer HQ’s Women’s Education project is an amazing opportunity for open minded and enthusiastic volunteers to help women from the local community to up-skill and become self-sufficient. If you already have a skill you would like to share with the local women or are interested in teaching English, exercise or nutrition - that is a bonus! However, it is not required as you will be volunteering alongside local staff.

Highlights:
  • Programs start every Monday
  • Affordable fees from AU$610 for 1 week
  • Includes accommodation, meals, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
  • Empower women through education so they can become more self-sufficient

  • Enjoy Sri Lanka’s spectacular and diverse geography

  • Stay in the UNESCO World Heritage city of Kandy

Key information

Support women to gain financial independence
Based with a local NGO
Stay in a volunteer house
Volunteers aged 18+
Fully hosted experience from AU$610 for 1 week
Durations from 1 - 12 weeks
Introduction Week orientation available
5 - 7 hours volunteering per day

This program is ideal for:

Volunteers with experience in creativity, business or teaching, or anyone who is open-minded and happy to be flexible in supporting local Sri Lankan women.
Who is this program suited to?

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

Raising awareness about women’s education is important because it helps to break down gender stereotypes and promote equality. When people are aware of the challenges that women face, they are more likely to support initiatives that help to empower them. This can lead to real changes in the way that women are treated in society, both in terms of their opportunities and their rights. This project is particularly good for those with skills and interests in arts and craft-making, as well as an interest in supporting women to become self-sufficient.

Volunteer duties may include helping with:

  • Sewing and tailoring training
  • Candle-making training
  • Jewelry creation training
  • Cooking training
  • Teaching English, exercise or nutrition

You can also teach the local women a range of life skills such as cooking, dancing, hygiene, cushions, tote bags, knitting and really anything that you might like to share that can be beneficial to them. If you would like to teach or bring any specific activity to your placement that you think would be beneficial to the local women and be of their interest, please advise at least 2 weeks before you start, and the local team will do their best to help you facilitate the activity you wish to bring to the local women.

It is important to note during school holidays the women may be busy with their families to attend classes so instead volunteers will be able to teach the local children of the women.

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #4: Quality Education

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #4: Quality Education

More than half of all children and teens do not meet minimum proficiency standards in reading and mathematics. Quality education provides an opportunity to learn and grow in a safe environment and is key to preventing poverty, securing long-term employment and improving quality of life.

Why do Women's Education volunteering in Kandy with IVHQ?

When you volunteer with the local women in Sri Lanka you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Helping women overcome gender inequality issues
  • Helping women develop life skills in a safe place
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Gaining experience working with women
  • Immersing yourself in Sri Lankan culture
  • Discovering Sri Lanka’s rich history

Volunteer requirements

  • Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate in this program. If you are under the age of 18, IVHQ offers alternative volunteer opportunities for teens. Visit our High School Volunteer Abroad page to learn more.
  • All volunteers are required to provide a criminal background check to IVHQ prior to departure
  • All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
  • All volunteers must speak fluent English.
Are you eligible to volunteer?

Submit a free application so we can confirm your eligibility and check availability for your preferred dates.

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What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

AP
Amy Perkins
24 Jan 2024

This program was the most amazing thing I have ever done, and I am so incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to take part in it. It is so eye-opening being immersed in another culture, particularly being guided by the locals adds a deeper sense of learning. The turtle conservation program was so special, and very rewarding being able to give back to the local wildlife and community. I would 100% recommend people to join the program, I am already looking into doing more with IVHQ!

...
JP
Joshua Paterson
23 Jan 2024

I gained appreciation, love and worth. I'd tell someone who is hesitate that, in time you will tell your future partner about the lasting impact the trip had on you then your children and then your grandchildren!

...
IF
Ingeborg Fetscher
18 Dec 2023

I had yet another marvellous experience, this is my 5th volunteer project with IVHQ. All I’d advise people who are new or hesitant to this kind of activity is, not to expect the convenience etc. You might enjoy in your home country, but rather embrace and learn from other/different cultures. Helping others comes back to you a thousand fold and is the most rewarding experience.

...
AC
António Costa
26 Sep 2023

I would like to express my gratitude and share my incredible experience as a volunteer in Sri Lanka. My journey as part of this project was unforgettable and enriching in various ways.

First and foremost, I want to highlight the wonderful team that welcomed me from the moment I arrived in Sri Lanka. Their hospitality and warmth made me feel at home from day one. They were incredibly attentive and helpful in every aspect, making my adaptation to the new environment and culture much easier.

