START DATES

EVERY MONTH

PRICED FROM

$1485 + $249 REGISTRATION FEE

DURATION

6-12 WEEKS

MINIMUM AGE

17 YEARS OLD

REAL TASTER ENCOUNTER

PMGY’s Real Taster Encounter takes in our top three destinations – Sri Lanka, India and Bali. We seriously can’t think of a more sublime combination of exotic and fascinating countries to volunteer in over a mind blowing 6-12 weeks. These countries represent our most popular destinations with some of the best feedback and this itinerary is perfect whether you are a first time traveller looking to sample each country over a longer time frame or wanting to experience three amazing cultures and local teams in a six week window!

 

Starting with the idyllic island and natural beauty of Sri Lanka you will then move on to the culture of India and iconic sites such as Taj Mahal and Jaipur before finishing your Real Taster Encounter in the beauty of Bali and the beaches, volcanos and embracing people that awaits you. Your weeks are sure to fly by on the Encounter with three amazing countries and programme infrastructures to embrace so be sure to make the most of it!

 

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 India. Architectural splendours, chaotic street life, tranquil havens and culture shocks are all guaranteed on your 4 week adventure to this vast, endlessly diverse and hugely inspiring country. India’s Golden Triangle comprises the three most visited cities in the country’s north-west – Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. Jaipur, capital of the largely desert state of Rajasthan, is home to the iconic Amber Fort as well as some of Asia’s best bazaars. You could spend weeks in Delhi, the sprawling, fascinating Indian capital, and not see it all, while Agra, once the heart of the Moghul empire, boasts the unparalleled beauty of the Taj Mahal, adorning the banks of the Yamuna river.

 

Your volunteering choices are very varied. Contribute to the lives of children with learning difficulties; teach English to help children reach their full potential; gain practical medical experience and insight on elective programmes; become engaged in the lives of underprivileged children in childcare centres.

 

Your last stop is Bali! With a population of less than four million, Bali is an island of soft white sands, crystal clear waters, lush tropical forests and ancient temples. Many say that Bali is not so much a place but a state of mind, a feeling of wonder and a mood of serenity.

 

Our programmes in Bali aim to give a true insight into the Balinese way of life, to experience its famous beauty whilst seeing the side of the country the tourists don’t get to see. Stay in the rice bowl of Bali in the traditional town of Tabanan and give that most precious commodity of all, your time, to children desperate to learn. Teach English set amongst rice paddies, steep ravines and forests. Invest your time in Bali’s children and help to ensure their future is bright!

 

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 6-12 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 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 $150.

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 Homes 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 vulnerable 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 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 are 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.

INDIA DISABLED CHILDREN

PMGY’s Disabled Children Programme in India helps to care for Indian children with special needs. Assist local staff by getting involved in various essential education and support sessions. In recent years the Government of India has changed various policies and laws to enable young people with disabilities to receive education. However, conflicting goals and a lack of clarity still affect disabled young people’s experiences and outcomes of education.

 

According to the India office of the World Bank, Indian children with disabilities are five and a half times more likely to be out of school than non-disabled children. Those who do attend school rarely progress beyond the primary school level. Currently, 52% of adults with disabilities are illiterate, compared to 35% amongst the general Indian population. In India 74% of people with physical impairments are unemployed.

 

People with disabilities face many barriers within and outside the Indian school system.

 

As a volunteer on the PMGY India Disabled Children Programme you will be assisting on a project within the local community closeby to the volunteer accommodation. Sehyog Community Centre is home to 20 people who range from the ages of 6 or 7 to young adults. The people at Sehyog have a range of disabilities from down syndrome, autism, deafness to physical disabilities as well.

 

Lack of awareness combined with the limited access to special needs resources has left many disabled people in India without the care they desperately need. Sehyog Community Centre aims to give the children the best opportunity in life they can have. As funding and volunteer support increases, we can continue to maximise the support we can give to the centre.

 

There is local staff at the project, but most of the additional support is provided by PMGY volunteers. The daily activities include story telling, physical exercise, basic life skill lessons, singing songs and games to get the children to interact with each other. Volunteer in India participants with the relevant experience can carry out physiotherapy and speech therapy sessions under the guidance of the local staff.

 

Volunteers will usually take along toys and educational aids each day to the community centre project. When volunteers arrive, they take over the room with their energy too stimulate and support children that would otherwise be forgotten about within the community and isolated. It is a very hands on project from teaching and feeding the children to providing general support.

 

Although the project does have challenging aspects particularly in the first couple days as volunteers adjust, feedback suggests that volunteers find this one of the most rewarding projects that they do. The bonds they build with the children at the project are very unique and special to each volunteer.

 

Naturally with the nature of the children and young adults volunteers are working with this can be quite a challenging project to structure and plan for. Volunteers are encouraged to be very adaptable, resilient, creative and maintain a positive attitude each time they come to the project. This is because many of the children and young adults lack the ability to speak or communicate functionally and will also struggle to follow instructions meaning interaction and engagement for volunteers can require alot of patience, time and effort.

 

As you persevere on your time across the project, you will begin to see what a truly inspirational experience you are a part of. Although not always visually recognised, your efforts will be met with appreciation and warmth by all staff and children and the small differences you can make or the care and attention that you can give will go a very long way.

INDIA ENGLISH TEACHING

PMGY’s English Teaching volunteers programme in India 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. India has made some rapid economic advancement in recent years yet around 28% of the Indian population lives below the poverty line. The disparity of wealth in India is plain to see. It is quite a shocking sight to see a state of the art apartment complex being built next to a slum community living in complete poverty. The slums are a regrettable fact of life in India.

