VACD October/November 2014 News Letter

SPECIAL EVENT:

Bandarawela - Saturday – 22nd November: Our Dear friend Ms Shiromi Aluwihare and Ms Asanthi Indunil Gangodawila have volunteered to conduct an introductory program for VACD mothers on the subject “Self Care and its importance” where they will discuss the importance of a mother's wellbeing that will enable a mother to perform to her optimum in caring for her special child as well as her family.

 

Dear All,
 
Trust this finds you and your loved ones well.
 
Here’s a brief progress report on VACD activity:
 
ONGOING:

  • We now have three qualified teachers conducting regular targeted specialist educational training, traditional dance, painting and cookery classes for our children and sewing, knitting, patchwork and crocheting coaching sessions for the mothers (income generating) at the VACD centre in Bandarawela. We pay these teachers a monthly allowance for their valuable services.

SPECIAL EVENT:

  • Bandarawela - Saturday – 22nd November: Our Dear friend, Ms Shiromi Aluwihare – (Former Teacher – Special Education Unit – Ladies College Colombo, former Consultant UNICEF’s Children Affected by Arms Conflict Program, Consultant - Special Education Therapist and Counselling psychologist/Life coach -Puzzles Lanka, Counsellor and Psychosocial Support Work National Cancer Institute Help Centre PALS - Patient’s Advice & Liaisons Services) and her former Ladies College colleague Ms Asanthi Indunil Gangodawila (Special Education Specialist) who will act as a course co-moderator, have volunteered to conduct an introductory program for VACD mothers on the subject “Self Care and its importance” where they will discuss the importance of a mother's wellbeing that will enable a mother to perform to her optimum in caring for her special child as well as her family. This will only be an introductory talk/programme upon which future programmes will be built. We wish to place on record our deep gratitude and heartfelt thanks to Shiromi and Asanthi for not only volunteering to conduct this special program but also for offering to bear all personal costs while doing so.

IN PROGRESS:

  • Educational Assistance Program (EAP): Our leadership team are working closely with officials at the National Savings Bank (NSB) on this program that is to be implemented by mid to late December 2014, prior to the commencement of the new educational year 2015.  EAP is made available to disabled children who display educational and academic potential or in the case of a disabled child not being intellectually gifted, the program is extended to a gifted sibling in the hope that the latter would then be able to support and care for his/her less able brother/sister in the future. Each child will be given approximately Sri Lanka Rupees 2,000 per month which will be deposited to a savings account at the NSB in the child’s name. Parents and guardians of the children receiving this allowance will have to account for how the funds were deployed on a monthly basis, duly supported by documentary evidence of these expenditures in order to prevent the misuse of funds. We thank all of you who have pledged your support for this program that costs around A$ 20 per month. Given that the implementation of this scheme is time critical, we would urge those who have not yet pledged their support to do so at your earliest. Funds will be required by around mid December onwards;
  • Fixed Term Deposit Accounts: Our leadership team are working closely with officials at the NSB on this project where VACD will provide an initial deposit of approximately Rupees 2,500 with NSB matching this amount so that each child will have a Fixed Term Deposit of around Rupees 5,000 with the maturity of the term deposit being the day each respective child turns 18 years of age. In the case of a child in his/her mid to late teens the date of maturity may be extended to 21 years with a view to ensuring a higher total return which would hopefully be of more value as a “nest egg” for his/her future;
  • Micro financing: Our leadership team are working closely with officials at the NSB and and the local authorities to assist parents of disabled children who wish to start a business venture that will give the family additional income to support their child. We have agreed that  a parent will have to contribute 1/3 of the amount required, 1/3 will be provided by VACD as an interest free loan (given that we are a not-for-profit charity) and NSB will provide the balance 1/3 which will attract interest charges. It is envisaged that an upper limit would be imposed on  VACD’s one third share of the loan. The project will be administered by NSB in close collaboration with our VACD leadership. We will keep you posted on progress being made on this front.

TOP PRIORITY: We need more sponsors for our Educational Assistance Program (EAP) to meet the significant demand for education related financial assistance that is now “time critical”. Please pledge your support for this program at your very earliest. 
 
CREDIT CARD PAYMENT FACILITIES: We wish to alert you that our webpage has “Credit Card Payment” facility that will make it far easier for you, in particular international supporters of our charity, to make donations and be part of our long but rewarding journey to help children with disabilities and their families achieve their dreams and aspirations. Please visit our webpage to make your donation
 
We thank all of you for your guidance, advice and in particular for the continued financial and other forms of support you have given us since our charity was established on 27th December 2011. You have been partners with us on this incredible, difficult yet rewarding journey, providing us with much needed wisdom and encouragement and the strength to persevere despite various barriers and challenges so that we can continue to focus on our mission that seeks to make a true difference in the lives of our children and their families for whom we are the only hope.
 
Many thanks once again, best wishes,warm regards, love to all from all of us and God bless....Felix & Yasmin