The volunteer work itself was a transformative experience. Contributing to local initiatives, whether in education, medical assistance, or environmental conservation, provided a deep sense of fulfillment. It was rewarding to see how our collective effort was making a difference in people's lives and in the community as a whole.

Furthermore, the opportunity to immerse myself in Sri Lanka's culture and daily life was truly enriching. I learned so much about the history, traditions, and values of this amazing country, which significantly broadened my worldview. Interacting with local residents and learning from them was one of the most valuable parts of my experience.

I also want to highlight the organization of the volunteer program. The logistics were well-planned, and all my concerns were efficiently addressed. Communication with the coordination team was always clear and effective, contributing to a smooth and enjoyable experience.

Lastly, I believe that my experience in Sri Lanka not only enriched my life but also gave me a broader perspective on global issues and the importance of volunteering. I am inspired to continue working for the common good and to share what I have learned with others around me.

In summary, my experience as a volunteer in Sri Lanka was extraordinary in every aspect. I sincerely thank you for providing me with this unique opportunity. I look forward to continuing to support this project in some way, and I hope that others can enjoy the same transformative experience I had.

Thank you once again.

...
IV
Ivaila Valcheva
06 May 2022

Sri Lanka is an incredible country; the people are friendly and welcoming, you are surrounded by beautiful wildlife from elephants to sea turtles and the volunteer programmes are worth every minute. Turtle conservation gives you the chance to feed, wash and handle disabled sea turtles, on a stunning beach with overhead palm trees. If lucky you may end up releasing baby turtles into the sea, a once in a lifetime moment. I cannot recommend this country enough, the local team made my safety their priority and ensured I saw the most Sri Lanka has to offer whilst I was there!

...
DM
Dave Moore
01 Apr 2022

I have only volunteered once before. It wasn’t with IVHQ. But it was still a great experience. Now, based on just the one experience with IVHQ. I would highly recommend them. I for one, would look at them first for any future volunteer projects!

...

To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

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Volunteer Abroad in Sri Lanka with IVHQ

Location

Known as the ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’, Sri Lanka is an island nation set off the south-east coast of India. Famous for its tea plantations, cinnamon exports and cricket rivalries, it also boasts a vast array of beaches, Buddhas and big beasts like elephants and whales.

While Sri Lanka is a well-developed country which has made great strides towards making sure its residents don’t live in extreme poverty, there are still many places outside of the main centres where people struggle to access good quality education, healthcare and earn a decent living to support themselves and their families. Volunteers can help in these areas by providing important support to local initiatives that aim to improve the quality of life for people in these disadvantaged areas.

Most of IVHQ’s Sri Lanka volunteer projects are based in the small, sacred city of Kandy.

Arrival and orientation

The program orientation begins every Monday and volunteers need to arrive in Colombo anytime on the Saturday or Sunday before orientation.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at the Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) on Sunday. Your airport pick-up on this day is included in your Program Fee. We recommend that volunteers under the age of 18 travel internationally with a notarized letter from their parents to support their documentation.

After you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation in Kandy. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the Sunday night before your program orientation.

If you are travelling in Sri Lanka prior to your volunteer program, you can meet the local team at the airport in Colombo on the Sunday before your program begins, or make your own way directly to the local team’s office in Kandy.

Orientation is run by the local team in Kandy, beginning on the Monday morning of your start date. Volunteers can choose to join a One-day Orientation or Introduction Week Orientation.

One-day Orientation:

This provides you with all the key information you need, plus the chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socialising. It includes an introduction to Sri Lanka, Sri Lankan customs, rules and expectations, safety in Sri Lanka, travel opportunities in Sri Lanka, an introduction to your volunteer project and placement, Kandy city tour, cultural show and basic Sinhala language lessons.

Introduction Week Orientation:

This is a fantastic way to start your volunteer experience in Sri Lanka and gives you the time to dive deeper into the culture and activities. It will include everything on the One-Day Orientation as well as visits to a Buddhist monastery, a spice garden and the famous Temple of the Tooth. You’ll also get to take a Sri Lankan cooking class, and Batik lesson.

If you wish to participate in the Introduction Week, you can indicate this on your application form when you apply for the program or let your Program Manager know at least two weeks before you begin the program.

Volunteer schedule example

First Day

On your first day of volunteering, you will be escorted to your placement by a local coordinator and introduced to the placement staff you will be working with.

