Sri Lanka Care

Children in the Community


Itinerary Options

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Discover Sri Lanka

For a small country it packs a punch.

With its diverse landscapes ranging from rainforest, to arid plains, to highlands and sandy beaches, Sri Lanka is truly magical.

Historically, this beautiful country has been run by the British, Portuguese and Dutch, gaining independence in 1948, all of whom have left their mark. It is now a democracy that continues to make economic progress, moving on rapidly from the 2004 tsunami and the tensions of the last decade. Sri Lanka is now a peaceful, safe destination for travelers and many international travel magazines have selected Sri Lanka as a go to destination.

Look out for the ancient Buddhist ruins, the city of Anuradhapura, Galle Forte, rolling tea estates, national parks, jackfruit curry and, of course, cricket. Seriously, you need to know your cricket rules.

You will become fully immersed in day to day life, helping the children navigate their way through the challenges they confront.

Program Itinerary

This is a fully immersive and dedicated experience where you work in the same place everyday building strong relationships with those in your care.



Welcome to this super cool island

You'll arrive in the hip city of Colombo which is, we have to admit, one of the most beautiful cites in Asia. Think colonial architecture mixed with cosmopolitan style, breezy boulevards, markets and a hip cafe culture. Heaven, and one to explore at the weekends.

You will be based in one of the pretty coastal towns of Negombo, Moratuwa, Panadura, Wadduwa or Kalutara, found on the outskirts of Colombo.


English speaking host family. Rooms are clean and comfy, but don’t expect any hot water!

Expect 2 - 6 volunteers per family


3 meals a day provided.
Expect to eat a lot of spicy curries, dahls, salads and exotic fruit.


Care In Kindergartens and community centres

Getting stuck in...

Working in care is hugely rewarding as you will quickly see and feel the impact of your energy and kindness.

We have several care projects found along the coast in the towns of Negombo, Moratuwa, Panadura, Wadduwa and Kalutara. Each project offers different activities and challenges, so when you apply we will discuss your options and match your expectations and skills accordingly, but the two distinct options include:

Kindergarten or Community Centre

You can chose to work in one of our kindergarten or community centres where your time will be split between helping in their school in the mornings and back at their care community centre or kindergarten in the afternoons.

Typical jobs will include creating visual learning aides, organising creative games, helping with homework, playing sport or providing one-to-one reading sessions.

Care with Disabled Children

Here you will be asked to engage the children in various games and reading as well helping with cooking, feeding and with their physical rehabilitation.

Care Workshops

Our in-country team in Sri Lanka organise regular ‘care’ workshops so you can gain an insight into the care system of Sri Lanka and the background of our projects. You will also receive support, advice, activity books and a box of arts and crafts resources to use.

Program Details & Costs

Very flexible - you can depart on the first Monday of any month and stay from 2 weeks up to 10. We highly recommend you consider going for longer than 3 weeks as it takes time to bed in and the longer you are there the more impact you can make.

Departs on 1st Monday of the month

2020: 6 Jan, 3 Feb, 2 Mar, 6 Apr, 4 May, 1 Jun, 3 Aug, 7 Sep, 5 Oct, 2 Nov, 7 Dec

2021: 4 Jan, 1 Feb, 1 Mar, 5 Apr, 3 May, 7 Jun, 2 Aug, 6 Sep, 4 Oct, 1 Nov, 6 Dec


2 weeks
1 week induction + 1 week care
2020: £12902021: £1290

4 weeks
1 week induction + 3 weeks care
2020: £16302021: £1630

6 weeks
1 week induction + 5 weeks care
2020: £19702021: £1970

8 weeks
1 week induction + 7 weeks care
2020: £23102019: £2310

Departs any Monday during July

2020: 6 Jul, 20 Jul

2021: 5 Jul


2 weeks
1 week induction + 1 week care
2020: £12902021: £1290

4 weeks
1 week induction + 3 weeks care
2020: £16302021: £1630

6 weeks
1 week induction + 5 weeks care
2020: £19702021: £1970

8 weeks
1 week induction + 7 weeks care
2020: £23102019: £2310

Dates Don't Suit?

Don't worry - we can work around this, just get in touch and we'll chat through options more suited to you.


With flexible departure dates and no minimum numbers you can pretty much go whenever suits you.


By spending your time in one role, you will build great relationships and make a focused contribution.

