We used to be “SL Volunteers” but in 2014 we became SLV. We began in 2010 when Lucy Nightingale, a then recent Psychology graduate from Manchester University joined forces with Yasintha Rathnayake, a former Sri Lankan youth worker. We headed out to Sri Lanka as a team of recent graduates looking to gain practical experience in a challenging environment; our goal was to share our time and skills with projects that we felt could benefit most.
Everyone who is on the SLV team both in the UK, USA and Sri Lanka has previously volunteered and has committed themselves to the work we do. To meet our whole team click here
In 2012 we began working with Samutthana, the King’s College London resource centre for trauma, displacement and mental health in Sri Lanka and the SLV Placement with Mental Health was born. This placement is designed for those wanting to gain hands-on experience working in the mental health sector and includes working with individuals suffering with mental illness, and attending workshops and field visits run by mental health professionals in Sri Lanka.
What makes SLV different to other volunteer organisations?
We’re focused on being ethical and sustainable and our projects are sourced by and run alongside the Sri Lankan national team members.
- We are not a tour operator: We are invested in every step of your placement. From the application process to sweating it out on the local bus. The people you speak to in London are the people you’ll see in Sri Lanka.
- We don’t support “voluntourism” We focus on making a positive impact in the local community. Our focus is on the benefit to the service users, not on a holiday experience.
- We provide training: We want to make sure you feel as prepared as you can be, so we aim to provide comprehensive training in the first week. You can find out more by clicking here.
- We want you to live local: you’ll live with a local family, take local transport and essentially live like a local for the duration of your placement. We want you to break out of your comfort zone and immerse yourself in a totally new culture.