April 2015
April 30, 2015

Dear All,

Trust this finds all of you and your loved ones well.

VACD News Flash!!!:

  1. We are delighted to inform you that VACD is now registered as  “Volunteers to Assist Children with Disabilities Limited”, a not-for-profit public company limited by guarantee established to be and to continue as a charity under the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) – Australian Company Number: 605 017 016 and Australian Business Register Number 80605017016.
  2. A similar structure will be put in place in Sri Lanka over the next few months.
  3. Salvos Legal, our lawyers will shortly be applying for VACD Ltd. to be registered with the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission (ACNC)
  4. The primary reason and the driver behind this structural change has been the rapid expansion of VACD, the need for a broader set of talents, expertise and skills on the team, the need for corporate support and assistance and partnership programs that will prove to be mutually beneficial to VACD Ltd. and our sponsors/donors/partners & supporters.
  5. We will be applying for Deductible Gift Recipient Status (DGR) shortly given that the DGR status will be a great incentive and advantage to all of you who have thus far supported us financially over the past 3 1/2 years.
  6. The changes outlined will be gradually updated on this website including the company constitution, modified policy documents, new banking details, updated contact details etc..

The new VACD Ltd. team can be viewed here.

The Lak Saviya leadership and VACD Ltd. have agreed to work closely to ensure that the transition from a charity functioning under the Lak Saviya Foundation Australia Inc. umbrella to a charity on its own, will be smooth and non disruptive.

Sponsors, donors, partners and supporters of our projects and programs do not have to take any action now. We will be in direct contact with each one of you to work through all administrative and banking matters concerning you and VACD

A Big Thank you!!!:

  • We wish to place on record our heartfelt thanks and deep gratitude to the Lak Saviya leadership who have been a tremendous source of inspiration and strength to us since inception and in particular for their invaluable counselling and administrative support to date.
  • We also wish to place on record our deep appreciation and heartfelt thanks to the Chairman and staff of Sierra Construction (Pvt) Ltd., No: 1, Gover Street, Colombo 5, Sri Lanka and in particular to our former colleague and long-time family friend Mr Ruwan Cooray, Financial Consultant at Sierra, for donating a brand new Samsung printer/photocopier/fax machine/scanner to the VACD centre at Bandarawela. This goes a long way towards significantly reducing ongoing photocopying/printing costs incurred at the centre.

United Nations International Day of Disabled Persons – 5th October 2014:

A video clip (in Sinhala) of celebrations to mark United Nations International Day of Disabled Persons held at the Bandarawela Town Hall on Sunday, 5th October 2014 can be viewed here.

News in brief:

Educational Assistance Program – (EAP):

  1. April marks the 3rd month since the Educational Assistance Program (EAP) was implemented.
  2. The program provides assistance on a needs and priority basis to a disabled child who shows the ability to pursue his/her academic career or to a sibling of the disabled child so that this sibling would provide much needed support and assistance to the disabled child once parental/guardian support is not available.
  3. The VACD leadership team along with the parents’ group will do an audit of the program beginning later this month to ascertain if there has been any misuse or abuse of the facility, by scrutinising and reconciling expenses incurred with the bank statement and verifying  receipts/documents submitted and obtaining independent reports from the respective schools/teachers if the child has regularly attended classes and the progress the child has been making since the facility was granted.
  4. Any significant violation of the strict conditions and guidelines imposed on the parents/guardians who avail themselves of this facility would automatically result in the facility being withdrawn and extended to another child on the waiting list.  
  5. A comprehensive quarterly report on this program will be published when ready.
  6. We thank our sponsors for their generosity and love for our children. However, given the need for educational assistance far exceeds the number of sponsorship pledges received by us, please do consider joining the program or solicit support for the program from family, friends and colleagues. Joining the program would require a monthly donation of A$20 or equivalent Rs.2,000 per child.
  7. Your continued support is critically important to these children.

Work in Progress (reports to follow):

  1. Fixed Term Deposit Program (FTD) for eligible VACD Children in partnership with the National Savings Bank, Head Office, Colombo.
  2. Micro financing for the use of parents to set up small businesses in partnership with the National Savings Bank, Bandarawela.

Felix & Yasmin’s Expenses on account of VACD:

During a casual yet deep conversation about VACD activities, budget, expenses etc. with a close friend of ours, the question arose as to who bears the cost of expenses incurred by the two of us on account of VACD activities?

While deeply appreciating and valuing the trust and faith our families, friends and supporters have placed in us, it dawned upon us that we have a responsibility, in the interest of good governance, openness, honesty and clarity to provide some clarification of this subject to all our sponsors, supporters, donors and well-wishers.

Leading up to and since the charity was established on 27th December 2011, absolutely all expenses incurred by the two of us in Australia and/or overseas be they domestic or overseas travel, insurance, car and taxi hire, accommodation, food, gifts for VACD team members, sponsors and supporters, entertainment of VACD team members and supporters and key officials, incidental expenses etc. have been borne entirely from our own personal funds. This is over and above our regular financial commitment to VACD since the very inception, a policy commitment that  will not change because of our love for and commitment to our disadvantaged VACD children and their families is far deeper, meaningful and fulfilling to us.

All donations made by you goes directly towards the charity, the children and their families with the only ongoing expenses being the cost of running the centre, cost of various activities/programs and modest allowances paid to staff (not volunteers)

CREDIT CARD PAYMENT FACILITIES: Please make your donation here.

We thank you all for your continued support, advice, guidance and generosity and for being part of our family who have embarked on this incredible and rewarding journey to reach out and help those who are less fortunate than us.

Many thanks, best wishes and warm regards…Yasmin