Community Tourism

Community Tourism is for those wishing to use at least part of their holiday in Sri Lanka to contribute their knowledge, time and energy towards uplifting Sri Lankan communities that are in need.

Red Dot and community tourism
Red Dot extends support towards ongoing community development efforts conducted by the Foundation of Goodness, a charity established to assist rural villagers in the south that have been adversely affected by the devastating Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004. Spend a week teaching a sport to a group of children, share your specialised knowledge in IT, English, sewing or even cookery with young adults, or just spend time assisting in a pre-school or medical clinic. Red Dot will plan your holiday itinerary and arrange for your volunteer programme at the Foundation of Goodness.

Foundation of Goodness
Out of this misery and devastation of the tsunami was born the `Foundation of Goodness’, a movement of goodwill and `unconditional compassion’ that today has helped thousands of families affected by the devastation in the Seenigama area, about 20 kms north of Galle. Founded by Kushil Gunasekera, whose ancestral home serves as the nerve centre of this project, the movement currently touches the lives of over 20,000 men, women and children from over 25 villages in the south, strengthening their inner being, skills and knowledge, and offering them a brighter future.

Soon, Kushil hopes to extend the activities to the North and East coast which has undergone much hardship due to almost thirty years of terrorism. With the official end of the conflict in May 2009, the Foundation will soon launch its community development activities in these areas. Volunteers will be sought once the programme gets underway.

Most of the disaster response work is now drawing to a close at Seenigama. The Foundation of Goodness is now focusing on long-term programmes, targeted towards improving the lives of these rural communities. Children’s programmes include pre-school education, development of English skills and sports. Much has been achieved through sports and famous cricketers including Muttiah Muralitharan, Chaminda Vaas, and the current captain of the Sri Lankan cricket team, Kumar Sangakkara are all trustees of the Foundation and play an active role in coaching the kids and providing financial support. Other children’s sports programmes include football, netball, volleyball, and swimming. Coaching is extended to the neighbouring village schools and regular cricket matches are held at the Seenigama Oval.

Adult programmes are geared towards developing skills that are essential for income generation. Comprehensive programmes in English and business skills development, computer training including web and graphic designing, motor mechanics and electrical wiring, industrial and domestic sewing and cookery, hair styling and bridal dressing are conducted on an ongoing basis. Preventive and curative health care is another important sector and regular medical clinics including paediatric, gyneacology, and general medical clinics are held. Counselling and providing emotional support for children and adults is also a major component. A fully-equipped scuba diving centre provides professions diving training for youth from the surrounding villages. Prior to the Tsunami, coral mining was a popular livelihood in this area which has contributed greatly to the destruction of coral and natural habitat for the diverse marine life along these shores. The youth of this area are now being trained by professionals for industrial diving work including underwater welding and cutting. The PADI courses conducted at the Seenigama Dive Centre are also open to those who wish to undergo training in scuba diving.
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How you can help?
As the Foundation of Goodness goes from strength to strength, the need for financial support as well as those willing to donate their time and knowledge is great. There are more than 30 programmes to get involved, described at length on their website: A minimum volunteer period of one week is recommended in order to understand the cultural values and lifestyles, and get actively involved in a programme of your choice. Within Seenigama, the main locations of the programmes are the MCC Centre of Excellence, Aviva Community Centre, Udumulla Village Heartbeat Centre and the Seenigama Sports Academy, all situated within walking distance.

Volunteers were recently needed for the following programmes. This list is always subject to change:

• Medicare Centre: Qualified medical professionals including GPs, Optometrists, Paediatricians, Nurses, Hygiene and disease control specialists, specialists in nutrition, pharmacists, dentists, dental technicians, community health and health education experts.

• Women’s Enterprise: People able to hold one day workshops in handicrafts and/or teaching skills that local women may be able to use in the home or to set up/ improve their own business. Business entrepreneurs who could help set up businesses selling handicrafts made by the women.

• Environment Management: Fundraising and proposal development. Solar power and alternative technology experts, horticulturists. Community education specialists. Those wishing to carry out clean-ups, maintenance campaigns, tree-planting, etc.

• Rebuilding Lives: Psychiatrists and psychologists, community development workers able to carry out one-day or multi-day programmes dealing with issues such as exam stress, bullying, domestic abuse, children's development, etc.

• Business Skills Development: Business trainers or professionals able to support existing classes (Photography, Electrical Wiring) or hold short-term programmes teaching new skills that can be used to generate income, start a business or gain employment. Examples include foreign language teaching, tour guide training, hospitality and hotel working, plumbing, plastering, etc.

• English Teaching: Preferably TEFL trained, but not essential. Teaching is required as class room assistants for existing teachers and for additional village and staff classes, covering all ages from pre-school (3-5yrs) to adults.

