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Women's Education Volunteer Program in Sri Lanka

Women's Education Volunteer Program in Sri Lanka

Purpose
Support women to gain financial independence
Start dates
Programs start every Monday
Duration
Choose from 1-12 weeks
Volunteer hours
5 - 7 hours per day
Age
Volunteers aged 18+
Accommodation
Volunteer house
Program fees
From AU$599 for 1 week
What's included
Find out here
Apply for free
'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

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.

Project details

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.

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.

Apply for free

Not sure which program to join?

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'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

JO
Jessica O'Bryan
19 Jun 2024

I feel I have gained a deeper insight into Sri Lankan culture and made a valuable contribution to the volunteer project by working with and supporting the turtles and the team who care for them. I would tell anyone who is hesitant to join that there is no need to be hesitant at all! You will have so much fun and learn so much, I cannot recommend it enough.

...
LW
Louise Walsh
04 Jun 2024

The pre-departure support and guidance was amazing, I felt well supported and all my questions were promptly answered.

The local team in Sri Lanka were absolutely wonderful. Warm, accommodating and they went above and beyond! I could not have hoped for a better experience.

The meals were healthy and they looked after me not being able to eat gluten. It is awful to have the need for dietary requirements and they didn’t make me feel bad about it. Overall, I am glad I took the leap of faith - it was the best way to experience the real culture and people of the country and to be able to give something back .

...
JV
Josephine Vasanthan
04 Jun 2024

The Women's Education project in Sri Lanka needs volunteers. The organization & local people were very grateful to IVHQ. I gained knowledge about local Sri Lankan healthcare settings.

The program was rewarding and the local team were helpful to all volunteers when they needed support.

...
SE
Sharon Elder
04 Jun 2024

I gained so much insight about Sri Lanka , and had a deep feeling I had made an impact. The experience will stay with me for a long time and I will certainly be seeking out other IVHQ experiences.

...

To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

Academic course credit

Academic course credit through International Volunteer HQ and Intern Abroad HQ.

Academic course credit

Gain course credit from your college or university and meet your academic requirements when completing a volunteer abroad program with International Volunteer HQ!

Learn about course credit

Location

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$7 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

Spots are limited. For a Registration Fee of just US$329 (approximately AU$519) you secure your spot and unlock all our preparation and training tools.

You don't need to worry about paying your Program Fee until you get closer to your start date.

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 $380 Equivalent to $54/day
2 weeks $532 Equivalent to $38/day
3 weeks $724 Equivalent to $34/day
4 weeks $896 Equivalent to $32/day
5 weeks $1,068 Equivalent to $31/day
6 weeks $1,240 Equivalent to $30/day
8 weeks $1,584 Equivalent to $28/day
10 weeks $1,928 Equivalent to $28/day
12 weeks $2,272 Equivalent to $27/day
  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately AU$519) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Sri Lanka generally find US$50 per week to be sufficient for expenses.
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Airport pick-up
  • Accommodation
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Personalised preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Discounts on travel and tour add-ons
  • Certificate of International Volunteer Service

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

  • Return to the airport when your program finishes
  • Transport to and from your volunteer placement each day
  • Flights
  • Visa (if required), travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check.
  • Personal spending money for snacks, laundry, public transportation, drinks and leisure activities during your free time.

Free-time experiences & tours in Kandy

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

Lion's Rock Fortress and Safari - 1 night/2days
Lion's Rock Fortress and Safari - 1 night/2days

Embark on an unforgettable weekend getaway to Sigiriya, where ancient history and breathtaking nature await.

AU$805
Trekking Week
Trekking Week

Discover the best of Sri Lanka on this week-long tour. Enjoy the diverse flora and fauna, take in stunning hilltop views, and ride the world’s most scenic train. Climb Lion’s Rock to explore the ancient kingdom’s ruins from 500 AD.

AU$1610

Check what's required to visit Sri Lanka

Safety and support

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

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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