START DATES

1ST & 3RD SATURDAY (JUNE-AUGUST)

PRICED FROM

$2085 + $249 REGISTRATION FEE

DURATION

9 WEEKS

MINIMUM AGE

18 YEARS OLD

REAL SUMMER ENCOUNTER

PMGY’s Real Summer Encounter takes in three exotic destinations – Sri Lanka, Thailand and Fiji. From the islands of Sri Lanka and Fiji to the beauty of Thailand, these three countries are definitely worth divulging your summer into! A great balance of structured programmes and independent travel; you’re sure to never be bored across the summer in these fascinating destinations!

 

Your summer journey will begin with the idyllic island and natural beauty of Sri Lanka choosing the volunteer project that best suits you. You will then fly across to Thailand to spend three weeks on our community programmes here and the cultural immersion your experience will represent. Your 9 week epic Summer will conclude in the Fiji Islands based in the South Pacific taking in all of its palm-lined beaches and coral reefs along the way! The time is sure to fly by so make sure you make the most of each of the three destinations you will immerse yourself in!

 

Your first stop will be Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka may small but it has 2,000-plus years of culture, 8 (yes 8!) Unesco World Heritage Sites, endless beaches, lush rainforests, welcoming people, rolling surf, cheap prices, fun trains, famous tea, oodles of elephants, wonderful food and so, so much more. Sri Lanka is spectacular, affordable and still uncrowded so now is the time to go!

 

Your time on this largely undiscovered little island, will give you the chance to explore its length and breadth as well as make a positive difference volunteering at local projects. PMGY’s development work in Ambalangoda runs throughout the year and you will have a choice of; Teaching English, Construction & Renovation Project; Medical Experience or Sea Turtle Conservation.

 

Your next stop is Thailand. The country is composed of 76 different provinces and home to over 68 million people. There are so many sides to Thailand to explore: beaches, mountains, lush jungles, paddy fields, bustling cities, peaceful Buddhist temples, amazing food, wonderful weather and of course its friendly people. From its temples, vast and expansive forests and a great variety of flora and fauna to its scenic beaches, Thailand has something for everyone.

 

PMGY Thailand is located in the urban town of Pathum Thani north of Bangkok and the Tambon Thamairuak district south of Bangkok. Here you will have teaching and childcare community programmes to choose from. So whether you choose to assist local teachers at the nearby school or choose to volunteer your time in supporting and assisting with the daily care and learning of local children; you are sure to make an impact in this traditional suburb of Bangkok.

 

Your last stop is Fiji! Fiji is famous for its rugged landscapes, palm-lined beaches and coral reefs with clear lagoons. Its major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, contain most of the population. It is a country that evokes a truly exotic tropical paradise and you will find the Fijian people to be some of the friendliest you have met across your Encounter. You will find Rugby to be like a religion here and the local food a joy to sample!

 

Our programmes in Fiji are based in the heart of the capital city of Suva which is located on the southeast coast of the island of Vit Levu. Suva is a very multicultural and diverse place, but the people, in general, are very friendly and welcoming. You will have the chance to immerse yourself in the unique culture Suva and Fiji represents whether it be teaching in a local primary school or supporting at a childcare day centre.

 

The end of your time in Fiji will sadly represent the end of your 9 Week Real Summer Encounter with us.

 

You can choose any standard volunteering programme during the online application process but please be advised they are subject to availability and there may be an additional cost associated with some projects. It will be an unforgettable 9 weeks!

VOLUNTEER PROJECTS

SRI LANKA ELEPHANT CONSERVATION

Join us in the central province of Sri Lanka and play a key role in the education, research and conservation of wild elephants in the area. Based in Wasgamuwa National Park, this is the only national park in the whole of the central province where you will encounter elephants in their natural habitats. Famous for its large number of elephant herds, volunteers will engage in a wide range of conservation techniques across the working week to see how these elephants live and mobilise in their natural setting, monitor their behaviours and movements and help provide solutions and education to the conflicts that exist between the elephant population and multiple villages all located within the Wasgamuwa area.

 

Over the past 50 years, the elephant population in Sri Lanka has reduced substantially. Nearly 5,000 elephant deaths in this period are believed to be a direct result of the conflict that exists between humans and elephants in Sri Lanka. In the present day, human-elephant conflict is said to be responsible for around 300 elephant deaths and 80 human deaths annually in Sri Lanka.

 

So what is human-elephant conflict? The simplest explanation would be the elephant and human population not getting along. One of the main instigators of this is competition for spaces. On one side of the coin, it is humans encroaching onto the territory of elephants and habitats shrinking daily. On the other side of the coin, rising populations and urbanisation challenges sees elephants having nowhere else to go and end up in fields searching for food. This is much to the dismay of many poor farmers who haven’t changed their daily lives and routines for generations, but see their crops, villages and ultimately livelihoods being threatened.

 

To expand on this, destruction of forests through logging, encroachment and shifting cultivation are some examples of major threats to the survival of elephants. Conflicts occur when elephants raid crops of shifting cultivators in fields, which are scattered over a large area with a range of forests. Devastation and destruction in human settlements is another major area of human-elephant conflict occurring in small forest pockets, encroachments into elephant habitat, and on elephant migration routes. Thousands of homes are destroyed by elephant herds and millions of dollars worth of crops damage arise wrecking livelihoods and incomes across rural farming communities.

 

Wasgamuwa National Park and the core base of our volunteer programme set up represents an area where human-elephant conflict is at its highest. Established in 1995 originally by a team of biologists, the project aimed to establish root causes to the conflict and work with the local people to educate and establish systems and processes that maintained their livelihood, safety without the opportunity cost of elephant casualty and allowing wild elephants to prosper in their natural habitat. Working directly with 12 of the villages based in the Wasgamuwa area where human-elephant conflict is high, your role on this programme will be aiding the research and conservation techniques to halt the reduction of this wonderful endangered species in tandem with helping the communities and villages learn to live side by side this amazing creature.

 

Working alongside local biologists, research assistants and conservationists to help conduct research, you will get involved in a number of activities in the fields of conservation and research all with the ultimate aim off reducing human-elephant conflict and endorsing long-lasting land use.

 

Based on the outskirts of the wild Wasgamuwa National Park you will be working in one of the most spectacular and tranquil places across the globe. Your day will be split into morning and afternoon activities often working in subgroups depending on the volunteer numbers to ensure conservation techniques and research can be maximised and your role is varied and meaningful. The timings of each activity are set in routine around minimising the impact on the elephant’s usual daily cycle. Listed below are examples of some of these varied tasks you will get involved with and categorised into two main goals of the project; reducing human-elephant conflict to protect elephants and help the local community as well as protecting elephants through conservation techniques.

 

REDUCING HUMAN-ELEPHANT CONFLICT

 

Throughout your time on the project you will work closely with the local villages to help them live compatibly with elephants. The main goal is too naturally decrease the conflict and repercussions that follows this between humans and elephants. Your role in this includes:

 

– Observing wild elephants and human-elephant interactions.
– Human-elephant conflict surveys – visit village homes that had been raided by elephants.
– Monitoring electric fences erected to stop elephants from raiding village homes. Walk the length of solar-powered electric fences erected to protect villages and their fields identifying the need for maintenance and repair along the way.
– Meeting with community leaders to monitor human-elephant conflict resolution projects.
– Elefriendly community bus established in 2015! You can travel on the bus early in the morning when school children are transported to school and home through the elephant corridor. The bus is funded fully by the project and educates the children on living alongside the elephants and has been funded directly through the project and volunteer fees. Before the bus, many children would not go to school or turn back home should they encounter an elephant on the long walking commute.
– Project Orange Campaigns – Research by the team has found elephants dislike citrus flavours. Your role is working alongside the team to educate and promote citrus based crops/deterrents within the village communities of Wasgamuwa to protect and conserve their crops, property and livelihoods. Help farmers to take care of their orange groves, check for diseases and pests, dig holes to plant new orange plants, during the fruiting season help count fruits, harvest and sort them for sale. The project will provide transport costs for the farmers to take them to the markets for sale with the long-term aim to get into supply with Sri Lanka’s largest supermarket supply chain.

 

PROTECTING ELEPHANTS THROUGH CONSERVATION TECHNIQUES

 

Here you will use an array of technology, observations and conservation techniques as you monitor elephants closely in order to help develop strategies to conserve and protect the local wildlife.

 

– Setting up sand traps across the jungle and elephant corridors to detect tracks, build research/findings from and understand the diversity that exists in the forest. This one will require physical energy as you will dig up and rake fresh new 2 by 2 metre sand traps each week to check for new prints. Expect to find more wildlife prints than just elephants as you look for signs of leopard, sloth bears, wild buffalos and of course elephant activity!
– Setting up camera traps across the forest. Volunteers will be responsible for setting these up in hotspot locations and replacing these each week with new SD cards. After a busy morning in the depths of the Sri Lankan forest, once collected the SD card its time to return to the office to download data and check on the computer what the camera traps have picked up in the last week! Be ready to make conclusions on the findings as you learn what different wildlife exists in the forests, what times of day elephants pass through the corridor and more!
– Gaining experience in the use of GPS across your time in the forest.
– During the afternoons you will be located high up in the jungle treetop. We have created multiple purpose-built viewing towers across the forest aligned to the elephant corridor which is the traditional popular routes elephants use to migrate between the national park. Here, you will observe passing elephants, collate data on their movements, behaviours and other variables.
– Elephant foraging transect (to gather data on plants elephants eat and their impact on various habitats and plant species)
– Inspecting elephant dung. Take measurements to assess what the elephants have been eating, any foreign objects inside, their movement patterns. Can also learn about the elephant’s age through the size of the dung!
– Trek through dense jungles and over wetlands as you walk along typical elephant trails too record findings. This is done to assess any seasonal variations in behaviours, habitat preferences and better understand elephants on the outskirts of the national park.
– You will get to spend a session at the Weheragala Tank looking for Sri-Lankan elephants to then observe and photograph for ID purposes. You will also have to fill in an elephant identification data sheet to build up a catalogue of elephant numbers, movement behaviours and any differing physical features.

