Rural Community Development

Dambulla and Hanguranketha - Sri Lanka

Only 360€ per week!

Discover rural Sri Lanka amidst the historical settings and contribute to improving the lives and living standards of local people there.

Contribute to the development of the rural community in the ancient settings of Dambulla or in Hanguranketha, among the misty hills. In this program, you will be able to work to support rural community development by engaging in renovation work, preschool teaching and evening classes for village kids.

Community Engagement
Physical Demand


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Program Description

In this program, there are three project options to choose from. You will be able to select one of these projects depending on availability. The projects are located in Dambulla and Hanguranketha and you wil be assigned to a location depending on the communal needs and availability. The main activities we engage in this program include,


If you select this program, you will be working in a temple by painting the walls and cleaning the surroundings of the temple. This would be a great experience, if you want to take a taste of the traditional food served in Sri Lanka since the hospitable villagers will serve you delicious food for the work you are doing to support them.

Preschool Teaching

If you select the program during a time in which the preschools are operating, you will be able to support the local children by teaching them some basic English words and phrases, playing with them and coming up with creative ways to make their learning process more interesting. The preschool teaching would take place in the morning. You can use the afternoon hours to prepare lessons or you can choose the village kids option below.

Village Kids

These areas are far away from the hussle and bussle of the busy streets of the capital and hence, people do not enjoy the same benefits as it is in the city. The school education is free in government schools in Sri Lanka, but it is not sufficient for the children to compete with the children in the city who have more advantages. The community is relatively less privileged and has a limited means of resources for education apart from what they learn at the school.

At times, the schools do not have enough teachers to conduct classes. Therefore, we conduct classes for children in the village. These classes take place in the afternoons. We focus on teaching English to the kids and encouraging them to improve their communication skills. Since this project will be carried out only for 2 to 3 hours in the afternoon, it is suggested that you combine this with another project, which takes place in the morning.

Aims & Objectives

The project aims to develop and help the local community in enhancing their living standards and supporting the kids for their education.


Monday to Friday (Dambulla)


  • Cleaning the surroundings of the temple
  • Painting the walls and other required areas in the temple premises
  • Painting and restoration of artwork (Only if required, under the permission of the head monk)

Preschool Teaching:

  • Teaching basic English lessons for children
  • Support the local teachers in organizing activities
  • Coming up with creative lesson plans to make the learning process interesting
  • Teaching songs and poems to children

Village Kids

  • Teaching English lessons to kids in different age groups
  • Playing educational games
  • Engaging in interactive activities to improve self confidence and communication skills

   Note:   This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.

Participant Criteria & Requirements

Standard Requirements

Minimum age:

Maximum age:

Minimum English level: Basic

CRB required: On Signup

Passport copy required: On Signup

Resume copy required: No

Required qualification: None

Additional Requirements

  • Participants below the age of 18 should have parental consent.
  • Participants above the age of 65 should have medical clearance.

Additional Equipment

There are no specific equipments. But you are more than welcome to bring small supplies for the kids and help them to learn better!


Dambulla is a village located in the Central Province of Sri Lanka. It is quite popular both among locals and foreigners for the beautiful cave temples. However, the area in which we operate is not touristy and the locals living in this area lead simple lifestyles. The majority of the people living in Dambulla are Buddhists and thus the area consists of many temples that require development.

Dambulla also cultural attraction where you can find the famous cave temples dating back to centuries. Sigiriya Rock Castle the UNESCO world heritage site and also named as the 8th wonder of the world is also located 20 mins drive away from Dambulla.

About the Accommodation

Your accommodation in Dambulla consists of two big rooms which are separated for males and females. Each room can facilitate a maximum of 12 persons per room and each room consists of 2 bathrooms. Since the accommodation is bordering a river, you will be able to spend your free time relaxing at the huts specially built for you to socialize with each other.

Food Arrangements

You will be provided with three meals a day on weekdays and two meals per day on weekends. The meals are a mix of Western and Sri Lankan food, consisting mainly of vegetarian dishes including rice and vegetables.


Grocery shops are available at a 10 minutes walking distance to buy basic items. The closest town would be Dambulla main town which is approx. 30 minutes away by bus. The bus stop is available at a 10 minutes distance by walk. Bicycles will also be available for you to use only for project visits.

Activities & Events

No scheduled activities outside the program.

Sights & Surroundings

Sigiriya Rock Castle is a must-visit destination if you select this program. This is an ancient castle built on the top of a giant rock and when you reach the top of the rock, the view is spectacular. This place also boasts of some important wall paintings and ruins with archaeological significance.

Dambulla cave temple is another place you can visit during your stay in Sigiriya. This Buddhist temple is also a popular destination among tourists due to the presence of around 80 caves in the area.


From this location we do not provide free transport to other locations.


Hanguranketha is an ancient city that had been a thriving paddy field in ancient times and was named “Sangaruwan ketha”, later the name changed to the present name Hanguranketha. The city was very useful for the kings of Sri Lanka, especially during the Kandyan period. It was used as the camp city during the troubled period for the kings and the country, due to the south Indian invasions. Many kings had abandoned the royal capital of Kandy in the past and used Hanguranketha as the temporary capital of the island. The city came to being mainly due to the temporary occupation of kings in the past. The city was also known as “Diyatilaka” in the past.

About the Accommodation

You will be accommodated in our center which is located few kilometers away from the town center. There is a beautiful garden to relax in and dining and lounge areas where you can hang out with fellow participants.

Furthermore, there is a refrigerator which you are welcome to use to store food and beverages. Safety lockers are available to store your belongings.

Food Arrangements

You will be provided with three meals a day on weekdays and two meals per day on weekends. The meals are a mix of Western and Sri lankan food, consisting mainly of vegetarian dishes including rice and vegetables.


