Trust this finds you and all your loved ones well.
Here’s a brief update of VACD activities since our last update in July:
- Individual and Group skills training and rehabilitation programs for disabled children continue at the VACD Centre Bandarawela on all week days with our specialist teacher driving this program.
- Kumar Palghat – Managing Director Kapstream, his wife Kathy and staff sponsored the annual funds raising evening in Sydney on Thursday, 7th August with funds raised being shared between Bear Cottage a children’s hospice and VACD. We wish to place on record our deep appreciation of Kumar and his team’s continued assistance and support for our children and mission;
- A public function was held at the Bandarawela Town Hall to celebrate the annual United Nations “ Disabled Children’s Day” on Sunday, 5th October. A photo album of this event will be posted on our web page soon.
- We have decided to obtain the services of a qualified Physiotherapist to assist in the rehabilitation programs for our children. The leadership team in Sri Lanka are working on this project;
- We have had to abandon plans to commence “Batik” making classes due to fire hazards and instead are focussing on less risky vocational skills training for parents. We will update you on our progress;
- Mrs Sarfun Niyas (nee Khan) a long time family friend and founding member of VACD has agreed to conduct sewing and knitting classes for children and parents at the VACD centre very soon. We will keep you posted with news on this program;
- Traditional dancing classes for children will commence shortly. We will post photographs on out web page soon.
- Educational Assistance Program: This sponsorship program has since been modified and will be made available to children from Grades 8 and above prior to the commencement of the new educational year 2015. The program will be extended to disabled children with the ability to further their education and academic potential or in the case of a disabled child not being intellectually gifted, we would consider assisting a gifted sibling in the hope that the latter would then be able to support and care for his/her less able brother/sister in the future. Each child will be given Sri Lanka Rupees 2,000 per month which will be deposited to a savings account in the child’s name. We thank all of you who have already pledged your support for this project and are appealing to others who have not yet responded, to support us in this program that would cost $20 Australian Dollars or equivalent a month, as soon as possible due to the implementation of the project being “Time Critical”;
- Fixed Term Deposit Accounts: We have since modified the program and have decided to open “Fixed Term Deposit Accounts” as opposed to savings accounts in order to protect funds from being misused by unscrupulous family members or guardians of the child. VACD will provide an initial deposit of Rupees 2,500 with a partnering bank in Sri Lanka matching this amount so that each child will have a Fixed Term Deposit of Rupees 5,000 with the maturity of the term deposit being the day each respective child turns 18 years of age. In order to prevent these funds from being squandered and given that these funds should serve as “nest eggs” for the children so that they can reach some level of financial independence in the future and not be a burden on their families, we have suggest to the bank that original Fixed Term Deposit certificates should be held in their vault to ensure the safety and security of the instrument. Copies of these certificates will also be kept by the VACD leadership for our own records. We are still working on this project with those who share our mission and will partner us in this program and will notify you no sooner we have finalised a partnership arrangement with a bank in Sri Lanka.
- Micro financing: We are having ongoing discussions with financial institutions in Sri Lanka to support us in this project where a parent of a disabled child will be given micro financing facilities to start a business venture that will give the family additional income to support their child. We have suggested that a parent will have to contribute 1/3 of the amount required, 1/3 will be provided by VACD as an interest free loan (given that we are a not-for-profit charity) and the bank will provide the balance 1/3 which will attract interest charges. The project will be administered by the bank in collaboration with our VACD leadership. We will keep you posted on progress being made on this front.
CREDIT CARD PAYMENT FACILITIES: We are delighted to inform you that our webpage: http://www.vacd.org.au/ has now got “Credit Card Payment” facilities that will make it far easier for you, in particular international supporters of our charity, to make donations and be part of our long but rewarding journey to help children with disabilities and their families achieve their dreams and aspirations. Please visit our webpage and you will find “Credit Cards” on dropdown menu under the “Donate” tab to make your donation.
WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY, CONTINUED SUPPORT AND ASSISTANCE AND….:
- Given that it’s time critical for us to have your support as soon as possible to finalise the “Educational Assistance Program”, please do let us know if you are willing to pledge your support for this project for which your funding will be required to commence in early 2015;
- As we draw closer to the end of this calendar year and since quite a few business entities and individuals now send out traditional and seasonal greetings in a soft copy format for environmental and cost efficiency reasons and then use these savings to support charities such as ours, please do give a thought or recommend to your organisation, colleagues, and families to consider sharing some of the savings with us because although our administrative and overhead expenses are minute, we have many more programs in the pipeline to help these children and their families for whom we are the only hope.
Many thanks, best wishes, warm regards, love to all from all of us to all of you and God Bless……Felix & Yasmin