Fixed Base

You will stay with a local family for the whole time, so you will have that 'home from home' feeling.


An adventurers dream, with tea plantations, Galle and squeaky white beaches right on your door step.

Monday to Friday

Our projects are based along the coast, south of the busy city of Colombo. During the week you will be project focused pretty much all day.


Weekends will generally be free time. You’re welcome to stay and chill at your house or head off for a change of scene.The transport infrastructure across Sri Lanka is pretty good so getting around will be fairly easy.

Backpacker favourites:

  • Exploring the fort of Galle.
  • Surf and kite surf lessons on the East coast.
  • Train trip inland to visit the tea plantations.
  • Tour the historic city of Colombo.

Investment in pre-school years

While Sri Lanka’s investment in education has resulted in high rates of enrolment and literacy, education for the poorest is scarce and of poor quality. Students frequently drop out of school and suffer from low levels of academic achievement.

To reverse this trend there is now a concerted effort to assist the children in their pre-school years, giving them a good foundation to spring board off, which is where we can assist.

Through working with various organisations in the towns of Negombo and Panadura, just outside Colombo we can provide sustainable educational support, care and protection to disadvantaged children to enhance their physical, social, emotional and cognitive development.

Together we will help to:

1. Increase literacy
Our community centres are located in disadvantaged communities with real need. Our volunteers assist by providing one-on-one lessons for those identified as slow readers and creating visual learning aids.

2. Improve English
Since the civil war ended in 2009, tourism in Sri Lanka has increased. Knowledge of basic English can substantially improve employment prospects. We hold reading clubs, as well as creating effective learning aids to improve the level of spoken English.

3. Promote early childhood development
Early childhood is the period from birth to eight years of age. It is critical to a child’s cognitive, social, emotional and physical development. Together with staff at our community centres and partner organisations, our volunteers help by providing creative activities, implementing behavioural charts and recording systems.

4. Increase emotional support and care to children
Many of the children grow up without one or both of their parents and are often left at home or in institutions with little stimulation. In partnership with the staff at these organisations and our community centres, volunteers ensure that the children are looked after in a safe environment.

5. Improve the quality of life for those living with disabilities
We partner with two organisations in towns south of Colombo that provide care and support for children with learning disabilities. The children that live here are either orphaned or their families are unable to care for them. By engaging the children and introducing creative games, our volunteers can work with the full-time staff to improve the children’s quality of life.

Leaper's Highlights

Have a read of what our current Leapers are doing around the world to get a flavour of Leap life...

Getting to the heart of the Rural Community in Mentu Ellie Walton

So it’s the first week of our south eastern adventure. First port of call: Kuching. After a long commute to the island from different parts of the world, we all came together in the city where we were able to get to know one another from the leap group.

On our way we stopped off at semengoh wildlife centre, where came face to face with Borneo’s most endangered yet treasured species: the orangutan.

Two hours and one extremely bumpy road later, we arrived at our home for the next ten days. We received nothing less than the warmest of welcomes from “Aunty” and her family. Malaysian culture treats every visitor as a guest by which they care for like they would a relative or close friend. From start to finish, we’ve felt right at home, despite the contrast in cultural context. Before we started the working week, Seth took us down to a local river which was also a destination of leisure and relaxation for locals.

The community project for the leapers this time around was to complete a concrete path to enable villagers to walk with ease and safety over the water drainage systems which we also helped to finish. Not bad for first timers!

To finish off a hard working week, we had a fulfilled weekend. We trekked to a local waterfall in the nearby jungle, had tucked into several BBQs. A personal highlight was the traditional dancing and music with some of the local villagers. Despite the struggle of keeping up with the villagers, it was really insightful and enjoyable to see more of Malaysian culture from a local perspective. This was invaluable, I can speak for all of us when I say it is something that we wouldn’t have been able to do had we not stayed with a local family right in the centre of such a rural community.

That’s it for now from your April 2018 Leapers

Settling into Madagascan Life Ellie Harland

Tomorrow is Wednesday which means it will shortly have been a week since many of us met for the first time either in Heathrow or Paris Airport. It’s quite a bizarre phenomenon to put faces to the names of relative strangers whom you have only met previously through a phone or computer screen – of course this was a little daunting for us all.

Then ensued the multi-flight to Madagascar where we found ourselves plunged into humidity and heat of 30 degrees when we touched down in our final destination.

