ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Accommodation and Expenses:
Accommodation can be arranged within the village, providing a unique chance to live amongst Sri Lankan villagers and to get to know a culture rarely seen by tourists. These local houses provide both accommodation and food at very good rates. During their stay volunteers are welcome to use the office facilities in the CRC centres including computers with internet access.

Travel and Transport:
Our project sites in the East can be reached via public transport or by hired car or van. The YPF staff will be happy to assist you with booking your journeys, should you need any help.

Costs and Money:
The currency is Sri Lankan Rupees (Rs) and the exchange rate is approximately US$1 to Rs. 130. There are several banks and ATMs in Colombo and the other big cities. However, please be aware that large Rs. 1000 / 2000 notes can be difficult to change in rural areas and we recommend that you make sure that you have smaller notes before coming to the village.

Food:
Sri Lankan food is reasonably priced and if you eat in local restaurants a meal will cost approximately Rs. 100-150. It is more expensive in guesthouses and tourist restaurants where you should expect to pay around Rs. 300 to Rs. 700 for a meal. You can purchase take-away lunch packets in bakeries and many local restaurants in South, North and East for as little as Rs. 100.

Visas: Obtaining a visa is your responsibility. Please contact us if you would like visa information. If you are interested in volunteering for longer than three months there is a lengthy process to go through so it is important to contact YPF at least four months before you plan to arrive.
 

What to Bring

  • We recommend that you buy a Sinhalese Phrasebook.  All young Sri Lankans study English in school but they often do not speak or understand English very well in the village (they are normally able to read and write better than they can speak).
  • It would be of great benefit if you are able to bring a laptop with you.
  • Pack lightly. The climate is tropical and if you forget anything you can buy clothes cheaply in Sri Lanka.  Most things that you will need during your stay, including toiletries, can be bought locally. 
  • When staying in the village, please be aware of cultural sensitivities.  For example, women should wear long skirts or trousers that are at least knee length and sleeveless shirts are not recommended.   Smoking and drinking alcohol is not permitted anywhere within the YPF and CRC centres.
  • A local mobile is essential for ease of communication.  The cheapest option is to bring your own phone and purchase a local SIM card.  Local SIM cards can be purchased for approximately Rs. 200-600 and you can then buy pre-paid top-up cards in pharmacies, mobile phone stores as well as many grocery stores.  It is very cheap to text and make local and international calls on a local SIM card. 
  • We recommend that you buy a Sri Lanka travel guide before coming out such as the Lonely Planet, as there is plenty to do in the surrounding area during your spare time. Further information can also be found on the lonely planet website: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/worldguide/sri-lanka





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