VACD Australia July to September 2022 Newsletter
September 01, 2022

Dear friends, colleagues, supporters, and collaborative partners,

Greetings to you, your families, loved ones, and colleagues from all of us at VACD.

VACD Australia FY 2021/22 Annual Report:

Please read my annual report to the VACD Australia Board covering the period FY 2021/22 at your leisure via the following hyperlink: Thank you.

Specially designed/manufactured furniture for our VACD Centres:

We are delighted that our project to replace unsafe furniture used by our children at our VACD centres was successfully completed late last month. We are deeply indebted to Dr. Gopi Kitnasamy – Head of Rehabilitation Services at MJF Charitable Foundation for his guidance and facilitation of the manufacturing of specially designed furniture and to our VACD Sri Lanka Secretary Retd. Colonel Kumarasinghe for his perseverance and determination to accomplish this program in record time despite numerous obstacles and challenges. The total cost of this project was a little over 2.5 million Sri Lanka rupees or approximately A$ 10,000. 

This project was undertaken after leading medical experts advised us that furniture being used at our centres pose health and safety risks to our children due to their physical impairments. All our centres strictly adhere to internationally accepted health and safety practices as part of our broad governance and compliance regime that guarantees the protection, safety, and wellbeing of our children. Our policies can be viewed on the following hyperlink and by clicking on the “Policies” dropdown menu: 

Additional VACD Initiatives:

Given prevailing lamentable social conditions in Sri Lanka, we took the initiative to distribute approximately 15 kilograms of food items in two packs that included  5-kilos of rice and other essential dry and fresh food to approximately 110+ families that had a child attending our centres and also gave our paid staff a special one-off allowance equivalent to their monthly gross income to overcome financial challenges faced by them.

Our VACD Sri Lanka team are now working on the details to donate food packages to approximately 250+ families of children who are registered with VACD but are unable to attend our centres because they live in remote areas or due to other special reasons. We propose to give parents of these children travelling allowances to enable them to travel and collect these food packages from one of our centres nearest to them. Given the high cost of essential food items and travel, It is estimated the cost of this program to be approximately A$ 12,000.

Our VACD Sri Lanka team are working on a program to give travelling allowances to children  (and family members accompanying the child to our centres) if their households are facing financial stress that prevents them from attending our centres. Regular and uninterrupted attendance at our centres is crucial for successful rehabilitation of these children. 

Having furnished our centres with new furniture, we are now concentrating on providing new gym equipment, indoor recreational facilities, and musical instruments to our centres as the old gym equipment cannot be used safely anymore while indoor recreational equipment and musical instruments need replacing.  Regular, supervised, and appropriate indoor and outdoor physical exercise and recreational activity is very important for muscle, physical, emotional, special skills and talent development of children with congenital impairments.  

VACD’s Projects & Programs for 2022/23

The COVID pandemic in mid-2020 and the closely followed social and political turmoil in Sri Lanka forced us to place quite a few of our initiatives on the backburner. 

However, we are confident that our Sri Lankan team will be able to establish the proposed VACD Welimada/Uva Paranagama centre despite these challenges relatively soon and that we will also be able to gradually implement all our pending projects and programs as and when opportune. 

Please visit our VACD Webpage to find features of our projects and programs for 2022/23 via the hyperlink:

This information is also available on the Good Company donation webpage via the hyperlink:[0]=charitygifts-v2&q=vacd , (type VACD in the search bar) and the Benevity Causes Donation Portal:

VACD Australia Director News Updates:

Mr. Giles Gunesekera – Secretary VACD Australia & Chief Executive Officer
Global Impact Initiative –

Giles is a dynamic, multiskilled Secretary of VACD Australia who has contributed a chapter on the “Power of Impact Investing” in a new book, “Mastering the Power of You” which will be released on the 21st of November. Leaders from around the world share their experiences in adapting to the changing world and the lessons they have learnt and offer advice on mastering a diverse range of leadership concepts, skills, and behaviors and how to prepare for the challenges of the 21st century in this book. 

The easy-to-follow format is grouped around core concepts of Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Volunteering; Purpose and Values; Authenticity, Trust, and Presence; Strategizing, Thinking and Decision Making; Mentoring and Development; Mental Resilience; Diversity and Inclusion; Negotiating and Collaborating; and Social and Environmental Impact. Each of the thirty-two chapters takes you on an expedition of discovery to a wide range of ‘powers’ and inspires the reader to use them to pursue new opportunities in one’s life, career, and workplace.

Multiple donation options to support our mission – Thank you:

The following hyperlink will enable you to find all donation options that are available to you on our webpage:

Multicurrency Benevity Causes Portal for International Donations:

International donors who wish to support our mission can do so through the Benevity Causes portal via the hyperlink below for all your multi-currency donation options:

A big “Thank You” to all of you…

Our journey is bound to be long and challenging. The official and unofficial number of children and families who need our love, support, compassion, and care are sizeable. We look forward to your continued generosity, active support for our undertaking and you being partners with us in this most fulfilling and worthwhile 10+ year journey that we traverse together.

Please visit us at:  and reach out to us at: should you choose to support our mission. Please also do share this newsletter with your family, friends, loved ones and work colleagues. Together, we certainly 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 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 –