January 2017

Ladies & Gentleman, Please Raise Your Glasses!!!...…VACD is five years old:

We are delighted to have reached  and crossed the 5-year anniversary since VACD was established in Bandarawela, Sri Lanka on the 27th of December 2011.

Dear All,

A most wonderful new year to all of you and trust this finds you at your very best.

Ladies & Gentleman, Please Raise Your Glasses!!!... VACD is five years old:

We are delighted to have reached  and crossed the 5-year anniversary since VACD was established in Bandarawela, Sri Lanka on the 27th of December 2011. We owe our deepest gratitude and thanks Dr.  Kumuduni Cooray – Paediatric Consultant who inspired and encouraged us to start our charity, our  founding members and to our team of volunteers who have worked tirelessly and with devotion, passion and commitment to make our mission a success.  Mr. Milton Perera - Chairman VACD Sri Lanka has been a tower of strength to us as he used his years of experience, wisdom and deep understating of the tribulations faced by disabled children and their families to formulate and implement a variety of programs and projects aimed at reducing multiple hardships faced by them. We fondly recall and appreciate the financial support, guidance, counselling and assistance we received from a host of well-wishers, supporters, friends and family without whom we could not have overcome the hurdles and challenges a young charity like ours faced. We look forward to the future with confidence knowing that you will be by our side as we continue on this most rewarding of benevolent journeys.  

 

ACNC Recognition:

We were absolutely thrilled to hear from the Australian Charities & Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC)  that in recognition of our transparency and accountability they had given us the official tick of approval (as seen below next to the VACD logo) which proclaims to the world that VACD is a bona fide, trustworthy organisation.  This is no small achievement especially when many charities have lost their licences in Australia due to unethical practices. You can visit the ACNC portal by clicking on the “Tick of Approval” icon found on the our home page.

 

TV Derana:

Mr. Suneth Wediwardana – (Producer) and his team at TV Ada Derana have compiled a 2 part documentary on VACD Sri Lanka under their “Search Light” program. You can find both these episodes in Sinhala on YouTube as follows:

Part 1 ( Search Light Episode 33):

Part 2 (Search Light Episode 35):

 

We will notify you no sooner we have these versions on YouTube with English sub titles.

 

Please share this information with your friends, family and colleagues to raise awareness of the plight of disabled children and their families. We need to generate more support for our mission because the local authorities continue to urge us to expand our projects and programs given that they lack the means, resources and facilities to provide the services VACD delivers to these children and their families.

Social Media / Facebook:

Mr. Ruvesh Sivanandan, Mr. Stefan Jaro, and the Infologix (Private) Limited’s (http://www.infologix,lk/) team especially Ms Deshika and Ms Danesha have launched a VACDFacebook page which you can find on: https://www.facebook.com/Volunteers-to-Assist-Children-with-Disabilities-1104614162919537/?fref=ts or through the Facebook icon on the VACD webpage: http://www.vacd.org.au/. We deeply appreciate Infologix’s commitment to our cause and for the pro bono work they do for us as their community and social responsibility contribution. This Facebook page is regularly updated with news and information on VACD, expert opinions and recommendations, postings and links to inspirational talks and videos.  Please follow and ‘like’ us on Facebook and invite your family, friends and colleagues to do the same so that we can expand our reach. 

Financial news:

Following on from all the exposure we have been receiving on Facebook and television we were gratified to note that there was a spike in the usual level of donations.  A couple of supporters delighted us by going to unusual lengths to make donations:

  • James Oliver, Managing Director of Optimal Financial Services switched to e-cards for Christmas and New Year, and donated to VACD the sum the company had saved – Thank you!
  • Farrah & Rukshan Carim sent out birthday invitations for their 2-year old’s birthday party requesting that invitees make donations to VACD instead of purchasing  gifts --  Thank you!

Ongoing Programs  & Projects

  • We are happy to note that all sponsors under the Educational Assistance Program where a monthly payment of $20 or Rs.2000 per child goes directly to the child for educational purposes have agreed  to continue with their sponsorships.  There are still more eligible children on the waiting list awaiting sponsorship.
  • We are still exploring ways and means to establish much needed VACD centres in Badulla, Welimada and Mahiyangana and are having initial discussions with institutions seeking their assistance in this regard, as the authorities in Sri Lanka have informed us that they lack the resources to provide the facilities we do.

Call for help:

While in Sri Lanka we met 18 year old Jiwanthi Edirisinghe, who is a young adult with disabilities, who gave a performance of  her vocal and keyboard skills at the VACDcentre in Bandarawela. Jiwanthi was awarded a distinction at the Sri Lanka Festival for Performing Arts (Affiliated to The British & International Federation of Festivals for Music, Dance & Speech U.K. of which Her Majesty The Queen is the Patron) held in Kandy in 2011 for her solo rendition of Gospel Songs/Hymns  and was declared the “All Island Winner” and the “Most Promising Performance in 2011” at the age of 14. Dr. R M Mudiyanse – Consultant Paediatrician  Teaching Hospital, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka has recommended that Jiwanthi pursue further training as a means to leading an independent life. Please circulate this information among your contacts and let us know if you are able to offer Jiwanthi assistance to further her musical talents.

Please join us and encourage your friends, family and colleagues to be part of this incredible, challenging and extremely rewarding altruistic journey which we have only begun.

Many thanks, best wishes, warm regards, Love & God Bless...Yasmin