 

Whatever the activity, it will incorporate you being based in the heart of the elephant’s natural habitat as you trek through the jungles, wetlands and mountains of Wasgamuwa National Park along the way! The accommodation where you will be staying offers some of the best views you will ever see with a central large reservoir engulfed by luscious towering mountains.

 

Each volunteer will receive an orientation session before heading into the field to better understand their role, impact and history of the project. If you truly want to make a difference in the conservation efforts to save elephants by working closely with local communities then this project and volunteer work is the project for you!

SRI LANKA DOG SHELTER

Being a dog in Sri Lanka is a tough life. One of the first things you’ll notice is the vast number of strays wandering the beaches and streets. The rising number of street dogs across Sri Lanka poses many risks and challenges, including poor treatment, terrible injuries, malnutrition, untreated diseases and the concern of human deaths caused by rabies. Help protect and care for these wonderful canines and improve the animal-human relationship in the community.

 

Rabies is a fatal disease which is transmitted by various animals, but in Sri Lanka, it is most prevalent amongst dogs. This viral infection is spread via the saliva of a rabid animal; hence it can be passed on through a bite or contact with an open wound. Unfortunately, rabies will continue to exist until there are further efforts to eliminate it. There are a large number of dog bite cases in Sri Lanka, which is a cause for concern for tourists and locals alike, as well as creating huge bills for Government hospital treating the victims. This fear leads to poor treatment of stray dogs and poor awareness of how the local community can help.

 

The Sri Lankan Government have recently adopted more humane methods to control the population and spread of rabies, focusing now on neutering and vaccinating stray dogs. As a result, there has been a significant drop in the number of human rabies deaths and incidents. Our mission is to continue these efforts in our local community.

 

By offering vaccinations and neutering it helps to manage the population of stray dogs and reduce the risk of diseases, especially rabies. Many female strays produce multiple litters each year, many of which are dumped at temples or on the roadside. These puppies have a low chance of survival, as they are at high risk of contracting diseases, malnutrition or being involved in road traffic accidents.

 

The team have an on-call rescue facility to transport dogs that have been found injured, disabled or abandoned. They will be brought back to the project so the team can conduct a general health check and provide assistance. At the Dog Shelter, you can observe or assist the Vet with their weekly general check-ups, vaccinations, medical treatment or minor surgeries.

 

This programme aims to improve the wellbeing of street dogs in the local area by providing a safe home for vulnerable, sick and disabled dogs, with daily care, vaccinations, rehabilitation and rehoming. Your extra pair of helping hands enables the project to provide enough care and love for all the canines, as well as preventing rabies and improving the situation in the local community.

 

The shelter also tries to find new loving homes for the healthy vaccinated dogs with local families, with education about how to properly care for their new pet. You can help to produce and provide animal welfare education to the community, to improve the understanding, attitude and treatment between humans and dogs. The aim is to introduce this on a community level and bring about long term change. Please note these sessions run on an ad hoc basis and if it is something you are interested in then please speak with our local team in-country who will make the appropriate arrangements.

 

You will spend your days assisting with the daily tasks and care for the dogs living in the shelter – typical duties include:

 

– Cleaning, maintaining hygiene and upkeep in the project premises and bedding areas
– Preparing meals (for example cooking chicken, rice, fish) and feeding the dogs
– Play time and socialisation with the dogs
– Walking and exercising
– Showering and washing the dogs
– Training the dogs
– Assisting with medication
– Grooming and checking for ticks
– Creating and maintaining documentation for dog profiles (history, vaccinations etc) and site visits
– Caring for sick/disabled/injured dogs
– Animal welfare education

 

If you are a veterinary student you may be able to assist in more tasks, this will depend on your level of knowledge, experience and qualifications in this area. Generally, you may be able to help with the sick, injured or disabled dogs, or with vaccinations or neutering procedures.

 

PMGY’s Dog Shelter project in Sri Lanka is an incredible opportunity to do your bit to help protect are care for these lovely animals whilst spending time in a country that will amaze you on so many levels.

SRI LANKA ENGLISH TEACHING

PMGY’s English Teaching volunteers programme in Sri Lanka encourages students to develop a skill that will help them to achieve their future goals. Conversing with fluent, native English speakers greatly improves their language skills, essential for future employment. Sri Lanka’s education system is pretty impressive for a developing country of its size. Universal public education is available from the age of 6 to the age of 18. However, many government schools, particularly in rural areas, receive minimal government funding – especially considering the size of the communities they are expected to serve. The facilities at the schools are very basic, particularly the classrooms that get extremely cramped as average class sizes are around 40 to 60 children.

 

The ability to speak English is becoming of growing importance in Sri Lanka. The two main sources of income in Sri Lanka come from tourism and migrant workers going to the Middle East. Both occupations require the ability to speak English – the world’s global language. However, the level of English teaching in government schools is limited. Class sizes are large and the teachers’ English speaking skills are by no means perfect. It is only the middle and upper class children who can afford private English lessons.

 

Therefore it is no surprise that children from most low-income families speak little or no English. Our aim is to give the poorer children of Ambalangoda, the same opportunities as their more wealthy peers so they too have the chance to develop their ability to speak English.

 

The PMGY English Teaching Volunteer Programme in Sri Lanka enables you to teach English in two different types of placement: our own after-school education programme that works in local village communities across Ambalangoda and temple schools where you have the amazing opportunity to teach to Buddhist monks!

 

COMMUNITY VILLAGE SCHOOL PROJECTS

 

The Community Village School Projects is an after-school education programme initiated and ran by PMGY and is the main teaching project our volunteers take part in. We work in a number of villages across the Ambalangoda district where we provide free English lessons and education opportunities for children traditionally from lower income families.

 

The children attend local government schools during the mornings. Our aim is to further their English language development by providing these free after-school English lessons in the afternoons. These projects will take place in a makeshift classroom or community centre. We encourage volunteers to make lessons as engaging and interactive as possible by being creative and proactive when preparing lessons! The presence of volunteers gives the children an insight into different cultures; a global perspective they greatly benefit from. Use your creativity and knowledge to help these eager young minds reach their true potential.

 

The after-school education programme is available from 3pm to 6pm each afternoon from Monday to Friday. The first two hours are spent teaching English and the last hour is allocated for games and activities. Volunteers lead their own classes, usually working in pairs but this is dependent on volunteer numbers at the time. We usually run three to six classes in each community, but again this is dependent on the number of volunteers. Each class is divided based on the children’s level of English. The class sizes vary from 4 to 12 children per class.

 

PMGY has a local coordinator at the project each day who is on hand to support volunteer in Sri Lanka participants with their efforts and can help with overcoming the language barrier.

 

TEMPLE SCHOOLS

 

Volunteers can also join our Temple School project teaching English to Buddhist monks as an additional project to completing the standard afternoon community village school project. Many of the Buddhist monks speak very little English. The classes run in the morning, usually from 8:30am to 10am. In return for your contribution, you will find the monks keen to invite you to learn more about their religion and way of life. The temple schools also welcome poor children from the community to come and learn English. There tends to be 15 to 18 students in each class, aged from 6 to 18 years of age.

 

In general across the teaching project our team do their best to ensure there is a basic set of resources for the children at the project and for volunteers to plan activities. This includes stationary, exercise books, plain paper, whiteboards and marker pens. If volunteers feel basic supplies are not easily available they are encouraged to speak to our local team who can provide the needful. If volunteers are wishing for additional resources, there is some great shops for such resources in town.

 

No teaching experience is required to join this programme although it is an advantage. Generally speaking as long as volunteers are pro-active, enthusiastic and have lots of positive energy they can make great developments during their time at the project. We expect volunteers to spend an hour or two each day preparing for the following days lessons.

 

We encourage volunteers to prepare as much as possible for their teaching programme overseas. You can make the most out of your time by completing our convenient, inexpensive and international accredited 60-hour Online TEFL Course for just $120.

SRI LANKA MEDICAL EXPERIENCE

PMGY’s Sri Lanka Medical Experience is a learning experience for medical students and school leavers looking to pursue a career in medicine. School leavers and applicants from a non-health related background will be placed at a private hospital. Those who are studying a health-related degree at university will be placed at a government hospital.

 

Please note that the government hospital will not permit applicants who are NOT studying medicine or nursing at university. Unfortunately, there are no exceptions to this rule.

 

For those who are studying medicine or a healthcare related degree you will need to bring with you to Sri Lanka a supporting letter or document as evidence that you are a medical / healthcare university student to enable yourself to be placed at the government hospital during your time on the programme.

 

PRIVATE HOSPITAL

 

We work with a private hospital in Ambalangoda. The following departments are available:

 

Physiotherapy, Dental Surgery, Radiology (x-ray machine and computerised radiology), Laboratory, Phlebotomy, In-Patient Ward, Out-Patient Ward

 

You can choose to spend your time across several departments or just one or two. Our team will do our best to match any specific requirements you have, but this cannot always be guaranteed depending on the circumstances.

 

The private hospital provides a structured observational and informative approach to give participants a broad insight into a medical facility in Sri Lanka. Your role is purely observational, so you should not expect any hands-on involvement. Depending on your interests, you will be placed within different departments and you will be attached to an English-speaking member of staff.

 

As the role is purely observational, we recommend that applicants sign up for no more than 2 weeks on the medical programme. In our experience, whilst you will gain invaluable medical insight and knowledge at the private hospital, after a while most people are eager for some hands-on work. Whilst PMGY cannot offer you hands-on medical volunteering, we can welcome you onto our teaching and community projects.

 

Our local team will go through the options with you during your in-country orientation. You can join one of these projects in the afternoon and attend the private hospital in the morning – it is completely up to you. Furthermore, it is absolutely fine for you to sign up for 2-weeks on the medical programme and then go on to do another project for the remainder of your stay, if you’d like to join us for longer than 2 weeks. If this is something you’d like to do then please drop us an email to discuss the idea in more detail.

 

GOVERNMENT HOSPITAL

 

PMGY partner with a government hospital located only a 15 minute journey from Ambalangoda. It is a medium-sized hospital with over 500 stations. There are 20 doctors and 2 surgeons at the hospital. We can place participants at the following departments:

 

Out Patient, Emergency Treatment Room, General Medicine, Obstetrics, Gynaecology, Antenatal, Postnatal, Labour Room, Paediatrics

 

You can choose to spend your time across several departments or just one or two. Our team will do our best to match any specific requirements you have, but this cannot always be guaranteed depending on the circumstances.

