VACD Australia & Sri Lanka June 2024 Newsletter
June 15, 2024

Dear friends, colleagues, supporters, and collaborative partners,

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

Observing Vesak at our VACD Badulla centre:  

Vesak is the most important festival observed by Buddhists as it commemorates the birth, enlightenment and passing of Gautama Buddha.  

Staff, parents, and children at our Dora Jeanne Centre in Badulla celebrated this event on Sunday, 26th May by attending a sermon delivered by the clergy followed by an alms giving. This VACD centre is being sponsored by Australia Deputy Chairman Greg Fendler, his wife Jenny and rest of the Fendler family. 

Wonderful Initiative at VACD Bandarawela: 

Parents, Staff and children from our Bandarawela centre organised an outdoor market on Wednesday, 29th May displaying and selling their home garden produce and handmade crafts to the public. These activities help family household finances improve while our children learn essential life skills. 

Parents who participated in this event have decided to use part of the days takings to open savings accounts for their children at the Rural Savings Bank in Bandarawela. The bank has generously offered to match their initial deposits to encourage the discipline of savings among the community. This is wonderful and comforting news to all of us who strive so hard to make a meaningful difference in the lives of these families and their children. 

Outdoor Market at VACD/Teardrop Ambagasdowa Centre:

Parents and staff at our VACD/Teardrop centre in Ambagasdowa held their second outdoor market selling their home garden produce to the public on Thursday, 30th. This once again was a tremendous success.

Delightful News – Donation of Dry Food:  

Our dear friends and long-time supporters of our mission Kevin Melder (Old boy of St Joseph’s College, Bandarawela), his wife Helen and their friends Rosanna de Mel and Anthony de Silva from Perth, Western Australia donated funds to VACD to facilitate the distribution of dry ration ‘packs consisting of rice and lentils to our VACD families. 

The leadership teams of VACD Australia and Sri Lanka deeply appreciate your magnanimity and continued support for our mission dear Kevin, Helen, Rosanna and Anthony.

The 2nd Quarterly VACD/ MJFCF Health Clinic in Bandarawela:

The 2nd 2024 quarterly VACD/ MJFCF (Merrill J Fernando Charitable Foundation two-day health clinic was held at the Bandarawela Town Hall on Friday, 14th and Saturday 15th June for our VACD children across the Uva Province.

VACD’s Projects, Programs, Planned Activities in the Uva Province & Cost estimates for FY 2024/25 

  1. Continuation and extension of our Education Assistance Program and Family Assistance Program (based on available data and projections).

Estimate: A$ 20,000 P/A

  1. Continuation and enhancements to our Nutrition Program (based on available data and projections).

Estimate: A$ 10,000 P/A

  1. Resumption of quarterly visits to VACD centres by Paediatricians and General Practitioners from local government hospitals to examine our VACD children, monitor and prescribe medications to them. 

Estimate: Being Estimated

  1. Provide travel, medical assistance to children from impoverished regions and financially stressed households and free prescribed medication to all our VACD children.

Estimate: Being Estimated

  1. Conduct quarterly health clinics for VACD children. Implement an “outreach” program via this initiative into remote rural areas of the Uva province where parents having children with disabilities need to be made aware of 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 (based on available data and projections).

Estimate: A$ 50,000 P/A 

  1. Conduct regular leadership, vocational, computer, Excel/Word, motivational & other skills training etc. for VACD children, their parents, siblings (based on available data and projections).

Estimate: A$ 10,000 P/A

  1. Provide training, equipment and supplies to implement income generating activities and projects for older VACD children attending our centres (based on available data and projections).

Estimate: A$ 10,000 P/A

  1. Implement household income generating programs for VACD parents and families by providing resources such as sewing machines, overlockers, fabric etc., training in home gardening, animal husbandry, bee keeping and other income generating activities in collaboration with Teardrop Hotels and other local & provincial government agencies/specialists (based on available data and projections). 

Estimate: A$ 50,000 P/A

  1. Provide regular hands-on specialist training for all our assistant teachers at our VACD centre in Bandarawela on a quarterly basis (based on available data and projections).

Estimate: A$ 10,000 P/A

  1. 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 (based on available data and projections).

Estimate: A$ 30,000 P/A

  1. 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 (based on available data and projections).

Estimate: A$ 20,000 P/A

June 2024 Australian Financial Year End donations:

Donations by Australian taxpayers are tax deductible. Australian donors/ taxpayers who wish to make regular annual tax efficient 2023/24 financial year donations, ad hoc tax efficient donations or to support any particular VACD project, program or planned activities detailed above can do so through multiple donation options found on our webpage: 

Note: For your convenience some of the more popular donation options are given below:

Australian Dollar Donations via Direct Bank Transfers:

Name of Account: Volunteers to Assist Children with Disabilities Limited

Bank: Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Liverpool & Castlereagh Streets Branch,

Cnr of Liverpool & Castlereagh Streets, Sydney NSW 2000 Australia

Account No: 1130 2156    BSB: 062-016    BIC/SWIFT Code: CTBAAU2S

Sri Lanka Rupee Donations via Direct Bank Transfers:

Name of Account: Volunteers to Assist Children with Disabilities Private Limited
Bank: Seylan Bank, 240, Badulla Road, Bandarawela, Sri Lanka
Account Number: 046035439722001

Note: Please send an email to: ensuring that your name and email address are mentioned when making direct bank transfers. Thank you

International Multicurrency Currency 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:

The full list of all your donation options:

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

Regular updates on our VACD Facebook Page:

Ms Aloyna (Pinky) Taylor, VACD’s Head of Digital Communication, posts regular news and updates on a range of VACD activities on our Facebook page. I would encourage you to please follow us on for timely news about our mission. Please also support us by following, liking, commenting, and sharing VACD posts with your family, friends, loved ones, colleagues etc. so that your help will enable us, via the algorithms built into this electronic social networking & communication platform, to extend our outreach to many more who, like you, share in our vision and mission for disabled children in Sri Lanka. Thank you. 

Children with disabilities and their families in the region, 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 their families who need our love, support, compassion, and care are sizeable and increasing steadily. 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+ 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 so that 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 –