FAQ
Is a visa necessary?

A visa may be necessary, depending on your country of origin and the length of your stay: contact the nearest Sri Lanka embassy in your country of residence.

Usually for less than a month, a tourist visa will be enough. For longer periods a volunteering visa is needed. This can be arranged with the support of our organization.

It is recommended that you make photocopies of all your important documents (i.e. passport, plane ticket, vaccination card, insurance card, etc.) and bring them to Sri Lanka with you.

Do I need vaccinations?

Yes. Contact your nearest vaccination centre and meet with a doctor in your country. They will tell you about the vaccinations that are required and recommended for travelling to Sri Lanka.

Do I need malaria prevention tablets?

Contact your nearest vaccination centre and meet with a doctor in your country. They will tell you about the latest updated situation regarding malaria risk areas in Sri Lanka.

What is the best way to access my money in Sri Lanka?

Western Union is available almost everywhere in the country and traveller cheques can be cashed at banks but usually are not accepted at stores. If you use your credit card while in Sri Lanka, your money will be dispensed in rupees. You can change foreign currency at the airport upon arrival and there are also "bureaus de change" throughout the main cities. It’s important that you change some money at the airport upon arrival for your first days.

Is it possible to come with a partner/spouse or friend?

Yes, you can apply with a partner/spouse or friend and be placed at the same location. You may/may not be able to sleep in the same room, depending on the availability at that particular time.

Can I combine my volunteering with a holiday?

Yes. Your free time though must be coordinated with the Prithipura Communities before and/or during your volunteer period.

Can I bring gifts for the children?

Yes. Please be aware that our policy is to share the gifts among the children. Here is a suggestion of some of the gifts you could bring:

School material:
children's books in English; pencils and pens; calculators;
pencil sharpeners; rulers, compasses; watercolour paints; chalk; colouring books; paints.

Play material:
toys; footballs, handballs, volleyballs; musical instruments.

Clothes (age 2 months -18 years):
clothes for tropical country; shoes.

Baby material:
baby formula; powdered milk; baby lotions; baby bottles.
 
Please ask the Prithipura Communities prior to departure if you would like to bring anything special. Many items are available in Sri Lanka and can be bought here.


What should I pack for myself?

Medicines:
First aid kit; antihistamine for itch; diarrhoea medicines; personal medications; vitamins; painkillers; treatment for cystitis or Candida if you are prone to them oral contraceptives if applicable.

Other:
Mosquito repellent; (mosquito net is not necessary as it is provided);  torch/flashlight; penknife; clothes for tropical weather; bathing suit (optional);
sun cream; hand sanitizer (to clean your hands without water);
contact lens solution; toiletries; towel.

It is always useful to know your blood type.
Water purifiers are not necessary, as bottled water is available.

Is there a dress code I am advised to follow in Sri Lanka?

For women, it is recommended to wear skirts and trousers knee length or longer. Tops should cover the shoulders (sleeveless tops, shirts and dresses are not recommended when out in the streets).

Will I have access to Internet?

There are Internet cafes and communication centres all over Colombo and a few in the other main cities.  We have Internet at our centre at the Prithipura Infants Home in Hendala that can be used by the volunteers once a week.

Will my mobile phone work in Sri Lanka?

Most European mobile phones will work in Sri Lanka. Sometimes, in remote areas, there may be issue with network connections. SMS message communication usually works very well.

Will I have access to public telephones?

You can buy phone cards or go to a communication centre to make long distance calls. Prices for international calls tend to be expensive. We have phones at all our centres that can be used for urgent matters.

Can I be contacted by my friends and family during my stay at the Prithipura Communities?

Yes, in case of urgent matters, your friends and family can contact you at the following numbers:

Prithipura Infants Home: 
(0094) (0) 11 2930 635

Cotagala & Asokapura:
(0094) (0) 773 046 023

Anandapura:  
(0094) (0) 223 141 506