Since 2005, TRIP Canada has sent 15 teams of volunteers to Sri Lanka for two weeks in support of our programs. Volunteers come from across Canada, all ages are represented and team size ranges from 10 to 27!
The building work we do is exhilarating, demanding, tiring and includes: digging, hauling, making concrete/plaster/flooring, building walls, painting, and lots of clean up. No expertise required – just a desire to help build a better future for those in need.
Our volunteers have worked on numerous building projects: a village for tsunami survivors, schools, temples, a medical clinic, playgrounds and an orphanage. In 2017, we started to build homes for families with special needs children who live in extremely poor conditions and face very challenging circumstances. Each year we build three new homes for families selected by field officers and leaders who live in the community.
Here is what a volunteer schedule looks like:
- DAYS 1 & 2: Travel! We arrive in Sri Lanka in the early morning on Day 3.
- DAY 3: Van transportation from airport to our guest house in Tangalle and orientation.
- DAYS 4 – 8: Work days with optional opportunities for cultural tours in the early evening.
- DAY 9: Full day off! Day trip options are available.
- DAYS 10 – 13: Work days with opportunities to participate in our English classes, meet with scholarship students, visit other worksites.
- DAY 14: Final visit, pack, with van transportation for airport departure.
For a number of years, we have been staying at a very welcoming guest house, Moonstone Villas. All accommodations are double occupancy. It comes complete with an open-air restaurant, nice grounds and a pool. It is across the road from the ocean and a public beach. Rooms come equipped with fans, bedding, towels, bathrooms, mosquito nets and A/C. The rooms are spacious and each has 2 double beds that can be put together for couples. We go out some evenings, however this is our home base and the food, bar and service are great!
After work, there is time to swim in the pool or ocean, relax, visit Tangalle, have a cold beer, or experience a Sri Lankan massage. We plan some short tours for after work to introduce you to Sri Lanka and we go out to interesting local restaurants several nights. For the day off, volunteers can visit an elephant park or tea plantation, shop in Galle or select from several other options. We do have lots of fun so come prepared to laugh, join a great team and fall in love with the warm, friendly Sri Lankans.
Janet and Bruce have led numerous trips to Sri Lanka and we are fortunate to have many return volunteers to help us out. Our deep roots in the community and strong bonds with the local people create a very meaningful and intimate volunteer experience.
For the volunteers who travel with us, CSLDC’s TRIP Canada provides:
- Support for arrangements, travel and accommodation booking
- Cost estimates and personal expenses
- Medical and insurance requirements to ensure personal safety
- All in-country arrangements
- Detailed checklist for preparation
- Get togethers with all participants before we travel and pre-departure briefings
- A tax receipt for some of your expenses as your time is dedicated to charitable work
While our volunteer trips have been suspended during COVID-19, we are excited to return when it is safe to do so.