We volunteered for The Manacare Foundation, a charity which has projects all over the world, not just in Sri Lanka: www.manacare.com
Before leaving we heard much about the volunteering experiences of Julie's sisters, and took a look at a few websites recommended by them. The online diary entries by a nurse called Alison working in the village of Peraliya were particularly moving and interesting. http://www.peraliya.com/
Volunteering is a really good way to become involved in something worthwhile, it really enhanced our stay. I think particularly as we were staying for a month, that it was good to become more involved and a little integrated into life here. There are things you can do however long your stay is, even if its only a short time. Two people we met only had one day available but helped us get further on with our painting. It is really enjoyable, challenging and worthwhile and you get to know more people as well as other volunteers. You also get a privileged insight into local life.
While we were there we did a bit of English teaching, lots of painting, varnishing and a bit of sanding- (a less favourite job!). We also had the chance to make friends and talk with locals benefiting from the project, some of whom lived at the site and the Sri Lankan contractors. We managed to impart some English, and even pick up a bit of Singhalese! For more photos, see Image gallery.