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 rent are required to pay a majority of their income for rent with very little left for other basic needs.
We are addressing these needs by partnering with the United Christian Fellowship to help families build or improve their homes using no-profit, no-interest loans. Our work includes renovations, half-built houses, roof repairs, room additions and full house constructions.
As of June 2015, over 100 families have moved into new homes or had their homes substantially improved through partnership with the Fuller Center, but there is much left to do. Our work is based in Moratuwa, but projects have extended throughout the island as urgent needs have been addressed.
The project stems from our Christian faith and partners with any family in need, regardless of ethnic group or religion. The project's leader Rev. Ranjan Fernando says, "It is our duty to explain that Jesus loves everybody and has special concern for those in need and to show our love and compassion to these needy families."
There are several ways that you can get involved. Donate to support this specific partner. Volunteer on one of our Sri Lankan Global Builders teams, which you can learn more about below. Or join a trip as a virtual volunteer, choosing to donate your travel costs instead of making the trip. We make that fun -- see virtual volunteering explained here.
Home sponsorship cost: $3,500
Home improvement average cost: $1,500
Learn the Basics - Area Info
Sinhala (Official), Tamil (National), English (Non-official)
0-14 years 24.8%, 15-24 years 15.1%, 25-54 42.4%, 55+ 17.7%
21,675,648 (2013 est.)
||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
91.2% (Male 92.6%, Female 90%)
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%
To make things worse, Christians and other religions that were not historically found in Sri Lanka face significant persecution from local Buddhists. It is safe to say that the country is need of partners and helping hands.
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.
About volunteering in Sri Lanka
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 sightseeing in this beautiful exotic island.
Pricing - What's Included
|Trip Length:||7-14 days (price varies depending on length)|
||-In-depth Guidebook outlining what to expect
-Pre-trip safety training
-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|
||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|
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.
|City||Team Leaders||Dates of Trip||Cost||Status|
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?
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 Sightseeing
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.
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!
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?
Visit the website of our partners, United Christian Fellowship of Sri Lanka.
View photos of our teams in Sri Lanka (part 1, part 2)
Read their newsletter - July 2015 | May 2015 -- 100th house