Turtle Conservation Program Perfect for Volunteers
Home | Our Programmes | Turtle Development
- Project Overview
- Project Description
- Your Role as a Volunteer
- Qualifications required
- Resources available
- What is around
- Project Location (Map)
|Project||Sea Turtle Conservation & Community Development|
|Project Location||Project City – Kosgoda (118 Km from Colombo International Airport – 2.5 – 3 Hours)|
|Project Days||Monday to Friday (08:00 – 17:00)|
|Activities||Activities pertaining to Sea turtle conservation and Community Development.|
|Project Fee|| Please request for a quotation that meets your budget.
|Gender & Age||Anyone. Over 18 years|
|Accommodation||Volunteer House with Wi-Fi|
What is Included in Your Package
|Accommodation||Separate, shared and safe accommodation at the project|
|Food||Three meals – Monday to Friday|
|Airport Pickup & project Orientation
||By In-country Coordinator/ Project Staff|
|Support||In-country team & 24 hour Emergency Support|
What is NOT Included in Your Package
Flights, Medical & Travel Insurance, Visa& Visa extension Fees, Local Transport, Airport Drop, Meals other than the main meals, Bottled water and toiletries etc.
The project has been designed to achieve two main objectives:
Sea Turtle Conservation
Sea Turtles have been recognized as highly endangered sea creatures. The southern part of Sri Lanka, stretching from Bentota to Tangalle, is well known as a sanctuary for turtles. Throughout the year the turtles come to the beaches at night to lay their precious eggs, particularly in this coastal belt.
Our partner project has been running since 1988, and its main objectives are:
- To monitor and record the sea turtles’ behavior.
- To find and implement ways to protect the sea turtles’ nesting areas.
- To raise public awareness as to the importance of protecting these endangered creatures.
The most important activity in the project is working with the hatcheries. Turtle eggs are carefully collected from unsafe places and moved to the hatcheries where they are protected from predators. Once the eggs hatch, the baby turtles are carefully released back on to the beach at night, and watched closely as they instinctively find their own way to their natural habitat, the Indian Ocean. As a volunteer with this project, you will be working hands-on with the turtles and their eggs, learning how to provide the vital help they need to survive, and avoid the ever present danger of extinction.
The other part of this project is working directly within the community. We have several options from which you can choose, including working with young children and teaching them English; helping local women develop their skills for self-employment; or you can get involved in other programs we run which are designed to help the community and its members. The choice is yours.
Your Role as a Volunteer in Turtle Conservation Project
Turtle Conservation Centre:
Being a hands-on program, volunteering in turtle conservation project naturally involves manual work, but this is absolutely essential for the smooth running of the project and the preservation of the turtles. This can be a challenge, but also fun and rewarding, and our volunteers tell us the sight of the newly-hatched baby turtles scampering from the beach into the warm ocean makes it all worthwhile. Your duties will include:
- Beach work – keeping the turtle nesting grounds clean, to attract the mothers to the shore to lay their eggs.
- Night patrol – to look for and carefully gather up the female turtles that have come ashore to lay their eggs, and gently transport them to the safety of the hatcheries, away from predators. This is an enjoyable and life-changing experience; you are literally preserving the lives of an endangered species.
- Daily chores of the conservation centre – including cleaning the turtle tanks; feeding and monitoring the turtles, and looking after the hatcheries.
- Conducting public awareness and education programs, to further protect this endangered species.
1. This includes teaching English and other skills to the children of the villages surrounding the project area.
2. Helping the women who work at the community centre.
Skills and Qualifications required
You do not need any specific academic qualification to volunteer in the turtle conservation project. Prior experience in working with turtles will be handy but not required. It will be best suited to those who are interested in the natural world and its animals, and who want to help preserve an endangered species. Volunteers need to be flexible, creative, enthusiastic and ready to take up challenges. You will also need energy and a sense of humour!
This is also a great opportunity for anyone who’s interested in turtle watching in Sri Lanka. Rather than going to the centre and watching turtles you can get involved in the actual preservation of these beautiful animals.
You do not need to come from the UK to teach the local children English, but you will need to be fluent and easily understood in English, and to be able to read and write English to a good standard. If you feel your English isn’t quite good enough, don’t worry, there’s plenty else you can do in the community, and you’ll still be able to communicate with everyone, including singing songs, which Sri Lankans of all ages love. If you play a musical instrument that is portable, please bring it along!
Resources available at the project and things to bring from home
The Project is well equipped for the running of the conservation programme. From home you will need to bring waterproof gloves and some old clothing to wear when working at the turtle project.
Volunteers are encouraged to bring story books, flash cards, games, puzzles, and any other activities that will help teach the children English. Such items, and extra clothing, are easily available locally, and are often much cheaper than in your own country. Buying here in Sri Lanka also supports the local economy.
A self-contained house at the project site provides a safe, clean and private home for volunteers, and includes all necessary facilities. Breakfast and dinner are also provided.
A maximum of three volunteers share a good-sized single sex bedroom, and mosquito nets and bedding are provided. There is an attached toilet and bathroom. Internet access is available at the accommodation 24/7 from a Wi-Fi facility.
Volunteers need to provide their own toiletries, toilet paper and bottled water. There are local shops within walking distance of the project which stock these items. The nearest city is 15 minutes away by public transport for banks, ATMs and supermarkets.
What is around
What is around and things to do in your free time.
What is around, and things to do in your free time.
This project is situated on the South coast of Sri Lanka, with its world famous and not over-developed tourist areas, beautiful sandy beaches, and the warm, blue ocean. The tourists come to soak up the sun, swim, surf and scuba dive, as well as whale-watching and exploring the coral reefs. All these activities are also available to our volunteers.
To venture further afield during your free time, there is an extensive and cheap network of bus and train services to all other parts of the island. The recent and ongoing upgrades to Sri Lanka’s roads make journeys quicker and smoother than they used to be.
A 15 minute bus journey from the project brings you to banks, supermarkets, restaurants, and local hospitals.
As a volunteer on this project, you will experience first-hand the real heart of Sri Lankan society, the generosity of its people, and learn so much about this beautiful country’s rich culture and traditions. You will also have the journey of a lifetime.