Volunteer programs in Sri Lanka

About Sri Lanka

About Sri Lanka

The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is located in the Bay of Bengal. The island’s pear shape has led to it being known as “the teardrop of India”. This isn’t its only name, however. The island was also previously known as Ceylon, Lanka, Seylan and even “the island of a thousand names”.

The capital city is Colombo, and the country has a total population of more than 20 million people.

 Sri Lanka’s climate

The country is affected by the rains of the Yala monsoon between May and August. The Maha monsoon, meanwhile, affects eastern and northern cities between October and January.

It isn’t dangerous to visit the country during these wet seasons. The monsoon’s climate is characterized by a hot, tropical climate with brief and heavy downpours throughout the day. During the rest of the year—the dry season—the climate is warmer, with a temperature of roughly 30 degrees Celsius.


Time zone

Sri Lanka Standard Time (SLST) is the time zone used in Sri Lanka. It is UTC+5:30, which means it is 5 hours and 30 minutes ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Sri Lanka does not observe Daylight Saving Time, so the time remains the same throughout the year.


The country’s official currency is the Sri Lankan rupee. 1 euro equates to approximately 160 Sri Lankan rupees (LKR).


Kandy is located in the central, inland part of Sri Lanka. Ambalangoda is a coastal town located in Galle District, Southern Province of Sri Lanka. Rambukkana is located 2 hours north-west of Colombo


The stay begins as soon as the volunteer is picked up at the destination.


The meals included in the project/destination will be provided at the accommodation. Meals will not be included for the journeys to the destination, the excursions undertaken by volunteers, etc.

Pick up times

The stipulated pick-up times for each destination/project must be respected. Volunteers who arrive outside of this day/window will have to pay an additional cost, depending on the destination.

VOLUNTEER programs

Where are the volunteer programs located?

We run volunteer programs in different parts of the island of Sri Lanka.

Kandy is located in the central, inland part of Sri Lanka.

Ambalangoda is a coastal town located in Galle District, Southern Province of Sri Lanka.

Rambukkana is located 2 hours north-west of Colombo. The main attraction of this small town, largely populated by local people, is the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. This is where the volunteers will work. Volunteers will stay in the city itself, and will be able to walk or take a ‘tuk-tuk’ to get to and from the project site.


  • Teaching volunteer program
  • Medical volunteer program
  • Construction and renovation volunteer program
  • Elephant volunteer program
  • Turtles volunteer program

Requirements and Costs

  • Volunteers need to be at least 18 years old at the start of the program.
  • Volunteers need to be older than 16 for the programs in Rambukkana.


  • The costs of the volunteer program depend on the project chosen by the volunteer.
  • The costs for volunteer programs located in Sri Lanka start at €210 (approx. 200 USD) for 1 week. You can consult all of the costs in Program Costs

What is included?


Volunteers need to make their own way to the Bandaranaike International Airport (airport code CMB), where they will be picked up by local staff and subsequently taken to their accommodation.

For the locations: Kandy and Ambalangoda

Volunteers should plan to arrive on Sunday between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm when local staff will be available to pick them up and transport them to their accommodation.

If a volunteer arrives on a Saturday, there will be an additional night’s stay charge of 105 euros, as our program weeks run from Sunday to Saturday.

For volunteers participating in programs in Rambukkana, it is advisable to schedule your arrival during the weekend.


Sri Lankan cuisine is characterized by its generous use of spices. Its meals are based on rice and curry, always accompanied by chicken, fish or vegetables. Much like Indian food, Sri Lankan cuisine is generally spicy. Dishes are often served with a small flatbread called “naan”.

The national drink, and a symbol of the country, is tea. It is considered to be the best tea in the world, although foreigners often find it too strong.

Transport in Sri Lanka

The island’s transportation system is somewhat chaotic. The most popular way of getting around Sri Lanka is by “tuk-tuk”, which is a type of local taxi. The drivers usually charge for the distance covered; however, this is sometimes altered by the number of people in any given journey.

It will take the volunteers 10-20 minutes to get from the accommodation to the program site. Daily commute fees are not included in the price. However, the  volunteer can easily walk to the program site, or could take a “tuk-tuk” at a cost of no more than €3 a day.


  • Volunteers choosing a program in Rambukkana should plan to arrive in Sri Lanka over the weekend, enabling them to be picked up at the airport and commence the program on the following Monday.
  • Volunteers who opt for Rambukkana need to work on the volunteer program for a minimum period of 1 week.
  • Volunteers who opt to work on volunteer programs located in Kandy, Ambalangoda need to work for a minimum period of 2 weeks.
  • For volunteer programs in Kandy and Ambalangoda, volunteers should plan to arrive on a Saturday or Sunday before 8:00 PM. Please note that if a volunteer arrives on a Saturday, there will be an additional cost of €35 (totaling €105). Local staff will pick them up at the airport and transport them to their accommodation.

