Trust this finds you and all your loved ones well.
In all VACD activities, our guiding light is our Vision & Mission, which we share with you in order to refresh our own minds and remain focussed on the tasks and challenges ahead:
Vision & Mission:
VACD was established to assist children with disabilities to overcome hardships associated with their physical and intellectual impairments and to eliminate social discrimination, community isolation and stigma and physical and sexual abuse. VACD also aims to alleviate poverty by providing financial assistance and vocational training to families where parents of these children are low paid, low skilled labourers or subsistence farmers. VACD also assists children and their parents achieve their individual and collective dreams and aspirations by providing medical help, special education including life skills training etc. for children and parents, conducting public awareness programs for the community and engaging with the local community, local businesses, government departments and ministries to improve their welfare, gain local community acceptance and promulgate the rights of children and parents.
VACD Bandarawela structural change and Board
VACD Bandarawela has now followed VACD Ltd. Australia with a change of structure on 27th August and we are delighted to announce that ex-Governor Uva Province Hon Mr Nanda Matthew has agreed to remain the Patron of VACD Sri Lanka. The new Board of Directors are:
- Chairman – S M D Milton Anthony Perera
- Deputy Chairman – K A Ratnayake
- Secretary – Col R M Kumarasinghe
- Treasurer – D M Sunethra Deepthi
- D M Ranathunga – Director
- W D Manel – Director
- Sarfun N Niyas – Director
(For a better understanding of the consolidated organisational structure of VACD, please refer to the organisational chart)
Extending VACD’s reach As the demand for our services grows, the leadership team in Bandarawela have been extremely busy meeting with government officials and other Key personnel to design and implement plans to open VACD Centres firstly in Badulla, then Welimada, Mahiyangana and Wellawaya. Detailed discussions with key stakeholders are scheduled to be held in Badulla under the patronage of the Chief Secretary Uva Provincial Council Mr P B Amarasekera, when Felix visits Sri Lanka in late October.
The following table outlines the extent to which the VACD footprint needs to be extended, based on Sri Lankan Government Census of 2014:
|STATISTICS OF DISABLED CHILDREN IN EACH DIVISIONAL SECRETARIAT IN THE UVA PROVINCE|
|Divisional Secretariat||Disabled Children as per Census 2014||No. of VACD Registered Children||Male||Female||No. Of children requiring VACD services|
These figures clearly indicate:
- Where there is most demand for a centre,
- Townships where there are very few /no children with disabilities registered with VACD are those that are quite a distance away from the Bandarawela centre.
- There are more children registered with VACD than found in the census in Bandarawela and Haputale because parents are reluctant to register their children as “disabled” due to community and social discrimination and stigma.
- We have been reliably informed that there are close to 2000 disabled children in the Uva province and it appears that quite a few have not been included or have decided not to be recorded in the census
Upcoming event: A celebration to commemorate United Nations’ “World Disabled Children’s Day” will be held on Saturday, 10th October in Bandarawela. A report on this will be shared with you next month.
- The VACD Centre in Bandarawela continues to provide Special education, music, dance and vocational training for children and income generating skills training for parents
- The micro financing program for parents keeps making slow but steady progress
- The Educational Assistance Program has made some progress in getting a few more sponsors under this program. However as the number of children who show academic promise and need financial support to reach a more secure future grows, and as some sponsors decide to drop out of the program, we find that we would have to seek more sponsors on an ongoing basis. Please recommend this program to your family, friends or colleagues who may be looking for a worthwhile cause to support.
Please explore our website for more information on VACD and to find out how you can support our children, in particular the educational Assistance Program, via direct credit or through the credit card payment system.
As always, thank you for joining us on this most rewarding of journeys, and we wish you all blue skies.
Many thanks, best wishes and warm regards…Yasmin