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This destination is now open to international volunteers! 

Join GoEco on the tropical coast of southern Sri Lanka to provide care for abandoned and stray puppies and dogs at a shelter!

There is a requirement of a 1-2 day quarantine and 1 PCR tests for vaccinated visitors to Sri Lanka. We have partnered with an excellent beach resort to accommodate volunteers in style. Following this 1-2 day period, we will transfer you to the volunteer villa and program. See "Requirements" below for more info.

Sustainability Initiative: Apply for a start date in 2021 to receive your 3rd week of volunteering for free. Stay longer, make a stronger impact, reduce your carbon footprint. Schedule a call with us to find out how!


Program Highlights
  • Spend your days surrounded by adorable puppies and dogs at a renowned, professional and ethical shelter
  • Enjoy helping these dogs get both the emotional and medical care they need
  • Live next to world-class beaches
  • Explore Sri Lanka with fellow volunteers on weekends to make memories that will last
  • Enjoy weekly yoga sessions, weekly movie nights, monthly bike tours and barbecues

Your schedule at a glance (Minimum two-week commitment):

Note:
this schedule refers to the period after the 1-2 day quarantine at the beach resort. 

Arrival Day, Saturday: Arrive into Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB). A team member will be waiting to pick you up for transfer to the volunteer villa. Meet and greet with fellow volunteers if time allows.

Day 1, Sunday: A welcome orientation and project training will be given by the project manager if not done on Sunday. Enjoy the rest of the day by exploring local beaches with fellow volunteers or joining an adventure! ( See “Travel Highlights” below for recommendations!)

Days 2-6, Monday-Friday: Rewarding volunteer work at the dog shelter from around 8:00 AM -12:00 PM. 

Days 7-8, Saturday and Sunday: Free time for volunteers to relax or explore. 

Remaining Weeks: The following weeks will follow the schedule of volunteering Monday-Friday and having weekends free. Departures are on Saturdays.
 
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Location of the Project:  Thalpe, Sri Lanka
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Project length:  Min 2 weeks - Max 16 weeks
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Arrival Airport:  Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB)
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Volunteer Work:  Animal care, veterinary assistance
Age:  Min. age 18
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Number of Volunteers:  Up to three international volunteers
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Important Note:  Both veterinary students and general dog lovers with no professional training can join this program.

What's Included

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Accommodations:  Shared rooms in a volunteer villa
Food:  Three meals per day
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Airport Transfers:  Airport transfers are provided on both arrival and departure days
Orientation:  Upon arrival, volunteers will receive a walking tour and welcome/ introductory training presentations.
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Support:  Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.

What's not Included

Flights, visas (if required), travel health insurance, personal expenses.
This program takes place in Thalpe, which is close to the volunteer villa in Galle. Galle is a beautiful area in southern Sri Lanka that is surrounded by lush greenery and is in close proximity to world-class beaches! Many of the nearby beaches are prime surfing spots, and others are more relaxing. There is even a turtle lagoon nearby. Galle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, complete with Dutch-colonial buildings, ancient religious buildings, museums and more. Galle is also quite trendy, and is home to cafes, boutiques and boutique hotels. The volunteer villa is less than 100 metres from Unawatuna Beach, which is one of the most prominent beaches in all of Sri Lanka. Surfing, diving, snorkelling, beaching, etc, are all available in proximity.  
Volunteers will help provide care for stray puppies and dogs at this shelter. Many of the stray and abandoned dogs are sick and in need of medical care, in addition to routine care. All volunteers will provide hands-on care, and those who are in veterinary school may be able to assist the veterinarians.

Some of your tasks may include:
  • Assisting with daily feedings
  • Playing and socialising with the dogs
  • Participating in medicine distribution and observing their intake of medicines 
  • Rehabilitating sick and injured dogs
  • Socialising isolated dogs
  • Caring for new born puppies
  • Grooming activities (brushing, washing, claw cutting, ear cleaning, etc.) 
  • Occasionally assisting with special project outside the clinic such as assisting with the vaccination program, joining the feeding tour on the streets, etc. 

Those who are qualified may be able to assist with neutering and suturing when necessary.