Tourist attractions in Sri Lanka

The island enjoys an impressive biodiversity, and remained largely unexplored by tourists and adventure-seekers until relatively recently. However, since 2010 it has been attracting greater numbers of visitors.

Sri Lanka’s green hills and tea plantations are iconic images of the country. By taking a ride on the Sri Lankan Tea Train, you’ll be treated to views of leafy, green landscapes.

Another famous mountain is Adam’s Peak, which Buddhists refer to as “Buddha’s footprint”. This mountain, which is believed to be the first place that man stepped foot on earth, is a pilgrimage site for Buddhists.

Program goals

The objective of the project is to train young people to be social leaders. The volunteers live in a multicultural environment, work as a team to develop tasks or institutional projects, accompany the beneficiaries in their daily lives or through workshops, and collaborate with the needs of the centers and homes.

To achieve this, we work on three approaches

Social inclusion

Social Inclusion of children, young people and grandparents in situations of social risk.

Attention to Centers and Homes

Attention to Centers and Homes for the protection and restitution of rights of socially vulnerable children, adolescents and older adults.

Social action

Social Action The volunteers committed to the project will work alongside the community, involving different actors in society and allowing the full fulfillment of the rights of all people.

Our programs

Teaching volunteer program – Sri Lanka

The primary goal of this teaching program is to provide English lessons to local individuals who cannot afford private language classes. Volunteers will observe that many local people, particularly those not working in the tourist industry, have limited proficiency in English. Additionally, due to their age, many local children also possess a basic level of English. Volunteers will be placed in nurseries, public schools, local temples/monk schools, and community centers, where they will conduct 2-3 classes daily for children aged 3 to 15. Each class typically consists of 5 to 15 students. An intriguing aspect of this program is the opportunity for volunteers to teach English to Buddhist monks at a nearby Buddhist school in Rambukkana. Volunteers will work at this school 2-3 afternoons a week, as monk schools often have afternoon sessions. Volunteers should have a strong command of English and confidence in teaching writing, reading, and speaking skills in the language. While teaching qualifications or experience are not required, volunteers are encouraged to come prepared by completing relevant training or activities related to English teaching and engaging with children.

Location: Rambukkana and Kandy

Restoration and renovation volunteer program – Sri Lanka

Volunteers will assist in the restoration and renovation of ancient temples, educational institutions, schools, and community centers. This volunteer program provides the opportunity to contribute to the restoration of Kandy’s temples, schools, and community centers, helping them regain their former glory.

Location: Kandy


Elephant conservation volunteer program – Sri Lanka

In this program, Cooperating Volunteers volunteers will work at an elephant conservation center that cares for these animals from different perspectives. In the morning, volunteers will participate in the elephant orphanage activities. In the evening, the elephants will consume all the leaves provided in their stables. Therefore, the volunteers’ initial tasks include collecting uneaten leftovers and assisting with cleaning the enclosures. Volunteers will also help prepare the elephants’ meals and gather leaves and plants for their consumption throughout the day and night. All of these tasks are done under the supervision of a “mahout”, a professional elephant keeper. Following a lunch break, volunteers can relax as they watch the elephants bathe and play in the river. Twice a week, volunteers will assist in bathing domesticated elephants in the river at a private center next to the elephant orphanage. The volunteer program operates from Monday to Friday. Additionally, if volunteers are interested, they can also provide English classes to local children aged 10 years or younger. Each class lasts for one-and-a-half hours, and takes place in one of the houses in the community. Example of a day at the elephant volunteer program:

8:00 AM Breakfast 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM Work in the elephant orphanage 11:30 AM – 2:00 PM Lunch break 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM Elephant bathing or meditation *Approximate times

Location: Rambukkana (minimum stay 1 week)

Medical volunteer program – Sri Lanka

By participating in the medical volunteer program in Sri Lanka, you’ll have the opportunity to observe patients in one of the country’s oldest and largest hospitals. You’ll also have a chance to explore the famous tea plantations in the Sri Lankan highlands. Your placement will be in a Sri Lankan hospital, providing you with insight into the country’s medical system, techniques, and procedures. You’ll work alongside experienced hospital staff, assisting both patients and medical professionals. Volunteer responsibilities may include:

  • Assisting doctors with patient examinations.
  • Aiding nurses in wound care.
  • Escorting patients for x-rays and scans.
  • Transporting patients from the operating theater to the recovery ward.
  • Organizing enjoyable activities for pregnant mothers and children.
  • Serving coffee/tea to patients.
  • Preparing beds for future patients.
  • Assisting discharged patients to their vehicles.
  • Taking drugs to the patients from the dispensary.
  • Monitoring the temperature of patients suffering with fevers.

