VACD Australia January 2024 Newsletter
January 07, 2024

Dear friends, colleagues, supporters, sponsors, and collaborative partners,

“Heartfelt greetings and our very best wishes to you, your families, loved ones, and colleagues during 2024 and over the coming years” – VACD Australia & Sri Lanka teams.

Delightful News:

The 2023 United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities was observed at our VACD centres in the most delightful way, thanks to the Department of Social Services team from the Uva Provincial Council. This team visited our Bandarawela centre on Wednesday, 13th December, the Ambagasdowa centre on Thursday, 14th December and the Badulla centre on Saturday, 16th December. The team spent quality time with our children using basic toys and games to coach, encourage and help our children develop their motor skills, competitiveness, focus and concentration. Morning tea and lunch were provided for our children and staff by the Department of Social services at all VACD centres.

Our strongly held view since inception has been that support, assistance, and guidance from all segments of the local community and state and private institutions are of critical importance if our mission is to be successful. We firmly believe that we will be able to make a meaningful difference in the lives of our children and their families through the collective participation and sincere commitment to our cause by the local community. This helps us to deliver lasting positive outcomes to those we have pledged to serve. We will continue to expand our outreach and collaborative partnerships to accomplish our medium to long-term mission, vision, and strategies.

VACD Bandarawela Centre – End of Year and Christmas celebrations:

Our VACD Bandarawela centre held their end of year and Christmas 2023 celebrations including a nativity play as seen below. We were delighted that Rev. Father Jagath Fonseka – Parish Priest at St. Anthony’s Church in Bandarawela accepted our invitation to be the chief guest at this event and spent time with our children and staff. 

VACD’s Projects, programs, and planned activities for 2024/25

  1. Continuation and extension of our Education Assistance Program.
    • Est: A$ 5,000 P.A.
  2. Continuation and extension of our Family Assistance Program. 
    • Est: A$ 10,000 P.A.
  3. Continuation and enhancements to our Nutrition Program for VACD children attending our centres.
    • Est: A$ 10,000 P.A.
  4. Resumption of quarterly visits to VACD centres by Paediatricians and General Practitioners from the local government hospitals to examine our VACD children, monitor and prescribe medications to them. 
    • Pro Bono
  5. Provide travel, medical assistance to children from impoverished regions and financially stressed households and free prescribed medication to all our VACD children.
    • N/A. Should be known by mid-2024
  6. Conduct quarterly health camps/clinics/workshops for children and parents from across the Uva Province. 
    • Est: A$ 20,000 P.A.
  7. Conduct regular leadership, vocational, computer, Excel/Word, motivational & other skills training etc. for VACD children, their parents, siblings and young VACD club members.
    • Est: A$ 10,000 P.A.
  8. Revive our Sri Lanka Young VACD Members Club, motivate, coach, and train young supporters of our mission to be potential future leaders and implement a medium-term leadership succession plan at VACD Sri Lanka. Provide vocational training opportunities for them with our collaborative partners and corporate sponsors.
    • Est: A$ 5,000 P.A.
  9. Implement our household income generation program by providing resources, training in home gardening, animal husbandry, bee keeping and other income generating prospects for VACD parents in collaboration with Teardrop Hotels and other local & provincial government agencies/specialists.
    • Est: (see 10 below)
  10. Provide sewing machines, overlockers, sewing material etc. at our centres to help parents learn to sew and earn additional household income.
    • Est: 9 & 10 = A$ 20,000  
  11. Provide additional hands-on specialist training for our newly recruited assistant teachers at the MJF Charitable Foundation on a regular basis.
    • Est: A$ 10,000 P.A.
  12. Provide equipment for physical training, sports, exercise, recreation, art, craft, painting, music, dance, singing, vocational and life skills training, audio-visual equipment, computers, printers/scanners for rehabilitation, workshops & seminars for computer literacy training and additional office furniture to facilitate our capacity enhancement program.
    • Est: A$ 40,000 
  13. Implementation of our “Early Childhood Supported Playgroup Program” for young children with developmental concerns by VACD Australia Director Ms Gabriella Vascotto – Visiting Consultant to VACD centres in Sri Lanka, Learning Consultant Autism/Behaviour and Supported Playgroup Project Consultant for Catholic Education Melbourne, assisted by Mrs. Netaisha Harvey – VACD’s Head of Inclusive Education & Partnerships.
    • N/A. Should be known by mid-2024
  14. Implement an “outreach” program into remote rural areas of the Uva province where parents with children with disabilities need to be educated on the reasons for their child’s health condition and how to obtain medical guidance and expert advice, in collaboration with the local ministry of health.
    • Est: A$ 20,000 P.A.

Multiple Donation Options to Support Our Mission:

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

Donations to VACD Australia by Australian Taxpayers are tax deductible.

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 numbers of children and families who need our support 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 12+ years journey that we traverse together.

Please visit us at:  and reach out to us at: should you choose to support our mission. Please share this newsletter with your network! 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 –