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Sri Lanka Pre-School Volunteers

Work with Sri Lankan children in under-resourced local pre-schools

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pre school children in Sri Lanka being taught in classroom

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Group Size: Avg 5-20

Trip code: AMSL

Duration: 2 weeks or more

Work with pre-schoolers
Volunteer house on Unawatuna Beach
Accommodation & meals included

If you want to see Sri Lanka while making a real difference in the local community, this pre-school volunteer teaching programme is the perfect opportunity. Spend 2 weeks or more working with children aged 3 – 6 in some of Sri Lanka’s most underprivileged communities. You’ll teach your pupils basic English, play educational games, lead singing, dancing, and crafting sessions, and give the children the attention and care they need. You’ll stay in our volunteer house overlooking the golden sands of Unawatuna Beach with other like-minded travellers. With a Monday to Friday part-time schedule, you’ll be able to explore this beautiful region in your free time as well. It’s the perfect way to travel while giving back.  

Trip Highlights

  • Make a real difference in the lives of pre-school children in some of the poorest communities in Sri Lanka
  • Build your CV with hands-on teaching experience
  • Stay in our gorgeous volunteer house overlooking Unawatuna Beach
  • Enjoy weekly included activities from yoga sessions and guided bike tours to temple visits
  • See wild elephants and explore beautiful beaches and historic towns during your time off
Gap 360 Trip Notes

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Download more trip information and detailed itinerary

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What's included
  • Simple accommodation
  • All meals
  • Airport transfer on arrival
  • Project training
  • Transport to and from project
  • Teaching project
  • Donation to schools
  • Weekly yoga class on rooftop terrace
  • Weekly movie night
  • Monthly bike tour of local villages
  • Monthly garden BBQ
  • 24 hour emergency support
What's not included
  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Travel insurance
  • Optional activities
  • DBS Police Record Check
  • Extra teaching resources (purchased locally)
  • Return airport transfer
Further trip information

In Sri Lanka, the level of pre-school education available to children in less affluent areas is often far from optimal, with teachers overstretched and resources limited. This programme helps children aged 3 - 6 by supporting them in developing their social, mental, emotional, language, reading and writing skills. Future development is hugely influenced by early years education and there’s a real need for passionate volunteers to give pre-schoolers in underprivileged areas in Sri Lanka the care and attention they deserve.  

Volunteer Duties

You’ll work in multiple pre-schools in the area. The project is held in the mornings. You’ll spend around 2-3 hours per day at the pre-school and around 4-5 hours of lesson planning per week. Typical class size range from 15-30 children.

Activities include teaching basic English, playing educational games, singing and dancing, crafting, and socialising with the children.

Support Provided

On arrival you’ll receive a detailed orientation programme including health and safety training, culture training and an area orientation tour around Galle.

You’ll take part in basic teacher training before the project begins and the experienced local team will be on hand to support you throughout your entire stay. You’ll also have access to our in-house teaching library to help with ideas for session planning. Local transportation to and from the project is included every day.

Free Time Activities

Your weekends are free to chill out or explore. You will be staying in the southern area of Sri Lanka between the beach town of Unawatuna and Galle. There’s loads to do around here including day trips to Kandy, seeing elephants in Pinnawela, exploring Yala National Park and the famous rock fortress of Sigiriya. You’ll also have the chance to take part in a number of included weekly activities such as yoga classes, movie nights, bike tours, Sri Lankan BBQ dinners and visits to a local Buddhist temple.

Download the trip notes for further details

If you are looking to work with older children, see our Volunteer Teaching Sri Lanka programme.

Real customer reviews
Sri Lanka Facebook Group Discussion

Hey, I just booked the Sri Lanka Intro starting on the 15th of October . Was wondering if anyone else is going to be on this trip and wanted to join the group chat thats been made? x

Hey all 🙂 I'm heading to Sri Lanka in October for the turtle conservation project for 3 weeks, any one else? 🐢

Hey!! Is anyone going on the Sri Lanka & Maldives Escape adventure starting 23rd of December? 🐢😁

Booking options

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Please note that there are various religious and public holidays during the year and on these days no activities take place. During the month of August, special summer classes will take place therefore, hours and type of volunteering will vary. Please contact us for further information.