 

Whilst you will be assigned a specific member of staff within the department to mentor you, it is important to understand that the staff are extremely busy. Therefore, you should be proactive, ask questions and be assertive in requesting additional guidance should you require it.

 

Your role at the government hospital is largely observational. Whilst this cannot be guaranteed, you may be assigned some very basic hands-on involvement such as taking blood pressure and blood sugars etc. This is all undertaken under the supervision of the staff you will be attached to, and such permission is at the sole discretion of the staff.

 

If you wish to use this programme as part of your medical degree placement then we can sign off any paperwork you may require. Furthermore, if you work at the private hospital you will be provided with a medical certificate at the end of your placement.

 

Working in a hospital in Sri Lanka is a great opportunity to get close up clinical exposure and learn about a health care system in the developing world. You will witness a variety of cases, which offers a fantastic contrast to what you might find in your local hospital! PMGY’s medical programme in Sri Lanka is the perfect way to gain invaluable hospital work experience whilst exploring the wonders that this amazing island has to offer!

 

ADDITIONAL FEATURES

 

All participants on PMGY’s medical programme, regardless of whether you are placed at the private or government hospital, will have the opportunity to participate in an Ayurveda Medicine Seminar. Ayurvedic medicine (also called Ayurveda) is one of the world’s oldest medical systems. It originated in India more than 3,000 years ago. Its concepts about health and disease promote the use of herbal compounds, special diets, and other unique health practices. The earliest references of Ayurveda medicine in Sri Lanka are associated with a great physician; Ravana a king of Sri Lanka dating back to the prehistoric times.

 

You will have the chance to attend a lecture from a local Ayurvedic specialist. They will teach you all about the history of Ayurveda, it’s role within healthcare in Sri Lanka and how it is implemented to treat a variety of cases.

 

During your time with us on the Sri Lanka medical experience volunteers will usually get the chance to support at our village clinic campaign helping the local doctor by checking blood pressure and blood sugar levels of the people of Ambalangoda.

 

COMMUNITY EYE CLINIC

 

We are delighted to share that through our medical programme, our Sri Lanka team have funded the creation and development of a community eye clinic within the local government Hospital. Previously, people in the community would have to travel long journeys outside of Ambalangoda to receive free eye treatment and eye tests. Now through developing this eye clinic, the hospital can provide free, easily accessible eye care services to the local community. Whilst no project work is directly affiliated with the eye clinic, volunteers will get a chance to observe the daily processes here and get a feel for the positive impact its creation has brought Ambalangoda.

 

Your level of involvement at the project is dictated by medical experience, duration of programme and willingness to get involved. The medical staff are accountable for you whilst you’re under their supervision, so it is completely up to them if you are permitted and want to get involved in hands-on procedures. Whilst previous PMGY volunteers have been given the chance to administer IV injections, dress wounds etc, we can never guarantee or promote hands-on involvement for participants regardless of their medical experience or background.

 

Generally speaking those with little or no medical experience assume a largely observational role. If you are studying medically related degree, then you should have more opportunity to undertake some more basic hands-on involvement. However, to reiterate we can never guarantee or endorse hands-on experience should you choose to get hands-on, as the decision ultimately lies with the medical staff.

SRI LANKA CHILDCARE

PMGY’s Childcare Volunteers programme in Sri Lanka brightens up the lives of young children making a vital and important contribution to their daily lives. Our volunteers attend to projects at different locations which may involve work at the Day Care Centre, Girls’ Home and Government Children’s Home.

 

In Sri Lanka today institutional care is the fate of many children who have been abandoned by their parents. According to UNICEF, out of over 21,000 children in Children’s home’s in Sri Lanka, one or both parents of over 19,000 of them are still alive. Poverty is a root cause with families feeling they cannot afford to adequately provide for the child and give them the education and start in life they need and deserve.

 

Your role is to help encourage and care for these children, provide them with much needed confidence and to help maximise their potential. Volunteering with children is a highly rewarding experience and one that people from all backgrounds can get involved in the projects we work with provide a much-needed safety net for these children and the more help and encouragement they can get from volunteers, the better and brighter their future.

 

The day-care centre operates in the morning hours and it provides much needed help to the local community and working parents who otherwise would not be able to afford quality care for their young children. PMGY provides a fully funded safe environment for children aged 1-4 years old, allowing parents to go and work, generally in local cinnamon or garment factories, in order to provide for their families. Here the volunteers will be the driving force behind some light housekeeping such as meal preparation, sanitary assistance to the children and also will get involved in the organisation of free time activities.

 

In the afternoons, the volunteers will support the Child Development Centre (otherwise referred to as Girls’ home) and Government funded Children’s home. The Girls’ home is funded by an international NGO. There are 27 girls at the home, aged between 4 to 17 years of age. The children at this facility are full-time residents of the home due to difficult family situations which range from neglect, parents’ involvement in criminal activities or poverty. Please note that only female volunteers are permitted to work at the girl’s home.

 

PMGY volunteers also support a government-funded Children’s home which cares for 80 boys and girls aged between 6 to 18 years of age. While some of the children may have lost both of their parents, others are rescued from broken homes and abusive families and many are given up by their families as they simply cannot afford to look after them. For any male volunteers wishing to join our childcare programme then this is where you may be located.

The first 1.5 hours are spent teaching the children English and undertaking educational activities. The second 1.5 hours is allocated for outdoor games and sports. The children homes have a lot of outdoor space as part of the property. Our local team are on hand to support with any ideas or activities you wish to execute at the project.

 

Rotation of projects will be organised once in country with all volunteers having the opportunity to partake in both morning and afternoon programmes.

 

Our team do their best to ensure there is a basic set of resources for volunteers to plan activities for their day at the project. This includes stationary, plain paper, whiteboards and marker pens. If volunteers feel basic supplies are not easily available, they are encouraged to speak to our local team who can provide the needful. If volunteers are wishing for additional resources, there is some great shops for such resources in town.

 

SRI LANKA RENOVATION & COMMUNITY WORK

PMGY volunteers carry out renovation work in a number of community facilities in and around Ambalangoda such as schools, government hospitals, children’s homes and Buddhist temples. These institutions struggle to find the funding and manpower to undertake important development work. With your help, we can further support Ambalangoda’s community and you can do your bit to leave a lasting impression!

 

We regularly support three Buddhist temples in the local area with much needed renovation work as well as the village hospital and a variety of village schools within Ambalangoda. Examples of renovation work completed to date include heavy support in the building of an eye clinic at the government hospital, constructing flower tables at the Buddhist temples and re-plastering and re-painting classrooms in schools.

 

Volunteers don’t need to have any previous construction or renovation experience, just bags of energy and the willingness to help! The renovation and community work is a morning project, so you will have the opportunity to teach English and support in our afternoon community programmes if you wish.

 

You are welcome to join us as an individual or larger group. If you sign up as an individual then we are only able to organise renovation work for you. This predominantly involves stripping walls, plastering, painting and light building activities. However, bigger construction and renovation projects can be arranged for group applications of 6 or more people.

 

In short the size of the project is really dependent on the duration of volunteers stay as well as the numbers on the renovation and community project at the time.

 

All volunteer in Sri Lanka participants will need to make a donation whilst in Sri Lanka towards costs for materials and skilled labour required to support the initiative. The donation each volunteers on the programme must contribute is $75 per person or the local currency equivalent. Our local team will collect this from you during the orientation and assist you in purchasing the relevant materials for the project work.

 

This is a great project for those looking to get a bit more hands-on. By the end of your time with us you’ll be able to see exactly what you’ve contributed towards, plus you’ll still have the chance to help out at an one of our community based volunteer programmes. Working outside with your fellow volunteers in the gorgeous Sri Lankan sunshine whilst making a tangible impact to the local community – sounds pretty good doesn’t it?!

SRI LANKA TURTLE CONSERVATION

Help protect and rehabilitate at-risk sea turtles whilst also volunteering at community development projects. Turtles are under threat in Sri Lanka and volunteers are really needed to help out with conservation efforts.

 

There are five turtle species that can be found in Sri Lanka. These are the Green Turtle, Hawksbill, Loggerhead, Olive Ridley and Leatherback. The Green turtle is the most common found species of turtle in Sri Lanka and will likely be the one you encounter the most on your turtle conservation project. The Loggerhead turtle is the rarest and thus hardest to spot in Sri Lanka and is more commonly found on the East Coast of America.

 

The Hawksbill (renowned for its beautiful shell), Olive Ridley (smallest of the sea turtles) and Leatherback (largest of the 5 species) are harder to spot for different reasons. Sadly they are critically endangered and sit on the brink of extinction. This is mainly because they have been heavily hunted and fell victim to other human activity as well.

 

Fishing is one of the major industries in Ambalangoda and the location of the project is very close to the local fisheries port. Sea turtles are often found in fishing nets and many have lost limbs becoming disabled and are no longer able to survive in the wild. Many of these disabled turtles are found by local Sri Lankans who bring them to the project site for rehabilitation and care.

 

The programme aims to provide daily care and rehabilitation for the disabled turtles with the long term goal to release back to the wild as well as protecting turtle eggs that have been stolen by local poachers. Beginning from the orientation, participants will learn how to collect eggs, identify different kinds of turtles, how eggs hatch, how to treat turtles, how to send turtles back to the sea and so much more. This is really a project where you will learn a lot and make a tangible difference with your time.

 

Participants will join the incumbent volunteers at the project as well as the local staff at the project to get to grips with the daily tasks to what is expected of them. This will include tasks as part of a team as well as individual roles.

 

You will spend your days next to the beach caring for the sea turtles that have been rescued and are now living in the project site – typical duties include:

 

– Cleaning and refilling the turtle tanks.
– Feeding the turtles.
– Painting and drawing in relevance to turtles.
– Cleaning the project premises and the relevant beach area.
– Take care of the nesting area.
– Cleaning the turtle’s shells.
– Designing education boards around the sanctuary.
– Releasing hatched baby turtles into the sea.