Our house is located few kilometers away from the city center, where you can find anything you might need.

The nearest ATM and supermarket are located a 15 minute walk away from our accommodation.

Activities & Events

No scheduled activities outside the program.

Sights & Surroundings

Gala Uda fortress: Diyatala Kanda is located near the city of Hanguranketha is a well known mountain with historical value. The summit of the mountain commands a panoramic view over the surrounding region.

Potgul Maliga Maha Vihara: This Buddhist temple is one of the most visited religious sites in Hanguranketha. Some of the materials used for the construction are recovered from the Hanguranketha Palace, which was destroyed by the British.

Kitulpe Ranpatge Vihara: This Buddhist temple is one of the several temples that date back to the Anuradhapura (4 BC to 11 AD) period.

Panchanari Getaya: Panchanari Getaya is an example of fine craftsmanship of the ancient Sri Lankan artisans. It is a stone carving depicting five female dancers. This rare piece of stone carving is located near the Vishnu Devala.


From this location we do not provide free transport to other locations.

Quick Facts

Name: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

Population: 20 million

Capital: Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte and Colombo

Language: Sinhalese, Tamil

Currency: Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)

Time zone: UTC +5:30

Country Information

Sri Lanka’s over 2000 years of history and culture can still be seen in every corner of its cities and the details of its ever-beautiful ancient temples. With eight UNESCO World Heritage sites and its short distances between the main sights, Sri Lanka is a country that, despite often being overlooked in itineraries, has left travelers filled with awe.

Visit the sacred home of the world’s oldest living tree in Anuradhapura, wander around the colonial architecture of Colombo, get sun-kissed at the untouched beaches that enclose the territory, snorkel in the crystal-clear waters, head to the hills for a cooler temperature and get surrounded by lush natural vegetation, visit two thousand year-old temples or get overawed at the sight of hundreds of elephants in Minneriya.

While traveling through Sri Lanka you will experience adventures from the highest and chilliest mountains like the famous Adam’s Peak – a stairway mountain considered sacred in three different religions, through the elephant shelters, to the most peaceful beaches up north near Trincomalee and their tiny- one floor- hostels facing the calm sea.


Sri Lanka is one of the best destinations to visit year-round as the rainy seasons hit the island in opposite locations at different times of the year. That being said, Sri Lanka is a country that can be visited if you know where to go in search for the best weather.


The southwest monsoon hits between May and September and the dry season occurs from December to March.

North and coastal regions

The monsoon season happens between October and January while the dry seasons takes places between May and September.


Sri Lanka is known for its distinct cuisine, indigenous holistic medicines, cricket practices and prestigious export of tea, cinnamon and gemstones. Moreover, the country boasts of a rich artistic tradition which includes music, dance and the visual arts.

Sri Lanka has been shaped by many aspects. The first and most obvious being the heritage of Theravada Buddhism passed on from India. Furthermore, the colonial period left a big mark in the country’s traditions and culture, with British elements being featured in every corner as well as Dutch and Portuguese elements.

Sri Lanka, better known as the “nation of smiling people”, is a paradisiac island that Napoleon described as a world-like biodiversity in a tiny piece of land on the Indian ocean. Multicultural, multi-religious and multi-coloured country, formerly named Ceylon, is known for its delicious black tea, it’s heartwarming inhabitants and its history-filled corners.

The festival of Duruthu celebrates the Buddha’s first visit to Sri Lanka. During Duruthu, thousands of people attend colorful parades, which consist of three processions on the nights before the full moon. The processions consist of fireball performers, drummers, dancers, decorated elephants and the most important – a gigantic tusker treading a white carpet.

On April 13th or 14th Avurudda celebrates the Sinhalese New Year. According to Sinhalese astrology, the new year begins when the sun changes from Meena Rashi (Pisces) to Mesha Rashi (Aries).

During June the Poson Festival takes place on the full moon day of June and celebrates the arrival of Buddhism, which occurred when Arahat Mahinda, the son of the emperor of India, converted King Devanampiyatissa to Buddhism.

During October or November, Diwali the Festival of Lights is celebrated. Diwali is an ancient Hindu festival that signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, hope over despair, and good over evil. It is celebrated with millions of lights shining over houses, temples, and buildings. Diwali is celebrated between mid-October and mid-November, on the darkest, new moon night of Karitika.

In Sri Lanka, it is tradition to take an oil bath in the morning, wear new clothes, exchange presents and sweets and visit the Koil, a Hindu Temple. In the evenings, oil lamps are lit to invite the blessings from the goddess of wealth.



Flying between major locations in Sri Lanka such as Galle, Colombo, Nuwara Eliya and others is possible with Aero Lanka and Srilankan Airlines. Moreover, Srilankan Airlines runs small seaplanes, which give you a great aerial view of the island.


Buses are a option to get around Sri Lanka, albeit quite uncomfortable. For instance, for less than a Euro you can get almost halfway around the island in a bus without air conditioning. Luxury buses with air conditioning also exist at a higher price which are still very inexpensive.


Sri Lanka boasts of an extensive railway system that will get you almost anywhere around the country. Moreover, Sri Lanka is known for its picturesque scenery that can be best viewed in a train journey. In fact, there are observation carts in most trains for tourists that will allow you to better take in the beauty of your surroundings.

In most cases, getting around by train is the cheapest option. There are three classes: 1st, 2nd and 3rd class. In most Intercity and Express trains, however, only 1st and 2nd are offered. Do keep in mind that trains from one popular destination to another (i.e. Colombo – Kandy or Galle – Colombo) often get overbooked, so it is best to reserve a seat much in advance.


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