International Environmental Volunteers

Our mission is to change the face of international volunteer travel. We believe in a future where any traveler, anywhere in the world is empowered to make a meaningful difference in the community they are visiting, and we take pride in making this happen. We’re focused on providing affordable volunteer travel experiences that are responsible, safe and high quality. Our programs high light creating, sustainable, safe, healthy, risk free environment for better living through global awareness and cultural understanding through the skills and expertise taken by volunteers to their host communities, and through the experiences and lessons that volunteers take back to their own countries and cultures.

Why volunteer with us

  • Most affordable fees – we’re able to keep our fees low being a local organization in Sri Lanka to support meaningful community projects and local employment
  • Superior support – our local team in Sri Lanka will ensure you feel supported every step of the way – from planning to volunteering.
  • Responsible projects – w are dedicated to ensuring that our projects are responsibly run and have sustainable positive impacts to our environment.
  • Safety-first – volunteer safety is a top priority for CHA and we have clear standards for risk management on each program. You can feel confident that you are placed with trustworthy institutions and organizations that have been screened by our local teams.
  • New friendships – as a volunteer, you’ll always be in the company of friendly locals and like-minded volunteer travelers who will quickly become your life-long friends.

How it works

CHA runs volunteer projects based on local and global issues, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, around the world. Our volunteerprogramme welcomes volunteers from all over the world from diverse backgrounds and ages for those passionate about eco volunteering.

CHA’s affordable volunteer projects enable international volunteers instilling skills and knowledge to communities around eco system services, de silting ponds, lakes, nurturing nurseries and habitats, creating awareness on climate change , impact and pathways for mitigation,  mapping risks due to climate change.

As a CHA volunteer, you’ll be working closely with local organizations and community members to support both proactive and reactive methods of protecting our natural environment.

Volunteer work and duties are varied and dependent on the type of project you choose to participate on.

At a glance

  • Available year-round
  • Meaningful project options
  • Projects based in and around the island
  • Accommodation in cheap safe homes.
  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, and 24/7 in-country support
  • Volunteer placements every months including for groups not exceeding 5.
  • Duration- varies by type(please see below) .

Join Us

  • I know that applications expire after 14 days so it’s best that I apply after I’ve chosen a specific project, read the program details thoroughly, and asked any questions I might have.
  • I’ve read the how it works and support pages and understood the volunteering process.
  • I know that I need to pay volunteer fees to cover the costs of my volunteer program . And that I’m responsible for arranging and paying for my own flights, insurance, travel visas, accommodation, food etc.

Subscribe to our newsletter to be updated on all new programs by sending us your email

Country overview

Sri Lanka is an island situated in the Indian Ocean, at the base of the Indian Sub-Continent, 880 km north of the equator. Geologically, Sri Lanka is part of the South Indian Peninsula. Both countries stand on the same continental shelf. The land area is 65,525 sq. km. and together with Internal Waters of 1,570 sq. km., the total area within the national boundary is 67,095 sq. km. The landmass comprises of a highland massif situated in the south-centre surrounded by an intermediate zone of upland ridges and valleys. Lowlands and a coastal fringe of sandbars and lagoons in turn surround this. From sea level, the relief ascends in three peneplains to a maximum of 2500 meters.

Climate

The climate is “tropical monsoonal’ with seasonal rainfall. Two monsoon periods with two inter-monsoon periods control the rainfall rhythm. The South Westerly monsoon period is from May to September. The North Westerly monsoon is from December to February.1The average temperature of the lowlands ranges between 25-30 degrees Celsius. It is modified by altitude. On the basis of rainfall distribution, the country is classified into three climatic zones- wet, dry and intermediate zones. The wet zone covers the south-western region including the central hill country and receives relatively high mean annual rainfall over 2,500 mm without pronounced dry periods. The dry zone covers predominantly the north central, northern and eastern part of the country, receives a mean annual rainfall of less than 1,750 mm with a distinct dry season from May to September. The intermediate zone receives a mean annual rainfall between 1,750 to 2,500 mm with a short and less prominent dry season.

The island has 46 different agro-ecological regions differentiated by monthly rainfall expectancy and distribution, soil type, elevation, land use and vegetation. The aspiration of this micro zonation is that matching crop types with zonal characteristic will build adaptive capacity of crops to climate change impacts.

 

Hazards

Droughts, floods, landslides, coastal erosion, cyclones with accompanying sea surges and lightning are the major natural hazards apart from epidemics that prevail in the country. Documented studies have indicated that frequency of hydro-meteorological hazards show an increasing trend that may be attributed to climate change and phenomena such as El Niño.