 

Indian culture places a major emphasis on education, but unfortunately the education system in India is still a work in progress. Class sizes go far beyond suitable capacities and schools are highly understaffed. PMGY supports a number of slum schools located around Faridabad. These NGOs provide free education, school supplies, food and uniforms in order to encourage parents to let their children go to school, rather than being forced to wander the streets begging and collecting rubbish to earn money.

 

The children at the schools range from 3 right up to the age of 16. We support two main schools in and around Faridabad. The schools are located within the slum areas and so facilities are extremely basic and conditions are cramped. However you will find the spirit of the children and their passion to learn a real joy to behold. Volunteers provide invaluable support to the teaching staff and the presence of a fluent English speaker brings a major boost to the children’s educational development.

 

You will usually spend your first few days working alongside a local teacher or another volunteer, but due to staff shortages it is appreciated if volunteers can lead their own classes. If you do not feel comfortable teaching independently, we will always do our best to make sure you work alongside a local teacher and/or fellow volunteers. If you’ve never taught before then there is no need to worry; energy, creativity and enthusiasm is the key here!

 

One of our local coordinators runs one of the slum schools in which our volunteers work, so she can guide you as to how to prepare lessons and what to teach.

 

There is teaching materials and textbooks available at the project to help with volunteer preparation. Our local team have created an office of resources for volunteers to use from when at the project and should they need anything additional they are advised to speak with the local team. Volunteers are advised to contribute to the resources should they have any surplus supplies or good lesson plans for future volunteers to benefit from.

 

Volunteers prepare for lessons in their free time, so you have a clear structure to each class. You’ll find that your confidence grows massively once you have taught a couple of lessons.

 

Your primary role as a volunteer in India will be to improve the children’s English. However, the schools value the positive influence volunteers have on the children, so there will be plenty of opportunities to get involved in other activities. Volunteers are welcome to teach other subjects such as Maths, Science and Geography should you wish to. In addition, telling the children about life in your country will also increase their global awareness and teach them about life outside the slums.

 

ECHO SLUM SCHOOL

 

The Eco school is based in a local slum community and is the main teaching project that we operate. The children are aged between 3 and 15, although the average age is between 7-10. The school was set up by Vishy and Kranti in 2010 to provide children who may not otherwise have the opportunity, with free basic primary education.

 

Predominately, volunteers are encouraged to teach the children basic English and Maths, however, they are welcome to discuss other teaching ideas with Kranti, who is present at the school on a day to day basis. In addition to teaching, volunteers on this project are expected to carry out the assembly daily, which consist largely of nursery rhymes and dancing.

 

The majority of volunteers who have signed up for the teaching programme will spend their time working with this school, however, this cannot always be guaranteed.

 

NERHU SCHOOL

 

The Nerhu school is based in a neighbouring community to that of the Eco School and is a private school where education is not free. Children who have previously atended the Eco slum school and have received sponsorship towards their education go on to attend Nerhu school. This is an additional project which some teaching volunteers choose to support at and here lessons can be operated more formally.

 

To date 15 children have been sponsored to receive education at Nerhu school; many of whom have received funding from previous volunteers. The children are a little older here and usually aged between 10 and 12 years of age.

 

Volunteers are actively encouraged to lead lessons and teach more advanced English and Maths to the children here. There may also be the opportunity for volunteers to get involved in other areas such as assemblies, sports and drawing/painting when at the teaching project.

 

Depending on how many volunteers we have at one time, we may also be able to support more slum communities or disadvantaged areas with English classes.

 

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 $150.

INDIA MEDICAL

PMGY’s Medical volunteers program in India offers a fantastic opportunity to gain first-hand exposure and insight into the Indian health care system. Learn from local staff and get involved in supporting them. India Medical Volunteers. Considering the advances in India’s healthcare system, the majority of the population still experience poor health. This is due to a lack of awareness on health issues and the simple fact that many Indians cannot afford regular, if any, medical treatment. The projects we support offer free, or highly subsidised, healthcare to local people from slum and rural communities.

 

We place volunteers at PMGY’s free medical camps in the slum communities, local clinics and throughout a network of hospitals. There are limited spaces on each placement setting particularly in the summer months whereby volunteers may rotate daily across each setting. The medical camps in the slum communities tend to be where volunteers feel best placed, receive the most exposure and the more common placement location for participants.

 

The programme is not only for general medicine and nursing students, but also for all those with health-related interests. This opportunity is available to school leavers and those who have never studied medicine before. Some of the areas in which our volunteers can ga in exposure include:

 

Accident & Emergency, Anaesthetics, Dentistry, General Surgery, Maternity & Midwifery, Nursing, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Occupational Therapy, Ophthalmology, Paediatrics, Pathology, Physiotherapy, Ultrasound.

 

Please note that these areas may be one-off placements. We cannot guarantee the time period in which a volunteer spends in one department. It may be the case, for example, that a volunteer shadows in A&E for one evening only. Placements cannot always be guaranteed and are dependent on hospital staff, rules and regulations.

 

A list of our more common placements that tend to run throughout the whole year include:

 

ECO SLUM SCHOOL CLINIC

 

In India, there is a lack of health education and access to medical help is often difficult. This is especially so in the slum areas. We have established our own primary healthcare clinic which runs all year round based in the heart of the core slum community we support.

 

The programme is available for participants who have little or no medical experience. The doctors will act as your mentor, explaining cases to you and answering any questions you might have. The healthcare clinics we run really is the core of the India medical experience and generally receive great feedback from participants on the medical programme!

 

Volunteers will have the chance to undertake basic hands-on involvement, if they choose to do so, such as taking patient measurements, checking vital signs and treating minor wounds under the supervision of the local doctors. Although the patient interactions will be in Hindi, the doctors speak English and will explain everything to you in English.