We clambered into 2 mini buses while our drivers did a fantastic job of hoisting our bags onto the roof, some of which were particularly heavy. The bus ride was a sweaty one although we were preoccupied with taking in the surroundings of what would be our home for the next 10 weeks or so.

Thick forests lined the narrow, sometimes bumpy road from the airport to the port, young Malagasy children walked barefoot on the verge carrying school bags and battered vehicles beeped to indicate they were overtaking. We reached the port after stopping at an ATM in what I later learned was the town of Hell-Ville on Nosy Be, pronounced ‘Nosy Bay’.

We climbed aboard two boats and began a 45 minute journey to our new home, Camp on Nosy Komba. Our little island is 25km squared, covered in thick forest and is home to the residents of Angpangorina (Angpang) which we would visit on Friday for pizza, drinks and music.

Camp is fronted by Main House, an open common area with a thatched roof and wood and stone structures, it is furnished with hammocks, tables, benches and bean bags (which are my favourite) and is graced with a fantastic view of the sea and the land across from us.

I’m currently on Marine with Alex, Sophie, Ben, Hettie, Harry and Cressie with Arthur and Brinley ahead of us in our training while the rest of us establish the basic principles of diving. It has been an exciting first week settling in and breaking misconceptions of one another and I am intrigued to see what we will experience next.

First week in the jungle, elephant time Sophie Rumble

The next two weeks would be spent in a remote jungle in Mondulkiri volunteering at the Elephant Valley Project. Our day was divided into two parts; elephant observation, where we learnt all about the different elephants, and secondly volunteering. The jungle took us a while to get used to, in the first few days it was a frequent occurrence to hear screams during the evening when people went to the toilet and were faced with huge spiders/ scorpions/ frogs!

The project had around 8 elephants, this included Sambo, who is considered to be the most famous elephant in Cambodia. We learnt a lot about her cruel history where she spent the majority of her life begging along the river in Phomn Penh. Here she was fed all sorts of foods that elephants shouldn’t eat- including birthday cake! Sadly, one day she stepped on a nail which went straight through her foot and subsequently resulted in a bad infection which was never properly treated until she came to EVP.

Over the week we all learnt loads about elephants and the mahouts. For example, elephants typically spend 20 hours a day eating – not a bad life. Also, that the bond between the mahout and the elephant is as strong as the bond between family as they spend all day, everyday together.

For the volunteering part, we spent most of the week clearing a part of the jungle so that we can create a banana field to feed the elephants. This involved the use machetes which the boys were definitely excited about

"Incredible experience"

I wanted to say a huge thank you to you and your team !

Ava returned yesterday via Peru and had such an incredible experience in Ecuador. It was all very well organised and the people were amazing .I am still to hear more.

- Amanda Howard

"The Leap is doing a great job"

The organisation and the briefing on the entire trip was great by "the leap". I felt very well prepared and ready to start my adventure. The people in the office are very friendly and always ready to answer your questions or problems. They take care all over the trip of you and they make everything to give you the perfect time in a beautiful new world.

- Johann Plato

" Madagascar leap program SUPERB"

Experience of a lifetime, met people I would never have met and now consider them as my closest friends, gave me a more humble and appreciative view of life and provided me with memories that I can never replace and will never forget.

Highly RECOMMEND!!! (Make sure u like rice and beans and chickens in your room).

- Georgia Burgess

"​Amazing, emotional and I would do it all again "

Communication was very good before and during the trip, it was nice to know that the leap would reply quickly plus I felt very safe, the 24/7 security relaxed and settled me in. Stella matias and jimmy were amazing, they made my trip!

The programmes and schools we visited were life changing and made me appreciate what I have. The fact that we actually made a difference by raising money for an orphanage to build a well is so exciting and rewarding! And the relationships I made with the children and the other leapers I will never forget.

- Bethany

"Thank you again so much for providing such a wonderful gap year experience - we shall keep on recommending you!"

Just to say Harry is back home now having had an absolutely wonderful time in Ecuador, full of enthusiastic anecdotes and stories of his experiences in the last 10 weeks. I'd just like to say thank you to you and the team for your immaculate organisation of the whole trip and for your phone calls and emails keeping us fully informed of progress along the way.

We have really appreciated this attention to detail and suffice to say it has been as fabulous an experience for Harry as it was for his sister, Lucy three years ago, who still remembers her own trip to Ecuador with equal fondness. They are having fun comparing notes!

- Jane and Bob Caton

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