 

Our local team regularly arrange a set day for the volunteers to engage in a mass beach clean across the Ambalangoda beach area.

 

As female turtles will only lay their eggs at beaches that are safe environments to them, it is crucial the area is maintained to encourage this. Although this perhaps is one of the more mundane aspects of the programme, its importance cannot be underestimated and is recognised positively by the wildlife department. It is not uncommon that after one beach clean we have collected up to 20 bags of litter!

 

You may also wish to get involved in the sea turtle conservation education sessions PMGY run at the community village school projects in line with the afternoon teaching project. The purpose of these sessions is to educate young Sri Lankans on the importance of protecting these amazing creatures. From factual presentations on sea turtles, to information on what the community can do to aid conservation, we aim to introduce the concept of conservation on a community level and so bring about long term change. Please note these sessions run on an ad hoc basis and if it is something you are interested in then please speak with our local team in-country who will make the appropriate arrangements.

 

PMGY’s Turtle Conversation project in Sri Lanka is an incredible opportunity to do your bit to help protect these incredible creatures whilst spending time in a country that will amaze you on so many levels.

THAILAND CHILDCARE VOLUNTEERS

PMGY’s Childcare volunteers programme in Thailand brightens up the lives of young children making a vital and important contribution to their daily lives. The first few years of a child’s life are fundamentally important. They are the foundation that shapes children’s future health, happiness, growth, development and learning achievement at school, in the family and community, and in life in general.

 

Recent research confirms that the first four years are particularly important for the development of the child’s brain, and the first three years are the most critical in shaping the child’s brain architecture. Children learn more quickly during their early years than at any other time in life. They need love and nurturing to develop a sense of trust and security that turns into confidence as they grow.

 

PMGY childcare volunteers support pre-school aged children at a range of schools in and around Pathum Thani. For example, one of our pre-school projects, founded in 2009, hosts around 150 3 to 4-year-olds and is located on the same premises to the school where our teaching volunteers join us. The pre-school children here are provided with mental stimulation, attention and encouragement to help them grow, learn and develop.

 

For children this age, it is all about playing activities, building social skills and learning how the world works. The childcare classes focus on basic elementary education that is not as intense or formal in its daily syllabus as is it for slightly older children in the main school.

 

Teaching the children basic life and hygiene skills is a key focus which volunteers are expected to encourage and get involved with. Volunteer in Thailand participants are advised to always be mindful of their body language and tone throughout as children can be easily influenced and the local teachers will be particularly observant. You will also get involved in organising and supervising play activities. The main teacher will usually lead the sessions and so your role is largely to assist. However, there will be opportunity to lead your own activities within the class, should you be comfortable.

 

Our pre-schools generally come with the modern and developed facilities and infrastructure to enable an environment for children to flourish and grow in their early years. Likewise to the teaching programme, the classrooms are fully furnished and equipped air-conditioned classrooms extending into well-developed playground facilities.

 

It is worth noting that although the school as a whole will appear quite well off and developed from the outside looking in; the reality is this is not the case overall with many of the children coming from underprivileged backgrounds. All of the pre-schools and schools we are affiliated with are Government funded, making education and childcare here free to those who are from the local village in the surrounding area. In the province, each village has its own local government and the underlying aim of this local government was and remains to provide free accessible education and care to the children. This also incorporates embedding life skills, routines and positive behaviours as part of this commitment that the parents of the children must coincide with. Prior to this such opportunities were not forthcoming for the local children.

 

For our team, it is a positive to have such an establishment available on their doorstep for the children from under-resourced areas. This is because it shows the local government is investing taxes back into the right areas for future growth and development within the local education infrastructure as opposed to say other corrupt avenues.

 

Volunteers will also get the chance to experience the morning assembly rituals and cultural norms that is brought with this. In addition, you will support and deliver activities that help children with nerve and movement developments, assist with a weekly syllabus, help at meal and nap times and play games with the children.

 

Working with children is a really fun and highly rewarding experience. From helping the children during mealtime to singing songs and teaching them essential life skills, you will play a part in their early life development. The pre-school facility makes such a difference to the lives of low-income families, and single-parent families, whereby the parent/s can work and earn in the day knowing their children are in a safe and secure environment.

 

It is important to note that both childcare and teaching volunteers are based at the same placement site and volunteers will be able to travel together accordingly. The school is split into two components where teaching volunteers work with the older children who are just about to enter grade school and the childcare volunteers work with the younger children who are at pre-school age. Although similar in nature, they each follow different daily itineraries and there is a clear boundary between the two buildings and set up. Our childcare programmes usually run in the morning only, however there is often the opportunity for volunteers on this project to engage in the teaching programme in the afternoons. Additionally, we run frequent Summer Camps within the local community. Both Childcare and Teaching volunteers will run classes for their respective age groups.

THAILAND ENGLISH TEACHING

PMGY’s English Teaching volunteers programme in Thailand encourages students to develop a skill that will help them to achieve their future goals. Conversing with fluent, native English speakers greatly improves their language skills, essential for future employment. According to the central bank, Thailand is among the world’s top education spenders relative to its size, allocating roughly 20% of its annual budget to education. But despite this Thailand produces a workforce with some of the world’s weakest English-language skills. The IMD ranks Thailand 54th of 56 countries globally for English proficiency, the second-lowest in Asia.

 

Thailand’s education system is traditionally embedded with an inward-looking curriculum that places an emphasis on rote-learning (a memorization technique based on repetition) and basic literacy. We support a school in Pathum Thani where such an education system is prevalent.

 

We work with a range of Government Funded schools in and around Pathum Thani. For example, a local government school, founded in 2010, is home to nearly 300 4 to 5-year-olds who are preparing to enter grade school. The school is split into two learning groups referred to as A1 and A2. Adjacent to the school is the pre-school building which is home to around 150 children and where our childcare volunteers are based. Originally, in 2009, the school overall was just home to pre-school children of 3 to 4-year-olds and A1 and A2 school blocks did not exist. However, the reputation and philosophy of the school grew so quickly that a year later expansions were made into a new segment for children a little older referred to as A1 and A2. Here there is a greater emphasis placed on the teaching and structure aspects to help prepare the children as much as possible for their next step into grade school. In another local elementary school, children are of an older age, with around 200 children at ages that generally range from around 6 to 16 years.

 

The schools we work with typically come well furnished and equipped air-conditioned classrooms and a strong teacher network and overall infrastructure to match. This extends into nice open spaces and well-developed playground facilities for the children to enjoy in physical education and free play.

 

It is worth noting that although the school as a whole will appear quite well off and developed from the outside looking in; the reality is this is not the case overall with many of the children coming from underprivileged backgrounds.

 

Education to these schools is free to those who are from its local village and surrounding area. In the province, each village has its own local government and the underlying aim of this local government was and remains to provide free accessible education and care to the children. This also incorporates embedding life skills, routines and positive behaviours as part of this commitment that the parents of the children must coincide with. Prior to this such opportunities were not forthcoming for the local children.

 

For our team, it is a positive to have such an establishment available on their doorstep for the children from under resourced areas. This is because it shows the local government is investing taxes back into the right areas for future growth and development within the local education infrastructure as opposed to say other corrupt avenues.

 

Volunteers’ role is needed to assist the local teachers with teaching in these large classrooms that can have up to 40 children in at one time. It can be a great tool to learn some basic English, pronunciation and phonics for the children just through having a native English speaker present.

 

It is often the case that the teachers themselves (including the designated English teachers) have very limited English and thus the presence of a native English speaker cannot be undervalued. Volunteer in Thailand participants are encouraged outside of classes to spend time with the teachers helping to improve their English skills and understanding.

 

Volunteers not only improve the children’s English but also provide them with a meaningful insight into global cultures. From time to time, volunteers are likely to get the unique experience of immersing themselves within the Thai culture at the school partaking in the morning assembly. This extends from abiding the national anthem to getting involved with chanting and meditation exercises. This is a really cool experience and you may even be invited to introduce yourself in front of the whole assembly as well!

 

Usually, after assembly, children head to respective classrooms where they will spend the next couple hours engaging in and learning new topics. After lunch and nap time the teacher will usually recap the learnings from earlier in the day, play some games to wind down and set any homework as appropriate. Volunteers are encouraged to support and lead where possible in the both sessions.

 

During the course of the day, volunteers are likely to become involved with more than one class each day. It is usually the case that such learning on one subject is introduced as part of a weekly syllabus and then embedded across the week with activities and resources to match before moving onto any further topics. Subjects generally covered include Maths, English, Geography, Science or learning about important Thai festivals and holidays.

 

It is therefore important that you create lesson plans and learning activities relevant to the topic and subject in advance in order to make your classes as fun, engaging and relevant as possible.

 

It is important to note that both childcare and teaching volunteers are based at the same placement site and volunteers will be able to travel together accordingly. The school is split into two components, where teaching volunteers work with the slightly older children who are just about to enter grade school, and the childcare volunteers work with the younger children who are at pre-school age. Although similar in nature, they each follow different daily itineraries and there is a clear boundary between the two buildings and set up. The school that volunteers are associated with during their time on the project will depend on the greatest need at that point. Additionally to traditional school settings, we also run frequent Summer Camps within the local community. Both Teaching and Childcare volunteers will run classes for their respective age groups.

 

We encourage volunteers to prepare as much as possible for their teaching programme overseas. You can make the most out of your time by completing our convenient, inexpensive and international accredited 60-hour Online TEFL Course for just $120.

FIJI CHILDCARE

A lack of sufficient education and income opportunities in rural Fiji is seeing more and more families shift towards urban areas where infrastructure and employment prospects is deemed greater.

 

PMGY Fiji is based in the heart of Suva which is recognised to be Fijis most urban location across the country and where opportunities are greater from employment and childcare perspectives. As working families seek and earn employment in Suva, daycare opportunities become a prevalent necessity for these families.

 

Home to just under one million people, nearly 30% of Fijis population is made up of 0-14-year-olds. Many of this demographic are made up of a pre-school age and are placed at kindergartens and childcare centres within Suva as parents head of to working life.

 

A lot of these kindergartens are lacking local teachers and local support as positions are often not very well paid and travelling to these projects for a local can be expensive and time consuming with traffic congestion in and around the city.