 

The clinics are based in our Eco Slum School – one of which is general medicine and the other is gynaecology. In both cases, volunteers aid the doctor in assessing patients from the local slum community. We currently have one male and one female doctor based at the healthcare clinics. These clinics are the main point of access for the local community, who may not otherwise have the opportunity for any other form of healthcare. Doctors can see anywhere from 40 to 50 patients arrive daily to the slum clinic for healthcare.

 

The slum clinic is the main point of access for health treatments as it is free for local people. There are two clinic rooms where doctors undergo consultancies and also a pharmacy room where patients details are taken and medicines arranged and prescribed.

 

Volunteers will be able to support within the pharmacy room as well as supporting the doctors in carrying out blood pressure; blood sugar; pulse and learn to give injections if permitted by your University. The doctors are extremely welcoming and very keen for volunteers to learn demonstrating delivery of injections, nebulizers and more.

 

The gynaecology clinic is a newer development with hopes of further expansion in the future, as women from the local community are educated about female health. We have also developed our own lab at the programme whereby there is a lab technician who will carry out a variety of health checks such as urine glucose levels, blood type tests and pregnancy checks which volunteers can observe. With both clinics located within the slum school, the volunteers will also have the opportunity to engage with the children, and are also encouraged to involve themselves in the assembly activities.

 

Whilst it 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 should you decide to get involved.

 

PMGY SLUM OUTREACH HEALTH CAMPAIGNS

 

PMGY periodically run free medical camps in slum communities around Faridabad. The slums we work in are dictated by the communities that have the greatest need at the time.

 

During the summer months when we have higher number of participants we run the slum outreach campaigns on a weekly basis as an extension of the Eco School Slum Clinic operation. They usually run on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. These campaigns are designed to offer primary healthcare and medical check-ups to members of the slum communities in the Faridabad area. In short when we have a greater quantity and resource of volunteers it allows us to run more health campaigns across the slum communities. Naturally facilities and departments will be more limited and make shift in such communities we set our health camps up.

 

We hire a local doctor to lead the campaigns and supervise volunteers, as well as supplying the relevant medical supplies and equipment needed. An interpreter is also recruited to help PMGY volunteers overcome the language barrier when interacting with patients.

 

We welcome medical volunteers of all backgrounds to join this initiative. If you are a medical or pre-medical student, you get the chance to learn basic skills such as taking blood pressures, checking blood sugars and blood groups, and assisting doctors in seeing the patients. You will also get the chance to see and learn about interesting clinical signs and syndromes typically found in slum communities. Volunteers receive ongoing training and mentoring from the local doctor, enabling each participant to get as involved as possible.

 

The range of health conditions encountered in the slums is vast, and although many patients only have simple problems, there are many that would benefit immensely from specialist input.

 

Volunteers who work on the medical camps are expected to participate for the three dedicated days each week. It must be understood that sometimes these camps will not be able to run without relevant medical and/or nursing volunteers.

 

SHADOWING IN A HOSPITAL SETTING

 

We have a number of hospitals within our network, where volunteers can visit during their time on the programme with us.

 

Volunteers wishing to witness surgeries can do so as we work with many hospitals whereby volunteers can gain invaluable shadowing experience in theatre and to surgeries. However, these are ad-hoc and so you will be notified a day in advance or even on the day, once the surgeries have been confirmed. Naturally we cannot guarantee that specific surgeries will take place.

 

Generally speaking, volunteers will have the opportunity to shadow within the hospitals and carry out basic health checks on patients on the doctor’s rounds. It can be a real eye-opening experience to see the difference between hospitals out in India in comparison to those at home.

 

Volunteers tend to get the best exposure from the health campaign programmes we operate which is the main focus of the India medical programme and therefore volunteers only tend to visit the hospitals when surgeries or births are taking place. Naturally should you want to prioritise more of your time within a hospital setting then this is something you will need to discuss with the local team when in India.

 

GP CLINIC

 

Here volunteer in India participants have the opportunity to work alongside a local doctor in carrying out basic health checks on members of the local community in a bustling street market.

 

Usually the doctor sees up to 100 patients daily and can run in both morning and late evening time usually around 2 to 3 hours each session. This may allow for basic hands on involvement if volunteers choose to undertake such an opportunity.

 

Most participants on the medical programme will have the chance to experience a variety of different medical facilities during their time with us. It is advised, where possible, that volunteers spend a minimum of three days on a specific placement as this allows relationships with the staff to be made, often leading to increased exposure and responsibility (dependent on level/qualifications of volunteers).

 

If you are thinking of a career in healthcare, or studying a health-related subject at university, then joining PMGY’s India medical programmes will offer you essential first-hand experience that will assist in your career development. Working under the close guidance of highly trained local staff will give you the exposure and tuition that you are unlikely to obtain in your own country if you have the ability and choose to undertake hands on involvement.

 

Furthermore, many volunteers combine the medical volunteering with one of our other placements such as working at a children’s home or teaching at a school. This gives you a variety of experience and also ensures you are getting actively involved, particularly if much of your medical placement is observational.

 

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.

INDIA CHILDCARE

PMGY’s Childcare volunteers programme in India brightens up the lives of young children making a vital and important contribution to their daily lives. 5% of all children in India are without any form of parent or guardian support. This totals be around 20 million of India’s population overall.

 

Not all of these children have lost both of the parents, but many of them are sadly abandoned by their parents. Poverty is the causal factor of this whereby the parent(s) simply do not have the income or resources to provide the care for their children. These children then find themselves in the undeveloped childcare system with nowhere else to turn.

