VACD Australia February 2024 Newsletter
March 07, 2024

Dear friends, colleagues, supporters, and collaborative partners,

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

Observing Thai Pongal at VACD 

VACD’s leadership team, staff, children, their families, and local supporters of our mission observed Thai Pongal, the Hindu/Tamil harvest festival on Friday, 19th January 2024 by making offerings at the Sri Sivasubramaniya Swami Temple in Bandarawela, Sri Lanka.

Thai Pongal is a multi-day Hindu Harvest festival by Tamils and observed in the month of Thai according to the Tamil solar calendar that usually falls on 14 or 15 January. According to tradition, this festival marks the end of winter solstice and the start of the sun’s six-month-long journey northwards. The festival is named after the ceremonial “Pongal”, which means “to boil, overflow” and refers to the traditional dish prepared from the new harvest of rice boiled in milk with jaggery. 

Our mission’s policy is to serve children with disabilities and their families as equals irrespective of their caste, race, or creed, and promote VACD’s ethos of love, unity and  supporting each other to foster multi-layered and long-lasting foundations for community harmony.

Distribution of gifts at our VACD Ambagasdowa centre

A person and a child at a table with bags

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Teardrop Hotels, (, official sponsor of our VACD Ambagasdowa centre arranged for the  the distribution of gifts of stationery to our VACD children as seen above. Mr. Saman and Mr. Lasantha from Teardrop are seen arranging these gifts in the above photo. The photos below show them with some of our VACD children and their parents.

We wish to place on record our deep appreciation for sponsorship support provided by Teardrop Hotels. Their ongoing support makes our task to reach out to many more disabled children and their families in the region and support them and their families less daunting.

Visitors to our VACD Centre in Bandarawela

Suzanne (extreme left) and Roderick (fourth from right) De Sylva from Sydney Australia, while on their recent holiday in Sri Lanka found the time to visit our VACD Bandarawela centre and meet and spend time with our children, their parents and staff as seen in the photos below:

Suzanne and Roderick who have been our family friends for almost 50 years, have been supporting our mission since inception and are sponsors of our Educational Assistance Program (EAP) where VACD supports siblings of disabled children with academic potential to further their education and once gainfully employed, provide much needed financial support for their families.

Disabled children and families in the region 

The official and unofficial number 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 worthy 12+ years journey that we traverse together.

Regular updates on our VACD Facebook Page:

Ms Aloyna (Pinky) Taylor, the head of VACD’s Digital Communication, posts regular news and updates on a range of VACD activities on our Facebook page. I would encourage you to follow us on for timely news about our mission. Please also support our mission by liking , commenting, and sharing VACD posts so that your action will help us, via the algorithms built into this technical service, to broaden our outreach to many more who, like you, share in our vision and mission for disabled children in Sri Lanka. Thank you. 

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 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 –