Have you ever thought about spending your summer on the island of Sri Lanka? Do you want a vacation where you can see and experience a new culture, while at the same time help others? Then take advantage of a Habitat for Humanity build in Sri Lanka and make your next vacation something you will never forget. You will be working with 12 fellow volunteers, a team of local builders, community members and a cultural guide/translator. This is the ideal, alternative and purposeful vacation.
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.
This Global Village team will be serving in Negombo, a community about 40 kilometers north of the capital city of Colombo. The area is a well-known fishing area with beautiful beaches. Most of the communities have low-income families making a living through daily manual labor or fishing.
While there is great need here, there is plenty of natural beauty as well. Negombo, on the coast, offers cultural attractions, shopping and beaches.
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 Wattala-Ja Ela, Habitat partners with families to construct concrete-block houses through a concept called “Save and Build.” This model enables Habitat to reach the poorest of the poor. Families join together to form a savings group and set a savings 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.
Our team will provide volunteer labor to help these families keep reaching their group housing goals. We will help with construction that might include building concrete block or brick walls, installing corrugated tin roofs and finishing plaster.
15 day itinerary
Day 1: (Friday, August 2, 2013) Depart from home.
Day 2: (Saturday, August 3, 2013) – Travel day.
Day 3: (Sunday, August 4, 2013) – Arrive in Sri-Lanka; welcome and orientation, free time.
Day 4-8: (Monday, August 5 – Friday, August 9, 2013) - Workdays with breakfast served before traveling to build site; construction and safety orientation; work 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, August 10 – Sunday, August 11, 2013)- Free days; cultural activities in the local community; could include temple visits, hikes and sightseeing and shopping opportunities.
Day 11- 14: (Monday, August 12 – Thursday, August 15, 2013) - Workdays with breakfast served before traveling to build site; construction and safety orientation; work from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. with lunch on-site; free time after work to clean up; dinner; time for team activities.
Thursday – House dedication, and farewell dinner.
Day 15: (Friday, August 16, 2013) – Depart for home.
Our team will stay in 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.
(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.
Janice Manning is a special education teacher for New York City Public Schools. She is excited to lead a build to Negombo, Sri Lanka. She is a former Peace Corps Volunteer (Ukraine 2001-2003) who can attest that GV builds are one of the greatest ways to truly visit new countries and experience new cultures. They also leave you with a sense of satisfaction and that much needed, road-weary traveler fix. Janice has led five previous builds to Tajikistan, Guatemala, Romania, Thailand and Malawi. She has also participated in a GV build to Hungary. She hopes to recruit a team of fun-loving, adventurous folks to build in beautiful Sri Lanka.
If interested, please write to Janice Manning at Jamanning118@yahoo.com . In the body of your message please indicate what you’re looking for in the build, any time constraints and any questions/comments.