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Matale, Sri Lanka

June 13, 2014 to June 28, 2014

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.

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

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

Increase your impact: Take the GV Challenge
Habitat for Humanity is accelerating its work to end poverty housing, and we need Global Village teams to help. Set a goal and fundraise to make your impact last longer than the days you’re in the field. Your support builds more homes, creates resource centers, educates families, and advances our projects to build sustainable communities. We’ll even provide tools to make fundraising easy. Take the GV Challenge – join us in sharing our story and building a better world.

Team leader
have questions? Ready to join? Jennifer Joyce will lead this team in the field and would love to speak with you. Please contact Jennifer at

Why Jennifer wants to lead to Sri Lanka: All of my experiences with Habitat have been great. The two international trips to Kenya and Thailand were life changing and I can’t wait to get to Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has had more than its share of turmoil and natural disaster. With all of that, it is still an amazing country full of beautiful people. I can’t wait to be a part of changing a family’s life by helping them build their first house and I can’t wait to share this life changing experience with our group!

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

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