Ecosystems

Sri Lanka has an exceptional array of terrestrial, wetland and aquatic ecosystems. Due to the isolation of the island for a lengthy period of time,  Sri  Lanka’s  biodiversity  is  characterized  by  an  outstanding degree of endemism (i.e. species not found anywhere else in the world) among the wild flora and fauna. Its long history of agriculture that stems from a unique hydraulic civilization provides a rich agro- biodiversity,  resulting  from  selection  by  farmers  and  adaptation  of crops and livestock to varied ecological conditions that prevail in the country. These might be considered strengths for Climate Change Adaptation (CCA)

Type of volunteers

Let’s go Solo!

The thought of traveling and volunteering alone can be intimidating if you’ve never done it before. You may worry that you’ll be bored and lonely or that you won’t have anyone to share all these great memories with. But the truth is traveling and volunteering solo is one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll ever have.

Here’s why:

When you volunteer alone,

  • You’re in control of how you spend your time — well, your free time, that is.
  • You have complete flexibility to make or change plans at the last minute because there’s no one depending on you.
  • You will meet new people
  • As a solo traveler, you’ll also naturally attract other people’s curiosity. Friendly locals will come up to you and ask you where you’re from and why you’re visiting. Without your friends by your side, you’ll be much more open to these conversations.
  • You will discover yourself -Spending time alone with your thoughts doesn’t have to be scary. In fact, giving yourself quiet space to reflect on your dreams, fears, and desires can be life-changing. It might be one of the few chances you have to really discover who you are
  • You’ll feel empowered – Whether it’s navigating complicated visas and travel requirements, figuring out how to communicate in a new language, or finding your way on public transportation for the first time, your trip will challenge you many times. There’s nothing more satisfying than rising to that challenge.

Duration –  Two (2) – Four (4) weeks.

Costs        – Registration & orientation – $50; Coordination – $50 per week; Air transport transfers approximately $43.

Group volunteering

Many people like to volunteer as a team. They can be employees from a particular company, members of a club or association, or even just a group of friends who would like to spend time together at a volunteer activity. Group volunteering is an excellent way to learn more about each other and build up a sense of team.

  • One person from the group will need to be the primary group contact and deliverer of information. This person will receive all communications on behalf of the group regarding volunteering, and will be responsible for communicating with all group members. This person will also attend any orientations required before volunteering, and communicate information from this orientation to other members.
  • The group needs to take an assessment of all group members’ availability for, interests in and goals for a group volunteering activity. This will help you in choosing a group assignment, and ensure that everyone has a positive experience and that their expectations will be met.
  • Someone in the group needs to have the responsibility to fill out application forms; a representative of the group or just one member may be asked to complete a Waiver of Liability form.
  • If you are volunteering on behalf of an organization or company, you must make sure the organization or company supports the group volunteering activity and all the responsibilities such entails.
  • If you are participating in an employee-based group volunteering activity on company time, or if you are taking vacation time to volunteer on behalf of the company, make sure you have permission and support from your immediate supervisor.
  • You must give organizations sufficient lead time to place your group into a volunteering activity;

Duration –   two (2) – four (4) weeks.

Costs        –   Registration & orientation – $50 per person, up to 5 persons; Coordination – $150 per week; Air transport transfers approximately $100.

Professionals

Skills-based volunteering means leveraging the specialized skills and talents of individuals to strengthen the infrastructure of nonprofits, helping them build and sustain their capacity to successfully achieve their missions. Skills-based volunteering opens the door to those seeking to use their personal and professional skills and talents to serve others.

Individual volunteers can also make an impact on solving problems in their communities by taking the lead on “self-organizing” projects. By identifying a need and bringing people together to meet that need – often including members of social or other organizations – individual volunteer leaders can help create lasting social change. Highly skilled volunteers providing pro bono consulting services are able to have a particularly strong impact on the inefficiency and effectiveness of a nonprofit, while benefitting from the meaningful and often life-changing experience of service.

Duration –  four (4) – twelve (12) weeks.

Costs        –  Registration & orientation – $50, Coordination – $50 per week. Air transport transfers approximately $43.

Retirees

Years ago, the word “retirement” might have evoked images of white-haired couples sitting in rocking chairs on their front porches. But with both men and women living longer and enjoying better health into their later years, retirement has become an extremely active phase of life in which many seniors finally have time to devote to causes and interests that have previously taken a backseat to careers or family obligations.