• Computer Training: Computer experts required with knowledge of hardware, software, programming, internet and computer security, maintenance and repairs, and also lecturers in software packages using MS and MAC applications.

• Pre-School: Teacher trainers are urgently required to develop skills of local staff. Also, English teachers, play and child development experts, artists, singers and musicians, medical professionals, school management experts.

• Handicraft & Clothing Boutique: Business development, retail and marketing skills required.

• Diving Centre: Business developers and marketing specialists to develop the `Dive Seenigama Lanka’ business arm. Contract writers to aid bidding for diving contracts. Tourists wishing to go on diving/ boat trips, complete intro diving courses, PADI, etc

• Children’s Goodness Activity Club: Teach children through art, fun games, music, dancing, debating, or run special programmes according to your skills.

• Anula Wijerama Girls’ Home (Balapitiya): Live with the girls and get involved in all aspects of their daily routine, including cooking, homework support, helping in the home garden, teaching new skills, arts, singing, dancing, acting, sewing, music.

• Sports Academy: Sports trainers, coaches, nutritionists, physiotherapists, life-skills experts, sports management and administration experts, staff development, HR and Management Training experts, Life saving and life guarding skills, First aid etc. Sports programmes include: Cricket (including women’s cricket), swimming (including sea swimming), netball, volleyball, badminton, athletics, triathlon, beach football, beach volleyball, triathlon.

• Foundation of Goodness Management Office (Seenigma): Finance, HR, office administration, procedure development skills required, staff training and development, project management, staff management training, etc.

• Foundation of Goodness Head Office (Colombo): Fundraising, design and marketing, new-media marketing, journalists. Project management training.

Accommodation during your volunteer work
The Foundation of Goodness offers clean and comfortable accommodation within the Seenigama village for those who wish to volunteer in their programmes. The accommodation ranges from a/c double rooms to dormitory style cottages, close the main office at Seenigama. Traditional rice and curries and light snacks are prepared by village cooks. The nearby holiday town of Hiikkaduwa has beachside cafes, restaurants and hotels. Alcohol is not permitted on Foundation of Goodness premises at Seenigama.

Lahiru Villa: Kushil’s ancestral home, which was badly affected by the Tsunami, now houses the Centre of Excellence which is the hub of the Seenigama project. The Lahiru Villa which is a part of this centre has five comfortable a/c double bedrooms with attached toilets, available to guests. The rooms are furnished with twin beds fitted with mosquito netting. Rooms open out to a central swimming pool, living and dining area. There is cable TV and wi-fi internet facility in the living room. [More]

Individual rooms on bed and breakfast (B/B) basis per person, per day. Lunch and dinner cooked on request by expert local cooks at US$4 per meal.

Short stays :
US$ 45 for a double
US$ 35 for a single

Stays over two weeks :
US$ 40 for a double
US$ 30 for a single

Udumulla Village Heartbeat Centre: Ten minutes walk from the Centre of Excellence is the Udumulla Village Heartbeat Centre which houses a training centre and village library. A fuive bedroom cottage, on the bank of a tranquil river, is available for volunteers. Rooms have a/c fans and single beds fitted with mosquito netting. There are two bathrooms and a small kitchen and dining area where guests can do their own cooking. Meals could be arranged at the Village Heartbeat Centre accommodation on request, but the volunteers would either have buy food themselves or with the help of accommodation staff, who will provide receipts for all purchases. A reasonable tip should be offered for such assistance. [More]

Rates: Dormitory style/ shared rooms – per person, per day

Less than two weeks: US$ 15
From two weeks to a month: US$ 10
Over a month: US$ 7.50

Less than two weeks: US$ 20
From two weeks to a month: US$ 15
Over a month: US$ 12.50

Seenigama Sports Academy: Those who wish to volunteer for the many sports programmes conducted by the Foundation of Goodness can opt to stay in dormirtory accommodation at the Sports Academy. Two separate houses overlook the Seenigama Oval. Each house has three bedrooms furnished with bunk beds. Up to 10 guests can be accommodated in each house. The rooms are fitted with fans and have a block of toilets which includes showers. Each house has a living, dining area and kitchen. The Sports Academy accommodation is ideally suited for cricket teams that come from overseas to participate in the Seenigama programmes. Volunteers are welcome to use the sports facilities at the Academy including the 25-metre swimming pool. Meals could be arranged at the Sports Academy on request, but the volunteers would either have buy food themselves or with the help of accommodation staff, who will provide receipts for all purchases. A reasonable tip should be offered for such assistance. [More]

Rates: Dormitory style/ shared rooms – per person, per day

Less than two weeks: US$ 15
From two weeks to a month: US$ 10
Over a month: US$ 7.50

Less than two weeks: US$ 20
From two weeks to a month: US$ 15
Over a month: US$ 12.50

Useful Links
Foundation of Goodness -

Get in Touch

Hotline +94 117895810


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