VACD Australia May/June 2021 Newsletter
May 11, 2021

Dear friends, colleagues, supporters, and collaborative partners,

Special Request: Urgent Donations Needed to Upgrade Bandarawela Hospital to Cope with COVID-19 Pandemic

The sheer scale of the human tragedy unfolding in Sri Lanka and the Uva province because of the COVID-19 pandemic prompted us to respond to a call for help by local philanthropists and the local medical fraternity. The VACD Australia Board passed a special resolution to launch a special fund-raising campaign to assist local health authorities to provide urgently needed medical aid to the Uva community, including our VACD children and families. 

Our mission was established on 27th December 2011 in the township of Bandarawela through the initiative and guidance of Consultant Pediatrician Dr. Kumudini Cooray from the base hospital Diyatalawa, support by the Uva Provincial Ministry of Health in Badulla, and the medical staff at the Bandarawela hospital where a Pediatric rehabilitation facility was funded and established by VACD. 

We urgently appeal for your kindness and generosity in making donations towards this humanitarian cause. 

Australian and USA donors are entitled to tax deductions. In order for us to keep track of these special donations, please ensure to include the reference “COVID19” on your electronic or cheque donation so that we can account for these separately to your usual giving.

Bandarawela Hospital Project Oversight Committee:

Prof. Nalaka Mendis– Bandarawela Hospital Project Liaison– Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, University of Colombo Sri Lanka.  

Dr. Harsha Sathischandra – President Sri Lanka College of Internal Medicine.

Dr. Roshan Piyarathne – Physician Divisional Hospital Bandarawela. 

Dr. Janitha Tennekoon – Provincial Director of Health Services – Uva.

Dr. Naj Nagendran – Philanthropist, Col. (Retd) US Airforce, Specialist in Occupational & Disaster Medicine California USA & Trustee of Foundation of Goodness

Mr. Mr. Somasundaram Skandakumar – Philanthropist, former Chairman of George Steuart Group of Companies Sri Lanka, former Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Australia & ardent Cricket & Sports enthusiast.

Mr. Kushil Gunasekera – Philanthropist, Founder & Chief Trustee of Foundation of Goodness 

Mr. Manik Jayakumar– Philanthropist, Founder Q Trade, Teas & Herbs USA, Founder Two Leaves Foundation Sri Lanka.

Col. (Retd) R M Kumarasinghe– Philanthropist, Secretary VACD Sri Lanka.

Mr. Felix Stephen – Chairman of the Board of Directors – VACD Australia and member of the advisory boards of VACD USA & Sri Lanka

Big ticket Medical Equipment to be Sourced/Purchased:

Project Brief: Development of Level 2 Bandarawela COVID-19 Treatment Centre

  1. Aims and Objectives: The recent spike in COVID cases and rising death toll in the Uva province has prompted the Ministry of Health to upgrade the Bandarawela Hospital from a 60-bed facility to a Level 2 COVID Treatment Centre with the capacity to treat around 270 patients at a time. Clinical services include assessment and care of patients identified as PCR positive with symptoms and providing basic & high dependency care Activities include expansion of physical infrastructure, mobilisation of staff, securing equipment and establishing an appropriate management structure.
  2. Responsible Authorities: The Provincial Director along with the Regional Director and the District Medical Officer will be responsible for the administration of the hospital while the Consultant Physician along with the rest of medical, nursing, and other staff will be responsible for care of patients.
  3. Management of funds: Major Equipment and funds donated to purchase major equipment etc. will be managed by Sri Lanka College of Internal Medicine. This body will receive donations into a special designated account, purchase required equipment according to specifications given by the health authorities (best possible price ) and deliver the equipment to the Bandarawela Hospital.
  4. Accounting and Reporting: The Sri Lanka College of Internal Medicine will provide  periodic reports and statements of accounts while the Health authorities will provide a statement of receipts of donations which were taken under the control of the institution.

These reports will be circulated among the oversight committee and where necessary brought to the notice of public.

Please reference “COVID19” on all donations towards this special appeal

Donations in Australian Dollars (tax deductible for Australian taxpayers) can be made via:

The VACD webpage: (credit card, cheque, direct deposit)

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

Account Name: 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) by cheque to:

The Treasurer,

Volunteers to Assist Children with Disabilities Limited (USA) Inc.

No: 629, Vermont Street,

Westfield NJ 07090


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

Please share this appeal with your contacts so together we can lend this magnanimous project our support. Please feel free to reach out to me at: We will keep you closely posted on progress of the project.

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 –