VACD Australia April 2021 Newsletter
April 11, 2021

Dear friends, colleagues, supporters, and collaborative partners,

Please help us to find suitable premises to establish our proposed VACD Welimada centre:

Our leadership team in Sri Lanka have been enthusiastically searching for suitable premises to establish our next VACD centre in Welimada without much success. The premises should be located close to public transport with safe and convenient access for children with disabilities and the use of wheelchairs etc., have sufficient garden space for recreation, rehabilitation and other activities and be able to accommodate around 30 to 40 children and 3 staff members.

Ideally a four-to-five-bedroom house or building with all of the above features will suit our needs and can be rented or leased by VACD Sri Lanka on a long-term basis. VACD will maintain this building and surrounds in good condition similar to what we do at our other centres. Also, if needed, we will carry out necessary modifications to the premises to provide specific rehabilitation facilities and comply with VACD’s health and safety standards, in consultation with the landlord.  

Please contact Retired. Col. Kumarasinghe – Secretary VACD Sri Lanka via email on: or or on the VACD Bandarawela office phone number: 0572 220 406 (from Sri Lanka) +94 572 220 406 (from overseas) should you be in a position to offer a suitable building, arrange a suitable building through your contacts or guide Col. Kumarasinghe towards a source that can help the local leadership to secure such premises. 

The Welimada/Uva Paranagama areas have a large number of officially identified children with congenital impairments relative to other regions. We suspect that the actual unofficial number of children with congenital impairments to be significantly higher in this region as parents from impoverished rural/agricultural areas choose not to disclose that they have a child with disabilities in their family for fear of community and social harassment, discrimination, isolation, vilification, and abuse.   

Available official data on children with disabilities in the Uva – Badulla District (does not include Monaragala)

Collaborative Partner News:

MJF Charitable Foundation:

The National centre for Children with Cerebral Palsy & MJF Charitable Foundation (  held their Cerebral Palsy Champions Ceremony on Tuesday, 16th March at the Dilma National Centre for Children with Cerebral Palsy & Other Developmental Disorders in Rajagiriya. The photos below show Dr. Gopi Kitnasamy – Head of Rehabilitation Services at MJF Charitable Foundation addressing the gathering, special awards for exceptional skills being awarded to participants, and Mr. Dilhan Fernando – Trustee of MJF Charitable Foundation & CEO MJF Group recognising Retd. Col. R M Kumarasinghe – Secretary VACD Sri Lanka for his and VACD’s efforts to create an inclusive world for people with CP in the Uva region. 

“Exclusive Use Offers” at Teardrop Hotels Sri Lanka 

Teardrop Hotels who are sponsors of our Welimada centre and long-time supporters of our mission will reopen their hotels for overseas tourists from 1st July 2021 with “exclusive use offers” across all locations. More information can be found in their most recent newsletter via  the following link: and by visiting their webpage:

VACD Newsflash – Take one!!!

We were delighted to be invited and have since been integrated on to the Good2Give Australia donation platform ( where ad hoc, regular, or pre-tax salary sacrifice donations matched by employers can be made to VACD. The donation page outlines various categories under which Australian tax-deductible donations can be made. Please click on this link and follow the instructions to become a donor supporting our mission, projects, and programs.

Inspiring Young VACD Club member news:

We have continuously believed that changing deep-rooted and unfounded perceptions, misplaced beliefs, myths, and superstitions relating to children with congenital impairments was possible if we had a group of well-informed and dedicated young people as advocates of our mission to support us.

Members of our Young VACD Badulla chapter have proved themselves to be excellent advocates and potential future leaders of our mission given that they are passionate to bring about critical and necessary social and community change. This team of our young VACD Club members took full responsibility to organise and stage the annual Sinhala & Tamil new year celebrations in Badulla in order to convey a persuasive message to the local public that children with congenital impairments were equal partners and cherished members of the broader community.    

Sinhala & Tamil New Year celebrations held on Saturday 3rd April 2021 at VACD Badulla:

Sinhala & Tamil New Year celebrations held on Thursday, 8th April 2021 at VACD Bandarawela:

Our next major project:

Our next major upcoming project will be to provide specialist custom designed furniture specifically fabricated for children of differing ages and across a variety of disabilities at all our VACD centres, as pictured below. This project is estimated to cost around A$ 15,000.

Please continue to support us with tax-deductible donations that can be made to VACD Australia in the following ways:

The VACD webpage:

where you can make regular or ad hoc donations via your credit card, PayPal, electronic transfers, or a direct deposit.

The Good Company donation platform: (Ad hoc, regular and workplace giving)

where you can make regular, ad hoc, or pre-tax donations that will be matched by your participating employer.

The Good2Give donation platform (Ad hoc, regular and workplace giving):

where you can make regular, ad hoc, or pre-tax donations that will be matched by your participating employer.

The VACD Australia Bank account: (cash, cheque, or online electronic/ direct deposits)

Name of account: Volunteers to Assist Children with Disabilities Limited

Bank: Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Branch: Cnr of Liverpool & Castlereagh Streets, Sydney NSW 2000 

Account No: 1130 2156

BSB: 062-016

Donations in US Dollars (tax deductible for USA taxpayers) via the VACD USA webpage:

Donations in Sri Lanka rupees can be made via the VACD Sri Lanka bank account as follows:

Name of account: Volunteers to Assist Children with Disabilities Private Limited

Bank: Seylan Bank

Branch: 240 Badulla Road, Bandarawela, Sri Lanka

Account No: 046035439722001

A big “Thank You” to all of you…

Your generosity and the commitment, dynamism, and dedication of our VACD colleagues have enabled us to achieve many of our objectives for children with disabilities and their families since we began our journey on 27th December 2011. We remain deeply appreciative of the support all of you have given us to sustain our mission and accomplish so much for our children and their families over the past years. Our journey is bound to be a long one given the sheer number of children and families who need your help as per statistics provided.

We welcome you to be partners with us on this benevolent journey!

Please continue to support us in our efforts to uplift the lives of children who need your love, support and assistance, and reach out to us at: or visit us at:  Please share this newsletter with your family, friends, loved ones and colleagues so that together we can make a difference in the lives of children with disabilities, one by one!!!

Many thanks, best wishes, and warmest regards…. Felix

Felix Stephen

Chairman of the Board of Directors – VACD Ltd. Sydney – Australia –

Member of the Advisory Board – VACD USA – 

Member of the Advisory Board – VACD Sri Lanka

Member of the Advisory Board – Two leaves Foundation Sri Lanka

Senior Associate – Cognoscenti Group – Sydney – Australia- 

Member of Investment Committee – Arrive Wealth Management – Brisbane – Australia –