 

Childcare centres across India lack the funding, resources and manpower to look after these vulnerable children. All children deserve a safe haven to live and the nurturing in which to grow.

 

PMGY support two main childcare centres in the Faridabad area:

 

ALICE IN WONDERLAND

 

PMGY fund and support an children’s home for 7-10 children aged from 6 to 15 years old. The home is located next to the Sector 10 Volunteer House, so the children receive regular support from our volunteers. There is an house mother who manages the home on a day-to day basis but volunteers play an important role in looking after the children in their free time. This ranges from helping them with their homework, to playing games.

 

The children from the home attend school during the day. Therefore volunteers tend can take part in one of our other projects during the daytime and then help out at the home in the late afternoon when the children return from school.

 

LAKSHYA BADTE KADAM

 

Set up in 2004, Lakshya Badte Kadam provides the chance for now adult run-away children to give something back to society, in return for the opportunities that they were offered as children by the Salaam Baalak Trust. The organisation currently works with six street children who were rescued from Delhi Railway Station.

 

Although this children’s home is the least well off out of the two our volunteers work with, the group work together and employ people from their local community to make handmade newspaper and fabric bags. The income that is generated through this allows the children to have an education, with all boys enrolled at a local Convent School.

 

The overall aim of this organisation is to give the boys the best opportunities in life, rather than becoming involved in drug or theft activities, pulling rickshaws etc. Volunteer in India participants often visit the children’s home in the late afternoon/early evening, helping the children with their homework before carrying out activities, playing games and dancing!

 

In addition to the childcare programmes we place volunteers, our participants also get the chance to engage in community work with vulnerable children within the local area which has a popular uptake amongst volunteers. Here, many of the children do not attend school as the parents cannot afford the fees or they have to take care of other siblings whilst their parents go to work.

 

Volunteers will complete a series of house visits around the community to visit such children where they interact and play games with them, help improve their English, reading and writing skills and also teach them about personal hygiene skills such as brushing teeth, combing hair and clipping nails.

 

This is also a great opportunity to spend your mornings doing something really productive and impactful before heading to support at the children’s homes in the afternoons when the children return from school.

BALI CHILDCARE

PMGY’s Childcare volunteers Programme in Bali gives volunteers the opportunity to work with and teach 1-8 year olds and give them an amazing head start before they begin formal schooling. Increased tourism in Bali has meant that those able to converse in English with foreigners have far more prospects than those that can’t. Education at this level will allow them to improve their future and that of their families.

 

In Bali, it can be difficult for families, particularly those in the relentless farming and fishing industries, to afford a high standard of care or education for their children. Our volunteers therefore support local childcare centres, complementing the work of local staff members to ensure that these children receive the attention and support that they deserve.

 

The childcare programme is a hugely rewarding experience and very enjoyable. Volunteers are encouraged to structure the day to ensure they get the balance right between keeping it fun with play activities, but keeping it controlled and routined with some basic learning activities. Local co-ordinators will be on hand to support at the project as well.

 

Balinese children are an absolute joy to teach and work with, their enthusiasm for learning is guaranteed to make you smile! Working with this age group is not as structured as teaching older children, their language can be improved simply through play, just a few words or phrases will stand them in good stead for learning English in the future.

 

The most important thing is that you engage the children, get them excited about coming to kindergarten and learning new things. Your role is not limited to just teaching and volunteers are actively encouraged to get involved in other areas such as arts & crafts, physical education and helping local staff in their day-to-day role.

 

Childcare volunteers need to prepare activities for this accordingly. We generally find that the more volunteers prepare for their day then the more they and the children get from the whole experience. Depending on the number of volunteers at the time, will depend on how we segment the group into smaller class sizes if applicable. We will have local co-ordinators/teachers at the project to assist.

 

Volunteers should have a genuine passion for working with children. Working with such friendly and excitable children can get overwhelming so it is important to be happy and completely immerse yourself in this once in a lifetime experience!

 

Below are two examples of childcare projects in Bali:

 

PROJECT EXAMPLE – LOTUS CHILDCARE

 

Lotus childcare was founded in 1996 by a Catholic church. Each day, the centre can receive up to 62 children. The care provided here is free of charge. With only 8 local staff members, the ratio of 1 adult to 8 children can sometimes be a handful to manage alone! Volunteers therefore provide invaluable assistance to the quality of care that facility can offer.

 

Children attending this centre range from the ages of 6 months to 8 years. In the morning, the facility cares for children up to the age of 4. During this time, volunteers help to run basic English lessons for the toddlers in preparation for starting school in the future. In the afternoon, children aged 5-8 visit the centre after school whilst their parents remain at work. During this time, volunteers will usually lend a helping hand with the youngest of the children, aiding the staff with bath-time, and entertainment. There is however the opportunity for volunteers to spend time with the older children, especially those who may need some additional help with their studies.

 

PROJECT EXAMPLE – BUMBLEBEE CHILDCARE

 

Bumblebee childcare centre was also founded by a Catholic Church, hosting up to 80 children per day! Ages range from as young as 3 months to 7 years. In the morning, volunteers will run basic English classes for the children due to begin primary school within the next year or two. The remainder of a volunteer’s time will often be spent with the younger children aged 1.5-3 years. Volunteers will often lend a hand during meal times, to encourage the fussy eaters and clean up the messy ones! Assistance is also often required during bath times. However, help is appreciated in all aspects of the centre, and therefore volunteers may be asked to spend time with the older children, or even assist staff members in daily chores!

 

PMGY’s volunteer in Bali programme focuses on making learning a fun and enjoyable experience so get creative, there are so many ways to educate these children in a way that will make a huge impact. Our childcare programme is an empowering and rewarding one to really make a difference to those less fortunate. Balinese people are warm and friendly, you can expect the children you teach to welcome you into their community with open arms. They will be excited to get to know you!

