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University of London International Programmes Build PDF Print E-mail

The 28th February 2010 saw 2 significant “firsts” take place. For Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka, the University of London International Programmes Volunteer Build was the first build for 2010. For the University of London International Programmes, it was the first Volunteer Build worldwide across a network of some 18,000 registered alumni across the world.

25 volunteers consisting of staff from the University of London International Programmes piled into a 40-seater bus and sang their way to Paiyagala, Beruwala – South Coast of Sri Lanka.


The sun was beating down on 28 February 2010. In sweltering 32 degree heat in an area surrounded by rock quarries (which are known to be heat insular even on the coolest of days) 25 volunteers worked alongside the home owners.

Most of them, first time builders worked with inspirational dedication as bit by bit, the toilet pit was dug out and rocks were carried and passed along the chain of volunteers. They hauled bags of cement, mixed the correct composition of cement to sand and water and assisted the local labourers.

For lunch the home owners prepared a Sri Lankan meal or rice and curry and in true
Sri Lankan style, most of the volunteers devoured the spicy curries and condiments using their hands and no forks/spoons. The custom of eating with one’s fingers and not using kitchen utensils has been ingrained in most locals since childhood. However the volunteers took on the challenge without hesitation which left local volunteers and surrounding villagers most impressed!

After lunch, it was gloves on again and they were back at work! By this time the sun was beating down hard and despite fatigue and heat induced exhaustion the team pushed on.

By the end of the day, spirits were still high and the team had their group photo taken with the family they helped serve.

It’s a well known fact that people respond to people. They respond to the human condition and the potential their work has to make a difference in the life of another human being. Volunteering for a few hours, a day or a week has and continues to be a huge part of what makes Habitat for Humanity’s work sustainable. While doling out a few pounds here and there can give you a moment’s satisfaction there’s little feeling in the transaction.

Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka allows you to do more than build houses – it welcomes you into the homes and hearts of the poor, it immerses you in their struggle for the time you are building and sends you away, with a feeling that you’ve done something for the greater good of humanity and felt each and every moment of it too.



Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka completed a separate house for the Indrapala family in June 2009. The completion of the toilet for this family as part of the University of London International Programmes Build means a complete house and toilet for this family-a significant feat amidst what have been some difficult times for this family. The University of London International Programmes Staff and Alumni made 2 donations to this project. The funds will go towards;

1) Developing the livelihoods of these two families.
2) Setting up an educational fund for the children of these two families.

Click for images of the event


(c) 2015 Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka.