Millions of families in developing countries face a severe housing problem. A lack of shelter is a manifestation of widespread poverty. People live in homes that are built of flimsy materials, lack adequate sanitation, have an irregular or no electricity supply.
To help mitigate housing issues, DWC’s RAISE THE ROOF program provides adequate shelter and improves the conditions in which families live through sustainable construction projects. Essential services are addressed, such as safe drinking water, improved sanitation, space for food gardens and other means by which people can increase their capacity to generate income.
A liveable home can have a tremendous impact on a family’s well-being and their ability to break the cycle of poverty. For example, research suggests that replacing a dirt floor with cement can result in reductions in cases of diarrhea and anemia due to the presence of fewer parasites. In addition to health improvements, ownership of decent housing increases a family’s personal safety, security, and performance in school and at work. Secure housing improves a whole community.
DWC has sent numerous teams to volunteer in Tangalle, Sri Lanka over the years and continues to work on projects to make life better for residents there. In late 2004, after a massive tsunami pummeled 14 countries and killed more than 230,000 people, a team was on the ground in Tangalle, Sri Lanka, to start rebuilding homes, lives and hope. Keep up the tradition and volunteer in Sri Lanka to help those that need it.
Sri Lanka was the first country that DWC ever sent teams to and that is why it has always been a location that’s special to the organization.
Volunteers in Sri Lanka have built homes for people who have with next to nothing and made improvements to schools (and played with the kids while they were at it) and other community facilities. They have made an impact in the lives of people struggling just to put food on the table and children who need an education to open doors for their futures.
Read day-to-day experiences from our volunteers on the Sri Lanka Blog »
As a volunteer in Sri Lanka, you’ll find the Tangalle region is usually humid and hot, with daytime highs reaching about 32C. Being a tropical island, Sri Lanka never really gets cool. Tangalle is perched on the Indian Ocean, where you can go for a swim to get a break from the heat.
Sri Lanka offers a wealth of temples and beaches, but there’s also the Kudawella blow hole where sea water froths up through a hole in a rock cliff, Yala National Park, turtle watching, the Weverukannala Buddha statue, the historic city of Galle and the elephant sanctuary.
Learn more about Sri Lanka »
Do I need construction experience and how much will we work?
You don’t need any special skills or training. We hire local skilled labourers who will give training onsite for construction and team leaders. You will work at your own pace five days a week from about 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Your evenings and weekends are free for cultural activities and relaxing.
What are meals and accommodations like?
The team will stay at a local hotel that is comfortable and clean. The food is prepared hygienically and dishes range from local to standard Western fare.
How much does it cost?
The cost of each trip varies for each country, and the approximate cost of this trip is displayed at the top of the page. All costs will be finalized closer to the departure date. This cost is the in-country cost, including accommodations, meals, in-country transport, program costs and a donation to our Host Partner in their respective country. It does not include airfare. The entire program and flight costs are 100% tax deductible when paid through DWC.
Why should I volunteer?
Volunteer trips take you to places you otherwise might never go, to do things you otherwise might never do and to meet people you might never otherwise meet. You’ll make a difference in others’ lives and they will make a difference in yours. Simply put, there is joy and self-discovery that comes with giving to others. And you’ll have fun doing it, too.
Jennifer Erickson has travel in her blood. She is passionate about exploring new places and cultures.
Her first trip with DWC was to India in October 2015 where she worked on a project to build a women’s shelter. This project hooked her on the kind of engaged travel that DWC trips provide. In 2016/17, she took a one year leave of absence from work to travel and participated in two DWC projects – building a home in the Philippines and a return to India as a team leader.
Jennifer is a public servant in her work life, working for the Ministry of Health in Victoria.
In addition to India, Jen lived in France and has travelled to places as varied as Peru, Scandinavia, the Middle East, Asia and East Africa. She is passionate about community development and empowering people to contribute to improving their lives.
To learn more about other teams’ adventures in Sri Lanka, read our Volunteer Blog.