In Galle, IFRE collaborates with local orphanages and children support groups aimed at offering support to displaced, abandoned and abused orphan children in Sri Lanka. Through this local project, volunteers will work directly with these children and leave a positive mark on their lives. In this volunteer project, participants spend valuable time physically living with the orphaned children as a part of their orphanage-family. These underprivileged children need love, care and attention, and the resource-poor orphanage centers need to be rescued by the willing, helping hands of volunteers as well.
There are no specific qualifications needed to join the volunteer orphanage project in Sri Lanka. All volunteers are expected to be flexible and patient, as well as possess a passion and love for children. Experience working with children is considered a plus.
Orphanage volunteers teach English (3-4 hours a day) in the orphanage or local school (where the children attend during the day). Volunteers offer daily life-skill support with physical and dental hygiene and dressing for school/life. Evenings are a chance for volunteers to show off their creativity by organizing games, drawing, singing, dancing and other creative educational and extra-curricular activities. Volunteers also help children with their homework and help monitor their academic progress. If volunteers are not interested in teaching during the day, they can opt to stay and care for the younger children remaining in the orphanage. Volunteers are also expected to assist with serving and preparing meals, maintaining the garden and various administrative duties.
In Sri Lanka, all volunteers stay with well-screened host families (in most situations this is with our in-country coordinator or local staffs). Our host families are socially respected and are well versed in the art of hosting international volunteers. Host families offer a safe home, private rooms (occasionally rooms will be shared with other same-gender volunteers) and shared bathroom facilities with running water and a “local” style toilet. You receive three prepared meals per day. If you will be out of the house during lunch hour, you can request a lunch "to go" that you can take with you or eat out on your own. Host families provide typical meals that are traditional to Sri Lanka. Rooms are shared, as are bathroom and kitchen facilities. For a small additional fee, volunteers can opt to stay in a modest seaside motel. Please note this preferencein the initial volunteer application.
Throughout the volunteer project, our local staff stays in contact with volunteers with either face-to-face visits or via email/telephone and volunteers have 24/7 access to our in-country staff. With longer placements, we visit our volunteers every two weeks (when possible) and volunteers are always welcome at the local office. If project placement is local, we request that volunteers stop by the office once a week to keep us posted on how they are doing with their home stay and project. If project placement is very far, then our local staff members maintain communication by either email and/or phone.