VACD Australia February/March 2023 Newsletter
March 26, 2023

Dear friends, colleagues, supporters, and collaborative partners,

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

Update on VACD’s new centre:

The new VACD centre “Teardrop CARE Centre for Children with Disabilities” in Ambagasdowa sponsored by Teardrop Hotels ( is scheduled to be operational by late April this year. Our Sri Lankan VACD leadership team have located an ideal premises for the centre to be located on a permanent basis in Ambagasdowa. However, this building needs important repairs and upgrading to ensure the comfort, safety, and security of our children. In the interim, they propose to establish a centre on a temporary basis at a nearby location. Ambagasdowa is located between Welimada and Uva Paranagama in the Badulla District of the Uva Province

This centre is 4.6km & 7 minutes’ drive from  Welimada and 10.3 km & 19 minutes’ drive time from Uva Paranagama.  There is a base hospital in Welimada and a district hospital in Uva Paranagama where our VACD children can receive care, treatment, rehabilitation, regular checkups, and medication. 

We are presently in the process of sourcing essential office equipment, computers, cookers, fridge etc. for this centre and would deeply appreciate any donations in kind or funds to purchase these and many other requirements for the new center. Please reach out to me at:,au if you are in a position to lend us a  much needed helping hand. – Thank you.

Great News!!! – Take One!!!

Thanks to the perseverance of Mr. James Meighan, a long-time family friend, former colleague and an energetic and dynamic Treasurer at VACD Australia, it’s an absolute delight to inform you that  Ashley Burtenshaw, Steven Fleming and rest of the team at Gryphon Capital Investment Pty Ltd (“Gryphon”), ( a specialist fixed income manager with significant experience in the Australian and international fixed income markets have decided to sponsor VACD initiatives and programs that support and uplift children with disabilities and their families in the Uva province of Sri Lanka.

Gryphon provides tailored solutions in structured finance investments on behalf of institutional investors and an ASX listed Trust, Gryphon Capital Income Trust (ASX :GCI). Gryphon currently manages funds of approximately A$2.6 billion.

Thank you, Ashley Burtenshaw, Steven Fleming, and rest of the Gryphon Capital Investments team. All of us at VACD Australia and Sri Lanka deeply appreciate your sponsorship and support for our mission…James, Felix & the rest of us at VACD.  

Great News!!! – Take Two!!!

Thanks once again to our James Meighan, it’s an absolute delight to inform you that Cheyne Capital Management (UK) LLP ( ) have offered to sponsor VACD initiatives and programs that support and uplift children with disabilities and their families in the Uva province of Sri Lanka.

Founded in 2000 by Jonathan Lourie and Stuart Fiertz, Cheyne Capital is an alternative asset manager, with USD 10 billion in assets under management and 11 offices worldwide. The firm invests across several investment strategies, including real estate, investment grade & strategic value credit and equities.

Cheyne is committed to supporting diversity, equality, and inclusion (DE&I) and implementing change through supporting relevant initiatives and volunteering at charitable associations. The firm has a strong focus on its Corporate Social Responsibility programme, and their partnerships with several social organisations drive forward their agenda in this space. 

The management at Cheyne in their offer of sponsorship to VACD state “We are delighted to support VACD and the essential, philanthropic work they are undertaking in Sri Lanka to help empower children with disabilities in disadvantaged communities. We hope our support can ensure that ever more children are able to live a more independent life and fulfil their dreams”.

Thank you, Jonathan, Stuart, and rest of the Cheyne Capital team. All of us at VACD Australia and Sri Lanka deeply appreciate your sponsorship and support for our mission…James, Felix & the rest of us at VACD.  

Meeting with our new VACD leadership team members in Melbourne: 

VACD Australia Director, Gabriella Anne Vascotto (Gabi) – Visiting Consultant to VACD centres in Sri Lanka, Learning Consultant Autism/Behaviour and Supported Playgroup Project Consultant for Catholic Education Melbourne, Yasmin Stephen – Administration & Communications Secretary VACD Australia and I met with Adrika Sri Bavan – Head of Marketing VACD Australia and Farrah Carim – Head of Finance VACD Australia at an informal meeting in Melbourne to discuss broader aspects of our mission and prepare our new team members to gradually assume their respective responsibilities in our mission. Unfortunately, Netaisha Harvey – Head of Inclusive Education & Partnerships could not make it to this meeting. Gabi who is based in Melbourne will play a key role in mentoring and guiding our new recruits as part of our long-term leadership succession plan that was decided at the last VACD Australia AGM.

Our sincere thanks to Mrs. Anoma Wijesundara (nee Kodikara) – Former colleague at Bank of Ceylon, Sri Lanka, close family friend for over 40+ years and supporter of our mission for hosting this event at her home in Melbourne.

VACD’s Team, Projects, Programs & Newsletters:

Please visit our VACD Webpages Our Team | Volunteers to Assist Children with Disabilities ( to find details of our team, projects and programs on: Ongoing Projects | Volunteers to Assist Children with Disabilities ( and newsletters on: 

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 –