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Volunteer Sri Lanka!

Have you ever wanted to explore South East Asia? Are wonders of Sri Lanka calling your name? Are you interested in giving back to those in need?

Join Global Crossroad’s Volunteering in Sri Lanka program to create the experience of a lifetime.

Ravaged by civil war until a decade ago, Sri Lanka is now a sought-after tourist destination. Learn to surf off one of the country's beautiful beaches,

experience an appealing blend of religions, explore ancient Buddhist temples, experience a yoga retreat, take in gorgeous landscapes, see the most diverse wildlife outside of Africa, and be surprised by the Sri Lanka's warm and welcoming people.

Despite its beauty, Sri Lanka is still struggling to recover from a quarter century of civil war. Much of the country's people are trapped in a cycle of poverty, with those in rural areas affected the most. These rural districts lack access to satisfactory education, leading to illiteracy and unemployment, with children affected to a greater degree. A quarter of the population does not have enough to eat, causing malnutrition and slowed growth.

Today, many organizations working to help poor communities and children need volunteers more than ever.

There are many volunteer opportunities in Sri Lanka for the kind-hearted. You can choose to volunteer in an orphanage, or teach English to local children and Buddhist monks. Work in the medical field or in elephant conservation.

Help children and their families and be a part of lasting change in their lives and communities. Join a Global Crossroad volunteer program and see lovely Sri Lanka through the eyes of the local people. Click below to get started.

Volunteer Projects

Are you interested in volunteering in Sri Lanka, but want to find a program that is a perfect fit for you? We offer a variety of different programs to choose from. At Global Crossroad we give you the opportunity to select a program that matches your passions and interests. It’s up to you.

Increasingly, Sri Lanka has struggled to manage and cope with an ever-growing number of orphaned children. Orphanages in Sri Lanka try their best to provide food, shelter and care, but are chronically unable to make ends meet, and are often helpless to provide all that is necessary. Global Crossroads orphanage volunteer program aims to provide care, love, and attention to these children, in an effort to fill the gap.

Joining as a volunteer in Sri Lanka orphanage project means you will take care of these children and help wherever it is needed. Your role here is to teach Basic English, Math, Science, and other subjects of interests. Most importantly, you are required to provide care, love and attention to children who do not ever get enough. You will help the children with their homework, take part in playtime activities, give them necessary tips on personal hygiene, and generate new ideas to keep their interest going.

Want to share your passion for orphans? Go to the project page to find complete information.

English is spoken widely in Sri Lanka, yet a majority of its population lags behind in developing these skills. This is largely due to a lack of resources for English learning in public schools. There is a shortage of skilled and experienced teachers. Global Crossroad’s teaching English volunteer program works with local schools to help fill this gap, and give language skills in areas where they are most needed.

As a volunteer English teacher in Sri Lanka, you will teach students in rural schools. You will teach them the Basic English language skills, hold debates and discussions to improve their conversational skills, and build their confidence. You will also organize educational tours and field trips, teach creative life skills such as painting, sewing, cooking, etc.

Interested in teaching English to children from low income families? Go to the project page to find complete information.

Do you dream of immersing yourself in Buddhist culture and traditions? Are you looking for a chance to do this while also providing a real benefit to the monks you’ll be learning from? Then this Volunteering Teaching English to Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka is perfect for you!

Interested in Buddhism and help local monks? Go to the project page to find complete information.

When you take part in medical volunteering opportunity in Sri Lanka, you will gain invaluable international medical experience and insight to the healthcare system of Sri Lanka. You will be placed in a local Teaching Hospital that offers plenty of learning opportunities.

On a daily basis, you will provide basic first aid treatment, distribute necessary medications to the patients, stitch and dress wounds, if possible, and help patients with physical therapy and rehabilitation.

To join this program, you need to have a medical background, and/or physician’s credentials. This is a hands-on experience, which allows people here to live a healthier life in the future.

If you are interested in medical volunteering in Sri Lanka go to the project page complete information.

In the past, elephants were considered to be a good income source for wildlife tourism, and also for logging activities in Sri Lanka. However due to changes in Sri Lanka laws and society, they are now considered to be more of a burden than an asset. Their population is declining at an alarming rate. Global Crossroads Elephant Conservation volunteer Project aims to provide care and attention to these animals.

Participating in Sri Lanka elephant volunteer program, you will help take care of these animals. Your role is to work directly with mahouts (elephant handlers). You will ensure that the elephants are healthy and safe. You will be involved in daily maintenance and treatment of the elephant, including playing, washing, and feeding the elephants.

