July/August 2015

The 8th annual Poker Nite fundraiser very generously organised by Kumar Palghat and his Kapstream Capital team was held on July 23rd, with proceeds donated to VACD and Bear Cottage, a palliative care facility for children in Sydney.  This event raised some much needed funds to implement ongoing VACD programs and projects. 
 
Dear All,
 
May this newsletter find you and all your loved ones well in body and spirit.
 
News Update
  • The 8th annual Poker Nite fundraiser very generously organised by Kumar Palghat and his Kapstream Capital team was held on July 23rd, with proceeds donated to VACD and Bear Cottage, a palliative care facility for children in Sydney.  This event raised some much needed funds to implement ongoing VACD programs and projects. 
  • The first workshop in a series for children who receive assistance under the EAP was conducted by Mr D.M.Ranatunga, Principal of Central College a leading educational institution in Bandarawela and assisted by Mr Sujeewa Abeynayaka, from the staff of St Joseph’s College, Bandarawela and a member of the VACD Project Steering & Planning Implementation Committee, and Mr Janaka Pathmasiri, Asst. Manager of the Regional Development Bank in Bandarawela.
          Mr Ranatunga who recognised the value of this program and its potential to uplift the socio-economic standard of the recipient children and families, has volunteered to hold several workshops to emphasise to the children and their families their own responsibilities in terms of 
          using the allowances effectively and dedicating themselves to their studies for a better future.
 
Ongoing programs
Educational Assistance Program – We have made some progress in getting a few more sponsors under this program.  However as the number of children who show academic promise and need financial support to reach a more secure future grows, and as some sponsors decide to drop out of the program, we find that we would have to seek more sponsors on an ongoing basis.  Please recommend this program to your family, friends or colleagues who may be looking for a worthwhile cause to support.
 
VACD in Sri Lanka -  The administrative team in Bandarawela have made good progress in the process of registering VACD as a not-for-profit limited liability company in Sri Lanka, following on from a similar structure change in Australia and the finalisation of this process is imminent.  The team have worked with dedication and enthusiasm in this regard, and have gathered a dynamic and capable team of volunteer office bearers to carry on the good work.  More details of board members and office bearers to follow.
 
Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) Status
We have persevered with our efforts to receive DGR status (which would entitle all donors to claim tax deductions on their donations) which comes under the Overseas Aid Gift Deduction Scheme (OAGDS) administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade.  We have been encouraged to find that all our activities and policies comply with all the eligibility criteria, and furthermore that Sri Lanka is recognised as one of the countries approved for DGR status for overseas charity activities.
 
However, the OAGDS proviso that any organisation has to have a minimum one year’s record of focused development and relief activities prior to applying for this status means that we have to patiently bide our time as we have been registered as a legal entity only since 27th March 2015(given that we were under the Lak Saviya Inc. umbrella till then) . We intend to lodge our application the moment we complete one year’s activities and are confident of a successful outcome.
 
Still to come
Felix’s proposed visit to Sri Lanka during late October through till mid November is timed to derive maximum benefit of the post-electoral stability in the country.  A program is being put in place for him to meet with the Chief Secretary and other Secretaries for various Provincial Ministries in the Uva Province such as Health, Education, Social Services, Small & Cottager Industries, Youth affairs etc., and to put in place a strategy for coordinating all available Provincial Government services with our own projects and programs.  By doing so we hope to optimise the facilities, projects and programs we provide and implement for our children and their parents as we extend our reach across the entire province and establish centres in Badulla, Welimada and Mahiyangana.
 
Attached is a fact sheet in the form of a flyer designed to give a snapshot of VACD which we intend to use at fundraisers and corporate events as we communicate our mission and activities to potential supporters and sponsors, which please feel free to share.
 
Thank you for your ongoing support and being part of the VACD family, and blessings to you and all your loved ones....Yasmin