Asia and Pacific Featured Program: Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, the island country located southeast of India, has made steady progress since the opening of its economy in 1977. Unfortunately, poor families have seen few of the benefits.
Policies to alleviate poverty and development efforts by the government and international non-governmental organizations have been hampered by three decades of civil war. Rebuilding still continues from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. More than 4 million people are estimated to live below the poverty line, with about half a million of them residing in slums and shanties.
Habitat for Humanity began operating in Sri Lanka in 1994. Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka operates through a series of Resource Centers that support satellite centers and individual projects in four regions.
Habitat partners with families to construct concrete block houses through a concept called “Save and Build.” Families join together to form a savings group and set a goal of building one Habitat house. Each family makes contributions until the group reaches its one house goal. Habitat and its partners then provide loans for two more houses. After those three houses are completed, the cycle repeats until all members have a home of their own.
Learn more on Habitat’s Sri Lanka country profile page.
Types of construction for volunteers.
In addition to financial donations, GV teams provide volunteer labor that includes building concrete block or brick walls, installing corrugated tin roofs and finishing plaster.
Matale and Negombo
Sinhala (official and national language), Tamil (national language). English is commonly used in government and is spoken competently by about 10 percent of the population.
Team members should expect to stay at a modest hotel. Rooms will be at least double-occupancy and will usually have a private bath.
Food and water
Breakfast: Served at hotel or guesthouse.
Lunch: Midday meal of Sri Lankan rice, bread, noodles, fish dishes, curries, vegetables, fruits and desserts is served on site. Vegetarian meals are available on request.
Dinner: Typically served at local restaurants.
Hosting structure and services
Teams will work on one home in the community. Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka facilitates interaction with Habitat home partners during builds and through ceremonies, community visits and site seeing. A full-time staff member or volunteer accompanies each team, and construction experts work to ensure volunteer safety and instruction on the build site.
Day 1 (Typically Friday): Depart from home.
Day 2 (Saturday): Travel day.
Day 3 (Sunday): Arrive in Sri Lanka; travel to site accommodations; welcome and orientation, free time.
Day 4–8 (Monday–Friday): Workdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. with lunch on site; free time after work to clean up; dinner; time for team activities.
Days 9–10 (Saturday–Sunday): Cultural activities in the local community
Day 11–13 (Monday–Wednesday): Workdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. with lunch on site; free time after work to clean up; dinner; time for team activities.
Day 14 (Thursday): House dedication; travel to departure accommodations.
Day 15 (Friday): Depart for home.
Matale: Starting at $1,875
Negombo: Starting at $1,870
For more details about what is included in this cost, visit Global Village trip cost.
Volunteer Engagement specialist
If you have read the FAQs and have further questions before you submit a Global Village trip proposal, please contact the Asia and the Pacific volunteer engagement specialist.