Interested in a unique experience of working with elephants? Go to the project page to find complete information.

With the increase in the human population in Sri Lanka, forested lands are being systematically destroyed. As a result of diminishing forests, the elephants are losing their habitat. With their homes being cleared on a daily basis, they have also been victims of abuse and their population continues to shrink daily. We work with a local elephant conservation organization, caring for elephants that have been rescued.

In joining this volunteering in Elephant conservation Sri Lanka project, you will be placed at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. You will be working alongside the Mahouts, or elephant caretakers to help care for elephants which have been victims of abuse. You will be involved in helping the mahouts in various tasks, including cleaning the sheds, and mucking out the elephant enclosures.

Interested in a unique volunteer experience of working with baby elephants? Go to the project page to find complete information.

Ready to make a difference in beautiful Sri Lanka? Passionate about environmental conservation and beach and river cleaning projects? If you answer yes, Global Crossroad offers the perfect beach and river cleaning volunteer program in Sri Lanka for you!

Interested in beach and river cleaning? Go to the project page to find complete information.

Are you a medical professional, student or a doctor? Are you looking forward to share your skills for treating the impoverished whilst traveling to Sri Lanka? If yes, then Global Crossroads Medical volunteering Sri Lanka project is the best fit for you.

While participating in Volunteering hands on medical project in Sri Lanka program, you will be working in local community hospitals and medical centers. You will be working alongside health care professionals, where your role will be to provide basic first aid treatment to patients.

You will distribute necessary medications to the patients, stitch and dress wounds, and help patients with physical therapy and rehabilitation. For joining the hands on medical volunteer program, you need to have some medical skills and qualifications, as well as a passion for helping the needy.

If you are interested in Hands-on medical volunteering in Sri Lanka go to the project page complete information.

Global Crossroad’s Sri Lanka volunteer abroad program is a unique chance to volunteer abroad, immerse yourself in the cultural and language of this beautiful country, and embark on an exciting wildlife adventure. 

Visit the project page for the complete information.

Do you want to embark on an escape to Sri Lanka where you will have the opportunity to volunteer and explore? Global Crossroad offers a highly acclaimed short term volunteer and travel opportunity in Sri Lanka for those seeking adventure and a chance to give back to the local community. 

Visit the project page for the complete information.

In addition to the above projects, we also offer family Volunteering, alternative spring break, high school volunteering, college/university volunteering and many other programs. Contact Global Crossroad for further information.

Volunteer Sri Lanka: Dates and Prices

Start Dates:

All Volunteer programs in Sri Lanka start every Monday. However, Global Crossroad is very flexible and understands that various travel constraints that you might face.


Global Crossroad is committed to offering the most affordable and highest quality Sri Lanka Volunteer trips. We strive to keep our costs low. The humanitarian side of the business is our passion.

Global Crossroad's Volunteer opportunity in Sri Lanka application and registration fee cost US $299. The application fee covers the cost of advertising, program promotion, and office expenses (rent, utilities, and staff salaries in USA office).

In addition to the application fee, you are required to pay a weekly program fee. You will pay your weekly fee directly to your host family and project. This way, the fees that you pay will benefit those who rightfully deserve them, and not for company profit.

Duration Projects in Galle Medical Project Kegalle Elephant Pinnewala Elephant
  1 Week   $150   $380   $300   $275
  2 Weeks   $240   $560   $565   $550
  3 Weeks   $360   $740   $815   $825
  4 Weeks   $480   $920   $1,040   $1,100
  5 Weeks   $600   $1,100        -  
  6 Weeks   $720    $1,280        -  
  7 Weeks   $840    $1,460        -  
  8 Weeks   $960   $1,640        -  
  9 Weeks   $1080   $1,820        -  
  10 Weeks   $1,200    $2,000        -  
  11 Weeks   $1,320    $2,180        -  
  12 Weeks   $1,440    $2,360        -  

Airport Pickup and Transfer to Galle (2 hours)- $100/per person
Airport Pickup and Transfer to Kegalle (80 KM) - $100/per person
Airport pick up & transfer to Pinnawala (80 km) - $100/per person
Transfer from Galle to Kegalle or vice versa (3 hours) - $125
Language and Culture - $250
Comprehensive Travel Insurance $3.49/day ( below 28 years) and $4.49/day ( above 28 years) »

Program Fees Cover:

  • Accommodation (volunteers house or host family)
  • Food (local food 3 times a day)
  • In-country support
  • Program Orientation
  • Personalized project
  • Pre-departure information
  • Certificate of completion
  • Fundraising ideas and letters
  • Discount for returning volunteers

Program Fees Exclude:

  • Visas
  • Airfare
  • Personal expenses on soft drinks and foods
  • Daily transportation
  • Airport return transfer

How your fee is allocated?

