August 2017 Newsletter

VACD Post-Sri Lanka Tour Newsletter – August 2017

It’s wonderful to be back home after a hectic albeit rewarding 4+ weeks self-funded tour in sultry Sri Lanka, during which we met like-minded individuals who were willing to support VACD in various ways.  While being sincerely grateful to all of them, in the interests of brevity given below are only some of the key people who have extended their support to our mission, with brief details of how they will do so:

VACD Post-Sri Lanka Tour Newsletter – August 2017

It’s wonderful to be back home after a hectic albeit rewarding 4+ weeks self-funded tour in sultry Sri Lanka, during which we met like-minded individuals who were willing to support VACD in various ways.  While being sincerely grateful to all of them, in the interests of brevity given below are only some of the key people who have extended their support to our mission, with brief details of how they will do so:

1. Establishment of a VACD centre in Welimada is now confirmed, with our sincere thanks to the following:

a) Dr Tiraj Mendis – Consultant Paediatrician Base Hospital Welimada, through whose good offices, belief in our mission and support we were put in touch with the authorities who administer the Methodist church complex in Welimada.

b) Rev Fr. Suranga Fernando and Rev Bro Indrajit Senkadagala of the Methodist Church have magnanimously agreed to grant VACD the use of a disused building in their Welimada complex to house the proposed VACD Centre free of rent.  We have also received their assurance of providing a suitable space in their Badulla Methodist Church complex for a VACD centre sometime in the future.

c) Mr. Kumaravel, Proprietor of Janalanka Distributers & Textiles Bandarawela, who very generously agreed to donate building materials for repairs, renovations and the upgrade of the above building to make it habitable.

d) Mr. Gamini Kannangara, Managing Director of Trico Global (global freight forwarding company) who very generously agreed to sponsor the proposed centre in his hometown of Welimada and provide a caretaker/gardener for the centre.

Web: http://tricoglobal.net/

2. Sincere thanks also go out to:   

a) Mr Kushil Gunasekera – Founder/Chief Trustee of Foundation of Goodness (FoG) who much to our delight agreed that both our organisations have identical missions to uplift the underprivileged and disadvantaged and therefore should form a collaborative partnership and optimise our mutual goals in providing services to the needy.

FoG have established 8 ‘Village Heartbeat Centres’ throughout Sri Lanka, with more in the pipeline, offering free training to the needy in a range of skills including computer technology, education, vocational training, diving, life-saving, photography, medical facilities, sports, etc, etc, with an emphasis on women’s empowerment. Partnering with VACD would add ‘providing disability services’ to this impressive list.

Web: http://www.unconditionalcompassion.org/

b) Dr Gopi Kumar Kitnasamy, (Chartered Physiotherapist and Founder of Cerebral Palsy Foundation Sri Lanka) and his team of Physiotherapists, Speech Therapist, Specialists in feeding and care of children with disabilities, and instructors in paper based furniture making technology who conducted a Wheelchair Camp for VACD children.  

They spent many hours examining and assessing VACD children at the Bandarawela Town Hall with more than 300 parents and children attending.

Dr Kitnasamy who has already donated more than 1700 wheelchairs island-wide also presented wheelchairs to 8 deserving VACD children.

Web: http://cplanka.org/

c) Dr. Swarna Wijetunge (President, Sri Lanka Association for Child Development), Dr. Samanmali Sumanasena (Senior Lecturer in Paediatrics, University of Colombo), and Dr. Nimisha Muttiah (Senior Lecturer at University of Kelaniya Dept. of Disability Studies) who in response to our request have agreed to conduct a training course for teachers in Special Education Units in Uva Province, in collaboration with Mrs. Ambanwela, Secretary for Education at the Uva Provincial Council.  

These teachers will be trained in techniques of handling and teaching children with disabilities, early detection of special needs and referral to the appropriate authorities by specialists at Sri Lanka Association for Child Development.

d) Mr. Sherwin Fernando – Family friend and Senior Systems Engineer Adobe Australia who was instrumental in connecting us with Dr. Nimisha

3. We are also grateful to the following who have agreed to help us to generate support for our mission and raise awareness of VACD activities:

a) Mr. Sunil Perera, - Manager/Leader Gypsies – Iconic international musician and philanthropist, who in addition to pledging financial support for our mission also volunteered to print and distribute English and Sinhala VACD factsheets throughout his massive fan base and network.

Web: www.gypsies.lk/

b) Messrs. Sharad Sri, Asanth Sebastian and Tharanga Gamage of Arpico Ataraxia Capital, Colombo who have placed moneyboxes together with information on VACD at their venture Subway outlets, and will also do so in their Oporto outlets due to open in November.

They have also offered to arrange practical training in tourism/hospitality for suitable working aged VACD children and families. This program is in keeping with VACD’s aim of helping children with disabilities to be independent and productive members of society, while also financially supporting their families.

Web: http://ataraxiacapitalpartners.com/

c) Messrs. Ruvesh Sivanandan (Co-Founder & CEO) and Stefan Jaro (Co-Founder & Partner) from Litmus Communications Agency, Sri Lanka for their invaluable pro bono contributions in managing the VACD website, Facebook page and creating an impactful video for crowdfunding purposes. 

Web: http://www.litmus.lk/

Following on from our various meetings we are working on taking VACD to the next level, and will keep you posted on ongoing progress.

Thank you for your continued invaluable support, guidance and assistance.

Best wishes and warm regards…Yasmin

Yasmin Stephen

Administration & Communications Secretary

Volunteers to Assist Children with Disabilities Limited,

ACN: 605 017 016 / ABN: 80 605 017 016 & ACNC Registered

Cherrybrook, NSW 2126, Australia

Telephone:+612 9484 5128

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

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Website: http://www.vacd.org.au/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Volunteers-to-Assist-Children-with-Disabilities/

Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/RipplesGifts/