Working hours: 4-5 hours a day LOCATION: Kandy or Rambukkana For those choosing to participate in the Rambukkana program, the project site is located in Kurunegala, approximately 28 km from the volunteer house. Travel by bus to the project site takes about 45-50 minutes, with a daily commute cost of €1. This program is recommended for medical professionals or medical students. When applying, volunteers must submit their CV in English. The Kandy program is available exclusively to medical students; medical professionals or qualified doctors are not eligible for this program. Applicants for the Kandy program are required to submit a letter of intent and their CV, both in English.

Turtles volunteer program – Sri Lanka

There are 7 different turtle species worldwide, with 5 of them found in the Indian Ocean. Volunteers in our program will assist in breeding and caring for 4 different species of turtle living in the Indian Ocean. Our turtle recovery center currently houses approximately 30 disabled turtles, and we also incubate hundreds of turtle eggs, releasing the hatchlings into the ocean. Ambalangoda is located near the Indian Ocean, renowned for its turtle nesting sites. Unfortunately, many of these species are endangered due to various factors. Volunteers in this program will become integral members of the local community, contributing to the conservation of marine species and the protection of their habitat. In your efforts to safeguard these turtles, you’ll enjoy the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean and explore the area’s pristine sandy beaches. Location: Ambalangoda

accommodation and meals

Accommodation in Kandy and Ambalangoda

When volunteers arrive at the airport, the local coordinator will pick them up and accompany them to the house where they will be accommodated and where they will spend the following days with the rest of the volunteers.

At the accommodation where volunteers will reside, they will receive three meals a day from Monday to Friday and two meals a day on Saturdays and Sundays.

The house has several rooms, each accommodating 4-6 people, with shared bathrooms and common areas for all volunteers.

Upon arrival and settling in, there will be a welcome meeting with the local staff and coordinators to provide information about the area, rules, schedules, and an explanation of the program.

Sri Lankan cuisine is known for its tasty and diverse dishes, allowing volunteers to experience a wide range of flavors. Typical dishes include rice and vegetables.

Please remember that in these projects, you will receive three meals on weekdays and two on weekends.

Accommodation in Rambukkana

In the teaching, medical, and elephant volunteer programs in Rambukkana, volunteers will be accommodated at the volunteer residence house. Most of the rooms are doubles, so volunteers will share a room with another volunteer. These rooms are equipped with mosquito nets and a fan. The bathrooms are also shared, and the residence operates like a hostel, providing free Wi-Fi for volunteers.

Volunteers will be provided with three meals a day, which are a blend of Sri Lankan and some Western dishes. For breakfast, typical options include toast with butter or an omelette, tropical juices, and local specialties like ‘rotee.’ Lunch and dinner generally consist of rice served with a choice of vegetables, chicken, or fish.

Note: The volunteer is responsible for their daily water expenses.

program costs

The total cost of the volunteer program is broken down into 2 parts. The inscription fee that is paid to book your spot in the program 210 euros, and the program fee which is paid afterward. The following list gives a breakdown of the program fee for each project.

Teaching Volunteer Program in Kandy:

420 € 2 weeks
210 € additional week

Teaching Volunteer Program In Rambukkana:

€240 for 1 week
€380 for 2 weeks
€660 for 4 weeks

Medical volunteer program

– In Rambukkana:

€240 for 1 week
€380 for 2 weeks
€660 for 4 weeks

– In Kandy:

€700 for 2 weeks
€350 for each additional week thereafter

Restoration and renovation volunteer program

€490 for 2 weeks
€245 for each additional week thereafter

Turtles volunteer program

€630 for 2 weeks
€315 for each additional week thereafter

Elephant conservation volunteer program

– In Rambukkana:

€400 for 1 week
€300 for each additional week thereafter

If your currency is not specified in the list, you can convert the costs here.

What is included in the fee that I am paying?

What additional costs will be incurred by the volunteers?

Visa, flights, travel insurance (obligatory), vaccines, airport return, other expenses such as bottled water, toilet paper and daily commute costs.
(*** Volunteers in Sri Lanka will generally find that €25 (approx. 30 USD) is enough to cover basic weekly expenses.)


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Our volunteers will be able to validate university credits with the aim of traveling in a more responsible and economical way.

What does volunteering focused on university practices involve?

At Cooperating Volunteers, we make agreements with different universities to validate university credits with the aim of traveling in a more responsible and economical way.

The specialties we work with are extensive: medical volunteering, nursing, education, social work, psychology, physiotherapy, engineering, architecture…

The practices can be carried out in our designated destinations for this purpose, as well as in Spain.

If you choose an international destination, it’s a unique way to live an unforgettable and enriching experience, as you will have the opportunity to continue your education in another country, with a completely different culture.

