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About Us

SLV is a graduate led organisation that provides degree-specific volunteer placements in Sri Lanka. Our placements offer people the chance to gain work experience in teaching English, coaching sports, working with children and with people with special needs. SLV also provide work experience for psychology students in the mental health sector.

SLV offers project and cultural awareness training, leadership opportunities, and encourages volunteers to contribute to the continued growth and development of the team and its projects. The SLV team strives to make a positive, responsible, and sustainable impact in the communities it volunteers in.

How is SLV different to other volunteer organisations?

  • SLV does not support “voluntourism:” SLV focus on making a positive impact in the Sri Lankan communities and not on creating a holiday experience for volunteers.
  • SLV Training: Our emphasis is providing volunteers with the training and support they need to work effectively and sensitively within a Sri Lankan context.
  • SLV team members learn as much as they teach: Our volunteers live with local families, take local transport to projects and are encouraged to invest in and integrate themselves as much as possible in their local communities.
  • SLV is not a tour operator: Our project managers are involved and invested in every step of your volunteering placement, from reading your application, to conducting your interview, to welcoming you to Sri Lanka and supporting you throughout your placement.

Our Story

SLV (formerly known as “SL Volunteers”) was set up by a team of students and graduates in 2010. The team was led by Lucy Nightingale, a Psychology Graduate of Manchester University, who was inspired to return to Sri Lanka after her own experience volunteering there in 2005. Lucy co-founded the organisation with Yasintha Rathnayake, a Sri Lankan Youth Worker, who acted as an initial liaison for local projects before becoming the full-time Sri Lankan Project Manager.

The SLV team welcomed International Development Graduate, David Shannon, as a UK Project Manager in 2011, and has since grown both in the UK and in Sri Lanka. With David’s help, SLV has expanded to over 35 different projects in the Colombo district and now accepts volunteers from across the world.

Lucy Nightingale’s most recent goal has been to create opportunities for those wanting to gain work experience in the mental health sector. The SLV team has since established a Psychology Placement with the support from Clinical Psychologists and Psychiatrists from Samutthàna, the King’s College London resource centre for trauma, displacement and mental health in Sri Lanka.