Brief Description of our Organisation

SLV.Global is an international volunteering organisation running mental health placements in Sri Lanka and Bali, Indonesia. Our focus is on global mental health and our aim is to benefit communities in need of extra support within the mental health sector at the same time as providing skilled volunteers the chance to gain much-desired psychology work experience in various communities abroad.

On our psychology-focused placements, volunteers work as Activity Support Workers - running therapeutic activity sessions for individuals living with a range of mental health issues and disabilities, as well as teaching English at a variety of settings in the local community. Volunteers on all of our placements have the opportunity to learn from local professionals to increase their knowledge and enhance their skill sets whilst being immersed in an exciting new culture. We're happy to be different and are dedicated to prioritising the quality of the work we do over a holiday experience.

All of our placements are designed to provide maximum benefit to the communities where we work and at the same time give volunteers the opportunity to gain highly valuable experience in the mental health sector. All volunteers are required to undergo a series of in country training sessions run by local professionals and the SLV.Global team.

Interview & Selection Process

  • Fill in a short application form.
  • Volunteers are selected upon successful completion of a telephone interview.
  • Only those with relevant experience are given a place. On average 40% of all applicants are offered a place on their preferred placement.
  • Select SLV.Global placements require a DBS check.
  • Volunteers must acquire the correct visa to take part.

Health & Safety Policy Yes Completed: 05/05/2015 Date Renewed: 05/05/2018
Have an Equal Opportunities Policy Yes Updated 18/01/2018
Have a Risk Assessment to cover volunteer activities Yes Updated 18/01/2018
Employers Liability Yes Camberford Law PLC. Policy Number 940. Limit of Indemnity £10,000,000 Date Renewed: 02/04/2018
Public Liability Yes Camberford Law PLC. Policy Number 940. Limit of Indemnity £2,000,000 Date Renewed: 02/04/2018
Computer Systems Liability Yes Camberford Law PLC. Policy Number 940. Limit of Indemnity £100,000 Date Renewed: 02/04/2018
Crisis Management Yes Camberford Law PLC. Policy Number 940. Limit of Indemnity £100,000 Date Renewed: 02/04/2018
Products Liability Any one occurrence and in the aggregate in the Period Of Insurance Camberford Law PLC. Policy Number 940. Limit of Indemnity £2,000,000 Date Renewed: 02/04/2018
Medical / Repatriation Expenses (first Party) Yes Camberford Law PLC. Policy Number 940. Date Renewed: 02/04/2018
Professional Indemnity Yes Camberford Law PLC. Policy Number 940. Limit of Indemnity £100,000 Date Renewed: 02/04/2018
Volunteer Insurance Policy Yes Additionally, all volunteers are required to purchase travel insurance for the duration of their trip.
Provide an induction Yes The induction takes place the first week of the volunteer’s placement.
Provide training Yes The first week in country is induction and training.
Provide supervision Yes Volunteers are supported by senior staff throughout their placement. Ratio of 10:1.
Provide a reference for volunteers Yes Upon successful completion of the placement volunteers will be provided with a certificate of completion and a reference upon request.

What is the training like?

We provide comprehensive training in Health and Safety as well as how to work with vulnerable children, working with people with special needs and teaching English. This training is run by local NGOs, Mental Health Professionals and the SLV.Global Team. All training takes part in the first week in the country, allowing volunteers the opportunity to settle into the culture and their new role.

What will they be doing?

We work to bolster the resources of various pre-existing Social Work and Teaching projects since 2010. Volunteers work as Activity Support Workers - running therapeutic activity sessions for individuals living with a range of mental health issues and disabilities, as well as teaching English at a variety of settings in the local community. Volunteers have the opportunity to attend various workshops and learn from local professionals to increase their knowledge and assist them with working within a different culture. 

Where will they be working?

We currently run our Mental Health Placements in two countries, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. In both of the countries that we work, volunteers will be working in partnership with existing organisations in a variety of settings, including a major government run psychiatric facility as well as community based facilities for individuals with different specific needs and schools.

Where will they be living?

All of our volunteers live in a homestay with a local family and with other volunteers. Homestays are basic but comfortable and volunteers are provided with their breakfast and evening meals during the week. Some families have children or grandparents in residence and others are smaller nuclear units. Everyone has personal space as well as a single bed in a shared bedroom with a shared Western bathroom.

Is it safe?

