June 2015
June 30, 2015

Dear All,

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

VACD Ltd. Update:

Following our registration as a not-for-profit public limited liability company with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission, being registered on the Australian Business register, being registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission and being granted income tax exemption and GST concession status by The Australian Taxation Office, we have now established a new bank account to which all future Australian Dollar donations/sponsorships should be made as follows:

         Volunteers to Assist Children with Disabilities Limited
         Commonwealth Bank of Australia,
         Liverpool & Castlereagh Streets Branch,
         Cnr of Liverpool & Castlereagh Streets,
         Sydney NSW 2000 Australia
         Account No: 1130 2156
         BSB: 062-016
         BIC/SWIFT Code: CTBAAU2S

  • Donations and sponsorships in Sri Lanka Rupees remain the same until further notice  
  • Steps are being taken for a similar company structure to be put in place in Sri Lanka relatively soon. This is progressing well.
  • Our team in Sri Lanka are working closely with various authorities to open centres in key townships within the Uva province. A detailed progress report will follow soon.
  • Our legal advisors Salvos Legal are working towards VACD Ltd. being granted Deductible Gift Recipient Status (DGR) which would be good news for all our supporters/donors who then will be able to claim tax rebates against their donations
  • Mr Patrick O’Brien – Tax agent/Advisor and Mr Nalin Perera – Auditor have volunteered their services to VACD Ltd. and have been welcomed to our team
  • The changes to the VACD Ltd web page: http://www.vacd.org.au/ have been made by Chris Thomas our Web Administrator updating policy documents, constitution, bank details etc.,
  • The Board and Fellows meeting held on Friday 19th June decided to form a “Fund Raising Committee” chaired by Damien Hatfield in order to meet the increasing demand for funds as we reach across the Uva province and identify and implement specific project funding strategies. Damien co-opted Andrew Heyden, Greg Fendler and Tom Murphy to be on his committee.

News in brief:

Community Support for VACD Ltd.

We were touched and gratified to be informed that staff members of Vishaka Vidyalaya, Bandarawela a school in the vicinity of the VACD Centre recently visited the centre bringing with them food and that they spent time with the children observing their activities.They have also offered our children the use of their sports ground for 2 days a week so that the children can engage in outdoor activities. This was a completely unsolicited visit, which will undoubtedly lead to better understanding of the issues of children with disabilities and more support from the community.  Community awareness and support is critical for the success of our programs as it helps eliminate discrimination, social isolation and stigma.

Educational Assistance Program – (EAP)

  • This 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 who shows promise of higher academic achievement so that this sibling would provide much needed support and assistance to the disabled child once parental/guardian support is not available.
  • Following the first quarterly audit conducted in April by a select group of parents on how funds have been utilised by children receiving this allowance, a total of four recipients have been removed from the program for misuse of funds and the next four children on the waiting list have been included in the program. This audit was in addition to a monthly check by a parents’ group who reconcile bank statements with receipts in respect of monies spent by parents, and also keep track of the children’s academic performance and school attendance.
  • We are also deeply obliged and delighted that Mr D M Ranatunga, Principal of Central College, Bandarawela (another leading school in the area), has volunteered to organise programs/workshops every two months at the Central College premises for children and their siblings under this program to inculcate in them a sense of responsibility in using the EAP allowance wisely and responsibly, with a view to improving their lives and those of their families.
  • 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 this worthy program from family, friends and colleagues.
  • Your continued support is critically important to these children. Joining the program would require a monthly donation of A$20 or equivalent Rs.2,000 per child. 

Work in Progress (reports to follow):

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

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: We will inform you when this facility is once again available on our webpage http://www.vacd.org.au/

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