You are here

Matale, Sri Lanka

July 12, 2013 to July 27, 2013

Through these trips, Habitat offers an opportunity of seeing firsthand what good people can accomplish when they gather for providing decent, affordable housing to families in need. The destination of this trip is Sri Lanka and the purpose of it is to build homes and hope while experiencing culture and beauty of Sri Lanka and its people. I look forward to joining in this adventure of a lifetime with those who share Habitat’s principles. No special skills are necessary- a willing heart and a sunny attitude will suffice.


A Sri Lankan family at the door of their new Habitat for Humanity home.


About Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, knows as the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean,” has made steady progress since the opening of its economy in 1977. The island country, located southeast of India, is known worldwide for its tropical, natural beauty that brings in tourists. 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.

About Matale
Our Global Village team will be volunteering in Matale, based in central Sri Lanka’s hill country. The city features a diverse population, with a mix of ethnic and religious backgrounds represented. Outside the city, the nearby country includes a diverse mix of lush fields, rice paddies, jungles, green hills and rivers. Wild elephants roam the area.

Matale families in need of safe, decent housing are typically day laborers; many work in brick factories popular due to the red clay soil found in the area. The city’s worst housing conditions include shacks made of scrap materials and thatched roofs.

About Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka
Habitat for Humanity began operating in Sri Lanka in 1994, through affiliates. The model later evolved into a series of Habitat Resource Centers that support satellite centers and individual projects in four regions. Today, Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka is probably the country’s largest homebuilder after the government. Learn more on Habitat’s Sri Lanka country profile page.

Types of construction for volunteers
In Matale, we will either help repair homes, or replace inadequate housing with new sturdy brick homes. Our team will provide volunteer labor alongside Sri Lankan partner families. We will help with construction that might include building brick walls, installing corrugated tin roofs and finishing plaster.

Standard itinerary
(16 day itinerary)

Day 1: (Friday, July 12): Depart for Sri-Lanka.
Day 2: (Saturday, July 13): Travel day.
Day 3: (Sunday, July 14): Arrive in Sri-Lanka; Overnight stay in Negombo.
Day 4 (Monday, July 15) Travel to Matale by private A/C bus; welcome and orientation by HFH- Sri-Lanka Staff; rest and relax.
Days 5-8: (Tuesday – Friday, July 16-19): Workdays with breakfast served before traveling to build site; construction and safety orientation; work from 9 am-5 pm with lunch on-site; free time after work to clean up; dinner; time for team activities.
Days 9-10: (Saturday – Sunday, July 20 – 21): Free days; cultural activities in the local community; could include temple visits, hikes and sightseeing and shopping opportunities.
Days 11- 14: (Monday – Thursday, July 22- 25): Workdays with breakfast served before traveling to build site; construction and safety orientation; work from 9am-5 pm with lunch on-site; free time after work to clean up; dinner; time for team activities. Thursday- House dedication and farewell.
Days 15: (Friday, July 26): Departure for Negombo (Departure accommodation); final team dinner
Day 16: (Saturday, July 27): Depart for home.

Our team will stay in a hotel, typically in double-occupancy rooms with attached bathrooms. Breakfast will be taken at the hotel. Lunch is usually provided by Habitat Sri Lanka and taken on site. Dinner will be eaten at local restaurants.

Program cost
(For more details about what is included in this cost, visit Global Village program cost.)

Build a better world: Take the Global Village Challenge
Habitat for Humanity International is challenging Global Village volunteers to make an even greater impact on the global issue of poverty housing. We are asking all GV teams to help us raise an additional $1.1 million in the coming year to support Habitat’s building projects worldwide. Take up the challenge! Join us in sharing our story and building a better world!

Team leader - Enzo Repola
Enzo made his first Global Village trip in 2001 and since then he has been part of 21 teams, 19 of which he led, to Africa, North and Central America, South East Asia and South Pacific. He is looking for an energetic, motivated team who wants to make a difference, one house at the time. He likes to say that if you think of being too small to make a difference, you should try to sleep in a closed room with a mosquito. Should you want to know some details about some of Enzo’s previous Global Village trips, you can simply Google his name. For more detail about the trip please contact Enzo at

To apply for a GV trip, please follow the Application Instructions.

Back to Trip Schedule Page