The Farm is a coconut plantation set up and run by Mr Siripale and his family. Other things are also grown and produced on the farm. Primarily however, the farm is home to 42 people with disabilities some of whom help work the farm.
The farm is part of a community. It is a well established organisation supporting children and adults with disabilities which was established in the 1960's by Brian and his wife, Thilika.
Brian and Thilika took in some children with disabilities and looked after them in their own home. Over the years, they welcomed more children and as a result other members of Thilika's family got involved in caring for these children. The family still run the other three sites, and Thilika still takes a personal interest in the welfare of the people there. Pieter , Brian and Thilika's son, is now heading the organisation with the assistance of his wife, Katherine.
The organisation has been welcoming volunteers as an organisation for the past 50 years. If it were not for the volunteers and overseas support, the organisation would not be as established as it is and the residents would not have had as fulfilled a life experience as they seem to have had.
It is one big family of happy, smiling people who love to learn new things and meet new people. Resources are stretched however. Help is needed.
Everyone here looks forward to welcoming volunteers, of all ages, from all walks of life and hopes they will stay as long as possible.
Help with Computers / internet
We require hard working, dedicated and determined people willing to make a difference to the lives of the people that live here, most of whom are either physically or mentally disabled.
People with a variety of skill sets would be welcomed. Most of all however, we require people willing to spend time with our staff and residents and help make their day a little more special. Therefore, whatever your field of work and your area of expertise, as long as you are happy to sit and talk, eat and walk, your time will be well spent.
Everything from simply walking and talking with residents, to playing games and devising activities, supervising arts and crafts workshops, supporting day trips, harvesting produce, caring for the livestock, carrying out maintenance work, supervising building projects, implementing new routines and implementing new methods of working would be welcomed.
Visitors will see and experience a unique piece of Sri Lankan culture - a combined working farm and care home faciliity which serves its purpose well. The people are so welcoming and willing to share their life experiences, visitors rarely fail to be influenced by their spirit and leave with a greater appreciation of how others live and work.
For travellers wishing to obtain an insight to mental health and how people cope with physical disabilities,the farm has it all covered!
Volunteers become part of the family and are embraced by staff and residents alike. They are invited to visit staff homes, attend weddings and cultural events. They have the opportunity to visit the other locations and see the wonders of Sri Lanka.
Food and lodging is offered free of charge based on volunteers working 4-5 hours per day, 5 days per week.
Accommodation is provided in one of two rooms in Middle House, a house built by Siripale in the 1980's for himself and his family. The house currently accommodates 6 male residents with a male member of staff.
The two rooms available for volunteers are large with ceiling fans, a metal frame or concrete base bed, storage, window shutters and mosquito net. The house is of traditional Sri Lankan construction. A bathroom with shower, washbasin and WC is made available for the sole use of volunteers.
Staff and residents alike enjoy sampling different foods and volunteers are encouraged to cook a meal of their choice during their stay and make their rooms their own for the duration of their stay.
Authentic Sri Lankan food is prepared, cooked and served in the kitchen. There are no cooking facilities for volunteers but volunteers are welcome and encouraged to take over some of the cooking if they wish to do so. All food is cooked on an open fire, often in clay pots.
We are seeking long-term volunteers willing to work hard and become part of our community.
An interest in farming, teaching, social care, a knowledge of or experience with disabilities (both mental and physical) would be an advantage. We particularly welcome physiotherapists, student nurses, occupational therapists, behaviour management experts, as well as trades people and agriculturalists willing to help around the farm.
The farm is well situated for travel, shopping and the beach. It is 6km from the tourist area and the main town. There is a good network of buses which operate from Negombo bus station and the train station is also well connected. Colombo is one hour away. Trips to Kandy, Ella and Nuwara Eliya, Pinnewala Elephant Sanctuary and Peak Wilderness Sanctuary are popular with travellers.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week