We would never place our volunteers into a position where we felt their safety was compromised. Volunteers’ safety is our top priority and we have excellent exit strategies in place should anything occur, but in the last 7 years we’ve worked without incident. We also always recommend checking the Foreign Travel Office for the most up to date information about travel before the placement is set to begin. 

Volunteers never travel alone during the week and should not be doing so at the weekend either. The in country team are always on the other end of the phone; 24/7 should any incident occur we will provide the best support we can. The London office is also in constant communication with the in country teams throughout the volunteer placements. Volunteers have the numbers of all local police and are advised to be mindful of their surroundings, especially after dark.

For further information or for a copy of our Health and Safety Policy please get in touch with our University Partnerships team, on [email protected]


Why does it cost to volunteer?

The short answer is - it doesn’t. What costs money is the accommodation, food, training, support and transport we provide. We pride ourselves on being one of the lowest cost volunteer organisations around. We believe in providing a safe, comfortable and ethical experience for volunteers and we are very confident that the volunteer experience we provide, in regards to the projects, the homestays and the support we offer, is second to none.

What if they get sick?

We always take ill volunteers to doctors who speak English, so we can easily communicate and get an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. If a hospital visit is required, we will always opt to take sick volunteers to a western, private hospital. Volunteers need to take out their own travel insurance for the duration of their placement to cover them should they injure themselves or become ill.

What support is available?

From the time volunteers are picked up at the airport to the end of their placement we have a great support system in place. Our in-country teams are always there to offer support and continue to cultivate the relationships we have with our projects and partners, is comprised of many individuals. From Project Managers to all of our assistant managers, project supervisors and coordinators who help volunteers transition smoothly into Sri Lankan life.

They will also organise all the training volunteers receive and the safe transport to and from projects in addition to liaising with homestays, overseeing the activity weekends, providing volunteers with pastoral care,  helping ill volunteers should they be unwell and everything else behind the scenes that helps make SLV.Global run so well.

As well as the support network provided by the in-country teams, we foster an environment of peer-to-peer support by ensuring that volunteers never work alone on projects or travel alone on the weekend. Volunteers also live together in their homestay accommodation in groups of any where between 5 and 20. Further fostering this environment, we organise a peer mentor program where selected volunteers receive 4 weeks training and act as the first port of call for volunteers having any issues during their placement.

In addition to all of our team members there is also our International Operations Manager who is on call 24/7, runs orientation, employs logistics, manages risk assessments, trains the in-country teams, as well as ensuring volunteers have the most standardised experience possible.

What's communication like?

Upon arrival into the country volunteers are required to purchase a Sri Lankan or Indonesian SIM card so that the in country team can remain in contact with them. In both Sri Lanka and Indonesia there is great 3G coverage and access to Wi-Fi via internet cafes and restaurants so volunteers can stay in touch with friends and family back home.


What will they get?

This is tricky to quantify, as it’s very much about the volunteer. If they put everything in to their time with us they’ll get a greater understanding of cross-cultural relations, they’ll have gained valuable hands-on work experience in their chosen field of study, and they’ll have made a few friends and lots of lifetime memories. They’ll also be awarded with a certificate of participation and a reference from us upon successful completion of their placement.

Many universities are happy to use a students’ time with SLV.Global to count as a university placement to gain course credit for the hours they have completed. 


Our partnerships:

We are very proud to partner with a number of prestigious universities from across the globe. We are always on the lookout for passionate, motivated individuals who have a keen interest and knowledge of psychology and mental health to join our teams, and continue to provide valuable resources to the communities we work with. SLV.Global was founded by a group of psychology graduates, so we are well aware of the importance of gaining valuable, relevant experience to progress into a career in the field and we have developed the placements with that in mind.

We are proud to be a Trusted Partner of the University of Manchester - You can read more about our partnership here and we have many university students who since completing one of our placements have gone on to write about it for their universities. Here is a small selection of them:   

Lucy, our co-founder, from the University of Manchester.

Veronica from the University of Bristol.

Samantha from the University of Birmingham.

Caroline from Staffordshire University.

To view all of our university partners follow this link to our partners page and to read about what our past volunteers have to say about their time on placement and the incredible things they have moved onto since returning home you can take a look at our SLVeterans page.

If you want to find out more about our partnership programme and how you can offer our opportunities to your students, please get in touch with our University Partnerships team, on [email protected]