VACD Australia August 2021 Newsletter
August 27, 2021

“When we give alms with our hearts, we give well”

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, manage, and overcome over the past 16+ months. 

VACD Australia Newsflash– Take One!!!

We are deeply appreciative and are delighted to announce that VACD Australia has a new webpage that was designed for us on a pro bono basis by Mr. Stefan Jaro – VACD’s Web & Technical Consultant, honoring his pledge to design a leading-edge webpage to help us promote and accomplish our mission. You can view this page on:

Stefan is a Consultant in Data Analytics at Stax, a US-based strategy consultancy company that caters to research and analytical needs of Private Equity firms. He leads projects, is  involved in business development and the development of analytical products.

Stefan was a bit of an experimenter before settling on data & analytics. He was a radio news reader on E FM for a stint while studying Economics, a researcher at a local consultancy, pursued digital marketing (where he picked up his web development skills) and learned how to develop and extend their own consultancy business while boosting the profitability and efficiency of their clients.

In his free time, Stefan plays video games (like most people of his age who work with computers), writes essays and articles; the most recent public one was his experiment with quitting social media for a while. He keeps a little bit of a radio news reader in him alive by doing voice-overs for TV, radio, and social media ads: His first ad can be viewed on the following hyperlink:

We wish to acknowledge and place on record our deep appreciation for the invaluable pro bono service provided by Mr. Rhys Morris – Director Righteye Creative Pty. Ltd. E-mail: by sharing his technical expertise and providing meticulous guidance and advice on design, security and software for this project.

We wish to place on record our deep appreciation for the outstanding service provided by  Mr. Alan Seymour E-mail: to manage the migration of the new webpage from a test site to the existing VACD URL with patience and care while liaising closely with all the project stakeholders.

We are also deeply value and appreciate the contribution by our own board members and in particular to Mr. Mirzaa Casim – VACD Australia Web Administrator and Technical Advisor for his leadership and oversight of this project.

A big & heartfelt “Thank you” to all of you from the VACD Australia family.

VACD Australia Chairman’s Annual Report for the period July 2020 to June 2021

On 27th of December 2021, VACD would celebrate the 10th anniversary since our mission was established in Bandarawela, Sri Lanka. The full annual report for the financial year ended  June 2021 can be viewed on the following hyperlink:

VACD Australia & USA Fund raising campaign:

The VACD Australia board decided to revamp the facilities provided at our VACD centres to ensure that all our centres were adequately equipped and complied with national and international OH&S standards by replacing existing unsuitable/second-hand furniture and equipment with custom built specialised desks and chairs suitable for children with congenital impairments, providing new physical and vocational training equipment, providing new musical instruments and audiovisual equipment for dance/music training, public awareness and advocacy programs, education and training seminars, workshops for parents, families and Young VACD Club members, and health & rehabilitation clinics for children. The estimated cost of this project is A$ 50,000 or US$ 36,000. Our fund-raising campaign will be launched soon with a supporting slide deck that can be viewed on the following hyperlink:

Delightful VACD Supporter News:

Ms. Rosemary Spector –  Clinical Audiologist at Audiology Solutions, Suite 25, The Madison

25-29 Hunter Street, Hornsby NSW 2077, Australia ( has generously offered to collect and donate used hearing aids that would be cleaned and sanitised, and accessories such as drying kits (to keep hearing aids working optimally in humid conditions) to VACD to be used by our VACD children and children at our collaborative partners MJF Charitable Foundation ( who have hearing impairments. Community support of this nature is vital for the success and longevity of missions such as ours. We are delighted by this outcome. “Thank you”, dear Rosemary & Audio Solutions.

Bandarawela Hospital Upgrade Project – Update

The Bandarawela Hospital upgrade project was successfully completed after the campaign raised required funds and donations in kind totaling approximately A$130,000 within a relatively short space of time. The full report on this project can be viewed on the hyperlink:

Unutilized funds from the Bandarawela project are now being deployed to upgrade the Haputale, Diyatalawa, Welimada, Haldumulla and Koslanda hospitals to cope with the escalating COVID19 pandemic. 

Given the extent of support needed at these hospitals to cope with the pandemic, the campaign to raise funds and generate donations in kind has been extended. Please contact Mr. Somasundaram Skandakumar (Philanthropist, former Chairman of George Steuart Group of Companies Sri Lanka and former Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Australia) directly on his email address: if you are in a position to lend a much-needed helping hand to this humanitarian undertaking. A comprehensive report on this new initiative will made available no sooner the extended project is completed.       

Sponsors and Collaborative Partner News:

AUSLMAT (Australia Sri Lanka Medical Aid Team) :

Our collaborative partner, AUSLMAT, led by  philanthropically motivated Dr. Quintus De Zylva (Chairman) who has supported, equipped and funded hospitals across Sri Lanka since 2005 and played a significant role in the advancement of Sri Lanka Cricket, particularly in the late eighties and nineties through the Sri Lanka Cricket Foundation of Victoria together with a dynamic and committed Dr. Erosha Premaratne (President)  and their team airfreighted critical medical equipment via diplomatic channels to the Bandarawela Hospital project worth around A$ 36,000. With the Bandarawela Hospital upgrade project costing approximately A$ 130,000,  AUSLMAT’s contribution towards this cause was an impressive 27% of total project cost. Their note of appreciation to their sponsors and donors can be read on the following hyperlink:

AUSLMAT are once again soliciting your generous support and assistance to continue on their mission to support rural hospitals grappling with multiple challenges due to the COVID19 pandemic in Sri Lanka. Their appeal can be found on the following hyperlink:

Teardrop Hotels, Sri Lanka News update:

Welcoming news that travel and holidaying in Sri Lanka is open to fully vaccinated travellers can be found on the Teardrop Hotels newsletter found via the following hyperlink:

Two Leaves Foundation News:

The vision and mission of Mr. Manik Jayakumar, late Mr. Godwin Rajendranath Samuel, Mr. Gnanasekaran Rajaratnam, Ms. Sathya Reka Godwin, Ms. Fazana Ibrahim, Dr. Naj Nagendran, Mr. Somasundaram Skandakumar, Mr. Devendranath Mariano Godwin and many more like minded humanitarians and volunteers was to enhance the lives of organic farmers through holistic health care and remodelling of organic tea farming in the Haldumulla region through the Two Leaves Foundation. 

They set out to create an awareness of the importance of mental health among the rural plantation community and to implement programs on prevention, rehabilitation & hospitalisation through mental health caregivers, mental health professionals and patrons while also providing income generating facilities to households.

The late Mr. Godwin R Samuel who was dedicated and passionate about the foundation’s initiatives in the plantation sector was also a strong advocate of a library project for people in the surrounding areas who would benefit from reading and learning in order to bring about meaningful change in their local communities. He often quoted the famous saying: ”A Reader Lives a Thousand Lives Before He Dies. The Man Who Never Reads Lives Only One

The dream and story behind “An Unfinished Odyssey Community and Academic Library” at the Two Leaves Foundation in Haldumulla, Sri Lanka can be read on the hyperlink: 

Please continue to support our mission by donating via:

 Flag of Australia - Wikipedia

Donations in Australian Dollars (tax deductible for Australian taxpayers) can be made via: for credit card, PayPal & direct deposits.

Donations in Australian Dollars (tax deductible for Australian taxpayers) can be made in cash, cheque, or direct transfers at: 

The VACD Australia Bank account: 

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

Flag of the United States - Wikipedia

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, USA

File:Flag of Sri Lanka.svg - Wikimedia Commons

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 from each and every one of you 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, compassion, 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 please do 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 –