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Help in our rural community classes in Tsunami village

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  • Duration
    1-24 Weeks
  • Accompanied age
  • Minimum age
  • Start dates
    1st & 3rd Saturday
  • From
  • Duration
    1-24 Weeks
  • Accompanied age
  • Minimum age
  • Start dates
    1st & 3rd Saturday
  • From

Sri Lanka teaching volunteers

Come and teach English to help improve the future of many underprivileged children. Your dedication and time will help massively to provide the education the children need in order to grow, develop and become independent. This is your chance to shine as you plan and lead your own lessons to children aged between 4 and 15.

The Mighty Roar have established their own community classes in a rural village in Sri Lanka on request of the local community and government to provide free English lessons to all children in the surrounding area. Not only this, but we also assist within under-resourced government run primary schools, giving you the perfect mix of formal and informal teaching!

Immerse yourself within the warm and welcoming community and get to know lots about the vibrant and diverse Sri Lankan culture.

Background to the teaching programme

Sri Lanka's education system is fairly impressive and advanced considering the size of this developing country. Education is taken very seriously and the vast majority of children between the age of 6 and 18 years old attend school. However, schools in the more remote and rural areas receive minimal funding and are expected to serve large communities. The facilities here are often very basic and it's not unusual to find 40-60 children in each class - meaning teachers are overstretched and under-resourced.

As with many developing countries around the world, the ability to speak English is becoming evermore paramount. The tourism industry in Sri Lanka is increasing year on year and is now one of the main income sources for the country. On top of this, many Sri Lankan's head abroad to the Middle East and other regions in search of higher paid jobs, with English being one of the main requirements.

The level of teaching English in government schools is limited, with poor resources and the teachers English ability being by no means perfect. More often than not, you will find students only learning to repeat from a textbook, rather than actually understanding the word and the context. It is very common to find children from middle and upper-class families enrolled into private English tuition classes, to ensure they are properly prepared for their futures.

We wish to try our best to provide all children with the chance to learn English, especially those from a poorer background. To do this, we provide free afternoon community classes specifically for English every weekday and also assist within the local government primary school to provide more one-to-one teaching and to come up with more creative and exciting lessons to keep everyone engaged. 

Where will I be volunteering?

Akurala Primary School - Akurala School was one of the first schools in the whole of the Southern Province. Before the devastating tsunami in 2004, it was the main educational institute for the area. There were many more students attending and the school provided classes to children from the first to last grade - 6 to 18 years old. However, with many families being relocated by the government inland and many more now scared to live close to the ocean, the school shrunk in size. Today, the school teaches around 50 children each and every day, aged between 6 and 10 years old (primary education).

The head teacher has requested the help from our local team and international volunteers to not only assist with providing a greater education to the students that currently attend, but to also help with their ambitions to grow. With the help of you and other volunteers, we believe that we can rebuild and reorganise the school to again cater for children of all ages (primary and secondary education) and to help the local community prosper in their later lives.

Not only will you provide more creative and engaging lessons so the children better understand English, but the donations (from your programme fee) will go towards helping the school achieving their goals. We are already well on our way to introducing a computer class, to which volunteers will help teach in on a daily basis!

The Mighty Roar Community Classes  - Our community class was created at the start of 2019 on request from the government and local community. Our makeshift school is located in the rural village of Galagoda, within an area commonly referred to as Tsunami village. The majority of families within this area were relocated here (further inland) by the government following the natural disaster in 2004.

The after-school education programme provides free English lessons and education opportunities to all children in the surrounding area. The children attend local government schools during the morning and then we aim to further their progress by providing free lessons every afternoon. There are currently over 80 children (aged between 4 and 15) that attend each and every day, who are split into three classes depending on their age and ability – with the biggest class having 40 children. 

What is my role?

Your primary role will be teaching English within the local community by sharing your time, knowledge and skills. The presence of international volunteers will give the children an insight into different cultures and boost their confidence massively in conversational English - helping them to maximise their future potential.

Although the main focus of your time will be spent teaching English, you can also get involved with many other subjects. This can include teaching maths, art, music, drama, sports and more! Don’t think it will be all work, there will still be plenty of time to play outside and introduce fun new games!

You will lead your own classes (with the help of other volunteers) and have the freedom to create a lesson plan of your choice for each day. When teaching in the government school, you will need to ensure this fits in with the curriculum and at the community class we highly recommend talking with other volunteers to continue on their good work.

If you love to work with children and want to gain international work experience, this programme will stand out on your C.V. Many volunteers use our teaching programme to advance their career and/or to broaden their horizons for personal growth and development.

You will be able to see the impact your time has with the children on a daily basis (no other programme offers this) and you will get to know and love them on more of a personal level as time goes on!

What will a typical day look like?

