Sri Lanka October 2024 Poverty Eradication. Social Justice. Global Engagement.

C$2,850Trip and flight costs qualify for a tax receipt in US and Canada
Oct 19, 2024 Nov 2, 2024 Kegalle, Sri Lanka Adult & Family Trip handUp for Education

Hand Up For EducationRefurbishing a remote school building

This DWC volunteer project will focus on a school in the Sabaragamuwa province. This remote area of the nation, has little, if any, support to address its unique and specific education challenges.

All levels of classes are usually conducted in the same building. While buildings are often solid, different activities can be partitioned by cardboard. Quality drinking water is not always available, and unsanitary restrooms are shared by all. By contributing to school infrastructure, you create opportunities for leaning and  capacity for more students to continue higher level studies at their local school will prevent early age drop-outs.

In Sri Lanka
  • Of Sri Lanka’s population of 19.3 million, 80% reside in rural areas. Currently, the incidence of poverty stands at more than 50%, having increased substantially due to the country’s unending economic crisis.
  • Kegalle, the town, has an agricultural-based economy and is the capital of the district. It sits about 78 km east of Colombo and 40 km west of Kandy.

What to ExpectA Typical Workday in Sri Lanka

DWC has sent numerous teams to volunteer 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.

It's Not All WorkHike the Ancient Rock Fortress

Sigiriya is one of Sri Lanka’s seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, this rock-top fortress dates back to the fifth century AD. Perched on a slab of rock that juts dramatically over the forests of central Sri Lanka. The experience is more spiritual than militant: in its time, it has acted as a royal palace and a Buddhist monastery.

Galle is a jewel and another Sri Lanka Unesco World Heritage Site, this historic city is a delight to explore on foot, an endlessly exotic old trading port blessed with imposing Dutch-colonial buildings, ancient mosques and churches, grand mansions and museums. Wandering its rambling lanes, you’ll pass stylish cafes, quirky boutiques and impeccably restored hotels owned by local and foreign artists, writers, photographers and designers.

Trip Details

  • Saturday, October 19 to Sunday,  October 20 – Team travels to Sri Lanka; arrival at Colombo airport; transport to Kegalle; check in to hotel and acclimatize
  • Monday October 21,  to Friday, October 25 – PROJECT WORK in Kegalle
  • Saturday, October 26  Sunday, October 27 – Free days for some R and R
  • Monday, October 28  to Friday, November 1 – PROJECT WORK in Kegalle
  • Saturday November 2 – Return to Colombo, travel home or continue travel in beautiful Sri Lanka
Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost?
The cost of this trip is displayed at the top of the page. This cost includes 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 trip is 100% tax deductible. A $1000 non refundable deposit ($600 for trips prior to 2024) is due once the trip is confirmed which is then credited towards your trip cost. Flight costs vary and can either be booked yourself or through our recommended travel agent to receive a tax deductible receipt. Your trip cost is due in its entirety 45 days prior to departure. If your flight is booked through our recommended travel agent, your flight cost is due within 10 days. Trip costs may be adjusted if flight or accommodation upgrades are requested or if flight deviations are required. Select trips may be subject to additional cultural activity fees. US volunteers may be subject to administrative fees/exchange rate adjustments.

Are accommodations included and what are they like?
DWC books your accommodations for you, and it is included in your Trip Cost! Your team will stay at a local hotel that is comfortable and clean. Rooms are booked as shared double occupancy. You may upgrade to a private room for an additional cost, where possible. We will do our best to accommodate adjustments

Are meals provided and can dietary restrictions be accommodated?
All meals are included in your trip cost. Some meals will be at the hotel, while others at local restaurants. The food is prepared hygienically, and dishes range from local to standard western fare. Volunteers submit a health form to DWC and all requests for dietary restrictions will be provided to the Team Leader, hotel, and host partner, to be accommodated wherever possible. We want you to be as comfortable as possible! Your Trip Cost does not include tips, alcohol, or snacks.