The Volunteering programs in Sri Lanka fees will cover expenses that will begin on the first day of the program (usually the first or third Monday of the month) to the last day of the program. If you arrive before the first day of the program or you decide you stay beyond your program’s last day, you will be responsible for the additional expenses, which would typically be around $30 a day for room and meals at a hostel.

Travel and Weekend

Sri Lanka is a fascinating destination, and we don’t want our volunteers to miss out. When you volunteer in our Sri Lanka project, we make sure you have ample time for exploring. Work days are 4-6 hours, after which you are free, and weekends are entirely open for adventure.

Learn more about some exciting ways to spend your free time and weekends in Sri Lanka.

Accommodations and Meals

Global Crossroad’s volunteer programs in Sri Lanka weekly fees include management of volunteers’ meal plans and accommodations throughout the projects. Volunteers working in orphanage, teaching, medical and Pinnawala elephant project will stay with our carefully chosen host family. Volunteers working in Kegalle elephant project will stay in a volunteer house located on the project site.

When you join Sri Lanka volunteer program, you will have a single bedroom, but may occasionally share a room with another volunteer of the same gender. Our host families are chosen carefully and are esteemed community members, who have experience in the realm of hosting international travelers. Host family residences are in comfortable, clean and safe neighborhoods and rooms are simply furnished and tidy. Staying with a host family can offer the support system a volunteer will crave during their program and it is a great way to learn about a host country’s culture and customs.

Most volunteers who have stayed with a host family during their volunteering in Sri Lanka project note that their stay truly enriched their entire experience.

Three meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) will be provided and will consist of local ingredients and feature traditional cuisine choices for Sri Lanka. Our meal program can accommodate vegetarian needs; however, we are not able to provide for other dietary restrictions. Food and drinks outside of mealtimes are the volunteer’s responsibility. In most cases, there are restaurants and markets nearby the homes in which our volunteers stay.

Find detailed information about your accommodation and meals in Sri Lanka.

Volunteer Sri Lanka: Major FAQs

Do you have more questions about our volunteer opportunities in Sri Lanka? We hope so. We have provided a series of answers to our most frequently asked questions. Please take a look and learn more about this exciting opportunity for international volunteering.

Where are the projects located?

Our volunteer projects are located in separate locations. You go to Galle for our Orphanage Volunteer Project, Teach English and Teach Buddhist Monks Volunteer Program. Likewise, you will be placed in Pinnawala for our work in the Elephant Orphanage.

Is there any minimum and maximum stay?

Yes, there is a minimum and maximum time period of stay for our volunteering programs. You can volunteer for a minimum of 1 week. up to a 12 weeks maximum.

Can I extend my stay if I choose to?

Yes, if you want to stay for a longer period of time and continue your volunteer project, you can extend your stay in Sri Lanka. A visitor wishing to stay more than 30 days in Sri Lanka, may apply for an extension. You can easily extend your visa for another 90 days in Sri Lanka for your volunteering projgram in Sri Lanka.  You will have to go to Immigration office available in Colombo; however, we can assist you to extend your visa. 

Will I have enough time to travel after work and in weekend?

Our international volunteers in Sri Lanka will have enough free time to travel and explore Sri Lanka after work and on weekends. Our volunteering work programs are designed flexibly, for volunteers who wish to spend some of their time exploring Sri Lanka’s beautiful landscapes.

Who will guide or support me in the project?

Our in-country coordinator will be responsible for guiding and supervising you throughout your Sri Lanka volunteering project. Similarly, our local staff will keep an eye on you at all times.

Can I change project if I do not like?

Yes, our participants can change volunteering programs at any time they like, if issues arise with their first choice. There are no restrictions set in place for volunteers in Sri Lanka for changing their projects. However, most of our volunteers hardly ever decide to change their volunteer projects, as we make sure that volunteers experience a smooth and satisfying volunteering experience.

Can I work in more than one volunteer project?

Yes, you can work in more than one volunteer project in Sri Lanka. If you are interested in more than one volunteer program, you should get in touch with our in-country coordinator to begin the application process for two volunteer programs. However, you should keep in mind that each of our volunteer programs requires you to work for at least 4 hours every day, thus, it can be physically exhausting to work on more than one volunteer project in one day.

What age ranges take part in these projects?

Volunteers must be at least 18 year old in order to be eligible for our volunteer projects. If you are below the recommended age of 18, but still wish to go on a volunteering trip to Sri Lanka, then you must get a parental consent from.

