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This program is 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 2-week quarantine and 2 PCR tests for all new visitors to Sri Lanka. Visitors that are fully vaccinated only need to quarantine for 2 days and take 1 PCR test upon arrival. We have partnered with an excellent beach resort to accommodate volunteers in style. Following this 1 or 2 week period, we will transfer you to the volunteer villa and program. See "Travel Highlights" below for more info.

We recommend to book for at least 3-4 weeks. 
Example: 2 days or 2 weeks at the beach resort + 2 weeks or more at the volunteer program.

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 that they need
  • Live in close proximity to world-class beaches
  • Explore Sri Lanka with fellow volunteers on weekends to make memories that will last
  • Enjoy weekly rooftop yoga sessions, night fishing trips, weekly movie nights, monthly bike tours and monthly barbecues

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

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.
Location of the Project:  Thalpe, Sri Lanka
Project length:  Min 2 weeks - Max 16 weeks
Arrival Airport:  Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB)
Volunteer Work:  Animal care, veterinary assistance
Age:  Min. age 18
Number of Volunteers:  Up to three international volunteers
Important Note:  Both veterinary students and general dog lovers with no professional training can join this program.

What's Included

Accommodations:  Shared rooms in a volunteer villa
Food:  Three meals per day
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.
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.
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 feedings
  • Playing with the dogs
  • Brushing the dogs and checking for ticks
  • Cleaning 
  • Assisting with medicine distribution

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.

Holidays: Please not that this program is not running during these dates:
  • April 13-14, 2020
  • May 7-8, 2020
  • December 24-25, 2020
  • April 13-14, 2021
  • May 26-27, 2021
  • July 19-20, 2021 
Internet:  Each volunteer may use up to 5 GB of WiFi in the volunteer house during their stay.
Laundry:  Laundry services are available for an additional fee.
Accommodations:  From April 24, 2020 volunteers will be staying in shared rooms in a volunteer house that is close to the beach. There are more than 10 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms. Rooms are shared with 4-6 people and are single-gender. There is a private pool for use. The house has eco-friendly features including solar heating panels. There may be up to 52 volunteers in the house at a time. Photos shown below are of the new accommodation.
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.
Please take note of this program's minimum requirements:
  • Minimum age of 18
  • Basic level of English
  • Passion for caring for dogs
The initial 2 days or 2 weeks quarantine period

We have partnered with a beachfront hotel called Long Beach Resort, where participants will do the quarantine period. The extra rates and inclusions of the 2 days or 2 weeks packages are summarised below:

Rates for 2 days (fully vaccinated participants):
  • Single occupancy – USD 230
  • Double occupancy – USD 170 per person
  • Triple occupancy – USD 155 per person
Rates for 2 weeks (non-vaccinated participants):
  • Single occupancy – USD 960
  • Double occupancy – USD 700 per person
  • Triple occupancy – USD 655 per person
  • A/C room with choice of single, double or triple occupancy 
  • 3 meals a day
  • Private airport transfer on arrival (we will pick you up from this hotel after their quarantine period is over and bring them to volunteer house at no cost)
  • 1 or 2 PCR tests (as per current requirement)
  • Mandatory covid insurance (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

During the volunteer program:

Volunteers can enjoy weekly evening yoga sessions on the rooftop, night fishing trips, weekly movie nights, monthly bike tours and monthly barbecues! Additional travel adventures are available for an additional fee, and a few recommendations are listed 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, an overnight stay at a riverside eco lodge, visit to temples, a village walk, visit to a spice grove, a visit to Lion Rock, time in the local market as well as a trip to Negombo Beach!

Additional Recommendations:
  • Elephant safari
  • Rainforest hike
  • Surfing lessons on nearby beaches
  • Whale watching (during the season)
  • Cooking class
  • Fort Galle visit
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