Volunteer with us on a turtle conservation project in Sri Lanka and help a local team protect five endangered species of turtle. Sri Lanka is home to the Hawksbill, Green, Loggerhead, Olive Ridley and Leatherback varieties of turtle which are highly sought after. The area is a nesting ground for these species, so the aims of the project are protecting the breeding grounds and monitoring turtle activities in the Indian ocean, on Sri Lanka’s beautiful coastline. The demand for turtle meat, eggs and turtle shells is growing. Turtle meat is seen as an aid to fertility, the shells to decorate hair combs, and the eggs as an aphrodisiac therefore the turtles are also under threat from the fishing industry. Often turtles are injured through becoming caught in fishing nets which remain untreated, as well as being food for other sea creatures.
The conservation and research centre employs 5 staff and the focus of their work is to protect these five species which are under threat from locals, tourists and export demands. The project rescues turtles, rears them and returns them to the sea at the appropriate time. Money from tourists that visit the project is used to fund the work of the organisation in building tanks, pumps, feeding turtles and paying staff. Spend your time volunteering with other marine enthusiasts and protect Sri Lanka’s endangered turtle population.
Why choose this project?
As the Turtle Conservation in Sri Lanka project only has 5 members of staff it really does need volunteer support to help with its activities. Poaching has increased and with bi products using their shells becoming popular the turtles are now classified as endangered. Volunteers who love the beach setting and are willing to share their interest in marine conservation will find this placement extremely rewarding as well as contributing to global efforts to protect these species.
Role of the volunteer
The project focuses on 3 main elements,; patrols to clean and protect the habitats, caring for the turtles and educating the local community to ensure that they understand the impact of fishing and farming of turtles. Specific activities in which volunteers may be involved include:
- protecting turtle nests through beach patrols and beach cleaning
- collecting turtle eggs to enable them to hatch in a safer environment
- caring for injured turtles (if needed)
- feeding turtles, releasing turtles back into the sea
- monitoring activities
- working with the local team to develop educational materials for local communities and tourists
- showing tourists around the centre
Volunteer shifts will fit in with the local team’s needs and may include some evening and night work as beach patrols are required at various times of the day as female turtles often lay their eggs at night.
Volunteers participating in this turtle conservation project in Sri Lanka will be expected to be physically fit, enjoy the outdoors and feel comfortable working as part of a team. You will be asked to send in your CV/Resume for this placement.
WHY JOIN THE PROJECT
To protect Sri Lanka’s endangered turtle population
Because you want to become a responsible global citizen through education
To spend your days at the beach
About the Location
Sri Lanka is a lush green island where tea is the main crop. It has stunning landscapes, lush forests, crashing waterfalls and a lovely coastline. To the north there are colourful Hindu temples, and the North Central Valley of the Kings is set in mountains covered with tropical forest. The central highlands have tea gardens, waterfalls and mountains all covered in low hanging mist, adding to their mystery. The west coast is where Colombo, the capital, is located with its mix of religions, history and sites.
Upon arrival, all volunteers will stay in a volunteer house based in Colombo. Those on our Turtle Conservation project will head to homestay accommodation on the coast the following day. You will be based on a beach location approximately 75 kilometres from Sri Lanka’s capital city in a place called Kosgoda. This is also approximately 20 kms from Galle – another popular tourist destination.
In Kosgoda you will be staying with home stay family with basic facilities, including running water and toilets and home cooked food, near to the project or at the project site. There will be up to 3 people sharing and most families can speak some English. Bedrooms are equipped with all basic amenities and you will be provided with bed sheets a mosquito net and toilet roll.
What to do in your spare time
In Kosgoda, you can head out to internet cafes, visit supermarkets, watch TV or catch up on the day’s events with other volunteers. Alternatively, spend time getting to know more about your homestay family and gain a good insight into Sri Lankan culture. Volunteers like to travel on the weekends and there are plenty of options. For example, why not take an overnight trip on a weekend to Kandy? It is a popular option and the more of you that go the cheaper it is because of the price for hiring a car. Galle is a great weekend destination with its old walls and streets or alternatively travel to Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, where there is a stunning park opposite the town hall, the Museum of Natural History, botanical gardens and the amazing Hindu and Buddhist temples. And for those of you who are happy to go further afield why not travel to Yala National Park, Anuradhapura or Kandy for a change of scenery from your beachfront project location.
Details & Costs
- Duration: 2 – 8 weeks
- Cost: £961/$1682 for 2 weeks
£193 / $338 for every extra week
- Requirements: age 16+
- Location: South Coast, Sri Lanka
- Project activities: preparing resources for lessons, beach clearing, caring for turtles, collecting turtle eggs, cleaning tanks
- Working hours: Shift work, Monday to Friday, 6 hours per day
- Project availability: All year round every other week, projects close for ad hoc days when there are public holidays (there are a lot of public holidays in Sri Lanka so it is likely that the project will be closed for 1 day during your visit)
- Arrival day: Monday
What is included
- Accommodation: Shared bedroom with 3 beds in a simple local homestay, with mosquito nets, access to a flushing toilet, TV. Single occupancy (£130 / $228 per week) or twin occupancy (£65 / $114 per week) can be booked subject to availability.
- Food: 3 meals per day
- Airport pickup and drop off from Colombo International Airport
- Training: Pre-departure pack and project induction provided
- Orientation and 1st night overnight stay on arrival in Colombo
- Support: 24 hour support from on-site coordinator
- Fundraising Guide
- Working alongside qualified professionals
What is not included
- Police/Government Background Check; US and UK citizens will be processed through Kaya (admin fee applies) all other nationalities must provide local police check.
Easy 3-step application process
APPLY ONLINE Click here to apply online and pay your deposit to secure your space on your chosen project. Our advisors will then contact you to guide you through the next steps.
TELEPHONE INTERVIEW Once we’ve received your application, we’ll be in touch to arrange your informal telephone interview with your Kaya Placement Advisor.
GET PREPARED When you’ve been accepted onto your project we’ll send you your Welcome Pack and lots of other helpful information to assist you with preparing for your placement.
HAVE A QUESTION?
We pride ourselves on providing you high quality placement information throughout your application process and whilst on the ground. Connect with us if you have any questions.
Get involved with tourism development in a rural community of Thailand and help build the future of the local community!
Combine study abroad and volunteering this summer in Cusco, Peru.
Take a hands-on role in reforestation and environmental education by volunteering on this mass action project in South Africa this summer.
Veterinary internship in South Africa Wild Coast catering to 2nd and 3rd-year students