February 2019 Newsletter

February 2019 VACD Newsletter

VACD Badulla centre:

We are delighted to inform you that the "Dora Jeanne Centre for Children with Disabilities" located at: No. 23, Keppetipola Road, Badulla is now established and operating.

VACD Parents and staff performing traditional and cultural ceremonies by lighting the hearth, boiling milk and preparing milk rice at an auspicious hour.

Left photo: Dr. S C Widyarathna (General Hospital Badulla) addressing parents and children and seated immediately to his right is Mr. Prasanna Weerawanni – Social Services Officer – Divisional Secretaries office Badulla. Right photo: Mr. Ajith Serasinghe – District Social Service Officer – Badulla addressing VACD parents and children.

Children and parents who attended the opening of the Badulla centre

"Thank you" to our Young VACD members:

Ms. Nipunika Thathsarani Karunathilaka (left) and Ms. Thimani Kavindaya Wijesinghe - Secretary Young VACD Members Club (right) who are both accomplished dancers have volunteered to conduct dancing classes for our children with disabilities at the Badulla centre. This is precisely the type of spirit and enthusiasm that we seek to cultivate, develop and promote from within the local communities towards our humanitarian mission.

Relocation of the VACD Bandarawela centre

The main VACD centre "Sir Robert Clark Centre for Children with Disabilities" in Bandarawela is being relocated to: No. 49 A, Springwaththa, Vishaka Mawatha, Bandarawela during this month.

VACD parents spent a day cleaning up the yard and preparing the new Bandarawela centre to be occupied by them and their children very soon.

A Big & Special "Thank you":

  • A very big “Thank you” to Mr. Kumaravel – Proprietor – Janalanka Distributors and Textiles Bandarawela who donated funds towards equipping the Badulla centre while also generously providing VACD with cost free transport to move specially built furniture from Bandarawela to Badulla!!!
  • Our special thanks to Colonel Kumarasinghe – Secretary VACD Sri Lanka who ensured that donor funds are used very frugally during the opening of the Badulla centre and relocation of the Bandarawela centre. Given that furnishing and equipping the new Badulla centre proved to be very expensive, Colonel Kumarasinghe furnished the centre more economically by purchasing used furniture and by arranging for children’s furniture to be made by a skilled carpenter thereby enabling us to reduce our estimated capital expenditure by half.

The VACD Operating Model and sources of support for our children and their parents:

  • Under the above operating model, the decision to open a VACD centre is made once we have funding and compelling evidence that there are a significant number of children with disabilities who need special attention and rehabilitation;
  • We then rent or lease a property, furnish and equip it and hire staff to provide our children with skills training, rehabilitation, vocational training, computer literacy, music, dance and art training, literacy and numeracy training, nutritional meals and health and fitness training etc.;
  • We encourage and seek the support of parents and families of these children to be part of our mission by being actively engaged in the day-to-day administration of the centre and being on parents’ committees such as: Education & Training, Health & Nutrition, Sports & Culture and Family budgeting & finances. This is critical because these parents act as advocates of our mission within their own communities and the broader public;
  • The next stage is to seek the support and assistance of the local authorities and government paediatricians to examine, monitor and provide medical attention and assistance to these children on a regular basis;
  • Once the basic structure is in place, we engage with the local community to generate their support for our mission to ensure their acceptance of these children and their families into their fold given the existing level of discrimination, abuse and isolation faced by these children;
  • We provide parents with coaching and training in leadership, child rehabilitation, planning and implementation of projects and programs etc. so that they can eventually administer the centres by themselves under VACD Board oversight and guidance;
  • We sparingly use donor funds for our various activities to support and rehabilitate children with disabilities and their families, and rely on volunteers to carry the majority burden of the mission.
  • The opening of the Badulla centre has temporarily increased our administrative costs from 1% of total expenditure to 4% as at end of January 2019 based on our monthly income & expenditure financial analysis. However, we are fully committed to deploying a minimum of 95% of donor funds towards direct and indirect benefits of our children;
  • A special 'Thank you' to all our supporters and donors for your love, generosity, support and commitment to uplift the lives of these children from their very trying circumstances, one by one!!!

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;
  2. Educational Assistance Program (EAP) - A$ 20 or equivalent per month;
  3. Nutrition Program Initiative (NPI) - Flexible

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