Volunteer Guide For Lak Aruna Foundation

“Nothing liberates our greatness like the desire to help, the desire to serve.” – Marianne Williamson, Author/Lecturer
Areas where you can help
If you have the desire and drive to help underprivileged communities, we have exciting volunteer opportunities awaiting you. Currently, we are seeking help mainly in uplifting the education and grooming youth for the job market. Finding good teachers for rural schools has been a very difficult task for education authorities for a long time. And getting volunteer teachers to villages has been equally rare. Therefore, as we prepare the village youth to get the education/skills they need to enter universities and the job market in general, we feel there is a pressing need in education and skill based training areas. Many well-wishers, both local and foreign, have volunteered at our center in the past and we cherish the friendship and the memories. Below is a short list of areas where your valuable time, energy and expertise can be applied. However, if you have a strong desire to help our community in any other area, we humbly request you to talk to us and let us know your suggestions.  
– English education – IT education (basic computing and programing skills, web based development, C++, Java, PHP, Graphic design etc) – Leadership training, Entrepreneurship & public speaking – Short workshops on Science and Math using e-learning techniques – Environmental awareness workshops – Fund raising project for Lak Aruna infrastructure development projects – Community projects for the village


Travel
The following information has been compiled from visitor experience. You will find it helpful to have a checklist before departure.

Visas
Sri Lankan visas are available at the airport on entry to the country. One month tourist visas are free. Those wishing to extend their visa while in Sri Lanka can do so in Colombo for up to a further nine months. Fees vary depending on country of citizenship but will be in the region of 100-200 USD for a further three month stay. Use the following information for your landing pass to be handed in at the airport.
Address in Sri Lanka: Lak Aruna Foundation, Hingurukaduwa, Passara Staying with: Janaka Srimal Relationship: friend. Reason for entry: Tourist.
Travel from Colombo airport to Lak Aruna.
Depending on the timing of your flight you can either hire a taxi to take you to Colombo (this costs around Rupees 2000/20USD) and stay there until you are ready to travel to LakAruna or there are three options to travel to LakAruna, Hingurukaduwa. Taxi to Lak Aruna: 8,000-10,000 LKR/80-100 USD – (6-8 hours) Ride the a bus to Hingurukaduwa: Air-conditioned bus from Colombo Bus Station to Badulla bus station? – 800 LKR / 7 USD (6 hours) and then a bus to Hingurukaduwa, Passara (100 LKR/1 USD) (1 1/2 hours) Take a train to Badulla and then take a bus from there. Train to Badulla from Fort Railway Station (leaves early morning from Fort) . – 400 LKR/4 USD (10 hours) and then a bus to Hingurukaduwa (100 LKR/1USD) (1 1/2 hours) You will have to bear the cost of the bus/train fare from Colombo to Hingurukaduwa. Someone will be available to accompany you from train station/bus station if you notify us in advance of your arrival. If you intend to hire your own car you need to be in possession of an international driving license. Please take note of the contact numbers at the bottom and be sure to advise us if there are any last minute changes to your travel plans.

Food and Accommodation Expenses
Accommodation and three meals per day and tea and coffee will be provided by the hosting family. Accommodation is off site as Lak Aruna has no accommodation facilities for volunteers at the center yet. We can arrange for accommodation to be at a student’s house with a separate bedroom and access to a common toilet, so no expenses will be incurred. LakAruna does not usually provide meals at the premises, but tea and coffee making facilities are available throughout the day. All three meals will be provided by the host; the volunteer can have the breakfast and dinner at the host’s house and can travel to the host’s house for lunch and back to the center (walking distance). A bicycle will be provided for travelling within the village by LakAruna at no charge to prospective volunteers. In relation to drinking water, the hosts offer boiled and filtered water but if you wish, There are special water filter at the center. There are many small shops a short walk from the premises, selling various kinds of fruits and vegetables, drinks, bread, pastries and cooked food. The vast majority of necessary items are available locally. A bus ride to Passara (1 hour) puts you within arms of length of a more diverse selection of shops and other goods, providing for almost any needs that you may have.

Expenditure while travelling is minimal, as the cost of bus and train journeys is very low, even over long distances. Food, drink, and accommodation of outside is very reasonably priced as well, but research is advised to ensure the best accommodation in relation to your location and budget can be found with ease. American dollars are easy to change and accepted everywhere. Many shops only take cash but a credit card is a useful back up. There are many banks at the airport which offer currency conversions. There are ATMs in Colombo, Passara and all the major towns and cities.

Please note that Lak Aruna is a not-for-profit venture which is mostly dependent upon the generosity of donors, therefore we try to keep expenditure to a minimum.

Medical
No travel vaccines are currently required by the Sri Lankan government, however it is advised that any volunteers are up to date on vaccinations for Tetanus, Typhoid, and Hepatitis A and B. The World Health Organisation website will be able to provide any prospective volunteers with the necessary information and recommendations. It is also advisable to bring strong bug/mosquito repellent to protect against Malaria and Dengue fever. Medical Insurance is necessary upon arrival and you must have enough money to cover any excess. Medical treatment is very affordable for minor ailments but insurance is needed for major illness, long term hospital admission or repatriation.

Disclaimer:
We are serving an underprivileged community. You may not have the full attention of staff at all times, therefore, please plan on being as self reliant as possible. The effort that you put in will be rewarded in the impact that you make on these people’s lives.

Key Contacts
Our Mailing address Lak Aruna Foundation Hingurukaduwa, Passara Sri Lanka
Janaka – Founder, Lak Aruna Mobile: +94 718 217 869 Local : +94 552 271 106

Chamath – Instructor, Lak Aruna Mobile: +94 783 447 915