 

Therefore PMGY places volunteers in kindergartens and childcare centres within Suva to provide additional support to what is often a minimum local support staff network. A lot of the kindergartens can be made up of large classes and ages usually range from 1 to 6 years.

 

As classes can be quite large; assistance and commitment of volunteers are much appreciated and valued by what local staff there is and needed in the day to day running of the programme.

 

The more volunteers there are supporting the project then the more one to one support can be achieved with the children. This helps spread the workload across local staff and volunteers and allows for enhanced engagement, interaction and care for the children.

 

Aims and objectives of the kindergartens we support are focused around providing early education programmes that provide the best possible foundation for Fijian school life for the children. This can be anything from the day to day routines of the programme itself to basic learning activities and a foundation classroom structure.

 

Volunteers will also participate in other areas at the project. These include general maintenance, supporting local project staff with any meal times or hygiene requirements and most importantly having lots of energy, ideas and enthusiasm to keep children occupied and engaged with games and activities.

 

PROJECT EXAMPLE: THE SCHOOL OF ANGELS KINDERGARTEN

 

The School of Angels kindergarten is currently home to around 50 children aged between 18 months and 5 years of age. Located a short walk from the accommodation and adjacent to the main primary school our teaching volunteers support, the kindergarten has become home to the Suva community in recent years and have experienced members of local staff managing the whole operation that PMGY volunteers will support.

 

There is a strong emphasis on day to day activities here that drives and develops the children’s cognitive learning and basic life skills. This can include lots of puzzle-based activities as well as arts and crafts and teaching good manners, habits and positive behaviours.

 

With the older children at the kindergarten getting ready and prepped for primary school life, basic reading and writing tasks take place here and there can be more support required by volunteers to help facilitate the education development side of things.

 

The kindergarten itself is well resourced with plenty of play areas both indoor and outdoor for break times and facilities to allow for creative learning to take place.

 

There is also an expectation on volunteers to support with foundation reading and writing development and take the lead in activities when required whether it be coordinating a colouring class, organising a play workshop or leading nursery rhymes.

 

The day usually begins at 9am so volunteers will have to be up early and have lots of energy for the day ahead. Most of the children will stay at the kindergarten until the early afternoon at least with a morning snack and lunch sandwiched in between before being picked up by parents or other relatives and older siblings.

 

Whilst some children may stay at the kindergarten and continue with activities and learning until later in the afternoon, volunteers will usually just participate on the project during the morning time when the numbers of children are higher and the support and assistance of volunteers is more appreciated.

 

Volunteers on the kindergarten programme, in general, are expected to match the excited and eager nature of the children and local staff when supporting or leading fun and interactive activities. This will range from planning activities, teaching basic English and grammar, organising and planning age-appropriate activities or even leading story time!

 

Volunteers are advised to note there is an additional 30 FJD ($15) local payment weekly project donation that goes directly to the project during your first few days. This donation helps provide additional resources for the projects we support.

FIJI ENGLISH TEACHING

The Fijian education system is split into primary schools, secondary schools and higher education. More specifically this breaks down into around 750 primary schools, 150 secondary schools and 3 main universities.

 

The structure Fijians receive at each school can vary specifically between rural and urban schools. Incorporating population density as a factor, the average class size of a rural school tends to be under 20 with the average class size of a secondary school being over 40.

 

The diversity and history of Fiji means schools can be managed by anything from the government, religion or provinces.

 

PMGY work alongside a Catholic school located close by to the Volunteer House and adjacent to our main kindergarten programme that our childcare volunteers work with. The school is called Maris Primary School and home to 700 boys aged from 6 to 13 years of age.

 

You will certainly be able to hear the noise and excitement coming from the school before you can see it! The children usually attend school from 8.30am – 2.30pm with extra-curricular activities taking over at the end of the school day.

 

Volunteers will be assisting the local teachers across the school day. With classrooms particularly in the Suva area often overcrowded and somewhat under-resourced, local assistance goes a long way in enhancing the students local experience and also providing support to the local teacher.

 

At the school, volunteers support in the classroom is much appreciated by the staff. Teachers will often allow the volunteers too take lead across the lessons and provide a different perspective to the Fijian teachers for the students.

 

Volunteers will therefore have the opportunities to across the day to take the lead teacher role in the classroom. Volunteers should be prepared to plan lessons according to the relevant age group that they are working with.

 

Sometimes whether through unexpected sickness or being short staffed at the project volunteer support can become essential and much appreciated by the school in leading a busy and excitable classroom through activities and lessons.

 

Children will be very excited to see you and learn from you so volunteers should be keen to match similar levels of eagerness!

 

Opportunities are also available to engage in the extra curricular activities that take place after the school day. These usually centre around sports activities and the local teachers will definitely appreciate any support with this.

 

Maintaining a pro-active mindset and being creative and dynamic in your teaching style is encouraged for volunteers to get the most out of their experience.

 

Volunteers can support in other ways outside of the classroom in terms of helping out at the school library, assisting the staff at break times or supporting after school activities.

 

You will also find the students excited to learn about your culture and life experiences so don’t be afraid to bring some personality to your teaching where appropriate. This can be a great mechanism to building rapport with the students, maintaining classroom discipline and encouraging interactive learning. So don’t be afraid to bring a teaching aid or two from your home country.

 

It is also important that as a teacher or even when assisting the local school teacher that change and implementation can be slow but that your efforts and contribution will be appreciated and make a big difference in terms of the long-term improvement and development.

 

With the older children, volunteers are expected to focus on more formal learning methods and teaching core subjects such as English, Maths and Geography.

 

With the younger students a more relaxed and informal teaching style can be adopted here and creative activities such as storytelling, singing song and dancing.

 

Volunteers are advised to note there is an additional 30 FJD ($15) local payment weekly project donation that goes directly to the project during your first few days. This donation helps provide additional resources for the projects we support.

ITINERARY

Please make sure you arrive into Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo (CMB) on the selected Saturday start date.

 

Day 1 (Saturday) Arrival

 

Welcome to Sri Lanka! You will be met at Colombo airport by a member of our local team who will be holding a name sign. The journey to Ambalangoda will take around 2 hours, depending on traffic. You will have the rest of the day to relax and settle in.

 

Day 2 (Sunday) Orientation

 

Your orientation will begin on Sunday. Our local team will teach you about life in Sri Lanka, the do’s and don’ts, the local culture and religion. Your orientation will continue with an introduction to the transport system, safety advice and all the developing projects we support in the community. If you wish to take part in multiple projects during your time with us in Sri Lanka then this can be discussed during your orientation.

 

In the afternoon, our local coordinator will take you to see some of the famous sites around Ambalangoda, including the longest sleeping Buddha statue in Asia, an original blue moonstone mine and some famous Buddhist temples. You will also have the chance to change money, buy a local phone or SIM Card and visit the supermarket.

 

Day 2-6 (Monday-Friday) Volunteering Begins

 

On Monday, you will start your volunteer placement. The first couple of days should be spent learning the ropes and getting to know the people at the project. As the week goes on you will find that your role develops as you begin to get more comfortable. You will have regular interaction with our local coordinators who are always there for you. Whatever the problem, big or small, rest assured that you’ll be fully supported throughout your time with PMGY.

 

Day 7-8 (Saturday-Sunday) Weekend!

 

Whether you are looking for a relaxing weekend by the beach, some adventure activities, or a more cultural experience – Sri Lanka has it all. Why not check out our weekend guide to find out what you can be getting up to in your free time!

 

Day 9-21 (Monday-Friday) The Following Weeks

 

Your following weeks in Sri Lanka will follow a similar pattern, as you will be volunteering from Monday to Friday. Time will fly so make sure you make the most of it. Our local team are there to support you throughout your stay. Whether you’ve lost your passport, want some advice for weekend travel plans or just need someone to talk to, they are there for you.

 

Day 22 (Saturday) Goodbye Sri Lanka – Hello Thailand!

 

Unfortunately it is time to say goodbye to Sri Lanka but get ready for Thailand! Our local team can help arrange a taxi to the airport. Please note that this is not included in your Programme Fee.

 

Welcome to Thailand! You will be met at Bangkok airport by a member of our local team who will be holding a name sign. The journey to Pathum Thani will take around 1 hour, depending on traffic. You will have the rest of the day to relax and get familiar with your new environment.

 

Day 23 (Sunday) – Orientation

 

Your orientation will begin on Sunday. Our local team will teach you about life in Thailand, the do’s and don’ts, the local culture and religion. Your orientation will continue with an introduction to the transport system, safety advice and the project work.

 

You will also have the chance to head to the main street later in the day and visit the local market, buy a local phone or SIM Card and go to the supermarket.

 

Volunteers will usually head to JJ Market during the orientation. Home to over 8,000 stalls, JJ Market is a shoppers paradise with bargains galore and is Bangkok’s famous weekend market! This is a great chance to pickup any bits you’ll need as well as practising your bartering skills. Our local team will be on hand to make sure you get the best deal possible!

 

Please note that transport to and from JJ Market is not included and volunteers should budget around $8 for this.

 

Day 24-28 (Monday-Friday) – Volunteering Begins

 

You will start your volunteer work on Monday morning. Should you need anything whilst at the project, remember our local team are only a phone call away. You will see our coordinator throughout the day at the Volunteer House and they are always happy to help. On the evenings volunteers will tend to relax around the dinner table, play games, head to the market or watch a movie.

 

Day 29-30 (Saturday-Sunday) – Weekend

 

Whether you are looking for a relaxing weekend by the beach, some adventure activities, or a more cultural experience – Thailand has it all. Why not check out our weekend guide to find out what you can be getting up to in your free time!

 

Day 31-42 – The Following Weeks

 

Your following weeks in Thailand will follow a similar pattern, as you will be volunteering from Monday to Friday. Time will fly so make sure you make the most of it. Our local team are there to support you throughout your stay. Whether you’ve lost your passport, want some advice for weekend travel plans or just need someone to talk to, they are there for you.

 

Day 43 (Saturday) Goodbye Thailand

 

Saturday is your last day in Thailand. Our local team can help you arrange your return airport drop off for your onward journey to Fiji. Please note that this is not included in your Programme Fee.