 

With the heat and high temperatures that exist in Bali, shorter sessions split throughout the day are seen as beneficial all round and allows for volunteer energy levels to remain high with positive intensity in each morning and afternoon session. Volunteers are encouraged to use the lunch break in between to relax, refresh or plan future activities to maximise time at the project.

BALI ENGLISH TEACHING

PMGY’s English Teaching volunteers programme in Bali 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. Bali is a destination that has become not only a hub for tourists from across the globe with its beautiful scenery and traditional authenticity, but is also recognised as an ideal location to hold international conferences and seminars. Therefore, the ability to speak English has become essential as a language to learn for Balinese people to move forward in life and enable them to have direct contact with tourists and enhance the countries recognition and visibility on a global stage.

 

English is a key component in both the formal and informal industries that exist in Bali and the communication mediums that underpin them. This ranges from the schools, offices and banks to the shops and restaurants that makes up much of the booming tourist industry that exists in Bali today.

 

PMGY’s English Teaching Programme gives volunteers the chance to really make a difference by opening up possibilities of developing English for local children in Tabanan. The explosion of tourism in Bali means the need to speak English has never been greater. Though English is taught in school by the local Balinese teacher, the opportunity to converse with a native, fluent English speaker is invaluable.

 

Balinese people are warm and friendly. You can expect the staff you work with, the local community and the children you teach to welcome you into their community with open arms. They will be excited to speak to you and hear all about your life! This programme can benefit your future prospects as much as it does the people you teach. You will come away with skills that are easily transferred into the workplace such as leadership, time management and organisational skills.

 

Akasa Foundation is a Community Learning Centre, founded by Ketut in 2011. Until recent years, Ketut ran this within her family home. However, the centre now has a permanent location only a 5 minute walk from the Volunteer House. Having lived within the Tabanan community her whole life, Ketut had noticed a lack of opportunity for children from less well-off families to thrive within the educational system. This drove her to setting up the Foundation, and to seek the help of international volunteers to support the quality and diversity of the knowledge that could be shared with these children. A major goal of the centre is to provide basic education to preschoolers from low-income backgrounds, in preparation for eventually joining school Another is to offer additional education for students already attending school.

 

The Akasa Foundation runs 3 classes: Kindergarten (3-4 years) and Beginners (5-7 years) classes in the morning and Advanced (8-14 years) classes in the afternoon. Depending on the number of volunteers at one time, PMGY participants may be required to teach each class.

 

It has been suggested that pre-school years are the most important years of a child’s life, and an ideal time for learning a foreign language. This makes these Kindergarten classes invaluable, with a focus on educating the children with very basic English vocabulary, such as colours, shapes and animals. Volunteers are required to be creative and very patient, although a local teacher will act as a guide. The difficulty of the content is taken up a level within the Beginner’s class, focussing on similar topics to Kindergarten, but introducing the basic concept of sentence formation.

 

PMGY’s Advanced community classes aim to make the learning of English a fun and enjoyable experience, especially after the children have had a long day at school already! Get creative and teach English through songs, art and sport. You will usually work with another volunteer and teach as a team.

 

In all cases, Balinese children are eager to learn, this thirst for knowledge can sometimes turn into extreme excitement so it is important to be able to control the class to maintain focus.

 

This is an empowering and rewarding project which really makes a difference to those less fortunate in providing free English education to the children of Tabanan. Inspire through your methods and give these children the confidence to converse with tourists. This in turn will improve their future and that of their families.

 

The presence of an English speaker really benefits the children’s pronunciation and can also help empower local teachers who may be looking for additional assistance with their own education. Volunteers are encouraged to be creative in their approach and use games, songs, art, sport and music to teach the children when applicable.

 

We expect there to be at least 60-100 children across these classes at this programme each day, aged from 3 to lower teens. We generally find that the more volunteers prepare for their day then the more they and the children get from the whole experience. Depending on the number of volunteers at the time, will depend on how we segment the group into smaller class sizes if applicable. We will have local co-ordinators/teachers at the project to assist.

 

What you teach when you volunteer in Bali is completely up to you, though you will be given guidance from a general syllabus and past volunteer examples. We have a library of resources on site for volunteers to use and the children are provided with exercise books and learning books to help facilitate their learning. The local team also run a weekly lesson planning sessions, providing volunteers with a fantastic opportunity to both share and discuss ideas, as well as plan for the upcoming week!

 

With the heat and high temperatures that exist in Bali, shorter sessions split throughout the day are seen as beneficial all round and allows for volunteer energy levels to remain high with positive intensity in each morning and afternoon session. Volunteers are encouraged to use the lunch break in between to relax, refresh or plan future activities to maximise time at the project.

 

From approximately late May – early July (school summer holidays), participants may be required to teach English in local farming villages. Lessons are hosted within community halls or schools. Volunteers will spend one morning per week in each of these locations. This means volunteers will need to prepare lessons and activities in accordance with this and be ready to learn lots of names and faces in your time on the teaching programme. The schools are located within a 20-30 minute drive away from the Volunteer House.

 

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 $150.

BALI MEDICAL

PMGY’s medical volunteer programme in Indonesia offers a fantastic opportunity to gain experience and insight into the Indonesian health care system. This programme allows you to learn from local staff and get involved in supporting them.

 

The healthcare of Indonesia must be prefaced by the physical layout of the country consisting of more than 17,000 islands which house 260 million people. This makes it the fourth most populous country in the world and the 14th largest country by land mass. The population offers a wide diversity of cultural, social and economic background. Indonesia’s previous healthcare system consisted of mostly private care for the wealthy or for those in severe poverty leaving the majority to fall in between without proper medical provisions. In 2016 Indonesia adopted a national health care system which now has called for new methods of care because for so long people were left without any ability to have affordable medical assistance.

