Family volunteering with Sea turtles in Sri Lanka

“A tailor made volunteering vacation for families passionate about conservation and/or community development. Choose between south or south west Sri Lanka. ”

Highlights

Volunteering with sea turtles conservation project | Volunteering in Sri Lanka schools | Choice between regular and premium family volunteering programmes | Full support throughout | Sports volunteering opportunities | Opportunities to contribute to youth and women’s empowerment programs

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Check dates

2018: 23 Feb, 2 Mar, 9 Mar, 16 Mar, 23 Mar, 30 Mar, 6 Apr, 13 Apr, 20 Apr, 27 Apr, 4 May, 11 May, 18 May, 25 May, 1 Jun, 8 Jun, 15 Jun, 22 Jun, 29 Jun, 6 Jul, 13 Jul, 20 Jul, 27 Jul, 3 Aug, 10 Aug, 17 Aug, 24 Aug, 31 Aug, 7 Sep, 14 Sep, 21 Sep, 28 Sep, 5 Oct, 12 Oct, 19 Oct, 26 Oct, 2 Nov, 9 Nov, 16 Nov, 23 Nov, 30 Nov, 7 Dec, 14 Dec, 21 Dec, 28 Dec
2019: 4 Jan, 11 Jan, 18 Jan, 25 Jan, 1 Feb, 8 Feb, 15 Feb, 22 Feb, 1 Mar ...
Top tip:
This work may be messier than you think, so bring plenty of old clothes, or buy some locally that you can then wash and pass on to those in need.
Trip type:
Tailor made but working with other volunteers.
Solos:
Single parents welcome.
Accomm:
Choice of basic or higher standard volunteer accommodation depending on package. All clean and comfortable though.
Meals:
All meals included, with typical Sri Lankan cuisine.
Included:
Pre-trip support, transfers from Colombo airport, support staff 24/7, all meals, project training.
About this vacation company:
Ridhi set this organization up in 2014, after a life changing volunteering trip that she made to South Africa herself. After that, she returned from London to her home country of India to set up volunteering projects there and here in Sri Lanka, where projects range from medical to midwifery, turtle conservation to teaching.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Family volunteering with Sea turtles in Sri Lanka

Environment

Our volunteer placements in Sri Lanka are designed to immerse you in a different culture, living and working with local people. There’s plenty to gain personally from this. But we make sure that local people benefit too by choosing projects that bring tangible improvements to their lives. Our local partners are leaders in sustainable tourism. All activities and itineraries are designed in collaboration with the villagers themselves, based around the principles of community-based tourism. We are committed to providing local people with a complimentary source of income while still continuing their traditional way of life.

Pre-departure preparation
All of our participants receive pre-departure guides. This covers topics on how to be culturally sensitive, how to best look after the environment when in the country and how to stay safe as well as up to date information on the political situation.

Meaningful Volunteering:
Our Volunteer programs are lasting and meaningful and have a long term impact on the communities we work with. If a placement is under 4 weeks in length, volunteers will be able to assist a resident teacher rather than teach alone in the classroom. We work with Tsunami camp children and also help in local schools that need volunteer support. We are also helping in Seenigama where we are supporting a local charity to help a community impacted during the Tsunami of 2004.

Child Protection:
We have a strong child protection policy and require police checks and DBS from all our participants. Staff who take photos are required to ensure they are up to a standard approved by our local partners or schools. We have strict expectations of volunteers as far as how they interact with the children. We also give no information to the volunteers about the children’s backgrounds.

Environment:
We send out comprehensive pre-departure briefing, which includes a section on protecting the local environment. In particular we advise participants to take care with water, which is an issue in many of our destinations. We recommend they avoid unnecessary washing, using hand wash gel where they can. We also instruct them on how to dispose of waste properly, not to litter and, where possible, to avoid using plastic water bottles which are not easy to dispose of environmentally.

Community

Local Community Living:
All our volunteer programs are designed in collaboration with the community and based around the principles of community-based tourism. We are committed to providing local people with support while still continuing their traditional way of life. All our volunteers are housed locally in homestays that support the local community.

Volunteer and Service Placements:
Volunteer time, effort, and attention are of great value to our local partners such as NGOs, schools, and children’s homes that we serve. We make sure that whoever we are tied up with are operating with our values in mind and are for the improvement of life on ground.

Cultural sensitivity:
We emphasise the importance of showing respect for local people and their customs in our briefing material. Participants will work alongside permanent staff, forming close bonds and getting an insight into real life in Sri Lanka. Our policy is to send people to the developing world in small groups or individually. This minimises the environmental and social impact that the participants have on the destination and helps them to integrate into the local community.

1 Reviews of Family volunteering with Sea turtles in Sri Lanka

3 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 28 Sep 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Releasing a turtle each was definitely the best part of the vacation, we will always be wondering whether they are still living their lives out there happily in the ocean. Meeting and teaching songs to the local children was fun and a great experience for the kids. Fishing in the sea for fish for the turtles was fun. We painted a mural which we all enjoyed and hope it is there for a while.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


We were keen to stay somewhere with a pool for the kids as the sea isn't great to swim in near to kosgoda. We were really glad we did this, though we did not get any discount for not using the accommodation and meals provided so it was more expensive. Be prepared for some changes to the programme and to not expect too much.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We hope that the children benefitted from meeting us and our kids in terms of helping their confidence in speaking English. Sadly I really don't think the project and our participation in it reduced environmental impact or supported conservation. It was interesting to see how the turtle hatchery worked but we were left with the feeling that this was more of a tourist trap and that the turtles would have been better off in their natural habitat. Certainly keeping the eggs safe and releasing the hatchlings is a good idea but keeping albino or slightly deformed turtles in a tiny tank for the rest of their days seems no life for them. We were really saddened to see the extent of rubbish on the beaches in Sri Lanka from all over the Indian Ocean. It is an overwhelming amount and a massive environmental problem. We were sad to see that the awareness of this as a problem at the hatchery was poor. When we were given bottles of water the bottles were just thrown on the beachside, and the beach clean felt a very token effort.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Sri Lanka is such a fantastic country to visit and we loved being there. However the turtle conservation part was a bit disappointing due to the reasons above, and it is a shame it is not a more worthwhile project. Having said that it was a very different, unusual experience that the children will certainly never forget.

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