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Construction and Renovation Volunteer Project in Sri Lanka

Construction and Renovation Volunteer Project in Sri Lanka

Purpose
Improve infrastructure for the local community
Start dates
Programs start every Monday
Duration
Choose from 1-12 weeks
Volunteer hours
Up to 5 hours a day
Age
Volunteers aged 16+ and families
Accommodation
Volunteer house
Program fees
From £316 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:

Handy volunteers who are interested in making a tangible difference to a Sri Lankan community. There may be the opportunity for volunteers with a creative streak to paint murals. You’ll be working with the local team so no experience is required.

Project details

Interested in being a Construction and Renovation volunteer in Sri Lanka? International Volunteer HQ’s Construction and Renovation project empowers volunteers to assist with repairs and upgrades to Buddhist temples, schools and pre-schools in Kandy. Volunteers gain building maintenance experience while local infrastructure gets kept in good condition. Improvements to these community buildings can help make them safer, more functional and more attractive to the people who use them.

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

There are many stunning Buddhist temples throughout Sri Lanka. Locals often look after the monks by cooking for them, but there aren’t enough hands to help keep the temple buildings in good order. Similarly, local schools and preschools are hugely important for the next generation but without regular upkeep they fall into disrepair. By helping to upgrade, improve and maintain these buildings, volunteers not only keep them looking their best, but also get unique insight into the local culture and construction methods.

Volunteers help with any tasks required to bring temples, schools and preschools back to their former glory. This often involves painting and cleaning, and those with illustration skills may also be able to help to restore paintings or paint something new. If you’re interested, we recommend you spend time thinking about what you could do.

All materials are provided and there is an onsite coordinator to provide guidance to volunteers. The exact project you’ll be contributing to will depend on the local priorities at the time of your volunteering.

It’s important to note that during the monsoon season when it is wet, work may be disrupted and volunteers will be offered alternative project work.

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

As job losses escalate as a result of Covid-19, it is estimated that nearly half of the global workforce is at risk of losing their livelihoods. We must improve access to jobs, decent work conditions and community services in order to achieve peace, sustainable economic growth and a better quality of life for all.

Why do Construction and Renovation volunteering in Kandy with IVHQ?

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

  • Upgrading and maintaining local infrastructure
  • Making a tangible contribution
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Gaining construction and renovation experience
  • Immersing yourself in Sri Lankan culture
  • Learning about Sri Lanka’s rich history

Volunteer requirements

  • Volunteers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program
  • Volunteers aged 16 or 17 on their program start date are required to provide IVHQ with parental consent in order to participate on the program, and may be asked to provide additional document to the local team.
  • All volunteers aged 13+ are required to provide a criminal background check to IVHQ prior to departure. Those aged 13-17, if unable to obtain a criminal background check, can provide two character reference letters instead
  • All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
  • To respect the local culture and customs in Sri Lanka, volunteers should be aware that they’re unable to have anything obstructing their face while at their volunteer placement.
  • 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

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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

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.

...
AM
Audrey Daire Miller
03 May 2023

My favorite moment from the volunteer experience was either planting the mangosteen trees, or learning how to open coconuts with Sam. Sam taught us many things about Sri Lankan culture and the way that Sri Lankan people live their lives. It was a wonderful experience for me because I got to learn about Sri Lanka from a really kind and interesting person. The biggest impact my volunteering trip had on me was the feeling that I had made a difference. Even if it was not a huge difference I still have that feeling of accomplishment. I would say that volunteering abroad is a life-changing experience and there is little to regret about it. I would say that there is so much to learn from the experience and the impact that you have on the people you help is important, even if you are not sure that you will fully enjoy the experience.

...
ML
Moyang Li
26 Apr 2023

My favorite moment on the program was we were send to the highest standing Buddha during the introduction week and me and the other volunteer had to walk bare feet to climb the mountain for 1 hour or more. It was very tough for city feet and very memorable experience to have. I have come to realize that there are so many great people in this world and so many things I could try to do, though at the end we could do only one thing, the possibilities we are facing will always encouraging me to embrace more in the future.

...
GB
Gareth Baird
20 Jun 2022

Experiencing a different culture was my favorite moment on the program! I found the biggest impact was seeing a country try its best given challenging situations. I would recommend it is well worth doing.

...
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!

...
PH
Paul Haiselden
27 Jan 2022

The local team staff were without question one of the kindest people I've ever met. A favourite moment was working with an absolutely lovely student to help her prepare for her exam, as well as getting to know the wonderful team in Sri Lanka.

...

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:

6:00 - 7:30 AM Breakfast at the volunteer accommodation.
7:45 AM Volunteers leave home and travel to their placements.
12:00 PM Lunch
3:00 PM Work at the placement usually ends. Volunteers are free to travel home, prepare for the next day or do some shopping and sightseeing.
9:00 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 £4 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 £273) 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 £273) 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.

£424
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.

£848

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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