March 2021

VACD Australia March 2021 Newsletter

"When we give alms with our hearts, we give well"

Dear friends, colleagues, supporters, and collaborative partners,

We deploy a significant proportion of donor funds to support and rehabilitate our children and their families:

VACD was established almost 10 years ago by a group of like-minded philanthropists to uplift, support, and rehabilitate children with congenital disabilities and their families in Sri Lanka. In order to achieve our vision, we pledged to volunteer our services, devote our time and resources, and direct our synergies towards achieving the goals of our mission.

All mission related expenditure (domestic and international travel, accommodation, meals etc.) incurred by directors and the leadership teams in Australia, USA, and Sri Lanka are met by each individual member ensuring that donor funds are deployed exclusively for the mission’s vision, goals, and objectives in Sri Lanka.

We categorize our expenditure into direct services (rent, staff salaries, furniture & equipment, medical assistance, camps, seminars & workshops, education & family assistance programs & special events), indirect services (staff training and related travel & accommodation, and centre expenses) and administration and miscellaneous expenses (bank charges and web services etc.) and target our admin expenses to be anchored around 5% of our total expenditure.

Summary of expenditure incurred by us from July 2019 to June 2020

Summary of expenditure incurred by us from July 2020 to February 2021

We continue to uphold our mission’s vision, values and goals and operate under a strict compliance and governance culture that remains open and transparent at all times. Our administrative and operating configuration described below enables us to efficiently harness family, community, and local support in order to collectively achieve and sustain our long-term objectives for our children and their families.

Why broad community and specialist support is critical for our mission in Sri Lanka:

Myths, superstitions, social, cultural, and religious views (particularly among impoverished rural communities) in Sri Lanka significantly contribute to the prevalence of confusion and misunderstanding about the underlying biological reasons for congenital disabilities. Unfortunately misplaced, uninformed and unfounded beliefs lead to children with congenital disabilities and their families being subjected to vilification, social isolation, discrimination, intimidation, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse etc. within their own local communities and even their own homes.

Our strategy is to educate and make parents and family members of our children with disabilities aware of biological reasons for these conditions and adequately equip them to cope with the challenges they face. We encourage the local community, members of our Young VACD club, paediatric consultants, local medical authorities, religious leaders, and leading specialists on this subject to be advocates of our mission and to help us to eradicate these myths, superstitions, and misconceptions so that we can collectively eliminate these long-standing social and cultural mistakes.

A delightful and heart-warming demonstration of true local community support for our mission:

This program was organized by Major General S.P.Senevirathna – Director National Youth Corps – Uva Province and overseen by drill instructor Mr. N.B.P.Manage, husband of Mrs. Shyama Chamini our head teacher at the Bandarawela centre. Our sincere and heartfelt thanks for their hard work.

News and Profile of a VACD Child and her Family:

Theresha was one of the very first children diagnosed with Down Syndrome to be registered when VACD was established in Bandarawela on 27th December 2011. Her mother Mrs. Parameswary has always been an active volunteer/ supporter and passionate advocate of our mission. Mrs. Parameswary serves on the VACD Sri Lanka Parents’ Committee for Sports and Cultural Affairs and was a former VACD Sri Lanka director. Mrs. Parameswary and her husband obtained microfinance under a collaborative arrangement between VACD and the Regional Development Bank, Bandarawela to set up a hair dressing salon in Bandarawela. This business venture proved to be successful, and they have been providing free haircuts to all our VACD children at our centre.

Three of Mrs. Parameswary’ s daughters are active VACD volunteers and members of the Young VACD members club. One of her daughters, Sharmila is the assistant Secretary of the Young VACD Members club and is now employed at our VACD Badulla centre as a trainee assistant specialist teacher. Young Theresha actively participates in all VACD activities, with a particular passion for dancing.

Mrs. Parameswary was featured in the recent prestigious Condé Nast Traveller publication: https://www.cntraveller.com/gallery/women-travel-industry/ thanks to our sponsors of the VACD Welimada centre, Teardrop Hotels in Sri Lanka. https://www.teardrop-hotels.com/hotels/

A big “Thank You” to all of you…

Your generosity and the commitment, dynamism and dedication of our teams have enabled us to achieve many of our objectives for children with disabilities and their families since we began our journey on 27th December 2011. We remain deeply appreciative of the support all of you have given us to sustain our mission and accomplish so much for our children and their families over the past years. Our journey is bound to be a long one given the sheer number of children and families who need your help.

Please continue to support us with your tax-deductible donations that can be made to VACD Australia in following ways:

Via the VACD webpage:

https://www.vacd.org.au/index.php/donations/cba-credit-cards where you can make regular or ad hoc donations via your credit card, PayPal, electronic transfers, or a direct deposit.

Via Good Company: (Workplace giving)

https://www.goodcompany.com.au/charity/Volunteers-to-Assist-Children-wuth-Disabilities where you can make regular or ad hoc pre-tax donations that will be matched by your participating employer.

Via the VACD Australia Bank account: (cash, cheque, or online electronic/ direct deposits)

Name of account: Volunteers to Assist Children with Disabilities Limited Bank: Commonwealth Bank of Australia Branch: Cnr of Liverpool & Castlereagh Streets, Sydney NSW 2000 Account No: 1130 2156 BSB: 062-016

Donations in Sri Lanka rupees can be made via the VACD Sri Lanka bank account as follows:

Name of account: Volunteers to Assist Children with Disabilities Private Limited Bank: Seylan Bank Branch: 240 Badulla Road, Bandarawela, Sri Lanka Account No: 046035439722001

A big “Thank You” to all of you…

Your generosity and the commitment, dynamism and dedication of our teams have enabled us to achieve our objectives for children with disabilities and their families since we began our journey on 27th December 2011. We remain deeply appreciative of the support all of you have given us to sustain our mission and accomplish a lot for our children and their families over the past years.

We welcome you to be partners with us on this benevolent journey!

Please continue to support us in our efforts to uplift the lives of children who need your love, support and assistance, and reach out to us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit us at: https://www.vacd.org.au/. Please share this newsletter with your family, friends, loved ones and colleagues so that together we can make a difference in the lives of children with disabilities, one by one!!!

Many thanks, best wishes and warm regards…. Felix

Felix Stephen

Chairman of the Board of Directors - VACD Ltd. Sydney – Australia - http://www.vacd.org.au/
Member of the Advisory Board – VACD USA – http://www.vacdusa.org/
Member of the Advisory Board – VACD Sri Lanka
Senior Associate – Cognoscenti Group – Sydney – Australia- http://www.cognoscenti.global/
Consultant - Investment Committee - Lonsec - Sydney – Australia - https://www.lonsec.com.au/
Member of Investment Committee - Arrive Wealth Management - Brisbane – Australia - http://brisbane.arrivewealthmanagement.com.au/
Consultant - Global Financial Market Investment Research & Investment Strategy
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.