Can I add personal travel onto this trip?
Absolutely! We want you to have the best travel experience possible. If you choose to add personal travel onto the front or back end of your trip, you are welcome to book your own accommodation and transportation arrangements for early arrivals or late departures, however you are required to arrive in time to fully participate in the volunteer experience with your team. Personal travel would not be covered in your tax-deductible receipt.

Can my family come on the trip with me?
The trip cost listed is a per person rate. Family members can participate in the trip as part of the volunteer team by paying a separate trip cost. Children 12-17 wishing to participate in a volunteer trip require a parent/guardian with them.

What is the minimum age requirement to volunteer?
Children under 12 are unable to participate in our program due to the nature of the volunteer work involved. Children 12-17 wishing to participate in a volunteer trip require a parent/guardian with them.

Do I need construction experience and how much will we work?
You don’t need special skills or training to be able to help. We hire local skilled labourers who will give training onsite for construction and team leaders. You will work at your own pace, within your own comfort level, five days a week from about 8AM to 4PM. Your evenings and weekends are free for cultural activities and relaxing.

What is the work site like and what is the intensity of the labour?
There is a building manager and translator on site. Tasks on the work site vary and you will only be asked to do what you are comfortable with and within your physical abilities. There is no pressure!

Why should I volunteer?
Support sustainable change with us. Learn about the world and yourself, lend a hand and build hope. Every bit of time spent on a DWC project is helping a person, a family, or a community. You’ll know that your contribution will make someone’s life better. DWC matches teams of volunteers and resources with people and organizations in developing nations to alleviate poverty and inspire hope and your efforts do have impact. The experience is enhanced by working as a team. Simply put, there is joy and self-discovery that comes with giving to others. And you’ll have fun doing it, too.

Are DWC trips religious or political in nature?
DWC has no religious or political affiliations.

Meet the Trip Leader

Each trip is coordinated by DWC with the help of a Team Leader, who has travelled with DWC previously, is First Aid Certified, and has completed a Criminal Record Check. Your Team Leader will liaise with DWC and ensure all your questions are answered. Your Team Leader will handle all team finances through the trip and travel with you to ensure the best possible travel and volunteer experience for their team! They also facilitate fun, cultural experiences where possible, ensuring group cohesion. See your Team Leader Biography here:


Kathleen D'Sylva and Kathleen Simard

Kathleen D’Sylva

Kathleen recently retired from her job after 30+ years in IT. It was through this work, that she was introduced to  DWC and Kathleen Simard!  Kathleen has participated in DWC trips to Railmagra, India in 2017 and then Cebu, Philippians in 2019 and Costa Rica in 2023. Kathleen currently lives in Burlington, ON with her husband David, 2 of her 3 sons, and their basset hound, Harley.  She enjoys hiking and cycling, really, anything outdoors and is working towards her level 1 Sommelier, Intermediate Wine Certification.

Kathleen Simard

Kathleen, originally from Atlanta, lives outside of Philadelphia with her Cana dian husband, 2 daughters and a son.  She loves adventure and has never met a stranger, making friends wherever she goes.  She met her co-leader, Kathleen, on her first DWC trip to India in 2016.  It was a life changing experience and one she is thrilled to do again in Sri Lanka!  Kathleen is semi retired from technology sales making more time for her personal passions including Family, friends, travel, cycling, yoga, snow-boading, live music and acting!  Her mantra: “Write down your dreams and follow them because the universe is listening. There is no limit to what you can achieve in this life!”

Travel Light Offset Your Carbon Footprint

Carbon offsets are used to compensate for the greenhouse gasses that we create through certain activities, such as flying. For every tonne of carbon released into the atmosphere, an ‘offset’ is a carefully designed project that absorbs or stores the equivalent CO2 emissions. You can choose to offset your own flight, your whole family’s, or do this as a gift for a friend.

Offset Your Carbon Footprint


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