A volunteer lighs an oil lamp during a ceremony in Sri Lanka

Volunteer with Children in Sri Lanka for Schoolies

Join volunteers your age to help support disadvantaged children at care centres

At a glance

Take an Alternative Schoolies volunteer trip to Sri Lanka, and do something different over your school-leaving holiday. You’ll support the work of local teachers and caregivers at disadvantaged care centres, and encourage children to learn through play. This is a great way to give back and travel at the same time!

The centres we work with in Sri Lanka are overcrowded, and teachers can use some helping hands. You’ll support them by teaching English with songs and flashcards, and playing games with the children. You’ll also add value to your placement through light renovation work. This can include painting a colourful mural, fixing up playground equipment, or planting a garden.

You’ll live and work with a group of teenagers your age in one of several small towns along the southwest coast of Sri Lanka. When you’re not working, we’ve organised fun cultural and social activities for you to enjoy. Throughout it all, our staff will be by your side.

Start Dates: 

During school holidays

See Dates

Minimum Duration: 

Two Weeks



Is Alternative Schoolies volunteer work in Sri Lanka right for me?

Are you curious about other cultures and enjoy the antics of little ones? Then you will have the time of your life as an Alternative Schoolies volunteer in Sri Lanka!

If you have a healthy dose of wanderlust, this project is the perfect opportunity to travel safely. It’s also a great way to gain childcare experience, which could help your future studies or career. 

You’ll assist local teachers and caregivers at daycare centres along the southwest coast of Sri Lanka. Here, the main goal is to help children learn through play while their parents are at work. You don't need experience to join this project, as you’ll work alongside local staff. Projects Abroad staff are also there to guide you every step of the way.

This trip has a set itinerary, and from the moment you arrive at the airport in Sri Lanka, every activity is organised for you. During the weekend, we’ll take you to visit one of the famous palm-fringed beaches and spectacular ancient cities. All of these activities take place in a group and under supervision of local Projects Abroad staff members.

Volunteer community work in Sri Lanka for Schoolies runs for two weeks, usually at the end of November and the beginning of December every year.

An alternative schoolies volunteer speaks with a child while doing volunteer work in Sri Lanka

What will I do on this project?

This project is all about helping children learn through play at disadvantaged daycare centres and kindergartens in Sri Lanka. Your tasks will include:

  • Help teachers arrange and execute educational activities
  • Make sure children practice good hygiene every day
  • Create resources like educational murals that the school can use for many years to come
  • Explore Sri Lanka and learn more about the culture with your fellow volunteers

Your work will mainly focus on:

Educational activities

Because many of these care centres are overcrowded, teachers and caregivers often aren’t able to pay attention to each child equally. You will be an extra pair of hands and eyes, helping them reach more children throughout the day.

You will do activities like:

  • Help children learn the English alphabet through songs, games, and flashcards
  • Organise arts and crafts to encourage their creativity
  • Play sports to get kids active and working on hand-eye coordination
  • Read to children to help improve literacy

Your Projects Abroad supervisor will have loads of activity ideas to share with you. Plus you can brainstorm with fellow volunteers to come up with new ones of your own. You will also have the local teachers supervising and helping you.

Make sure the children practice good hygiene every day

You can help encourage better personal hygiene by using fun activities. You can help teach children good handwashing techniques, or how to brush their teeth effectively twice a day.

Community work

You will also be able to add a bit of value to your placement through your own creative talents by helping with tasks such as:

  • Paint colourful murals with an educational message
  • Decorate a classroom
  • Renovate playground equipment
  • Plant a garden
  • Make flash cards, posters, and other educational materials

Exploring Sri Lanka

Finally, this project is also an opportunity for you to travel, learn, and grow in a safe environment. During your evenings, we will help you learn more about Sri Lankan culture through workshops and performances.

Over the weekend, under the supervision of our staff, you will get a chance to see a bit more of the country when we take you and your new friends on a trip to Kandy.

Where will I be working?


This project is based along the southwest coast of Sri Lanka. You’ll work in a group in various small towns, all about two hours from Colombo, focusing your efforts at a kindergarten or daycare centre. These centres are overcrowded and understaffed, and need extra support. 

You will be amazed at the natural beauty of your surroundings, as well as the ancient cities, towns, and temples you’ll encounter on excursions with our staff.

Airport pickup, flights and visas

When you arrive at your respective airport, a member of Projects Abroad staff will be there to meet you. You can find more detailed information on arrival airports, orientation, and visas on our Sri Lanka Arrival Procedures page.

What are the aims and impact of this project?

The aim of this project is to support the work of teachers and caregivers in disadvantaged communities. We do this through hosting fun educational activities for the children, and focusing on improving their personal hygiene.

The care centres and kindergartens we work with are often overcrowded and don’t have enough resources. Teachers and caregivers struggle to give attention to each child equally. You’ll support the work of local staff by helping the children learn through play and running fun activities.

You’ll also help inspire creativity and curiosity in children by improving their learning environment. You’ll do this through art, gardening, playground renovation, and creating classroom resources.

Creating spaces for cultural exchange and growth for you is another important reason we run this project. During your time on the programme, you’ll learn about Sri Lankan culture first-hand by living and working closely with locals.

Join us as a teenage Care & Community volunteer in Sri Lanka and learn more about a new culture while helping educate local children.

An alternative schoolies volunteer at a ceremony on her trip to Sri Lanka.

Management plans

We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.

Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.

Measuring our impact

Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.

Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.

Food and accommodation

You'll stay with a host family in or around Colombo. They will welcome you into their home, eager to share their customs and have you teach them about your own culture. We believe that this is the best way to immerse yourself in the culture of Sri Lanka and have a truly unique experience.

We will always try to let you live alongside at least one other Projects Abroad volunteer or intern at the same host family. Your room will be modest, but comfortable, clean, and safe.

Your programme fee includes three meals a day.

Find out more about our accommodation.

Safety and staff support

Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have all the extra support you need as a young person travelling abroad. Our Projects Abroad staff are there for you 24 hours a day during the week and over weekends to provide constant support and guidance. Our staff also make sure you feel comfortable and safe at your placement and accommodation. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.

Find out more about safety and backup.

When you apply you only pay $495, which comes off the total price. Flexible payment options and fundraising advice available.

Looking to do more than one project? Call us on 08 7130 3970 to see if we can offer a discount.

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