Weekdays - A typical volunteer day is as follows:

7:30 AM Breakfast at the volunteer house.
8:00 AM Volunteers go to the placement and help.
12:00 PM Volunteers break for lunch.
2:00 PM Volunteers plan for their project the following day or help on other projects if available.
5:30 PM Dinner at the volunteer house.

Weekends

During the weekends, volunteers are free to relax or take the opportunity to explore other parts of Kandy and Sri Lanka. Kandy itself is a UNESCO World Heritage site and has an exciting selection of things to see and do. You can visit a number of beautiful and ornate temples including the Temple of the Tooth - an important shrine housing a canine tooth said to belong to the Buddha; wander in the grand and impressive Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya; tour a tea plantation and factory; sample the tasty and widely-regarded local cuisine; or take a walk up to the biggest Buddha statue in Sri Lanka and be rewarded with fantastic panoramic views of the city. Long weekends can be taken to travel further afield to destinations, such as Colombo, Galle or even Southern India.

Accommodation and WiFi

Volunteers in Kandy are accommodated in a volunteer house. Bedrooms have bunk beds and you can expect to share a room with four to nine other volunteers of the same gender.

Living is comfortable and the accommodation has electricity, fans, running water. Bathrooms in the volunteer houses are all western style with a toilet, basin and a warm shower. Bedding is provided and includes a pillow with pillow case and top and bottom sheets. You will need to bring a towel, toiletries including hand soap and toilet paper, and a mosquito net if you wish to sleep with one.

The volunteer house has a safe member staying in the house at night and there is an 8:00pm curfew on weeknights and 12:00pm on weekends at the volunteer accommodation, please be considerate and reduce noise.

To access the internet during your program, we recommend bringing an unlocked mobile phone and purchasing a local SIM card when you arrive in Sri Lanka, as WiFi is not available in the volunteer accommodation.

Private rooms can be arranged for an additional $90 per person, per week, subject to availability at the time.

Please note that families with younger children are required to book a private room for their time on the program.

Meals

Volunteers on the Sri Lanka program are provided with three meals a day during the week and brunch and dinner during the weekend. Breakfast includes toast, eggs, fruit, tea, coffee and milk. Sri Lankan foods served for lunch and dinner include roti bread, dhal, curries, vegetables and salads. Meat is rarely eaten except on festive occasions.

Bottled water is readily available in Sri Lanka and volunteers should budget approximately AU$8 per week for 2 litres per day. There are also water filters in the volunteer houses. If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know when you apply for the program so we can discuss this with you. However, you should not expect to eat as you normally do at home. The local team will do their best to see that you are well taken care of, but as a volunteer, there is a need to be flexible. If you wish to supplement some of your meals with home comforts, there are basic kitchen facilities available to use.

Pricing

  • USD
Duration
Program Fee
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
  • USD
1 week AU$610 Equivalent to AU$87/day
2 weeks AU$854 Equivalent to AU$61/day
3 weeks AU$1163 Equivalent to AU$55/day
4 weeks AU$1439 Equivalent to AU$51/day
5 weeks AU$1715 Equivalent to AU$49/day
6 weeks AU$1992 Equivalent to AU$47/day
8 weeks AU$2544 Equivalent to AU$45/day
10 weeks AU$3097 Equivalent to AU$44/day
12 weeks AU$3649 Equivalent to AU$43/day
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Airport pick-up
  • Personalised preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Certificate of International Volunteer Service

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately AU$528) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services. IVHQ fees are priced in USD but you may elect to pay in AUD.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, public transport to and from your placement each day and return to the airport when your program finishes.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Sri Lanka generally find US$50 per week to be sufficient for expenses.

Free-time experiences & tours in Sri Lanka

Take your volunteer experience to the next level with IVHQ's affordable activity and tour add-ons in Sri Lanka! Explore your options below and learn how to book them once you've been accepted onto the IVHQ Sri Lanka program.

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Private Room Upgrade
Private Room Upgrade

Upgrade to a private room and bathroom while volunteering in Sri Lanka.

From AU$144

Check what's required to visit Sri Lanka

Safety and support with IVHQ

Safety and support

IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.

  • All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
  • All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
  • All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
  • All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Learn more about IVHQ's safety

Essential country information

Capital Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte
Population 21.8 million
Languages Sinhala and Tamil
Currency Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)
Time zone UTC+05:30

Weather and climate

The climate is tropical and warm, due to the moderating effects of ocean winds. Mean temperature ranges from 17°C (62.6°F) in the central highlands, where frost may occur for several days in the winter, to a maximum of 33 °C (91.4°F) in other low-altitude areas.

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How to get started

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Pay the Registration Fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
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