- Stay in a volunteer villa in the beautiful colonial city of Galle
- Feed and care for the programme’s cute puppies
- Groom, feed and help socialise older dogs
- Help with local dog vaccination programmes
- Explore world-class beaches at the weekends
Love travel? Love dogs? Then this is the perfect trip for you! Life as a stray dog in Sri Lanka is pretty rough. Most animals live on the streets and suffer disease, hunger and injury. Our sanctuary looks after 2,000 dogs and puppiesand you can help them continue their invaluable work. Spend 2-4 weeks in gorgeous Galle feeding, cuddling, cleaning and playing with the adorable animals that the clinic looks after. It’s a super hands-on project so you’ll get plenty of time with the dogs and will be really making a difference. You’ll also have tons of free time to check out Galle and the area’s golden beaches. It’s a one-of-a-kind project that’s a must for any dog lover.
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About the project
The project aims to provide care to the most neglected and vulnerable street dogs of southern Sri Lanka. We care for around 2,000 dogs on a beautiful, free-roaming sanctuary.The project provides neutering services, vaccinations and care for injured, neglected or sick dogs, as well as setting up adoption programmes and working with the local community to increase understanding around the animals’ plight.
About your time on the project
Our programme starts on a Saturday, and you choose how long you want to stay (between 2 to 4 weeks). Working hours are Monday to Friday (usually from 8am – 12pm). Your weekends are free to explore the stunning local area.
You’ll spend most of your time at the clinic, working hands-on with dogs and puppies. The type of tasks you might be asked to do include:
- puppy care
- playing with dogs
- wound cleaning
- medicine distribution
It’s a really hands-on programme and you’ll get tons of experience working with animals.
Training and support
You'll be given all the training and support you need while on the project, working with the experienced team of 60 vets, caretakers and operations personnel who run the care centre. You'll also be provided with transport to and from the sanctuary every day and all the equipment you'll need while volunteering.
All your accommodation and your meals (Monday to Friday) are included. You’ll get an introduction session, tour of the clinic on your first day, local culture training and an orientation tour of Galle on arrival.
Where you’ll stay
You'll be staying with lots of volunteers doing various projects in a social volunteer house in the Unawatuna district of Galle. Unawatuna beach is just a 5 minute walk and the historic city of Galle is a 15 minute tuktuk ride away.
Free time activities
You’ll have weekends and most afternoons free to explore the gorgeous local area. Hit the golden sands of Unawatuna Beach or hop in a tuktuk to gorgeous Galle for a wealth of cultural experiences. There are also a number of organised activities which you may be able take part in during your stay (depending on duration), including yoga classes, bike tours, temple visits and BBQ dinners. All activities are subject to change.
- All accommodation
- Three meals a day
- Airport transfers
- Introduction session
- Orientation tour of Galle
- Local culture training
- Daily transport to and from the project
- Dog project activities
- Weekly yoga class on rooftop terrace
- Weekly movie night
- Monthly bike tour of local villages
- Monthly garden BBQ
- 24 hour emergency support
- Travel insurance
- International flights
- Some meals, snacks and drinks
- Optional activities and excursions
The accommodation you will stay in a a volunteer house in southern Sri Lanka's Unawatuna district of Galle. The volunteer house overlooks Unawatuna beach which is just a 5 minute walk away and the historic city of Galle is a 15 minute tuk tuk ride away.
There are 11 ensuite bedrooms with a maximum of 6 per room, although most rooms are are only 4. Rooms are single sex, but private room upgrades are available at extra cost. The house has 3 kitchens, 3 common areas, a dining area, private outdoor garden and swimming pool. The house is covered by CCTV and is located in a safe and quiet residential neighbourhood. Hot water and wifi included. Airconditioning and laundry facilities are available at an extra charge which is payable locally.
Please note that during busy seasons you may be housed in a secondary volunteer house located a 10 minute tuk tuk drive from the main house. The house holds up to 14 people and free transport to and from both houses is provided for volunteers. All volunteers will be able to use facilities at both houses.
