Global Builders - Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a small island (slightly larger than West Virginia) located south of India in the Indian Ocean. Well built, clean housing is rare and very expensive in Sri Lanka. Therefore, families collect whatever they can to create a shelter. Many families live in slums or wooden shacks. Those who have land, often cannot afford to build a house on the land or obtain a loan due to high interest rates. Often the land is worthless and cannot be sold. Families who do rent are required to pay a majority of their income for rent with very little left for other basic needs.

The Fuller Center is partnering with the United Christian Fellowship to help families build or improve their homes using no-profit, no-interest loans. We have already helped over 60 families, but there is much yet to do. The blessing of a simple, safe and affordable home is something many familes dream of and because of partnerships through the Fuller Center their dreams are coming true!

Learn the Basics - Area Info

Sinhala (Official), Tamil (National), English (Non-official)        
Age Structure:
0-14 years 24.8%, 15-24 years 15.1%, 25-54 42.4%, 55+ 17.7%
21,675,648 (2013 est.)
Life Expectancy:
76.15 years (Male 72.64, Female 79.79)
Averages: High 80s to 90s, Lows 70s to 80s
Rainy Season: May-August
Sri Lankan Rupee (Rs): $1 USD = Rs. 131
Literacy Rate:
91.2% (Male 92.6%, Female 90%)
Ehnic Groups:
Sinhalese 73.8%, Sri Lankan Moors 7.2%, Inidian Tamil 4.6%, Other 10.5%
Buddhist 69.1%, Muslim 7.6%, Hindu 7.1%, Christian 6.2%, Other 10%

Sri Lanka is a nation that has been ravaged by a brutal civil war that started in the 1980s. The ethnic conflict not only destroyed homes and displaced residents, but stalled economic growth. The war came to an end in May 2009 but in addition to the civil war, the country was also hit by a tsunami in 2004. It is safe to say that the country is ready for stability and growth.

Even though Sri Lanka has endured much disaster the beauty of the country continues to shine brightly. From the tropical beaches, to the rolling hills, to the local art/architecture and even to the country’s wildlife there is something for everyone.

Pricing - What's Included

Trip Length: 7-14 days (price varies depending on length)
Materials Provided:

-In-depth Guidebook outlining what to expect
-Pre-trip safety training
-Fundraising guide
-Option to create online fundraising page
-T-shirt and hat
Trip Support: Yes - from trip leader and Global Builders staff
Clean Drinking Water: Yes    
Food: Yes - 3 meals a day are provided
Transportation: Yes - to and from the airport and work-site
Lodging Accommodations: 
Yes - Haus Chandra Hotel
Meaningful Work:             Yes - led and coordinated by dedicated Sri Lankans
Travel Medical Insurance: Yes
R&R Opportunities: We'll assist you in setting up sightseeing and cultural opportunities

Upcoming Trips

Click on the leader's name to learn more about the leader and trip details. Click Join to apply for their trip. Have a spot reserved on a "Full" trip? Complete your registration here.

Or learn about sending funds to support local labor by joining as a virtual participant.

City Team Leaders Dates of Trip  Cost     Status
Colombo Frederick Church of the Brethren July 19-August 1, 2015   Full
Colombo    Janice Pettey October 10-20, 2015  $1450 Join

More Info - Learn more about what a trip is like

Each trip to Sri Lanka will be with a group of mission-minded volunteers - typically 8-20 total - who want to experience the world, meet new people, and make a difference. No skills required.

Trips last 1-2 weeks and include siteseeing in this beautiful island nation.                           

How could we describe it?                  

In 10 words...

1. Exotic. Warm, mysterious, and enticing!
2. Shacks. Mud and thatch are unacceptable houses!
3. Hard work. Sweat and get things done!
4. Beauty. Just look at the pictures.
5. Poverty. Civil war, tsunami, and flooding - huge need.
6. New homes. Simple, affordable, and decent!
7. Monkeys. They're everywhere, fun, and a nuisance!
8. Buddhists. 70% of the population - temples aplenty.
9. Christians. Working with Christians to help all.
10. Elephants. See 'em. Ride 'em. Need we say more?

Typical Day

8 a.m. - Breakfast
9 a.m. - Begin building at work site
12 p.m. - Lunch
1 p.m.-3 p.m. - Continue building
4 p.m. - Evening free for dinner and relaxation

(Exact schedules can be discussed and set depending on the team's preferences and length of stay.)

Type of work

We are building with bricks or concrete blocks and stuccoing a portion of the completed homes. Most of our projects are small in scope - building a single room addition or one-room basic home for a family, replacing a roof, helping a family have a solid door, etc.

Work will typically involve helping the masons and carpenters. At times there will be painting, and any other work related to a particular build.

We will provide necessary tools, but as with most build sites, it never hurts to bring a few small hand tools with you.

Food and Lodging

Volunteers will stay in double or triple rooms in Hotel Haus Chandra, which is within easy walking distance of the Golden Mile Beach of Moutn Lavinia, where volunteers will enjoy delicious meals and beautiful sunsets.

The hotel has electricity, running water, clean bathroom facilities, air conditioning, wi-fi, and a business center. Toiletries, bedding, towels and blankets are provided.

Best of all, Hotel Haus Chandra has a website here.


A small bus will be rented to transport the group throughout each day. The distance from the hotel to each worksite will vary, but on average it is about 20 minutes.

Rest, Relaxation, and Siteseeing

Sri Lanka is a beautiful country with much to do. We expect each group to spend at least a couple of days seeing the sites - or more if the group desires.

You can go to the beach. Visit a Buddhist temple. See the elephant orphanage - or ride one! Take in the views from the mountain top. Or - as a different way to change things up - spend a day feeding the hungry. 

Next Steps

As trips with openings become available, we will post them at the top of this page. To apply to join their trip, simply click "Join" next to the trip of your choice. To request more information or be put in touch with the team leader, click the "Request more information" button at the top.

If you're an experienced traveler or team leader, or if you have a group of your own (church, school, etc.), Propose a Trip to let us know what you might like to do!

Trip Preparation

Are you unsure of how to prepare for such an experience or just looking for some tips on how to be better prepared? If so, we suggest you take a look at our Trip Preparation page where you will find a lot of helpful information and links - Preparing For Your Trip!

What happens after the trip?
Even after you return, your trip can have a sustained impact on both you and the community inwhich you served! Learn how on our Country Champions page.


More about The Fuller Center of Sri Lanka

Learn more on FCH Sri Lanka's page.
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