Our HQ and accommodation: the Bulankulama Walawa

Our commitment to you and the students has led us to renovate what is perhaps Anuradhpura's oldest and finest house, a 1930s property set in a 1/4 acre of land which is full of mango trees and visited by 2 different troops of monkeys, and the endemic Sri Lankan grey hornbill almost daily, Our HQ is a language, education, and cultural centre; a place where we teach English, and where young people studying hospitality and catering gain real experience through working in a hostel setting and developing their English as they look after you during your stay. Many people in the Anuradhapura area wish to study for IELTS, and we run and English Cafe, where those we teach English to have the opportunity to meet and speak English with others from a variety of English speaking backgrounds, which also gives you a fantastic opportunity to meet the local population and find out about Sri Lanka. Everything that we do as a non-profit volunteering company is thought through and linked together to support development.

Our Fig and Gecko Hostel and Training Centre


Give A Fig Volunteering have blended our commitment to Sri Lankan development with the belief that you, our volunteers and interns should have the best support possible,

Your accommodation with us, the Fig and Gecko Hostel, is a training centre for Sri Lankan youth enrolled on hospitality / catering / hotel management courses, and on government English courses that we teach English on. We are therefore able to provide you with excellent service, and the students on the courses gain excellent first hand experience (overseen by their college lecturers) of working in the industry they are training for, which increases their employability. We know that this approach works, as we have seen young people who work with you develop confidence and go on to pass interviews, which at 18 and over in the professions, civil service, private sector, and hospitality industry, are often conducted in English. 


What you can expect:

  • Projector room
  • wi fi 4g
  • Clean sheets and towels.
  • washing machines
  • indoor games (board games)
  • space to chill/study/relax
  • safety: fire escape/fire extinguishers/fire alarms
  • Lockers for your belongings
  • excellent accommodation,
  • good food
  • Thursday night Sari and Buffet Night
  • filtered cooking and drinking water on tap
  • good service from our trainees
  • solar heated hot water in your showers and sinks
  • Toilet paper. (This is not standard in Sri Lankan homes or hotels catering for locals.

What accommodation does your payment include?

Your volunteering with Give A Fig includes half board in our bunk bed accommodation in our Fig and Gecko Hostel for 4 days/week, and one 5th day B&B, Most people like to go away weekends, and so we charge extra for your room on the weekends, and if you fully vacate your room for us to fill for backpackers, we reimburse you the cost of the B&B acommodation at our standard B&B rates, which are all made clear on the website.

We have plenty of chill out space in the accommodation, both inside and outside, and a lovely garden to sit in, which is well presented, clean, and well maintained. 


Bunk bed roobicle in the Fig and Gecko; our Standard accommodation

We have 5 twin bedroobicles, which we charge an additional £2/pereon / night for. We have an 8 bed female bunk dorm, as well as an 8 bed male bunk dorm.

Ensuite in the Fig and Gecko

You are welcome to book our twin ensuite, which wiull cost an additionl £15 /night.


For a great Sri Lankan experience why not stay in one of our approved homestays for some or all of the period of your volunteering, or when on a tour. We are able to offer a range of homestays from the traditional Sri Lankan village brick home, to others that have built to western standards. Even the latter, usually the homes of professionals and business people, do not have hot showers (many people don' understand why we westerners want one in a hot country), but we have ensured minimum standards for you in the homestays, and information about each is available on request. The hosts' cooking is excellent, and expect to be served variations on rice and curry for breakfast, dinner and tea.. 


Hotels or Villas

We are able to arrange hotels or villas for your stay for some or all of your time with us, according to your budget. This will be an additional charge to what you have paid for your volunteering. We are also able to rent fully catered small hotels or guest houses for groups, which will be an additional charge.

Accommodation preferences

  • Due to the conservative nature of Sri Lankan society, our hostel rooms are for single sex occupancy.
  • Couples may request other accommodation options.
  • Group accommodation may be discussed prior to booking and a range of options are possible.

Self-Catering Bungalos in Columbo

At times we offer self-catering bungalows for 2 sharing, 100 yards from Colombo’s most popular beach.