Who manages the volunteer projects in Nepal?

All of our volunteering Sri Lanka programs are managed by our in-country coordinator. You will receive constant support and assistance from our in-country coordinator during your volunteering trip.

Will I receive training before the start of the project?

Global Crossroad provides a training class to its volunteers before the start of any of their volunteer programs. The nature of the training will depend on the difficulty of the volunteer project. You will receive proper training and guidance during the orientation class, run by our in-country coordinator and local staff upon arrival in Sri Lanka. Our in-country coordinator and local staff will make sure to help you get through all the hurdles during your volunteer trip.

Is there dress code in the project?

No, there is no dress code for any of our volunteering Sri Lanka projects, so you are free to wear clothing of your choice without any restrictions. However, we advise our international volunteers to wear modest clothing and maintain a tidy appearance, in keeping with local cultural expectations.

Why pay to volunteer abroad?

GLOBAL CROSSROAD is a non-profit volunteer organization. GLOBAL CROSSROAD depends on its volunteer program fees for the operation and management of its programs. Money paid by volunteers helps GLOBAL CROSSROAD to cover daily expenses. Everything from the utility bills, rent, and advertisement, to the salaries of its staff, and taxes of the company, is all covered by the fees of the volunteer programs. Your fees also pay for your food and accommodations.

Why are GLOBAL CROSSROAD’s fees so much more affordable than the fees of other volunteer organizations?

GLOBAL CROSSROAD’s Sri Lanka volunteer program fees have always been affordable, and the money goes directly to the host families. There are no hidden costs or middlemen involved. This helps us to cut down on unwanted expenses. GLOBAL CROSSROAD is also a financially transparent organization that works together with many international organizations to provide the most affordable and meaningful volunteer opportunities.

Can I get a tax deduction for my volunteer program?

Yes, volunteers can get a tax receipt for our volunteer trips. Being a 501(c)3 organization, GLOBAL CROSSROAD can provide tax receipts to its participants and donors.

Can I get help to raise fund?

Yes, we can help you raise funds for your Sri Lanka volunteering work. Once you are accepted, please ask us for help regarding the funds for your volunteer work in Sri Lanka.

Is it safe to travel to Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka is a safe country. With relatively low crime rate and great police security, Sri Lanka serves as a safe place to travel in the world. It is extremely rare for foreign volunteers and travelers to encounter dangerous situations while staying in Sri Lanka. GLOBAL CROSSROAD also puts effort in keeping its volunteers safe during its programs.

What are safety measures you take for the volunteers?

While Sri Lanka is a safe country for foreigners, it is always a good idea to exercise some degree of caution, as you would do in any other country. You must always make sure that no one is following you. You also have to keep your money, credit cards, and passport in a safe place. We advise all our volunteers to do proper research before coming to Sri Lanka.

What will happen if I get sick during my volunteering project?

If you ever get sick and require help while volunteering in Sri Lanka program, our field staff will take care of you and provide whatever services are necessary. Our in-country coordinator, along with the doctors and medical professionals here will do their best to help you in every way possible.

What Vaccination Do I need to take prior to my volunteer trip?

Yellow Fever, Diphtheria, Japanese Encephalitis, Hepatitis B, Tetanus, Measles, Rubella Poliomyelitis, Rabies and Mumps are some of the vaccinations suggested by CDC and WHO for those planning to volunteer in Sri Lanka for at least a week. However, you must visit your local doctor and ask them for advice before actually taking all of these vaccinations for your volunteering trip. You can learn more about vaccinations for Sri Lanka here

What are the principle health risks for volunteers in Sri Lanka?

Like any country, Sri Lanka has its own set of health risks and hazards, which you should be prepared for before joining volunteer opportunity in Sri Lanka. You must be cautious while volunteering outdoors and prepared to cope with the temperature and exposure to sun and insects. Staying hydrated should be a top priority, but at the same time you should only drink boiled or chemically filtered water. You should avoid drinking from tap and only eat food from places that appear clean and hygienic.

For more readings
Health and Safety


Which airport do I need to fly in?

You should fly into Bandaranaike International Airport for your volunteer project.

Do you organize airport pick up?

Yes, we do organize airport pick-ups for our volunteers in Sri Lanka. You just need to provide our staff with your flight details.

What happens if I missed flight or arrived late?

If you miss your flight or will be arriving late, you should advise the country coordinator as soon as possible so that he/she can arrange for your airport pick-up at a later time.

Who will come to pick up me? How do I recognize the person at the airport?

