VACD Australia June 2021 Newsletter
June 11, 2021

Dear friends, colleagues, supporters, and collaborative partners,

Trust this finds you and your loved ones keeping well despite many challenges, uncertainties, and unfortunate circumstances that some of you have had to encounter and overcome over the past 14+ months. 

VACD News Update:

We ourselves have faced many challenges during the past 14 months and estimate that our mission to serve our children with disabilities and their families in the Uva province of Sri Lanka has been considerably hindered and our projects and programs delayed by close to one year. However, we remain determined, and focused because we know that our mission is the only hope for these children and their families. The following projects that have been in the pipeline will be implemented at the earliest possible opportunity:

  1. Establishing our next VACD centre under the sponsorship of Teardrop Hotels Group – in Welimada where there is a disproportionately greater number of children with disabilities in the Welimada/Uva Paranagama areas relative to other regions in the Uva Province.
  2. Provide custom designed and fabricated furniture that are appropriate for use by children with disabilities and special needs at all our VACD centres.
  3. Provide specialist training for our new assistant teacher recruits at the Ayati Foundation  in Ragama  – and the MJF Foundation / National Centre for Children with Cerebral Palsy and other Developmental Disorders in Rajagiriya –
  4. Provide leadership, ICT, marketing, hospitality, and vocational training for our Young VACD Club members and our children with disabilities.
  5. Conduct workshops, camps, health clinics and seminars for VACD children, their parents, and the local community.
  6. Resume regular visits by government Consultant Pediatricians and other health specialists to our VACD centres for regular medical checkups of our children to ease the inconvenience, cost and burden they and their parents have to face when they visit government medical clinics. 

Bandarawela Hospital Project – UPDATE

Absolutely Delightful News:

Our spirits are uplifted by the tremendous show of love witnessed through our appeal and similar appeals for help by many other organisations. 

The delightful news we wish to share with you is that this appeal to upgrade the Bandarawela hospital brought together our collaborative partners who are collectively committed to make this project a success.

For the record, our collaborative partners and VACD Sri Lanka and USA colleagues who are committed to this project are:

Mr. Kushil Gunasekera – Foundation of Goodness –  

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

Dr. Janitha Tennekoon – Provincial Director of Health Services – Uva –, Dr. Erosha Premaratne – Endocrinologist and General Physician Endocrinology Centre of Excellence Austin Health & President – Australia Sri Lanka Medical Aid Team (AUSLMAT)

Mr. Rasika Padmaperuma – President VACD USA ( VACD Sri Lanka Secretary Retd. 

Col R M Kumarasinghe (

The VACD Australia Board (

Updated List of Required Equipment:

Prof. Nalaka Mendis– Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, University of Colombo Sri Lanka  

( who is the project leader/chief liaison with the medical authorities at the Bandarawela hospital on this project re-visited the request for urgent equipment made by the Bandarawela Hospital authorities and upon careful and close scrutiny ranked this list on a critical needs and priority basis to be as above:

Please reach out to Prof. Nalaka Mendis via his email address should you be in a position to source or provide  any or all of these items to the Bandarawela hospital.

Above: Bandarawela Hospital

Appeal from our Collaborative Partner: Australia Sri Lanka Medical Aid Team (AUSLMAT):

Requesting Assistance for the Public Healthcare System in Sri Lanka during the COVID-19 Crisis

AUSLMAT has provided emergency medical assistance to Sri Lanka since the 2004 Tsunami, and our voluntary specialist medical teams have visited SL over 16 times since, providing teaching, training and medical assistance to rural hospitals and communities. AUSLMAT has played a pivotal role in funding the new Accident & Emergency Department at the Karapitiya Hospital and establishing the Coronary Care unit there with funds obtained from the Victorian Government and other donors. (Please visit our website: for details of their previous activities)

We have continued to offer our support to the local healthcare system in the recent years by providing resources to the Rajarata University medical library and a large refrigeration facility to Padukka Divisional Hospital. Last week we bought four Phillips G30 monitors for Anuradhapura Teaching hospital and the newly established Methsirisewana COVID referral centre from existing funds.

Photo below: Handing over of the Phillips cardiac monitors to Prof. Sisira Siribaddana, Rajarata University.

We have received a number of urgent requests for assistance from hospital staff all over Sri Lanka in the past few weeks as essential medical supplies and equipment are mostly out of stock at local dealers. Therefore, with the support of the community living in Melbourne, we are keen to raise funds to purchase much needed respiratory support equipment for emergency and critical care departments and newly established COVID treatment centres all across Sri Lanka.

So far with your support we have been able to secure four Fisher & Paykel AIRVO-2 High Flow Oxygen Delivery Systems and 5 Oxygen concentrators and this week we are hoping to purchase as many items as our funds would facilitate, such as hospital-grade biPAP machines, ventilators, HDU / ICU monitors, ICU beds and IV infusion sets. The equipment will be sent to Sri Lanka on a returning Air Lanka flight, which will be coordinated via the Consulate General of SL in Melbourne and distributed to designated COVID treatment facilities across Sri Lanka via the Ministry of Health. 

Our organization is registered as a not-for-profit charity in Australia, and therefore donations are tax-deductible and 100% of the funds go towards the purchase of medical equipment, with no administrative costs.

There are a number of ways you could contribute to AUSLMAT’s project:

1. Individuals wishing to make personal donations can donate using the “Donate Now” icon on our website:, and they will receive a receipt automatically which can be used for taxation purposes.

2. Organizations wishing to make group donations for a particular item can contact me directly (contact details below), and I am happy to provide quotes for a particular item/s. Payments can be made directly to the dealer, or through our organization.

3. If organizations wish to transfer the money to our account to purchase particular items from a quote, please email me the following details: Group/Individual names of donors who wish to be included in the thank you letter, names and email addresses of individuals needing individual tax receipts (with the amount donated), Total amount transferred by the group and If you would like it to be sent to a particular COVID centre in Sri Lanka 

Dr. Erosha Premaratne – President AUSLMAT Australia- E-mail: 

Phone: +61 437 321 105

Donations being made to VACD

Please reference “COVID19” on all donations towards VACD’s special appeal

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.

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

A big “Thank You” to all of you…

Your generosity and the commitment 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 long and challenging given the sheer number of children and families we need to care for and who need your love and support.

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

Please reach out to us at: or visit us at:  and 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 –