You will be volunteering from Monday to Friday with your days starting early, in line with the standard Sri Lankan school day! The community classes (that occur in the afternoons) run from Monday to Thursday, giving you plenty of free time to explore Sri Lanka from Friday onwards.

After breakfast you will head to Akurala Primary School at 7:30am to prepare the classroom and welcome the children. After settling in and getting everything organised, you will then teach English and other subjects until 10am. Everyone then heads outside to play games and sports during break time, with volunteers being the main focus of attention. After the short break you will return back to the classroom to continue teaching until 11:30am before heading back to the accommodation for lunch.

You will then have several hours of free time where you can relax on the beach just outside of the volunteer house or head into Hikkaduwa to soak up the atmosphere. We also recommend taking around an hour to ensure you are properly prepared for the lessons the following day. We encourage volunteers to make lessons as engaging and interactive as possible to ensure you get the best response from the children - our local team and longer term volunteers can assist if you are struggling for ideas.

At 2:30pm, it's then time to board The Mighty Roar bus and head to the rural village of Galagoda for our community classes. When you arrive at the end of the drive, the first thing you will notice is all of the children waiting to greet you and walk with you down to the community hall. There is nothing better than seeing the smiling children who love to see and have fun with volunteers – it clearly shows the work everyone is doing is so worthwhile.

The first two hours are dedicated to teaching English and then the remaining half hour or so is for fun and games! Our local co-ordinator will be here to assist where necessary and you will have the time of your life with everyone!

Where will I be staying?

We cannot think of anywhere better to stay when volunteering in Sri Lanka! Our volunteer accommodation is just a stones throw away (10 second walk) from a quiet golden sand beach that is lined with palm trees – paradise! It’s the perfect place to come and relax each evening and witness some incredible sunsets. Not only this, but you can snorkel in the crystal clear waters that have an abundance of colourful fish swimming around the coral reef and you may even see a sea turtle swim by!

The touristy backpacker town of Hikkaduwa is just a 10 minute tuk-tuk ride away where you can visit many restaurants and bars that back right onto the beach. A favourite town amongst most volunteers, there are many supermarkets, quirky shops and water activities on offer – including surfing. The fishermen town of Ambalangoda is just another 10 minute tuk-tuk ride away in the other direction and offers a more local and traditional way of life. You can visit markets, devil mask museums and also see the largest laying down Buddha statue.

The accommodation is also conveniently located close to the historic town of Galle and well known beaches including Mirissa and Unawatuna.

Other things to consider

Top destination - Sri Lanka is widely considered by our volunteers to be our best volunteer destination. The majority of our feedback suggests that this is due to the superior local support offered by Charith and our local team, the volunteer programmes making a real difference, value for money and accommodation location. With this in mind, we believe that Sri Lanka is the perfect destination for first-time travellers, under 18's and families with younger children.

Helping on multiple projects - Whilst in Sri Lanka, you will also have the opportunity to get involved with our childcare programme for no additional cost. If you are also looking to help with our wildlife projects, then we would recommend applying for our sea turtle project - this will allow you to take part in many more of the programmes available.

Previous experience or qualifications - Although an advantage, no previous experience is required. As long as you bring lots of positive energy and are enthusiastic then your efforts and time will contribute massively to the school and local community.

Online TEFL course - Although not mandatory, we encourage volunteers to prepare as much as possible for their English teaching placement abroad. In the build up to your trip, you can make the most out of your time by completing an international accredited online TEFL course - costing £159. This course will not only prepare and provide the necessary skills allowing you to help further when volunteering, but can also be used to gain employment around the world.

Resources and donations - Resources can be very limited on our programmes in Sri Lanka and we would really appreciate any additional support that can be provided. It would be amazing if you could bring any materials associated with your project, including pens, paper and anything else you think will aid your time on the programme. If you are looking for an instant bond, then taking sweets is always a big hit with the children!

Weekends and free time - You will have every weekend off from volunteering and this is the perfect time to explore everything this beautiful island has to offer. You are more than welcome to simply relax around the accommodation and enjoy the nearby beaches, but most volunteers will use this time to travel and see the country. Further down this page you will come across many suggestions and ideas on where you could go. Alternatively, if you are looking to see as much of the country as possible during this time, travel with other volunteers and be accompanied by one of our local team members, then you may be interested in one or more of the organised weekend trips we run.

3 Weeks Teaching in Sri Lanka

I did the 3 weeks Teaching Programme with The Mighty Roar in Sri Lanka on the 3rd June and I had the best experience. I was able to grow as a person and gain valuable experience in primary school! The staff in Sri Lanka will go above and beyond for you. Ayomi was amazing and supportive and kept me informed the whole experience. A special mention is also due to Mamu, Chutti, and Hector who were absolutely amazing! I was nervous due to being Vegan but the staff ALWAYS catered for me and others with allergies/preferences/requirements. The food was always gorgeous and the staff will always keep you busy and happy. Sri Lanka is a beautiful country which needs tourism and volunteers now more than ever! I meet a wonderful bunch of like-minded people across all programmes. Couldn’t recommend it more.

