By Dian Hasan | June 14, 2009
Palm-fringed beaches in tropical settings are the common idyllic notion of a vacation. Increasingly though, there are travelers who want to do more than lull away well-earned vacation days while watching gorgeous sunsets on the beach, they desire a more meaningful trip away from home. Such as volunteering to help save turtles. Volunteer travel, or popularly known as VolunTourism is a growing trend in travel today. The Turtle Conservation Project in Sri Lanka is one such program that offers volunteering opportunities to help with the conservation efforts of turtles.
Turtle Conservation Project (TCP) aims to devise and facilitate the implementation of sustainable marine turtle conservation strategies through education, research and community participation.
Volunteer Opportunities: The TCP has established its volunteer service programs in order to increase the working capacity of the TCP and to allow communication links between people of various backgrounds (gap-year students, fresh college graduates, and any other interested person) who are able to provide new input and suggest new ideas and concepts to aid and improve the overall future success of the project and its respective programs.
As a volunteer for the TCP, you will be assigned a specific area of focus within the project depending on your previous experience, trade skills, goals and personal choice. In the past, volunteers have provided their time and energy for the various duties mentioned below. Keep in mind though, the TCP is forever implementing new programs, while others are phased out, and new areas of involvement are always becoming available.
For durations anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months, the latter which is preferred by TCP, any volunteer can help. As no special skills are required. They do however, require a degree of stamina for the long shifts and occasional variations in the tropical climate. Monsoon downpours are of course common in this part of the world.
The work entailed will be varied, from measuring turtles, beach patrolling and mapping, involved in educational programs, environmental presentations to hotels, English teaching in monasteries and schools, office administration work, fundraising efforts, IT development work, to promotion of responsible nature tourism.
For more info: Turtle Conservation Project, Sri Lanka