 

Bali is the home of PMGY in Indonesia. This land is one that still revolves very much around culture and religion. Though healthcare has developed tremendously over the last decade, Balinese people are still deeply rooted in their customs and religious beliefs; especially regarding healthcare. Joining on the medical project in Bali will open your eyes to the traditional beliefs of healing along with the evolving care of Western medicine within this region.

 

We place volunteers at Rumah Sakit Umum Tabanan which is a local government hospital based in the middle of Bali. This facility consults nearly 500 patients each day providing a vast opportunity for volunteers that join this medical programme. The departments that the hospital is home to include:

 

Paediatrics, Pre- and Post-surgery, High Care Unit, Maternity, intensive Cardio Care Unit and Intensive Care Unit.

 

The local team may be able to arrange a seminar upon request with a local healer. This will better explain how culture plays a key role in the care of each patient and how medical professionals apply care to cater to these beliefs. Aside from this, the hospital staff often welcome PMGY medical volunteers to participate in any weekly staff meetings as and when they occur. Examples of things discussed in these meetings include talking about the logistics of the hospital and care-plans for individual departments.

 

Please be aware that while you are on this programme you will be placed in a specific department for a set duration of time and/or on a specific rota. The departments you are placed within will be done either to cater to your interests or decided by the hospital at the time dependent on what and who is available. Across your time on the programme, you will have the opportunity to spend time across many of the departments that the hospital is home too. The local team will give you your timetable during your orientation period.

 

As you are expanding your knowledge of the medical field please note that those you are interacting with may also be interested in communicating with you to build their confidence in speaking English. As Tabanan is a very traditional area of Bali, you will find the local staff are not as confident or accomplished in conversing in English as perhaps other people are across Bali. Therefore volunteers will have to be dynamic and creative when interacting with the staff in asking your questions, showcasing which departments you want to prioritise your time and learning about the general day to day goings on at the hospital.

 

The local staff at the hospital will also be intrigued in understanding the care provided in your healthcare system so be encouraged to communicate around this where possible. While the Balinese people are welcoming you into their place of work please be open to their beliefs and culture as they will be open to yours.

 

On an ad-hoc basis, participants on the medical programme may have the opportunity to get involved in some of our community outreach programmes. Often, these opportunities offer participants with a chance to perform basic hands on tasks, such as taking vital signs, including blood pressure, pulse, temperatures and respiratory rates. There may also be a chance to learn more about herbal remedies and traditional treatments.

 

As the role is purely observational and feedback has suggested the project can be quite stagnant at times due a language barrier, we recommend that applicants sign up for no more than 2 weeks on the medical programme. In our experience, whilst you will gain medical insight and knowledge at the hospital, after a while most people are eager for greater exposure and engagement that the project can be limited in providing. In such situations, volunteers may be able to split or extend their time across onto our community childcare and teaching programmes.

 

For volunteers who are looking for maximum exposure, opportunities and perhaps a more interactive nature to the programme we would strongly advise to consider an alternate medical placement to Bali. India is generally seen as our strongest medical programme due to the exposure our participants get and the range of projects involved. Ghana and Tanzania are also popular where participants can get involved in a number of high impact projects.

 

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

 

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.

BALI WILDLIFE RESCUE

Indonesia is home to 100’s of different species of animals, many of which find themselves dispersed by deforestation while the country expands it’s exporting of goods like palm oil and rubber. There are seven centres in the whole of the country that rehabilitate and release endangered animals into their native habitat in the wild. Plan My Gap Year provides great insight and opportunity for volunteers to join in on the care of these animals at the Bali Wildlife Rescue Centre.

 

Within the centre you will find a range of animals that were victims to poachers and traffickers. The primates and birds looked after have been rescued from markets, private homes and businesses where they were kept as pets or for entertainment purposes. There are currently over 40 endangered primates and birds including Javan Lutung, Southern Pig-tailed Macague, Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Southern Cassowary, Palm Cockatoo and more.

 

PMGY has created a programme that allows you to work to give endangered animals daily support and enrich their lives. The Programme Fee involved helps provide upkeep and care for these beautiful creatures!

 

While on the project you will work alongside the animal keeper and other staff members who have years of experience interacting with animals. The activities you will get involved in during your time on the project include:

 

FEEDING – These animals are fed based on the species and time of year. Animals like the crocodiles are fed two times a week with things such as chicken or duck while monkeys are fed daily with fruits. You will be able to cut and prepare meals based on the species you are working with and learn about the types of food that are best.

 

ENRICHMENT – Many of these animals are endangered and have come from the loss of their native habitat or poor treatment in the black market. Their displacement often leaves these animals irritable and at times depressed causing for them to have poor eating habits or behaviour. Your time interacting with them and coaching them on things such as eating or interacting with other animals is imperative! Over time these animals may just learn to trust you and in turn you could find one of those pretty Parakeets on your forearm.

 

ENCLOSURE CLEANING – These enclosures are made for each animal based on the feedback of the veterinarian during the first assessment. You may find the enclosures to be small, but some animals being irritable find it more comfortable to be in smaller spaces and over time the enclosures will be expanded and eventually they will be released back into the wild. The crocodiles tend to need the brush cleared back to keep them from being confined to one area so an example of this upkeep would be while the staff keep the crocodile occupied you are able to cut the brush back. In the bird enclosures the branches and chains may need to be replaced and cleaned as they begin to rot, if you are comfortable they will let you clean and make repairs in the enclosure with these beauties flying all around you!