Read More

Ellis GregoryJuly 2022

Amazing Experience

I came to Sri Lanka with the mighty roar for 6 weeks in may and can honestly say it was the best life experience I’ve ever had! I met the best people and the most amazing staff who will always have your best interests at heart. The country all in all is beautiful and I saw and experienced so much culture, especially ending my trip with the 9 day experience. The accommodation came to be my home away from home and I felt supported and safe by the staff there at all times.

The volunteer program wasn’t what I was expecting for the teaching and I only did 2 hours per day and the kids came to the accommodation due to covid restrictions, however I still really enjoyed it and met great kids too! I was teaching with the other volunteers but asked for more resources and this was sorted by the staff which made it a lot easier for me.

Overall, I would definitely recommend for solo travelers if your looking for a safe way to travel alone and experience all the country has to offer!

Read More

Holly JohnsonJuly 2022

Amazing Experience

Amazing experience. All of the family were so lovely and very helpful :)

Olivia WilliamsJuly 2022

4 Weeks At TMR Sri Lanka

I spent 4 weeks at TMR Sri Lanka, for the first 3 on the teaching programme and the last doing the childcare programme. I can easily say that it was one of the most rewarding and fun experiences I’ve ever had. 

It was such a good way to see everything the country has to offer. I met some of the most amazing people, who I know I’ll be friends with for years who really made my time at TMR. Mamu, Chutti and Hector (the local team) made sure we always had everything we needed and we had a smile on our faces. Mini (who is in charge) is one of the friendliest people I’ve ever met, always making sure everything went smoothly. we were happy and knew what was going on. She really made TMR such a special place to.

Read More

Joe RobertsApril 2022

4 Weeks In Sri Lanka

TMR in Sri Lanka is a must do. I was a teacher with them for 4 weeks, spending 4 days a week planning and carrying out English lessons with the sweetest kids from the local town and surrounding area, with ages and ability ranging.

My personal highlights from my time spent there was the people, including staff and fellow volunteers. From day one everyone was very welcoming, and spending all day and night with like-minded people really makes you get to know them. The onsite staff were there for anything you could need, with amazing local food prepared by Renu and her team. Chutti never failed to make us laugh, and barely saw him without a massive smile on his face. I have many unforgettable memories with Mammuh (as well as some slightly embarassing ones we would both like to forget). He and Suddah took us on the Hill country weekend trip, which is another addition to the trip I would recommend to everyone if you wish to escape the beach on a well organised and thought out few days with a lot to see. Having Hector around the grounds, usually sweeping into the early hours around us or telling us about his love for dogs, was very special too.

Thank you also to Karru, Suddah, Aunty & Uncle, who were very welcoming to all of us into the accomodation.

Very big thank you to Mini, who organised all the volunteers and their day to day activities. She was helpful in providing any info needed and keeping her cool with some volunteers and their insignificant questions. Only problem I faced with her was her inability to lose at cards. Had to resort to very questionable ways just to get an edge.

Only thing overall I could fault TMR was the lack of a covid plan. This lead to a lot of changes to information and a slightly uncoordinated week. This I'm sure is different after the first time.

Overall, TMR in Sri Lanka earned a 5/5 review - made some amazing friends and memories that I'll cherish forever. Thank you to everyone who was there with me x

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Malachy LushMarch 2022

Kindergarten and English teaching experience

What amazing experience helping out on this hugely rewarding project. Special thanks to Charith and family, Mamoo, Hector, Chutti, Mini, Chris and all the wonderful children we were fortunate to meet and teach in Akurala.

Would 100% recommend to anyone looking to volunteer.

All the best for the future and I hope to be back again soon.

Read More

Matthew SimsJanuary 2022

The Best Experience

The 3 weeks I volunteered for was one of the best experiences of my life and my only regret is not booking for longer. The Sri Lankan family made the trip by being so welcoming and friendly, constantly trying to help out and make your day. The actual childcare volunteering was rewarding and always fun to see the energetic kids. The organised weekend trip was absolutely amazing allowing us to explore more of Sri Lanka. The accommodation was in the perfect location with the beach at your doorstep and two towns close by. I met so many amazing people and made friends for life.

