VACD Australia July 2021 Newsletter
July 24, 2021

Dear friends, colleagues, supporters, and collaborative partners,

Trust this finds you and your loved ones well despite many challenges, uncertainties, and unanticipated circumstances that most of us have had to encounter and overcome over the past 15+ months. 

Bandarawela Hospital Upgrade Project – Update

We were delighted by the positive response we received from many of you to our appeal for support to upgrade the Bandarawela District Hospital to cope with COVID19 patients in the Uva Province. VACD received a total of AUD$6,710 and Sri Lanka Rupees 41,500, plus a donation of 12 wheelchairs from Dr. Gopi Kitnasamy – Head of Rehabilitation Services at MJF Charitable Foundation: towards this project. While we deeply appreciate donations in funds and kind, we wish to thank and acknowledge all of you who generated a lot of behind-the-scenes support for this cause, which is not reflected in the above numbers. 

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 is preparing a comprehensive report of how much funds and equipment was received and how they were deployed, which will be published soon. 

Our Collaborative Partner – Australia Sri Lanka Medical Aid Team (AuSLMAT)

We were delighted by the enormous contribution our collaborative partner, AuSLMAT, led by  philanthropically-inclined Dr. Quintus De Zylva (Chairman AuSLMAT), Dr. Erosha Premaratne (President AuSLMAT) & Mr. Gordon Miles (Treasurer AuSLMAT) together with their colleagues made towards this project. AuSLMAT airfreighted critical medical equipment via diplomatic channels to the Bandarawela Hospital. More details on their activities can be found via the attached hyperlink:

AUSLMAT – A healthier and happier Sri Lanka

Our Collaborative Partner- MJF Charitable Foundation:

 MJF Charitable Foundation, Sri Lanka - A Non-profit Charity Organization by  Dilmah

As indicated above, Dr Gopi Kitnasamy from the MJF Charitable foundation, our collaborative partner, arranged for the hospital upgrade project to receive 12 wheelchairs. 6 of these were donated to the District Hospital Bandarawela, 3 to the Base Hospital in Diyatalawa and 2 to the Two Leaves Trust. We retained 1 wheelchair for the use of our VACD children. 

Above left: Col. Kumarasinghe (Secretary VACD Sri Lanka), Mr. Abeysinghe Bandara (Treasurer VACD Sri Lanka), duty nurse, Dr. Leelananda Gallage (DMO District Hospital Bandarawela), and Dr. Roshan Piyarathne (Physician, Divisional Hospital Bandarawela). 

Above right: Roshan, duty nurse, Abeysinghe, and Leelananda.

Above left: Dr. Tiraj Mendis (Consultant Pediatrician, Base Hospital Diyatalawa), Dr. Ranjith Amarakoon (Medical Superintendent, Base Hospital Diyatalawa), Mr. A S DE Alwis (Deputy Chairman, VACD Sri Lanka), and Mr. Abeysinghe Bandara (Treasurer, VACD Sri Lanka) 

Above right: Col. Kumarasinghe (Secretary, VACD Sri Lanka), Tiraj, Ranjith, Alwis & Abeysinghe.

Two Leaves Trust:

The leadership team at Two Leaves Trust played a major role by sourcing, purchasing, and delivering items required for the Bandarawela District Hospital upgrading project. Based in Haldumulla in the Uva province, the primary focus of the Two Leaves Trust has been home based care giving programs, a home for older people, a program to support and uplift people with disabilities and mental health issues, vocational training for youth, encouraging, promoting, and growing organic tea and vegetables, providing antenatal clinic assistance, facilitating a community library, encouraging animal husbandry, and introducing a program to uplift and guide the youth in the region.

Above left: Mr. Godwin Devendranath Mariano (Project Coordinator, Two Leaves Trust) receiving wheelchairs from Mr. Abeysinghe Bandara (Treasurer, VACD Sri Lanka). 

Above right: Dr. Leelananda Gallage (DMO, District Hospital Bandarawela), Dr. Roshan Piyarathne (Physician, Divisional Hospital Bandarawela), Mr. Godwin Devendranath Mariano and Mr. Abeysinghe Bandara at the handing over of equipment by the Two Laves Trust to the Bandarawela Hospital.

One of the wheelchairs donated to the Two Leaves Trust was given to a Mr Jayakumar, a resident of the Bio Team Garden housing scheme who had retired prematurely from plantation work after having both his legs amputated. Mr. Jayakumar and his wife chose to care for their five grandchildren since both their daughters abandoned their families.

Collaborative Partner News – MJF Charitable Foundation

The MJF Charitable Foundation and Millennium IT ESP, with partners Microsoft, Sarva and World Vision Lanka launched disABILITY – an app designed to support children with disability and their families, by connecting them to expert guidance.

The app complements the MJF Foundation’s disability advice channel on YouTube in reaching children and people with disabilities in remote parts of Sri Lanka. Launched on World Cerebral Palsy Day, the app is the first of its kind globally. It is available in Sinhala, Tamil, and English, and offers invaluable teletherapy services for people with Cerebral Palsy. The app includes guided disability and development screening, access to paediatricians, early identification, and intervention, therapeutic, educational and rehabilitation assistance, and allows carers to monitor progress with guidance from the MJF Foundation’s multidisciplinary team. You can access this app at:

Delightful News about our Sponsor & Supporter: 

Teardrop Hotels, the official sponsor of the proposed VACD Welimada centre, have received the prestigious Travelife Gold Certificate, a “Travelife Sustainable” accreditation for their seven Teardrop Hotels, and are now formally recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council for their commitment to improving their sustainability. This is great news for the management and staff at Teardrop Hotels at a time when the travel, tourism and hospitality industry have been under immense pressure. You can find more details on this news via the hyperlink:

 Logo of Teardrop Hotel Sri Lanka

Please continue to support our mission by donating via:

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

Flag of Australia - Wikipedia

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:

Flag of the United States - Wikipedia

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:

File:Flag of Sri Lanka.svg - Wikimedia Commons

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 –