 

MAINTENANCE – The centre is a great place, but with limited funding it could do with some tender loving care! Volunteers will be asked to help with creating a better atmosphere for the animals by clearing up the grounds. While you are doing a bit of upkeep this will include fixing the hinges on enclosure doors, relining the fencing, adding new gating on the enclosure, repairing the habit and or cleaning the grounds of rubbish and weeds.

 

All that is required of volunteers is to be fit enough to participate in tropical climates, ability to handle animals and interact with the centre’s staff.

 

Please note that the European summer period is our peak time in Bali (June-August). As a consequence, volunteers may be allocated to alternative placements during their time on the programme. This may include beach cleans.

ITINERARY

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

 

The following itinerary is based on a standard 6-week Real Taster Encounter (i.e. 2-weeks per destination). If you opt for the 9 or 12-week options then you will split your time equally across each of the 3 destinations. For example the 9-week option involves spending 3 weeks across the destinations and the 12-week option involves 4 weeks per destination. The itinerary will follow a similar format as below. For the Sri Lanka segment of the route, this itinerary is based on joining us in Ambalangoda. The itinerary will follow a similar format as below.

 

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 9-13 (Monday-Friday) The Following Week

 

Your next week 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 14 (Saturday) Last Day in Sri Lanka!

 

Today is your last full day in Sri Lanka! We hope you have enjoyed your time in your first destination and we encourage you to use your last day in Sri Lanka to say goodbye to the local team, pick up some last minute souvenirs and prepare for your onward journey!

 

Day 15 (Sunday) Goodbye Sri Lanka – Hello India!

 

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

 

Welcome to India! Volunteers will be met at Indira Gandhi International Airport by a member of our local team, or one of our appointed drivers, who will be holding a name sign. They will take you straight to our Volunteer House, which is about 40 miles away. This can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours to get to depending on the traffic.

 

The rest of the day is relatively informal, as we may have volunteers arriving throughout the day. This is the perfect opportunity to get some much-needed rest, to get to know the rest of your group and get familiar with your accommodation.

 

Day 16 (Monday) Orientation

 

Your orientation will begin on Monday. We will start with the theoretical part covering all the essential information you need to know for your time in India. This will include issues of health & safety, language, money matters, cultural differences, rules & regulations etc. This part of the orientation usually lasts between 1 and 2 hours in the morning before a short walk visiting the nearby slum area where parts of our teaching and medical programmes are based.

 

We will then go for a tour of the local area so that you can use the ATM/exchange money, buy a SIM card and any other essential amenities. Volunteers are strongly advised to purchase an Indian SIM at a cost of roughly 300 Rupees (including 100 Rupees credit). This means that volunteers are required to have an unlocked phone. Cheap, unlocked phones can be purchased at local Indian markets at prices between $15-$20. SIM cutting (at a small cost) is also available in these markets for those wishing to use an unlocked smart-phone.

 

SIM cards are very important as it allows PMGY India members to contact volunteers and vice versa, which is particularly vital in times of emergency. Mobile numbers must be exchanged upon arrival.

 

In the afternoon, volunteers can then travel to a range of activities and communities based in the Delhi region. This includes options from visiting a monkey temple (500 Rupees), pottery lesson (600 Rupees), sector 15 market and a culture class.

 

Such afternoon activities are voluntary, can also take place across the week and thus the costs associated including travel costs are paid for by volunteers dependent on participation. Please note that all activities are not guaranteed and are weather and staff dependent.

 

The evening is free for volunteers to relax or arrange to go into Delhi if they so wish.

 

Day 17-20 (Tuesday-Friday) Volunteering Begins

 

On Tuesday, 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 assure that you’ll be fully supported throughout your time with PMGY.

 

On average, you will volunteer for around 3 to 5 hours per day usually morning time (depending on which project you go to). The possibility of getting involved in more than one project can be discussed with our local coordinator once you’re in India.

 

To help make your evenings more entertaining our local team are always happy to arrange cultural activities if volunteers wish to join. These include a Bollywood dance class (200 Rupees), cooking class (300 Rupees) and a Yoga class (200 Rupees).

 

Day 21-22 (Saturday-Sunday) Weekend!

 

The choices are endless! You can visit the Taj Mahal, go sightseeing in New & Old Delhi or visit Jaipur, India’s pink city. As PMGY receives a high number of volunteers to India, particularly in the summer months, you will have no problem finding a travel buddy or two (usually a lot more) to travel around at the weekend with! Our local team can assist you in organising trips you wish to undertake.

 

There isn’t a huge amount to do in Faridabad itself and evenings during the weekday tend to be quiet, so you should take the opportunity to travel at the weekend.

 

Why not check out our weekend guide to find out what you can be getting up to in your free time!

 

Day 23-27 (Monday-Friday) The Following Week

 

Your next week will follow a similar pattern as you will be volunteering 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 28 (Saturday) Last Day in India

 

Unfortunately today is your last ful day in India! Spend your last day packing, buying any last minute gifts and bidding farewell to the friends you have made along the way.

 

Day 29 (Sunday) Hello Bali!

 

Welcome to Bali! You will be met at Ngurah Rai airport by a member of our local team who will be holding a name sign. The journey to Tabanan will take around 60-90 minutes, depending on traffic.

 

You will have the rest of the day to relax and get to know your fellow volunteers.

 

Day 30 (Monday) Orientation

 

Your orientation will begin on Monday. Our local team will teach you about life in Bali, the do’s and don’ts, the local culture and religion. Your orientation will continue with an introduction to the local language, safety advice and all the projects we support in the community.