 

Day 44 (Sunday) Hello Fiji!

 

Welcome to Fiji! You will be met at Nadi airport by our partner pick up team who will be holding a sign with your name on it. The approved contact from our local our team will then walk you to the bus transfer at the airport adjacent to the departure terminal and place you on the bus from Nadi Airport to Suva bus station.

 

The journey to Suva will take around 4 hours, depending on traffic. The buses are nice and comfortable coming with reclining seats and air conditioning.

 

On arrival into Suva bus station, our local team will be there to meet and greet you and collect both you and your luggage. You will then take a 5-minute taxi or car ride with our local team from the bus station to the volunteer accommodation.

 

You will have the rest of the day to relax and settle in.

 

Day 45 (Monday) Orientation

 

Your orientation will begin on the Monday. Our local team will teach you about life in Fiji, the do’s and don’t’s, the local culture and things to do on the weekends. This is also your chance to ask more information on the projects, learn some of the local dialects and get your bearings to Fiji life.

 

In the afternoon our local coordinator will take you on a walking tour of Suva so you know where everything is for the rest of your time on the programme. This will include heading to the seafront, pointing out where the bus station is, the shops, malls and souvenir markets as well as getting the change to change money, go to the ATM, buy a local SIM Card and visit the supermarket.

 

You will also have free time across the day where if you want too you can visit Oceania’s biggest fruit and veg market or take some time to explore Fijis national museum.

 

Day 46-49 (Tuesday-Friday) Volunteering Begins

 

You will start your volunteer work on Tuesday morning. Should you need anything whilst at the project, remember our local team are only a phone call away. Our team will be at the accommodation to check in with you each day on how things at the project are going.

 

It is important to note that when at the projects the project staff are your main points of contact for support, questions, assistance and giving your time when at the project. The local team at the lodge will advise on best routes to get to the projects and you will then soon get acclimatised and your bearings.

 

In the evening times, whether its over dinner or a game of scrabble, Suzie and her family live on site at the lodge and if you have any questions about life in Fiji or hearing about their culture and life experience then ask away!

 

Day 50-51 (Saturday-Sunday) Weekend

 

Whether you are looking for a bustling weekend locally in Suva, some adventure activities at the waterfalls, or a relaxing experience on one of Fijis hundreds of islands – Fiji has it all. Why not check out our weekend guide to find out what you can be getting up to in your free time!

 

Day 52-63 – The Following Weeks

 

Your next weeks will follow a similar pattern, as you will be volunteering from Monday to Friday. Time will fly so make sure you make the most of it. Our local team are there to support you throughout your stay. Whether you’ve lost your passport, want some advice for weekend travel plans or just need someone to talk to, they are there for you.

 

Day 64 (Saturday) Last Day

 

Saturday is your last day with PMGY and the end of your Real Summer Encounter! We can help you arrange your return airport drop off back to Nadi. Please note that this is not included in your Programme Fee.

 

* This itinerary is subject to change as a result of unforeseen circumstances.

CHOOSING A TRIP

What are the programme start dates?

The programme start dates are as follows –

 

6th June 2020
20th June 2020
4th July 2020
18th July 2020
1st August 2020

What are the requirements to join?

In order to join the programme, you need to be at least 18 on the programme start date.

 

We welcome volunteers of all backgrounds, nationalities and religions. You must be able to provide us with a clean criminal background check prior to your programme start date. We are unable to accept anyone who has any previous criminal convictions.

 

Although you do not need to speak English as your first language, we do require all participants to have a good level of English in order to join the programme.

 

You should also be physically fit, as volunteering overseas can be quite strenuous. If you have any medical/mental health conditions that may affect your participation overseas then these must be declared to us during your online application.

What date should I arrive and leave?

You should arrive into Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo (CMB) on the selected Saturday start date. You will be met at the airport by one of our local staff or an appointed driver who will be holding a named sign. They will take you to your accommodation where you will spend the rest of your day at leisure.

 

The programme ends in Fiji on the Saturday of your final week and you should depart the accommodation on this day.

Are there any age restrictions?

In order to join the programme, you need to be at least 18 on the programme start date.

 

Generally, the average age range of volunteers is 18-22 but this is by no means definitive.

 

There is no upper age limit. However, we encourage anyone who is slightly older to contact us in the first instance and we can advise if there is a more appropriate programme/destination for you.

When should I apply for the programme?

For the majority of our programmes you can apply at any time. However, we advise that you apply as soon as possible to ensure we have availability on the programme – particularly if you’re looking to travel between June and August, as spaces can fill up very quickly during this period.

 

It is best that you apply sooner rather than later as some of our programmes only have a limited capacity and spaces get filled very quickly. However, you should always make sure you’re 100% committed to the programme before applying.

 

It is also possible to change your start dates once you have already applied and had your space confirmed. However, please note this does carry an administration charge of $60 and is subject to availability.

 

You need to apply online by locating the “Apply Now” button on the individual programme; this will guide you through our Online Application process.

Can I volunteer if I live outside of the UK?

We accept volunteers from all over the world. The majority of our participants are from the UK, US, Canada & Australia. However, we have hosted volunteers from countries such as Nigeria, Bermuda & Peru in the past.

Can I go with my friend/parent/boyfriend/girlfriend?

You’re more than welcome to travel and volunteer with friends, family members or with a boyfriend/girlfriend. If required, we can make sure that you stay in the same accommodation and volunteer at the same project (please note the majority of our volunteer accommodation is on a single-sex basis).
Please outline in the ‘Special Requirements’ box of your online application if you’d like to make sure you’re placed alongside another applicant/s.

Is it safe to travel to PMGY destinations?

Although our volunteers work in the developing world, we always ensure our host locations are safe. Each programme has been extensively researched and has passed our strict vetting process. Our International Team undergo an extensive routine when establishing the in-country infrastructures and we continue to monitor our safety procedures on a regular basis. Furthermore, we monitor the stability of our volunteer destinations on a daily basis. Through our constant contact with consulates and embassies and our reports from our overseas teams, we are able to ensure that our volunteers are never placed in unstable regions.

 

The PMGY team have visited and participated in every programme we offer and verify them based on our own independent criteria. We carefully inspect every little detail of our set-up. From inspecting the living conditions, checking out the neighbourhoods you’ll be staying in, to tasting the food you’ll be eating – each and every programme we establish has gone through a lengthy and rigorous vetting process. Risk assessments have been written for all areas in which PMGY operate and our experienced local coordinators are always on-hand to manage any emergencies that may occur. Our International Team are always on the road reviewing our risk management procedures in the field and monitoring local conditions.

 

In emergency situations, we have the necessary protocols and equipment in place and we are able to evacuate our volunteers from potential dangers. Our local coordinators are trained to deal with emergency circumstances.

 

When you join PMGY we will send you a Volunteer Handbook. This document addresses a range of issues such as health, safety, visa issues etc. Furthermore, our International Team are only ever a phone call away should you wish to discuss any aspect of your upcoming programme. When you arrive in-country, you’ll be given a comprehensive safety briefing during your orientation course by our local coordinators. We will go through everything from emergency procedures, how to use local transport and cultural differences. You’ll also be given the opportunity to purchase a local SIM card, something we strongly suggest, so you’re contactable at all times. We will provide you with a full list of the important contact numbers that you’ll need to know.

 

All our local teams are experienced development professionals who have years of experience in hosting international volunteers. They are our representatives on the ground and will assist you 24/7 throughout your stay. Whether you need to call home, travel at the weekend or require urgent assistance – they are there to support you.

 

While we cannot guarantee your volunteer experience to be 100% trouble free we have taken all the necessary precautions to make sure each programme is as safe as possible.

When do I pay? Can I pay in instalments?

In order to confirm your place on a PMGY programme you need to pay the Registration Fee ($249). The remaining Programme Fee is then due no less than 60 days prior to your programme start date.

 

You’re only required to pay your $249 Registration Fee once we can guarantee you a place on the programme unless you’re applying within 60 days of your programme start date in which case you’ll need to pay the full amount to confirm your place. We will notify you by email that you have been successful in your application.

 

Any remaining payments must be made no less than 60 days prior to your start date. This payment can be made in one lump sum or in several instalments. If you chose to take our insurance or book a flight with PMGY then these must be paid for (in full) at the time of booking.

 

Payments can be made directly through our website using all major debit and credit cards. We also accept BACS transfers from UK participants. We will outline instructions to make payment in our email communication with you. Please note credit card payments are subject to a 3% additional fee to cover the bank charges that PMGY incur.

Can I use PMGY’s programmes as part of a university or college placement?

It is certainly possible to use one of PMGY’s programmes as part of your university or college placement. Project staff can sign off any paperwork required by your course tutors. PMGY regularly receives medical, childcare, psychology and nursing placement students at our projects around the world and we have ties with some of the leading universities.

 

While our team will do their best to complete any paperwork we are unable to guarantee that we will be able to comply with every learning objective and requirement or your university or college. In the event that your university or college do not accept the paperwork submitted by PMGY then you will be unable to be refunded for your trip.

 

If you’re a course tutor and would like further information about how one of PMGY’s programmes could meet the placement requirements for your degree course then please contact us directly on hello@planmygapyear.com to schedule a meeting.

BEFORE YOU DEPART

Do you offer an online TEFL course?

For PMGY volunteers joining our teaching programmes the only real ‘qualifications’ you need are bags of energy, commitment and enthusiasm. If you’d like a chance to do some preparation work before you hit the classroom, we’ve got the perfect introductory course for teaching English abroad.

 

At only 60 hours and completed online, this course is hugely convenient because it can be done in your own time, at your own pace and you don’t even need to leave the house! You’ve got a whopping 75 days to complete the course, so there is no rush and you can fit it in when you can. An hour here and there certainly adds up over the course of the couple of months you have to complete it, so there really is no pressure.

 

Once completed you’ll not only have acquired some key skills for teaching English abroad but you’ll also gain an internationally accredited certificate. If you find that teaching really is your calling, this course can be built upon with more modules leading to a paid teaching position in the future.