3 meals a day during the week are provided at the volunteer house. These will be prepared by the in-house chef using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Breakfasts usually consist of pancakes, eggs or fruit. Lunch and dinner is often Sri Lankan curry with vegetables, pasta, soups, wraps or fresh salads. You will need to purchase any additional snacks yourself, and there is storage for your food in the kitchen.
You should arrange your flight into Colombo International Airport between the hours of 8am and 5pm on your programme start date. You will be met at the airport and transferred to your accommodation near Galle. If you arrive outside of these times (and if your flight is delayed so you arrive after 5pm), you will need to pay for a private transfer, please contact us for details.
Your project finishes on your programme end date, please arrange your flights to depart from Colombo International Airport between 10am and 7pm. A departure airport transfer is included between these times however if you flight departs at other times no transfer will be included but can be arranged locally; please ensure that you allow plenty of time for your journey back to Colombo and check-in at the airport.
The minimum age to participate in this volunteer experience is 18 years; this is an open-aged volunteer programme so you are likely to meet other volunteers of varying ages on this project.
You will need to get a visa before arrival for Sri Lanka with a UK passport. You can apply for a Electronic Travel Authorization visa online (ETA) through the offical Sri Lankan ETA website.
If you intend to stay for longer than 30 days, you will need to make an appointment with the Sri Lankan Embassy in the UK to apply for a 90 day visa. You should also ensure that your passport will still be in date for six months after your return. All visa information is subject to change and you should consult the nearest High Commission or Embassy for the most up to date information.
What Kind Of Clothes Should I Pack For When I’m Volunteering?
You should bring clothing which comfortable but conservative to volunteer in. Footwear should be comfortable trainers or sandals. We also recommend that you bring a light rain jacket.
Are Meals Included?
You’ll get three meals a day (Monday to Friday). You’ll need to buy your own meals at the weekend and any additional snacks or drinks.
Will There Be Other Volunteers At The Clinic?
This is a popular trip so it’s likely there will be other volunteers on the programme at the same time as you. There will be a maximum of 8 volunteers at any one time, and up to 25 volunteers at the volunteer house.
Do I Need Any Vaccinations?
We’re not qualified to give medical advice, but as well as any other vaccinations recommended by your doctor, we’d strongly recommend you get the anti-rabies vaccine before joining this project. Bites and injuries are very rare but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Due to Covid-19, many of our partners and suppliers across the globe are putting in place new procedures and policies regarding health and safety in response to the outbreak. These new measures will adapt and change as the state of travel evolves, and the policies and procedures will vary depending on each trip. Some changes that you may experience on our trips are:
Updated safety & hygiene procedures
Health and safety measures will be adapted by our partners and suppliers, dependent on local laws and restrictions.
Different transport & accommodation
You may find yourself on transport or in accommodation that would not typically be used, such as hostels that are more secluded, or on more private transport. This may vary by trip, or even by individual departure dates.
Most trips include a meeting on arrival with the guide or local team to discuss the trip, and this is an opportunity for you to ask any questions. You should arrive in time to attend these briefings.
Emergency support 24/7
We have a UK based 24/7 emergency phone line if you have a genuine urgent matter that you need attending.
Knowledgeable & Trained Staff
We can help answer any questions or concerns you may have before you depart. Whilst travelling the guide or local team on our trips are there to help, and to ensure the smooth running of our trips.
Should you require medical assistance whilst travelling, the local team or guide will be able to help you get to a point of care. Medical facilities and standards can vary across the glove, so you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place.
Varying group sizes
To begin with, many trips will run with amended group sizes, so you may find smaller groups than would be typical. This may vary by trip, or even by individual departure dates.
Whilst there may be changes on our trips, it is vital that you make travelling safer for yourself, your travel companions, the local staff and guides, and the people of the country you are visiting. You should follow all local laws and restrictions, and follow the guidance of the local team. In addition, you can help make travel safer by bringing and using your own face coverings/masks and hand sanitiser, social distance where appropriate, wash your hands frequently, and cover your face when coughing or sneezing.