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Batticaloa, Sri Lanka

October 11, 2013 to October 26, 2013

Our Global Village team will be volunteering to build houses in the coastal city of Batticaloa in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka. It is a very beautiful city with sprawling sandy beaches, intermingled with many lagoons. Batticaloa is approximately 188 miles (303 km) from the capital city of Colombo. 

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

About Batticola
The city consists of a diverse population, with a mix of ethnic and religious backgrounds represented mostly by Tamil and Muslims communities. Outside the city, the nearby countryside includes a diverse mix of lush green rice fields and abundance of bird life. The forests on the outskirts of the city is home to the Asian wild elephant, the swamp crocodile, leopard, spotted deer and a variety of other wild animals. Batticaloa is world famous for its delicious seafood, prawns, lobster and crabs.

It has a majority Tamil and Muslim population and has suffered much housing destruction during the past 30-year civil war. There has also been great environmental damage due to the fighting. The war ended four years ago and we will be helping the people to rebuild. The average income per family is around US$85 per month. The majority of the people work as casual laborers in rice fields and fishing industry. As such, they are all in the category of low-income families. A typical family house is made of thatched walls and has coconut palm roofing. These materials must be replaced every few years, 

Habitat For Humanity – Sri Lanka is now helping people to rebuild their devastated houses and society and to get back to their normal lifestyles in order to win back their dignity and give them hope for a better future.

About Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, known 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 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 Batticaloa, we will either help repair homes, or replace inadequate housing with new sturdy brick /Cement block 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, October, 11) Depart for Sri lanka.
Day 2: (Saturday, October 12) Travel day.
Day 3: (Sunday, October 13) Arrive in Sri Lanka; overnight stay in Negombo.
Day 4 (Monday, October 14) Travel to Batticaloa by private A/C bus; welcome and orientation by HFH Sri Lanka staff; rest and relax.  
Day 5-9: (Tuesday – Saturday October 15 - 19), Work days with breakfast served before traveling to build site; construction and safety orientation; work from 9 a.m. -5 p.m. with lunch on-site; free time after work to clean up; dinner; time for team activities.
Days 10: (Sunday, October 20) Free days; cultural activities in the local community.
Day 11- 12: Monday - Tuesday, October 21 – 22) Work days with breakfast served before traveling to build site; construction and safety orientation; work from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. with lunch on-site; free time after work to clean up; dinner; time for team activities. On Tuesday, October 22: house dedication and farewell.
Day 13: (Wednesday, October 23) Travel to Niweraeliya.
Day 14: (Thursday, October 24) Stay in Nuweraeliya.
Day 15 (Friday, October 25) Travel to Negombo (departure accommodation); overnight stay.
Day 16: (Saturday, October 26) 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 leaders - Brian and Dominique Anderson
Brian is from Boston and Dominique is from Cape Town. They met in Zambia on an HFH build, and now live in Alabama. Together they have led nearly 20 teams on HFH builds and with nonprofits, building schools in countries all over Africa and Asia. They have been to Sri Lanka many times on vacation with HFH and other nonprofits and love it there. You can contact them by email at or by phone 508-361-9801

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

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