 

As well as a core module in the ‘Principles of Teaching English’ which covers ‘Understanding language’, ‘Key English grammar points’ and ‘How to teach grammar in the classroom’ you will have a choice of one of three specialist modules. The ‘Survival teaching’ module is perfect for volunteers covering ‘Teaching large classes’, ‘Teaching with limited resources’, ‘Learner-based training’ and ‘Cultural awareness’.

 

The cost of the course is $150. If you’ve already signed up for one of our programmes and would like to enrol on the online TEFL course then please call us or email us.

Can I fundraise for my trip?

With PMGY the money our volunteers pay goes towards the structure you receive for your time with us overseas. The fundamentals of this structure include food, accommodation, airport pickups, around the clock support from our international and in-country teams, pre-departure training as well as the implementation and monitoring of the projects.

 

We do our best to keep our programme costs as low and affordable as possible, without sacrificing on quality and safety. However, with flights, travel insurance and spending money to factor into your overall budget, you may find you need a little bit of help with the finances. Therefore, a large number of PMGY volunteers decide to fundraise for their trip.

 

We recommend setting up an online fundraising page to allow friends and families to learn more about your trip and make donations. PMGY have partnered with the online crowd funding website GoGetFunding.

 

This professional online fundraising service creates a personalised fundraising page for your PMGY trip, allowing you to set financial goals and get the message across about what you’re doing. You can also share your PMGY fundraising page across various social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to spread the word.

Can I raise money for the projects?

The PMGY Foundation is a UK registered charity (1169415) that has been set up to help provide financial aid and assistance to the projects and countries we work with on an ongoing basis.

 

The objective of the PMGY Foundation is the prevention or relief of poverty of people living in the communities we support by providing or assisting in the provision of education, training, healthcare projects and all the necessary support designed to enable individuals to generate a sustainable income and be self-sufficient.

 

The ultimate aim of the PMGY Foundation is to enable donations to be directed towards specific hand-picked projects in countries most in need. The project donations are determined by the charities trustees during our annual overseas visits.

 

If you are looking to help raise money directly for the PMGY Foundation you can do so via our Virgin Money Giving fundraising page.

 

100% of all money raised will be donated directly to the projects we support around the world. Please note that participants are unable to raise money through the PMGY Foundation to help finance the cost of their trip overseas.

How do I register for your online webinars?

On selected Tuesdays we hold our Pre-Departure Webinars. They are well worth attending, take only 45 minutes and will provide you with some invaluable advice on your upcoming trip.

 

There are three to choose from and it is well worth attending all of them:

 

Travel Essentials Pre-Departure Webinar – covers all the basics.

 

Programme Preparation Webinar – covers specifically childcare and teaching programmes.

 

Safety & Wellbeing Overseas Webinar – covers the risks associated with overseas travel and how you can keep as safe as possible.

 

The webinars are hosted by a member of our International Team, who all have extensive knowledge of our projects around the world. You can attend (and even ask questions) from anywhere in the world simply by logging in through your own computer. All you need is a computer, a good internet connection and a pair of headphones.

 

If any family or friends would like to attend the session as well, they are more than welcome to do so. Please note that you need to sign up for the webinar a few days in advance.

What about vaccinations and malaria tablets?

As we are not medical experts we cannot, unfortunately, tell you exactly what vaccinations you’ll need to obtain so it is vital you consult your local GP or travel clinic a few months before you intend to travel. Your local doctor/nurse will advise you as to what vaccinations and malaria prevention is needed for entry into your volunteer destination.

 

Additional information can be found on the NHS Fit For Travel website.

How do I arrange my flights?

You can choose to book your flights independently or we can help you in arranging them. Through our close partnerships within the travel industry, we are able to offer flights at very competitive rates. PMGY has a wealth of experience in travelling to and from our host countries; we know the most affordable ways to travel and the best airlines to use.

 

For peace of mind, PMGY holds an ATOL License (11262) that allows us to offer flight-based packages that are financially protected by the Civil Aviation Authority in the unlikely event of our insolvency.

 

If you’d like to receive a flight quote from PMGY, you can submit an online enquiry by visiting the specific web-page of the programme you’re interested in joining, or by calling our office or dropping us an email.

 

When you apply for a PMGY programme we cannot guarantee your acceptance immediately. On receiving an application, we have to liaise with our local team to ensure there is space available on the programme and to assess your suitability for the specific project.

 

Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not make any flight and/or travel arrangements until your programme has been confirmed by us in writing. Once your programme has been confirmed you’re then free to book your flights either with PMGY or a through third-party travel agent.

Do you offer travel insurance?

It is mandatory that all PMGY volunteers hold travel insurance during the entirety of their time on our programme; this includes your travel to and from the host country. Although PMGY does everything to ensure your trip is safe, inevitably things can go wrong so you must adequately protect yourself.

 

PMGY have teamed up with the insurance company Endsleigh to create an affordable and comprehensive travel insurance policy for our volunteers. The policy is specifically designed to ensure PMGY volunteers for all their travel essentials. The policy is available to anyone up to the age of 65 and covers you throughout any PMGY destination and any onward travel you may arrange (excluding the US and Canada). You can purchase PMGY Travel Insurance during your online application or you can contact us directly to arrange it.

 

Please note that PMGY Travel Insurance is purchased in week-long blocks. Therefore, you should carefully identify how many days you’ll be away for, including the date you depart and return to your home country, to ensure you select the correct duration of travel insurance. For example, if you’re travelling for 29 days in total, you’ll need a 5-week policy, not a 4-week policy.

How do I obtain a background check?

To join any of our programmes you’ll need to provide us with a clean CRB or Police Check before you travel. We have a commitment to the projects we support to ensure the volunteers we send are trustworthy and of sound moral character. We are unable to accept participants who have had any previous criminal convictions.

 

If you hold a current CRB or Police Check then we can accept this providing it is issued no more than 18 months prior to your programme start date. Please scan and email us a copy of this document. If you do not have a CRB or Police Check then we will outline how to obtain this in your Volunteer Handbook. The CRB or Police Check must be submitted to us no less than 21 days prior to your programme start date.

 

If you don’t have a valid CRB check (also known as DBS or Police Check), then you will need to apply for one. UK volunteers need to apply for a “Basic Disclosure” through Gov.uk (which serves all people in the UK).

 

This costs £25 and takes around 15 working days to process. Full information on how to obtain a CRB check through Gov.uk is outlined in the Volunteer Handbook you receive once you are signed up for the programme.

 

For international participants, we recommend you obtain a Police/Criminal Background Check through your local police station or official governmental body.

When will I receive my Volunteer Handbook?

All volunteers will receive a PMGY Volunteer Handbook once they have paid their deposit and confirmed their place on the programme. We will send you an email entitled ‘Welcome to PMGY’ which will include a link where you can download the Volunteer Handbook. Please note that we DO NOT send a hard copy of the PMGY Volunteer Handbook.

 

This Handbook contains literally everything you need to know – from what to pack, to how to obtain a visa, to local language guides. It is really important that you read through the Volunteer Handbook carefully once you’ve downloaded it. If you require any further information not covered in the Volunteer Handbook then our team are always on hand to assist you. You can contact us via email, telephone, Skype, Facebook, online chat…whatever works best for you!

ON YOUR TRIP

Can I arrange a private room?

All of our accommodation options involve sharing a room with other participants (usually same-sex). Unfortunately, we are unable to arrange private room options for our participants.

Can you cater for my dietary requirements?

Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements but there may be instances where you may need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense.

Are there any public holidays that affect project availability?

We aim to communicate as clearly and accurately as possible all holidays that affect project availability and project closures in the Volunteer Handbook. However, due to the nature of developing countries holidays can often be sporadic or prone to change that directly affects project availability and we ask our volunteers to be flexible and appreciative of this. This usually represents a unique experience for volunteers to enjoy the festivities and holidays themselves and/or our local teams will always do their best to find alternative project work if applicable.

What is the dress code at the projects?

Dress code varies from country to country. We ask that our volunteers adopt a smart and responsible image during their time in the communities. We will outline the specific dress code requirements in your Volunteer Handbook so you know exactly what to pack.

 

The general rule of thumb for girls is to cover your shoulders and thighs and for men to not take their shirts off. Whilst we do not wish to impose strict regulations on our volunteers, we do ask that you respect the local culture during your travels. Dressing appropriately will earn you the respect of the people you’ll be working with.

 

It’s a good idea to take some nicer clothes for the weekends and special occasions but please avoid tight and very short clothing. You should also avoid clothing that may have potentially offensive slogans on it. Tattoos and piercings should be covered where possible whilst you’re at your placement, particularly if you’re working with children.

How much spending money will I need?

The amount of extra spending money you should take depends on where you travel to and how many travel activities you plan to undertake during your free time. If you plan to go for a safari in Tanzania, a scuba-diving course in Thailand or trekking in South Africa, then you should budget accordingly. However, for general expenses and some independent travel, you should find $75-$150 per week a suitable amount.

Will I be able to travel whilst on the programme?

You’ll have plenty of opportunity to travel during your time with PMGY. In fact, we encourage you to travel during your free time. All of our programmes have been designed so that you have weekends off. This gives you the opportunity to explore the local area or even travel further afield within your host country. Our local coordinators will provide you with all the travel tips you need to help you plan any independent adventures.

 

Furthermore, you’re going to meet so many new people during your time with PMGY that you’ll definitely meet some travel buddies along the way!

 

Before booking your flights, we recommend that you look into travel opportunities within the relevant country either side of your volunteering placement. It is always great to spend some time travelling and seeing more of the country you wish to volunteer in. If you do plan to travel extensively please factor this into your flight itinerary, as we only encourage travel during weekends while you’re volunteering as you have made a commitment to the project.

ACCOMMODATION

SRI LANKA - AMBALANGODA

Volunteer House

 

During your time with PMGY in Sri Lanka you will live in our Volunteer House/s. The accommodation is basic but comfortable. You’ll be living with other PMGY volunteers from around the world, so you’ll make plenty of friends along the way.

 

We will transport you via tuk tuk or private car to and from your project. This service is included in your Programme Fee.

 

The Volunteer House is located just outside of central Ambalangoda, in a peaceful part of town. Each room has bunk beds, up to 10 people per room (same-sex rooms only). Volunteers are provided with air conditioning in the room and bed linen. You will have cupboard space to store clothes and accessories as well as personal locker space to store your valuables.