Senior volunteers, for with age comes a mixture of experience, skills, and patience that younger volunteers simply cannot offer. Some of our most successful placements have involved working professionals and retirees who are volunteering in a role in which they have many years of experience.

Duration –   four (4) – twelve (12) weeks.

Costs      –      Registration & orientation – $50; Coordination – $50 per week; Air transport transfers approximately $43.

How to apply

Browse

Filter through volunteer opportunities based on cause area, skillset, and time commitment to find the best option for you. Choose to volunteer in ways ranging from two weeks to 12 weeks to select a project.

Apply

Create a profile and apply for volunteer opportunities through the application.

Interview

If the project requires an interview, we’ll reach out to schedule a two-way conversation between you and the organization.

Payment

Applicants accepted should make payments as applicable indicated in the confirmation to reach –

  • Account name     : Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies
  • Bank name           : Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc
  • Sort code               : CCEYLKLX
  • Account number  : 1190022343 via Western Union or any other financial institution copying us with details of remittance.

Match

Upon your availability and project areas we will finalize your placement

Contact Us

Email: info@cha.lk/ progasst@cha.lk

We will try to be as responsible we could to ensure your application is reviewed within a week and a response is sent back.

Terms and conditions

Please read carefully for participating in the volunteering program offer by CHA. By submitting your Online Registration Form and email communication to CHA, you confirm that you acknowledge and accept the following terms and conditions: payment of $50 registration should be paid prior to arrival for coordination of placement to commence.

  1. You confirm that you have read all of the information available on our website about the aim of the project, activities, costs, terms of participation and you understand and accept the nature of volunteering program.
  2. CHA will provide transportation facility for volunteers pick up & airport drop off.
  3. All our volunteer programs have five days attendance.
  4. By agreeing to the terms and conditions you agree that CHA can use your photos, videos and written feedback from the project to post on its website or in any other web domains for the promotion of volunteer programs.
  5. Our Program Payment System – Volunteers have to pay us the complete payment for Registration/ application, orientation & transport before arrival and the payment for the stay upon arrival .You should hold a valid passport/visa for the entire duration of your travel. You will have to obtain SL visa on your own to enter into the country. CHA will not be responsible in any case if you do not carefully read & follow visa rules and apply for appropriate visa.
  6. Please consult your doctor to see what vaccinations you need before coming here.
  7. Insurance and Liability – Our fees does not cover any insurance and liability of you. It is your sole responsibility to arrange for such insurance and liability coverage in such amounts as you deem adequate or necessary. You may need during the project coverage for: light work; the cost of cancellation of the placement that you could do; the cost of assistance including repatriation in the event of accident or illness; legal liability and expenses; lost baggage; medical expenses; kidnapping; death, liability arising due to personal injury. You are also solely responsible for maintaining any necessary insurance documents with you as may be needed to prove any insurance coverage available to you. The organization do not take any responsibility for any kind of accident/disease – Attack by elephants or any street animals with you while working/staying in the program. We will not be liable for any damages resulting from your failure to buy appropriate insurance.
  8. CHA will not be responsible for your any kind of Lost/Theft of money, baggage and personal things during the program. Please take care of your things by your own at the accommodation, project site, in trishaw or travel by your own. Organization will not pay for your loss or theft.
  9. Information Update- We update our website on monthly basis. Kindly make yourself updated with us or check our website for any changes.

Cancellation and Refund Policy:

Registration/Application Fees: – Registration fee deposit will not be refunded under any circumstance. Fees for the duration of the visit is required on arrival.

Cancellation by CHA

In case CHA cancels the volunteer program due to unavoidable and unforeseen circumstances will refund the fee calculated on a pro-rata basis for the remaining period of the program declared to be cancelled excluding 5% (five percent) bank charges.

Payment of refunds: – CHA will refund the applicable refund amount prior to departure of the Volunteer.

Immediate Termination of Agreement by CHA:

CHA discovers that you are involved in any illegal activities or convicted of any criminal activities before or during the project period.

We cannot admit you without depositing the complete fee.

If it is found that your behavior is threatening or unacceptable to the society or anyone involved with the project based on the judgment of the project staff and/or program coordinator.

Any information provided by you to CHA at the time of enrollment is found to be incorrect or false information about your medical or mental health conditions.

If it is found that you are using drugs or intoxicating material during the course of the project.

If we find that you are not following the rules regulations & terms condition of the volunteering program.

In case the agreement is terminated due to volunteers’ involvement in any of the above activities, She/He/ they will not be entitled to undertake volunteer work with CHA.