Stepping out of our comfort zone and being part of the various projects at the destination will allow us to grow both personally and professionally, creating a more extensive curriculum.

And we are fully convinced that this experience will accompany you throughout your life.

You will be able to visit hospitals, schools, centers, orphanages, and participate directly and actively in the daily lives of all those people at the destination, always accompanied by other professionals willing to collaborate hand in hand with you and guide you in daily tasks.

If your university is not part of the agreement with Cooperating Volunteers, you can contact cristina@cooperatingvolunteers.com so that we can get in touch and make this experience a reality. 


Corporate volunteering consists of tailored programs for your company, designed to develop teamwork skills.

It is proven that teamwork directly impacts productivity. 

Collective effort surpasses individual capabilities, promotes diversity of skills, stimulates creativity, and facilitates problem-solving in the face of various challenges.

Therefore, it not only maximizes efficiency but also enriches the work environment.

We conduct corporate volunteering programs that consist of customized programs for your company, designed to develop teamwork skills, improve performance, and foster unity among employees.

We tailor projects to the corporate identity and size of the company, and we can adjust them to any destination and time of the year.

The advantages of corporate volunteering include:

  • Improving communication.
  • Group unity.
  • Cultural integration in different situations.
  • Employee training.
  • Increased Corporate Social Responsibility.

The future is aligned with a more responsible society, and participating in social projects positions our company among the list of revolutionary businesses that want to be part of the change.

If you resonate with this message, corporate volunteering is a unique experience both individually and collectively, and at Cooperating Volunteers, we accompany you throughout the process to make it a unique journey.


Quality time spent with family strengthens emotional bonds, promotes communication, and contributes to the emotional well-being of its members. 

Spending quality time with family and being able to disconnect from our hectic routines is not only enriching but also necessary.

Sometimes we forget to communicate, connect, and dedicate time to each other. Each one of us lives focused on our jobs, schools… And it’s necessary to find the opportunity to pause and take care of ourselves.

Quality time spent with family strengthens emotional bonds, promotes communication, and contributes to the emotional well-being of its members. And of course, it creates lifelong positive memories.

At Cooperating Volunteers, we suggest moving away from those ‘more superficial’ trips (which can also be fantastic), but we invite you to live this experience to bring out our most empathetic and humanitarian side.

Family volunteering gives us the opportunity to be part of a positive impact, promoting values of solidarity and social responsibility.

There are many families who choose to experience these trips focused on cooperation and direct involvement with different communities around the world, where living conditions are very different and sometimes entirely precarious.

Projects are tailored to different ages, allowing us to work together.

An incredible way to fill our suitcase with memories, learning, and knowledge.

And although stepping out of our comfort zone often feels daunting, we assure you firsthand that it’s worth it.

At Cooperating Volunteers, we accompany you throughout the entire experience, from start to finish, to make it unforgettable.


At Cooperating Volunteers, we believe it’s never too late for anything, especially for volunteering and living a unique and unforgettable experience.

There are many people, increasingly so, who opt for responsible travel that involves social work.

Accustomed to organized and mostly touristic trips, at Cooperating Volunteers, we want to advocate for a more enriching experience, one that transforms us from within and allows us to be part of the change the world needs to see.

We can adapt both the destination and the duration of our projects to fit your needs.

It’s an opportunity full of emotions that allows us to significantly contribute to different communities and their evolution. And you can participate in different areas such as education, social support, or assistance in different centers.

Some of the benefits include:

  • Sense of purpose: Provides a sense of purpose by contributing your skills and experiences to meaningful causes.
  • Emotional well-being: Reduces feelings of isolation and establishes social connections.
  • Personal development: It’s continuous learning, skill development, and discovering new activities while keeping the mind-body active.
  • Physical health: Keeping active.
  • Stress reduction: The act of helping others reduces stress and contributes to mental health.

Living this experience will undoubtedly be a before and after. 


A volunteering initiative with leadership and impact through the educational action program.

When we talk about social volunteering, we refer to all those actions and activities carried out altruistically, selflessly, and with the aim of addressing multiple problems and needs of different communities, always focused on education and self-sufficiency.

Education is essential because it provides the tools and knowledge necessary for personal, social, and economic development.

Our goal is to create self-sufficient communities and provide opportunities for the future personal development of each member. The message is not to ‘give’, but to accompany in the process of training for self-managed provision.

At Cooperating Volunteers, many of our destinations and projects embrace this type of volunteering. Some of our projects include: community programs, education, women’s empowerment…

And although they are completely different from each other, they share a single objective: progress towards a society that can embrace us all in the same way.

If you are someone who is restless, who needs to see a change in the future, volunteering is an experience tailor-made for you.