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Rachel EacottDecember 2019

A Unique Experience in Sri Lanka

I really enjoyed volunteering through the Mighty Roar in Sri Lanka. I was on the teaching programme but also got to be involved with the turtle conservation as it’s all based in the same place, which is great. I loved seeing the baby turtles newly hatched and releasing them on the beach- it was a really special experience. I went in August so school was closed but I taught English for 2 hours in the afternoons by a sort of village hall. The kids were so so sweet and I had a lot of fun teaching them. I had the freedom to plan all the lessons which I really enjoyed. The Mighty Roar accommodation has a great location right opposite the beautiful wild Indian Ocean coast. It’s a short tuk tuk journey from the busy touristy town of Hikkaduwa and quite near to Galle which is a Sri Lankan city with a lot of charm. The accommodation is quite basic but comfortable enough. It’s the family compound of Mr Karu (who runs the weekend trips and is a lovely man). The family/homely atmosphere of the place is really nice- I enjoyed getting to know Karu & his family. Everyone was so friendly. I stayed a month but I think it’s fine to come here for 2/3 weeks. Coming longer gives more chance to travel around the country at weekends however- I went to Kandy with 1 other volunteer, on a Mighty Roar weekend trip to Ella, Yala National Park etc. It was wonderful to see lots of the country as well as volunteering. I’m 33 so was quite a bit older than lots of the other volunteers, some of whom were 16/17, but it didn’t matter too much in the end- everyone was friendly and I wasn’t the oldest at least! As some mums came with their teenage children. All in all volunteering through TMR in Sri Lanka was an experience & an adventure & I’m really glad I went!

Read More

Antonia LeslieOctober 2019

Sri Lanka review

All members of the team in Sri Lanka were extremely helpful and committed to ensuring all volunteers had the best time possible! Weekend trips provided were excellent for the prices!

The 2 weeks I was there flew by and the overall experience I had was amazing! Would definitely recommend and would myself love to go back and do it again if I can!

Read More

Erin StottAugust 2019

Sri Lankan teaching and turtle projects

It was a great experience that I would definitely recommend to anyone. We were looked after so well by the lovely family with great food, nice and clean accommodation and a fun atmosphere. I did both the teaching and the turtle project and found both of them very rewarding especially the teaching as you could see the improvement of the kids confidence in speaking english after just a week. I will always remember the two weeks I was there and will definitely be back.

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Emily FalleMay 2019

Volunteering with the children was my main reason for going, but the benefit of also helping out with sea turtles was a massive bonus! Teaching made my 4-weeks trip even more better than I thought it could ever be. I loved those kids and miss them greatly. I would love to go back to see them and i was very emotional when it ended.

Overall this experience was greater than I ever first imagined. It made me a more confident and independent person. It showed me things I never thought possible and opened up my eyes to wonderful opportunities. I would defiantly recommend this trip to everyone and I would defiantly want to go back when I get the chance. Thank you The Mighty Roar and thank you to Charith and his wonderful family.

Read More

Esther BrownJanuary 2019

Teaching in Sri Lanka

  • March 2022
Volunteering in Sri Lanka is a must do for everyone! I was a teacher there for 4 weeks, where I was able to plan and teach the sweetest kids from the local village, meet many other amazing volunteers and bond with the whole local team. If you're looking for an experience like no other, then head to Sri Lanka!

Malachy's story

Creating memories in Sri Lanka

  • January 2022
I spent 12 weeks in Sri Lanka with The Mighty Roar and I honestly enjoyed every second of it! My time in Sri Lanka was way more than just volunteering. I made some amazing friendships, travelled around the whole island and learnt so much.

Emma's story

Volunteering in Sri Lanka with my partner

  • April 2019
Our visit to Sri Lanka on the Sea Turtle program was nothing but incredible (other than a little hot and sweaty). Our 3 weeks was amazing from day one, with a massive warm welcome from everyone.

Catherine's story

Conserving sea turtles in Sri Lanka

  • April 2019
There is no better feeling in the world than watching a hundred or so baby turtle hatchlings scrambling along the shoreline to the sea, the determination and drive to reach the ocean, it never gets old.

Martin's story

Teaching and turtles in Sri Lanka

  • January 2019
I went to Sri Lanka in January 2019 to volunteer on the sea turtle program, but was also able to help teach English. I had a huge sense of fulfillment from both projects in completely different ways.

Esther's story

Volunteering with my family in Sri Lanka

  • August 2018
My family and I chose to volunteer in Sri Lanka last August for 3 weeks. We wanted to introduce the children to volunteering so that we could all help give something back to a local community.

Sue's story

Sea turtle conservation in Sri Lanka

  • July 2018
My daughter and I volunteered with sea turtles last August and we would 100% recommend The Mighty Roar; we have even looked at doing another project in the next year.

Jennie's story

A month helping turtles in Sri Lanka

  • July 2018
I have just come back from spending 4 weeks at The Mighty Roar in Sri Lanka and I can honestly say it was the best experience of my life.

Courtney's story

The real Sri Lanka Experience

  • June 2018
Seeing all of Sri Lanka and meeting the amazing people there could have not been any more perfect. An incredible 3 weeks that I will never forget.

Samantha's story