Schedule: Volunteers will generally work from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM, Monday-Friday.
Internet
Internet:  Each volunteer may use up to 5 GB of WiFi in the volunteer house during their stay.
Laundry
Laundry:  Laundry services are available for an additional fee.
Accommodations
Accommodations:  Volunteers will stay in shared, single-gender rooms in a volunteer villa overlooking the beach and Indian Ocean. The villa has 11 bedrooms with fans, 11 bathrooms and showers with hot water. Rooms are shared with a maximum of 4 volunteers per room. There is also a private pool on site. The house has eco-friendly features including solar heating panels. There may be up to 52 volunteers in the house at a time. Private rooms (single or double) and AC rooms are available for an extra fee.
Food:  Three meals per day will be prepared by the main and assistant chef, using local, fresh ingredients. Tropical fruit is available during every meal and there is a salad bar set up during most lunches and dinners. Vegan, nut-free, gluten-free and lactose-free diets can be accommodated. The local team will do their best to accommodate special diets, but notice must be given in advance. Tea, coffee and filtered water are available 24/7.
Summary of the latest Entry Rules for Sri Lanka (provided by local authority and subject to change): 
  • Vaccinated participants need to do 1 PCR test upon arrival and wait 1-2 days for the results in a designated quarantine hotel. Once the test comes back negative, you are free to join us at the volunteer house (we will arrange the transfers).
  • All participants need to have mandatory covid insurance for the first 30 days of their stay in Sri Lanka. The cost is US$12 per person (US$6 for each extra month) and covers related medical expenses. 
  • GoEco's partner in Sri Lanka will handle the entry visa process. Following your application and confirmation, you will receive a short questionnaire so we can apply for the ETA visa on your behalf. The process will take around 2-4 business days, so you need to book at least a week in advance. We included the USD 35 visa fees as part of the quarantine package (see below).
Quarantine hotel rates and inclusions: 

We have partnered with a beachfront hotel called Long Beach Resort, where participants will do the initial 1-2 day quarantine period. 

Rates for 1-2 days (only vaccinated participants):
  • Single occupancy: USD 275
  • Double occupancy: USD 210 per person
Inclusions:
  • A/C room 
  • 3 meals a day
  • Private airport transfer on arrival to the hotel and then to the volunteer house. 
  • 1 PCR tests (as per current requirement)
  • ETA visa costs.
  • Mandatory covid insurance for 1 month (as per current requirement) 
  • Access to 2 swimming pools in the hotel
  • Beach front rooms with balconies overlooking the ocean
  • Access to a large beach for lounging and swimming during the day
  • Surfing possible (surf boards have to be rented at an additional cost)
  • Wi-Fi and cable TV in all rooms

Minimum requirements for the volunteer project:
  • Minimum age of 18
  • Basic level of English
  • Passion for caring for dogs
As a volunteer, you will enjoy weekly evening yoga sessions, weekly movie nights, monthly bike tours, monthly special Sri Lankan BBQ and monthly Buddhist temple visit! The volunteer villa is less than 100 metres from Unawatuna Beach, which is one of the most prominent beaches in all of Sri Lanka. Surfing, diving, snorkelling, beaching, etc, are all available in proximity. Additional travel adventures are available for an additional fee, see below:

Adventure Tour (Highly Recommended):
Extend your stay in Sri Lanka by participating in a seven-day Adventure Tour! This adventure tour includes a game drive, visits to waterfalls, a long train ride across beautiful tea gardens and local villages, an overnight stay at a riverside eco-lodge, visits to Sri Lanka’s most famous Buddhist temple in the historic city of Kandy, a village walk, a visit to Sigiriya Lion Rock, spend time in a local market and a trip to Negombo Beach!

Additional Recommendations:
  • Wildlife safari at Yala National Park or Udawalawe National Park (instead of elephant safari)
  • Rainforest hike to Sinharaja Forest Reserve (a UNESCO World Heritage site)
  • Surfing lessons at nearby beaches
  • Scuba diving (PADI certification available)
  • Whale watching (during the season)
  • Cooking classes
  • Galle Fort visit (a UNESCO World Heritage site)
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