 

Bathrooms are shared. Each bathroom has a shower and western style toilet. The water is cold but this shouldn’t be a problem as Sri Lanka is hot and humid all year round! The house has a voucher based Wi-Fi system and a communal area for volunteers to hang out. There is also a kitchen with a refrigerator to store any items you need to keep chilled.

 

A member of our local team will also live at the house. This ensures you have round the clock support and security.

 

During our busiest months you may be placed at alternative accommodation. This could be a nearby guesthouse or one of our alternative Volunteer Houses.

SRI LANKA - WASGAMUWA

Volunteer House

 

The Volunteer House; also named the Pussellayaya Field House, is located on a scenic hill overlooking a lake and the Knuckles Mountain Range and is just 15 minutes from the Wasgamuwa National Park and the local town is named Hettipola.

 

The project accommodation is very basic, but comfortable and clean fitting up to 8 people per room in single-sex bedrooms. You will be sure to meet and live with volunteers from around the world to mix with other cultures and countries in this fantastic setting as well as having the security to know that the local team also live on site.

 

The accommodation is open and spacious with a high roof, which catches breezes off the lake to keep the house relatively cool during hot days and nights and ensures the house remains dry during the rainy season.

 

You are awoken every morning by the gorgeous sunrise and the songs of the local birds around. If you wake up early enough, you will be lucky enough to catch sunrise from the open entrance of the accommodation.

 

The Volunteer House has same-sexed bedrooms sectioned off for privacy situated around two communal social areas. There are shared bathrooms that have western style toilets and cold showers. The cold showers will prove refreshing after a hot, humid and energy-sapping day on the project!

 

All of the essentials are provided for you, such as mosquito nets, electric fans, pillows, plug sockets and clean bed sheets. A fridge is provided for volunteers should you want to store any cool items. The Volunteer House has a dining room and longue area where volunteers gather and socialise at lunch and evenings.

 

The walls of the field house are covered in decorative paintings done by past volunteers and you are encouraged to pick up a paint brush and contribute to brightening up the house surroundings.

 

There is a communal area where everyone comes together in free time. There are many board games and local games to get involved with too keep you occupied or simply choose to read a book on the veranda as the sun sets down in the evening!

THAILAND

Volunteer House

 

During your time with PMGY in Thailand you will live in our Volunteer House located in the town of Pathum Thani, a safe and quiet suburb of Bangkok and around one hours drive from the main tourist areas such as Koh San Road. Much like London and other big cities around the world, Bangkok has an inner-city rail system (known as the BTS), which makes getting around the city cheap, convenient and fast. There are regular buses and vans which provide a quick and affordable route into the centre of the city. 

 

The house is a local property within an extremely safe and quiet neighbourhood. It is around a 30 minute walk from the main street where you will find local restaurants, convenience stores and ATMs.

 

All volunteers stay together in the Volunteer House. The accommodation is basic but comfortable with free WiFi (intermittent). Our local team also live on site adjacent to the volunteer accommodation so you will have daily interaction with our team.

 

There are fans available in the accommodation and the bathrooms are of western standard. Rooms are shared, up to 10 per room (all bedding and mosquito net is provided). 

 

We encourage you to bring some small padlocks for your suitcase and/or store any valuables with our local team in their private area. There will also be fridge space available for volunteers to store any items they need to keep chilled. The local coordinators live next to the dedicated volunteer living quarters and are on-call 24/7 should you need anything.

 

During our busiest months (June to September) you may be placed at alternative accommodation. This could be a nearby guesthouse or one of our summer Volunteer Houses.

FIJI

Volunteer Lodge

 

During your time with PMGY in Fiji you will live in our backpacker lodge accommodation. The accommodation is basic but comfortable and is located just outside of central Suva; a stone’s throw away from everything you need in town with a great sea view to match. Each room has either single beds or bunk beds and fits up to 6 people per room.

 

Volunteers are provided with fans in the room if needed and their own mosquito net/mosquito coils and bed linen. The wooden build of the house means that generally, temperatures remain cool in summer and warm in the winter. There are communal lockers with one locker per room located either on the top floor of the accommodation or inside the room.

 

Bathrooms are shared. Each bathroom has a shower and western style toilet. The water can be hot or cold depending on which shower you use.

 

The house does not have Wi-Fi available to volunteers but there are numerous internet cafes in Suva a short walk away. Volunteers are best obtaining a local SIM Card to get access a data package should they want regular internet access. For around 3 GBP you can get 7GB of data on a Digicel network SIM Card.

 

There are a couple communal areas across the accommodation for volunteers to hang out. There is also a kitchen area and a small refrigerator to store any items you need to keep chilled.

 

Our local team also live on the top floor of the house. This ensures you have round the clock support and security and daily interaction with our team.

 

During our busiest months (June to September) you may be placed at alternative accommodation. This could be a nearby guesthouse or one of our summer Volunteer Houses.[/vc_column_text]

MEALS

SRI LANKA - AMBALANGODA

You will be served three meals per day at the Volunteer House. Most meals are traditional Sri Lankan dishes that can be typically quite spicy. Sri Lankan cuisine consists of a lot of rice and the meat is mainly fish or chicken – vegetarian options are always available.

 

All meals are freshly prepared each day. If you fancy some western comforts, you will find plenty of restaurants serving western meals in the nearby town of Hikkaduwa. Hikkaduwa is a 20 minute journey from Ambalangoda and the cost to get there by tuk tuk is around $6 each way.

 

A weekly menu has been introduced that blends Sri Lanka cuisine with Western cuisine so you will know in advance what is on the menu for that day!

 

Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements but there may be instances where you may need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense.

SRI LANKA - WASGAMUWA

You will be served three meals per day at the Volunteer House. You will have a couple hours free time after lunch for your stomach to settle before the afternoon session! Most meals are traditional Sri Lankan dishes that can be typically quite spicy. Sri Lankan cuisine consists of a lot of rice and the meat is mainly fish or chicken – vegetarian options are always available and the meals tend to be mainly vegetarian anyways. All meals are freshly prepared on site each day.

 

There are tea/coffee facilities provided for volunteers whenever required as well as water filters so remember to top up before you head into the jungle!

 

Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements but there may be instances where you may need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense.

THAILAND

You will be provided with breakfast and dinner everyday at the Volunteer House. Most meals are traditional Thai dishes that can be typically quite spicy. Thai cuisine consists of a lot of rice, noodles and the meat is mainly fish or chicken – vegetarian options are always available.

 

Breakfast is traditionally done on a self service method where volunteers will help themselves each morning before heading to project. Dinner is either provided at the house or volunteers will head to the main street for the evening meal. This may involve a trip to the local restaurant or taking in some traditional Thai street food. 

 

All meals are freshly prepared each day. If you fancy some western comforts, you are best to head into Bangkok where you will find plenty of restaurants serving western meals.

 

You are required to purchase your own lunch and there is plenty of options during the lunch break at the project on the main street of Pathum Thani around a 25 minute walk from the project. This includes traditional Thai street food options as well as a 7/11 supermarket where volunteers can get western lunch options such as ham and cheese toasties, spaghetti carbonara and sausage sandwiches.

 

Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements but there may be instances where you may need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense.

FIJI

You will be served breakfast and dinner at the Volunteer House.

 

For lunch, volunteers can purchase this either at the project, take a packed lunch with them or head into Suva after a morning at the project where you are spoilt for choice with a range of delicacies!

 

All meals are freshly prepared each day and most meals are traditional Fijian dishes. Fiji is a very culturally diverse country and often there food and taste buds can reflect this!

 

Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements but there may be instances where you may need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense.

FEES INVOLVED

DURATION

PROGRAMME FEE

REGISTRATION FEE

TOTAL

9 weeks
$2085
$249
$2334

* These fees apply to each individual application.

 

 

In order to confirm your place on a PMGY programme you need to pay the Registration Fee ($249). The remaining Programme Fee is then due no less than 60 days prior to your programme start date.

 

You’re only required to pay your $249 Registration Fee once we can guarantee you a place on the programme, unless you’re applying within 60 days of your programme start date in which case you’ll need to pay the full amount to confirm your place. We will notify you by email that you have been successful in your application.

 

Any remaining payments must be made no less than 60 days prior to your start date. This payment can be made in one lump sum or in several instalments. If you chose to take our insurance or book a flight with PMGY then these must be paid for (in full) at the time of booking.

 

Payments can be made directly through our website using all major debit and credit cards. We will outline instructions to make payment in our email communication with you. Please note credit card payments are subject to a 3% additional fee to cover the bank charges that PMGY incur.

REAL SUMMER ENCOUNTER REVIEWS

WHAT'S INCLUDED

PROGRAMME FEE

  • ACCOMMODATION YES
  • SRI LANKA MEALS (B, L & D) YES
  • THAILAND MEALS (B & D) YES
  • FIJI MEALS (B & D) YES
  • AIRPORT PICK UPSYES
  • SRI LANKA TRANSPORT TO PROJECT YES
  • IN-COUNTRY ORIENTATIONSYES
  • PMGY T-SHIRTYES
  • 24 HOUR IN-COUNTRY SUPPORTYES

REGISTRATION FEE

  • 24 HOUR UK-BASED EMERGENCY SUPPORT YES
  • DEDICATED PMGY TRAVEL MENTOR YES
  • UNLIMITED EMAIL & TELEPHONE SUPPORT YES
  • COMPREHENSIVE VOLUNTEER HANDBOOK YES
  • LIVE PRE-DEPARTURE WEBINARS YES
  • 100% FINANCIAL PROTECTIONYES
  • REGULAR PROGRAMME INSPECTION YES
  • INTERNATIONAL CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETIONYES

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

  • LUNCH IN THAILAND & FIJI ($6 PER DAY) NO
  • FLIGHTS ($1800-$2400)NO
  • TRAVEL INSURANCE ($25 PER WEEK)NO
  • RETURN AIRPORT TRANSFERS ($120)NO
  • VISAS ($35)NO
  • CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK (VARIES)NO

 

 

UK: +44 800 321 3564

USA: 1-813-422-5109

hello@planmygapyear.com