 

In the afternoon, our local coordinator will take you to see some of the famous sites around Tabanan, including the Subak Museum which incorporates collections of Balinese traditional agriculture tools as well as a visit to the traditional Tabanan market. You will also have the chance to go to the ATM, exchange money, buy a local phone or SIM Card and visit the supermarket.

 

Day 31-33 (Tuesday-Thursday) 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. You will see our coordinator throughout the day at the Volunteer House and they are always happy to help.

 

Day 34-36 (Friday-Sunday) Weekend

 

Whether you are looking for a relaxing weekend by the beach, some adventure activities, or a more cultural experience – Bali 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 37-41 (Monday-Friday) The Following Week

 

Your final week in Bali will follow a similar pattern, as you will be volunteering from Monday to Thursday. Remember our team can make project work available for the Friday should you wish to remain in Tabanan. 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 42 (Saturday) Last Day

 

Saturday is your last day with PMGY and the end of your Real Taster Encounter. If you are heading home then we can help you arrange your return airport drop off. 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 –

 

7th September 2019
5th October 2019
2nd November 2019
7th December 2019
4th January 2020
1st February 2020
7th March 2020
4th April 2020
2nd May 2020
6th June 2020
4th July 2020
1st August 2020
5th September 2020
3rd October 2020
7th November 2020
5th December 2020

What are the requirements to join?

In order to join the programme, you need to be at least 17 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?

Please make sure you 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 Bali 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 17 on the programme start date.

 

Generally, the average age range of volunteers is 17-22 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 crowdfunding 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, 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 effects 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!

INDIA

Volunteer House

 

During your time with PMGY in India you will live in our Volunteer House located in central Faridabad, a satellite city 15 miles from Delhi. You will find restaurants, convenience stores and ATMs all within walking distance. You’ll be living with other PMGY volunteers from around the world, so you’ll make plenty of friends along the way.

 

The accommodation is large, basic but comfortable with free Wi-Fi. Each room has bunk beds with up to 7 people per room in same-sex rooms. Volunteers are provided with fans in the room and their own bed linen. Bathrooms are shared, have a shower and western style toilet.

 

The house has free Wi-Fi (although intermittent) and a communal area for volunteers to hang out. We encourage you to bring some small padlocks 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. There are facilities for volunteers to hand-wash and dry their clothes. A laundry service is also available for a nominal fee.

 

Volunteers are housed adjacent to a wonderful host family who coordinate our projects in India. Volunteers have their own separate living quarters, but still have regular interaction with our local coordinator. This accommodation setup offers volunteers the unique experience of living with lots of other volunteers as well as getting the cultural immersion of staying alongside a host family. It really is the best of both worlds!

 

The majority of our projects are not within walking distance of our Volunteer House. PMGY will take you to and from the project each day and the cost of this service is included in your Programme Fee.

 

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.

BALI

Volunteer House

 

During your time with PMGY you will live in our Volunteer House which is just a 5 minute walk from the centre of Tabanan. Here you will find local restaurants, convenience stores and ATMs. You’ll be living with other PMGY volunteers from around the world, so you’ll make plenty of friends along the way.

 

The accommodation is basic but comfortable with free Wi-Fi. Each room has bunk beds with up to 8 people per room in same-sex rooms. Volunteers are provided with air conditioning in the room and their own mosquito net and bed linen. Bathrooms are shared, have a shower and western style toilet. The water is cold but this shouldn’t be a problem as Bali is hot and humid all year-round!

 

We encourage you to bring some small padlocks and/or store any valuables within the lockers provided within the volunteer accommodation There will also be fridge space available for volunteers to store any items they need to keep chilled.

 

The Volunteer House is located right next to where our local team live. Although volunteers have their own private space there is still the security of living next to our host family who can assist you if need be. It is also a great way to learn more about Balinese culture and practise your new-found language skills!

 

Some of our projects are within walking distance of our Volunteer House and some are not. PMGY will take you to and from the projects, not within walking distance, each day via Bemo or private car and the cost of this service is included in your Programme Fee.

 

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.

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.

INDIA

You will be served three freshly prepared meals per day. Most meals are traditional Indian dishes that can be typically quite spicy and made up of vegetarian ingredients, although pasta and other such western dishes are prepared every now and then. If you are not a huge lover of spicy food don’t worry, there will always be a more mild option available!

 

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.

BALI

You will be provided with three freshly prepared meals per day. Most meals are traditional Indonesian dishes that can be typically quite spicy. Balinese cuisine consists of a lot of rice and the meat is mainly fish or chicken – vegetarian options are always available.

 

There is a large choice of restaurants and local warungs (authentic, local food stalls) in Tabanan. The food on offer is traditional Balinese cuisine – typically amazing and mainly vegetarian! There may also be a western option served once or twice every week and there are restaurants serving western food available around a 20 minute walk from the Volunteer House.

 

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

6 weeks
$1485
$249
$1734
9 weeks
$1935
$249
$2184
12 weeks
$2385
$249
$2634

* These fees apply to each individual application and are displayed in USD.

 

 

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 TASTER ENCOUNTER REVIEWS

WHAT'S INCLUDED

PROGRAMME FEE

  • ACCOMMODATION YES
  • MEALS (BREAKFAST, LUNCH & DINNER) YES
  • AIRPORT PICK UPS (24 HOURS)YES
  • PRIVATE 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

  • FLIGHTS ($1200-$1500)NO
  • TRAVEL INSURANCE ($25 PER WEEK)NO
  • RETURN AIRPORT TRANSFERS ($120)NO
  • VISAS ($150-$175)NO
  • CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK (VARIES)NO

WEEKEND TRIP ADD-ONS

 

 

UK: +44 800 321 3564

USA: 1-813-422-5109

hello@planmygapyear.com