GV Volunteer Spotlight

Jan Bodewes is a Global Village volunteer who has been part of 19 Global Village trips across the world. As a GV team leader he is passionate about giving volunteer teams the opportunity to experience new places and cultures while giving them great memories and also validating their efforts. “GV trips have been eye opening experience for me, witnessing the generosity of people who have very little and yet are willing to share what little they have even with strangers. This was my second trip to Sri Lanka. I’m so proud to see how Habitat for Humanity
Sri Lanka gives so many families a chance at a better future. It’s amazing to be able to contribute to this in my own way.”

Jan Bodewes

Global Village Volunteer

Local Volunteer Spotlight

Sandaruwani Karunaratne (26) a member of the staff at American National College in Colombo participated in the Women’s Build held in April 2017. Sharing her very first volunteer experience with Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka, Sandaruwani commented “This has been an amazing experience to be able to help construct a home for a family in need. I never imagined that I would be able to contribute in such a meaningful way to change the lives of people in need.”

Sandaruwani Karunaratne

Women’s Build - Local Volunteer


 1. Hands for Humanity

An organization like Habitat would be nothing without the continuous dedication and hard work of volunteers. We want to make volunteering for us not only a hugely rewarding experience for the beneficiaries of your hard work, but also for you-a mission that will live with you throughout  your lifetime and help you to inspire others to continue the good work you have done.

We have created a variety of options that we hope suit all the needs of the huge array of people from around the world, who join the Habitat family. Individuals, corporations, families, societies and students can all be incorporated in a mutually beneficial system, which enables us to get the most out of you and you to get the most out of us. Our whole volunteer program is designed to make it as easy as possible for you to join, so you can spend more time doing what matters- helping to ease poverty in Sri Lanka.

Individuals: We are not worried how much time you can spend with us. It is far more important for all involved that the time spent is spent well. Be it a short or long term project you can walk away with your head held high. Your work with us in building homes for those who desperately need them will changing lives, inspire, and create light where before there was only darkness. You will be making a positive contribution to the world.

Groups: Achieving life changing and confirming goals can only be more rewarding when doing it with your friends, class mates or members of your community. By bringing a sense of community and fellowship to the project you are working on, others will feed of this, enhancing the whole experience for all involved. A lifetime of memories to be shared.

 Corporate Training: Nothing builds a sense of purpose and togetherness in the work place as doing something as a team,especially when it has nothing to do with the job directly, but relates to it much indirectly! Motivation, teamwork, quick wit, laughter and tears, ever changing scenarios and situations, and basically getting stuck into doing hard work that has immensely good repercussions for the recipients. At Habitat local and international businesses have embraced the opportunity to partner with us and leave staff and management feeling rejuvenated and inspired for when they return back to their daily duties.

Student Chapters: As the world continues to open it’s eyes to problems far away from their doorsteps, we have created a program that allows students to fully participate with us, without encroaching upon their studies. You will have the chance to learn leadership and project management skills, interact with a new societies and learn new customs, make friends for life and enjoy the wondrous experience that is living in Sri Lanka.

2. Global Village

Our trips offer more than just the opportunity to swing a hammer. You’ll experience the country like a local, with the locals. Meet people from around the world with all different kinds of backgrounds, races and religions.

Spending time with other cultures doesn’t mean just exploring the differences, but also discovering the commonalities. You’ll find that you don’t even need to speak the language.

Your participation in one of these trips helps support Habitat’s ongoing homebuilding efforts. While your personal trip may last for a week or more, your financial, emotional and physical contributions can be life-changing for both those in the communities where you work and in your own life for years to come

How you make a difference

In isolation, a few hours by one volunteer might not look like much but, when combined, the actions of volunteer teams or Global Village volunteers have made a huge impact on the work done by Habitat Sri Lanka.

As potential local volunteers, global volunteers and friends of Habitat Sri Lanka here’s what you should know:

  • A 12 member team working 32 hours a week can provide all the unskilled labour to complete an entire house.
  • Short-term volunteers who haul water and mix cement decrease fatigue on paid skilled labour allowing for a more efficient build.
  • The participation of volunteers fosters a sense of community, encouraging more people to participate in builds as volunteers.
  • The knowledge that people care and are willing to give their time to help, adds to the motivation of these communities.

For more information on volunteer opportunities, contact Melissa Jayasuriya (Senior Manager, Corporate Relations & Resource Development) at