Online booking is unavailable for this trip

Online booking isn't currently available but if you'd like to enquire please use the form below. Alternatively if you'd like to discuss alternate trips or if you have any other questions please don't hesitate to contact us.
Call us on: 01892 527392
Email us at: [email protected]
Flights from £372

Cheapest flights between London and Colombo for the next 6 months.

*Prices updated every 72 hours

Cheapest: £372 August, 2024
Most expensive: £753 July, 2024
Arrival information

Arrive at Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport on day 1 of your stay. 

There will be 2 shared airport transfers every Saturday (one in the morning plus one in the afternoon/evening) as follows:

A morning transfer will cover flights arriving between 6:00 AM to 10:00 AM. Our driver will arrive at the airport by 6:00am and will meet all participants who arrive between 6-10am and then collectively take the group to the volunteer house in Galle after the last person has arrived within this range. Those arriving earlier than 6am will have to wait in the arrivals area of the airport where they can sit in the air-conditioned lounge, get a local SIM card organized and even have some refreshments at the onsite food court/bakery if they choose. Our driver will also provide every participant with a complimentary bottle of drinking water.

Afternoon/Evening Transfer will cover flights arriving between 2:30 PM to 6:30 PM. The same conditions will apply as the morning transfer described above, except for the change of time.

If your flight arrives after 6:30pm or on any other day which is not a Saturday, a private transfer can be arranged for USD 100 or you can make your own arrangements.

Departure transfers are not included, but can be arranged as above for additional cost if required. Alternatively, you can book this locally once in country.

Accommodation & meals

Accommodation at one of three shared volunteer houses is included for the duration of your stay. All accommodations are within 100m of each other in the Unawatuna district of Galle in Southern Sri Lanka. The volunteer houses are all within 5 minute walk of Unawatuna beach and turquoise waters of the Indian The historic city of Galle is just a 15 minute drive.

There is 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 main house is split over 4 floors and has 3 kitchens, 3 common areas, a dining area, private outdoor garden and swimming pool, which are available to all guests regardless of volunteer house. The accommodations are located in a safe and quiet residential neighbourhood. The houses have hot water and wifi included. 

Home-cooked meals will be provided for breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served at the main volunteer house and will be a mix of Sri Lanka food and western food Typical dishes include:

- Red rice and sambol
- Bread and fruits
- Rice and curry
- Rotis
- Pasta
- Fresh salads
- Wraps
- Soups

Please let a travel advisor know if you have any dietary requirements, as most can be easily catered for with local ingredients.

Minimum age & eligibility

This is an open-aged trip for those over the age of 18, suitable for travellers who wish to make a difference as a volunteer. Experience is beneficial but not essential. 

This programme is suited to participants who are energetic, patient and enjoy spending time with young children. You should have a flexible, mature attitude and be open to cultural difference. This is a cultural not a party trip, so you should be willing and happy to entertain yourself in your free time.

This programme does not require you to have any prior experience or qualifications (although any you have is beneficial); you’ll receive advice in orientation upon arrival and are provided with guidelines and the daily support of a volunteer co-ordinator at each of the projects.


You can get and pay for a Sri Lanka e-visa online. Tourist visas are valid for 30 days or more. To enter Sri Lanka, your passport must have an ‘expiry date’ at least 6 months after the day you arrive. 


On this particular programme, as you’ll be working with children, you’ll need to undergo an enhanced DBS previously known as CRB, or Criminal Record Bureau check and will need to have a clean criminal record.

DBS checks may list past convictions, cautions, reprimands, warnings, and if applicable will show whether or not you have been barred from working with certain vulnerable groups. Non-conviction information such as fixed penalties may also be included.

There is an additional cost for the DBS check, please speak to your travel advisor at the time of booking. The DBS process is in 3 stages:

  1. Once we receive your booking payment, you will then be sent an online application link for the DBS check, which you will need to complete.
  2. Once you have completed the application, the DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) will need verification of your identity - to do this you will need to take 3 original documents to your nearest crown post office and use their DBS and ID verification service. This costs approximately £9 and is payable directly to the Post Office.
  3. Once the post office verification is done it usually takes up to 6 weeks for your DBS to be processed, and your DBS will be sent to you directly in the post.

Please note, enhanced DBS (criminal record) checks can take 6-8 weeks to come back, so please ensure your start date allows enough time for your DBS check to be completed.

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