April 2019 Newsletter

April 2019 VACD Newsletter

Devastating and deeply heart-rending Easter Sunday, 21st April 2019 in Sri Lanka:

Our hearts bleed as we grieve and uphold those who lost their lives, the injured and those suffering immense losses and pain, in our thoughts and prayers. As an organisation that is proudly non-political, non-racial, non-ethnic and with no religious bias, it’s not for us to ask the never-ending question “Why?” but stand by those who need our love, understanding, consolation and support the most so that together we can help ease their pain, hurt, anger and loss in any way we can.

Sinhala/Tamil New Year 2019 celebrations at the VACD Bandarawela centre:

The Sinhala/Tamil New Year was celebrated at the "Sir Robert Clark Centre for Children with Disabilities" in Bandarawela with our children, their families, VACD team and the local community in attendance, as seen below:

VACD Badulla’s Sinhala /Tamil New Year 2019 celebrations:

Parents at the "Dora Jeanne Centre for Children with Disabilities" in Badulla decided to organise their first ever VACD New Year celebrations at a nearby public ground with traditional food, dancing, games and plenty of entertainment and fun for our children, their families and attendees, as seen below:

These cultural events are an important part of our rehabilitation & development programs for our children. Community engagement initiatives such as this help build support for our children, their families and our mission.

A Big "Thank You" to the Badulla community!!!

Deshamanya Kumarawansa – (Managing Director K.Y.S Enterprise Badulla, Immediate Past Chairman National Construction Association of Sri Lanka – Uva Branch, Past Secretary Lions Club of Badulla and Past Secretary Chamber of Commerce & Industries of the Uva Province) sponsored the VACD Badulla New Year celebrations. Sampath Bank Badulla branch and Staff at the Singer Institute of Badulla made financial contributions towards event expenses while the public announcement and sound system was provided free of charge by Mr. Sampath Prasanna from Badulla. Thank you all.

We are delighted!!!

We are elated by the drive and initiative shown by our VACD Badulla parents and the support they received from the Badulla community to stage their first ever New Year celebrations with minimum VACD financial assistance.

VACD's model and mission is to provide our children and their parents with proper infrastructure, suitable environment, facilities, training and rehabilitation that will help them develop their skills and abilities to cope with many challenges and disadvantages they face, live productive and independent lives and achieve their future dreams and goals.

Parental commitment, enthusiasm, drive and initiatives coupled with local community support are vital for the "Vision, Mission & Goals" of VACD to be realised and our children to be accepted as equals with the same rights and privileges that other children enjoy and take for granted within their own communities.

Welcome aboard Dear Gabi!!!

We are also delighted that Gabriella (Gabi) Ann Vascotto, an early childhood teacher and Bachelor in Special Education who has worked with children with special needs (in particular children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, for over 30 years in mainstream preschools, early childhood intervention services and Autism specific primary school settings) has joined the VACD Australia Board as a director.

Beyond the classroom, Gabi has coordinated the Graduate Certificate in Teaching Students with ASD for the Autism Teaching Institute and is currently a Learning Consultant in Autism/ Behaviour for Catholic Education Melbourne, Australia.

Gabi has worked overseas in Indonesia, Malaysia, India and Sri Lanka, has a good insight into cultural, religious and systemic issues that often face families of children with special needs throughout South East Asia. She has worked closely with our children, parents, doctors, teachers and the leadership team in Bandarawela during the formative years of VACD in Sri Lanka.

Left photo: Gabi working with a VACD child on Interest based learning / fine motor skills. Right photo: Gabi and consultant Paediatrician Dr. Kumudini Cooray (second from right) discussing Parent Education. Dr. Kumudini encouraged and inspired us to establish VACD in 2011. Thank you for your counselling, wisdom and foresight Dear Kumudini.

How can you be part of our mission and help our children and their families?

There are three specific areas that need your sponsorship and support:

  1. Family Assistance Program (FAP) - A$ 20 or equivalent per month for each family sponsorship, to supplement their income and enable the purchase of food/medicine;
  2. Educational Assistance Program (EAP) - A$ 20 or equivalent per month for each child sponsorship, to meet educational expenses and ensure the child is not deprived of an education due to financial constraints;
  3. Nutrition Program Initiative (NPI) – Donation to provide nutritious meals for the children who attend the centre;
  4. Support for homebased therapy, rehabilitation and health clinic camps. Your donations will enable us to provide accommodation, transport, food etc. to parents and children who attend these camps from remote and impoverished villages in the province;

Please reach out to us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. should you decide to support/sponsor all or any of these initiatives.

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!!!

Our sincere thanks to all of you for your continued invaluable support, guidance, counselling and assistance and for being part of this incredible, challenging, immensely rewarding and fulfilling journey.

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.