Our local staff will come to pick you up at the airport prior to the start of your volunteer program in Sri Lanka. The local staff will be carrying a sign with your name on it, so you should have no trouble recognizing them at the airport.

How can I get to my accommodations from the airport, if I did not connect with Global Crossroad’s local representative in the airport?

We always provide the address details of our accommodations to volunteers who have been accepted.  If you have not contacted our local representative in the airport for a pick-up, you can hire a taxi driver to take you to the address given to you by us.

If my assignment begins on Monday, when should I arrive? If I want to arrive earlier than then my assignment begins, where do I stay and who will organize the accommodations? Does it cost me extra?

If your assignments begins on Monday, we highly advise you to arrive on Sunday, one day before the start of your volunteering project in Sri Lanka. Similarly, if you plan to arrive earlier than the starting date of your Sri Lanka volunteer program then you should get in touch with our country coordinator and let them organize the accommodations for your stay. Bear in mind that it will cost you an additional $20 to $30 per day. Alternately, you can look for hotels online, and make reservations for your stay yourself.

Who will bring me to the airport for my departure?

After the completion of your volunteer project, we shall arrange a transfer vehicle to take you to the airport for your departure back home.

What do I need prior to departure from my home country?

Prior to your departure from your home country, you need to make sure that you have packed all the important things necessary for a successful volunteer work in Sri Lanka. You need to have all your official documents, credit/debit cards, cash, travel insurance, clothing, snacks, medical kit, laptop, camera and mobile phone.

How can I apply to volunteer program?

You can apply for our volunteer programs by completing our online application form for a specific volunteer project. You need to go to our website, choose the project of your liking and then fill in the application before submitting us for approval, either online, or through mail.

When should I apply for a volunteer program?

You can apply with Global Crossroad for a volunteer project in Sri Lanka whenever you feel like doing something remarkable and meaningful.

What happens once I submit my documents and application?

Once you submit your documents and the application for the volunteer trip, we immediately start to process your application for approval, and sending it to the country coordinator for review before giving you the details of your volunteer project.

How long does it take to process my application?

Usually it takes about 2 to 3 weeks to process one application for our volunteer programs in Sri Lanka.

What documents do I need to submit with my application?

You don’t need to submit any documents with your application. However, if you have applied for our medical/ health care volunteer program then you must be ready to provide us with an authentic medical certification from a recognized institution.

Do I need visa to volunteer and travel in Sri lanka?

Yes, you do need a visa to volunteer in Sri Lanka. You are responsible to have all the proper documentation necessary to be eligible for a tourist visa.

How do I apply for the visa? 

The easiest way to apply for a Sri Lankan tourist visa is by visiting the Embassy of Sri Lanka in your home country prior to your departure. You need to have passport with a validity period of at least 6 months to obtain a tourist visa.

Can I extend my visa while I am in the country? Can you help me on this?

You initially can get a 30-day tourist visa which can be extended quite easily if you visit the Department of Immigration, located in Colombo city. You can extend your visa for the next 90 days from the date of your arrival. Volunteers who plan to continue volunteering in Sri Lanka or join our other Sri Lanka volunteer projects can ask for help to our local field staffs to assist them in extending their visas.

How do I contact with Global Crossroad’s local coordinator?

You can contact Global Crossroad’s local coordinator by mobile phone. Or you can send them an email or text while volunteering.

Can I use my phone?

Yes, you can use your phone while volunteering in Sri Lanka project.

Can I buy SIM card in Sri Lanka?

Yes, you can buy a local SIM card. Buying a SIM card is cheap and one of the easiest things to do in Sri Lanka. You can choose SIM card manufactured and operated by Mobitel, Hutch, Airtel, Etisalat, and Dialog.

How can I get/purchase internet services?

To purchase internet services, you first have to buy a local SIM Card. Once you insert the SIM Card and activate it, you can then ask the vendor to help you purchase internet data plans

Is there internet available everywhere?

Yes, there are internet facilities available everywhere in Sri Lanka.

What I need to bring?

Earplugs, sunscreen, insect repellent, water bottle, towels, mobile phone charger, shoes, hand sanitizer, baby wipes, masks, safety pins, travel insurance, pajama pants, extra memory cards and batteries, umbrella, long sleeve shirt, multiple credit cards, sun glasses, books, flashlight and first aid kit are some of the things which you should pack up in our luggage and bring with you for your volunteer project in Sri Lanka.

NOTE: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) is generic information and should not be used as a definitive travel guide. Travel information and situations abroad change constantly. Participants should consult Global Crossroad or travel advisors to verify this information.

Page updated: 30th July, 2019