Volunteer Experience | Community Development

Sri Lanka: Renovation & Cultural Exchange

Hanguranketha, Sri Lanka

Description

Location: Hanguranketha, Sri Lanka

Duration: Minimum 2 weeks

Start Dates: Project is on-going, and you can join at any time, depending upon availability. Placements start each Monday

Cost: €225 Euros per week – see Costs section for more details

Includes: all food, accommodation, airport pickup, orientation and all project related activities

Does not Include: flights, travel insurance, visas and vaccinations

Benefits:

  • Get to know the amazing island of Sri Lanka, its people, culture, food and environment
  • Flexible placement, tailored according to your interests and abilities.
  • Help renovate local buildings and improve the lives of those living nearby
Costs Explained

Introduction

Sri Lanka, the “nation of smiling people”, is a beautiful island in the Indian Ocean with rich biodiversity, and a multicultural and a multi-religious population. Formerly known as Ceylon, Sri Lanka is famous for its cuisine, its holistic medicine, cricket, tea, gemstones and its vibrant artistic traditions. Buddhism has shaped the country’s traditions and culture along with the influence of the colonial period with British, Dutch and Portuguese elements visible on every corner. Over 2,000 years of history and culture are visible in the Sri Lankan cities, its beautiful ancient temples and with eight UNESCO World Heritage sites, the country fills its visitors with awe and amazement. Sri Lanka offers adventures in it’s chilly mountains or sun-drenched pristine beaches where you can snorkel in crystal-clear waters, its luscious hills with two thousand year-old temples and hundreds of elephants or in its cities with colonial buildings and tiny one floor hostels overlooking the sea.

Hanguranketha is an ancient city which was inhabited by the kings of Sri Lanka during a troubled period of the country when the Indian invasions pushed the kings out of the royal capital city Kandy. They used Hanguranketha as a temporary capital and in doing so, brought it to life. The village is located approximately an hour away from Kandy and has immense historical significance. Although a lot of its palaces and temples were destroyed by invaders in the 19th century, there are many historical sites left to be discovered. Currently, there are more than a hundred temples in and around Hanguranketha that require renovation and repairs. As a part of this project you can contribute to bringing ten of the temples back to their previous glory. The work involves basic renovation, painting and artwork restoration and it is accompanied by teaching young monks at a local school. The village of Hanguranketha faces many problems including run-down temples and poorly staffed schools as well as lack of clean drinking water and frequent power cuts.

Experience Sri Lanka in an unforgettable way by bringing ancient temples back to life and teaching young monks!

Introductory Week

Your placement will start with an amazing introductory week before you start your placement, to prepare you for your adventure!

On the Monday, you will attend a language lesson followed by lunch. In the afternoon, you will have a cultural lesson and embark on a tour of the city. The evening will offer a cultural show.

On Tuesday you will visit a spice and ayurvedic garden and a tea factory as well as a gem museum. The Kandy Lake will await you for a boat ride.

Wednesday will be dedicated to a Sri Lankan cooking lesson, a self-defense lesson and a Buddhism lesson.

Watching the sunrise on an early morning visit to the Temple of the Tooth will enchant you on Thursday. Later in the day, you will visit the British cemetery and the Batik factory as well as a wood factory.

Friday is dedicated to a visit to the White Buddha statue and Hindu Temple in the morning and an Ayurvedic massage in the afternoon with an Indian lunch in the city in between.

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Daily Life

You will spend the mornings teaching the young monks at the local schools. The afternoons will be dedicated to the renovation efforts of the temples, paintings and relics.

The overall aim of this project is to restore the former glory of these temples to encourage increased visits.

As you will be working in sacred spaces it is important to behave and dress with respect. Participants with tattoos/piercings will be to cover/remove these while working at the the project location.

Fundraising Help

Travel and Accommodation

Accommodation is provided at the volunteer centre located 2 km from the centre of Kandy town. Here you will share rooms with 4 to 5 other people on a single-gender basis. All rooms are equipped with a private toilet.

There are hot showers and shared bathrooms. Linens are provided; however, you need to bring your own towels. Safety lockers are at your disposal to store your belongings and there is a fridge if you would like to keep food and beverages. The dining and lounge areas await you to hang out with the other participants or you can head to the beautiful garden by the river to relax. If you need an ATM or something from the supermarket, you can reach them within a 15 minute walk. Please note the centre does not have WiFi.

You will be provided with three meals per day on weekdays and two at the weekend. The cuisine is a mix of Western and Sri Lankan dishes including lots of rice and vegetables. The local restaurants are also a convenient option for eating out.

Upon arrival at Bandaranayake International Airport in Colombo you will be met by a project representative and transferred to the volunteer centre in Kandy. The journey to the centre takes approximately three hours. Please note you will need to arrive on the weekend before the start of your program.

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Requirements

  • Minimum age 18.
  • Passion and enthusiasm to get to know Sri Lanka, lots of energy and creativity!
  • Willingness to dress and behave in a respectful manner, including covering up body tattoos and removing piercings while working at the temples.
  • Minimum 2 weeks commitment
  • CRB Police check (or equivalent) showing that you have no previous criminal convictions, and you are able to work with children.
  • Necessary vaccinations.
  • Necessary flight & visas.
  • Full travel & medical insurance. Full assistance will be provided in getting everything you will need ready if you choose our Placement Support Package.

Costs

€225 Euros per week (Introduction week is €325)

* Check the latest currency conversions with xe.com
** All payments incur a 5% bank transfer fee
*** Placements are confirmed with a 1 week deposit

What’s Included:

Project Fee includes food, accommodation, airport pickup, orientation, in-country support and project activities.

Private rooms are available for an additional €100 per week.

What’s not included:

Flights, insurance, visas (if applicable) and vaccinations. Full assistance will be provided in getting all these arranged if you choose our Premium Support.

Premium Support Upgrade

We understand there’s a great deal to plan and organise for your trip. When booking a Placement, many of our participants choose to purchase our Premium Support Upgrade to benefit from the expertise, knowledge and experience of our Project Coordinators.

We can provide the personal advice you need to ensure your trip is organised with excellence and planned with efficiency; ensuring the very best experience possible. Read more about how we can help you.

Note: Map coordinates are approximate