VACD June 2020 Newsletter

Dear friends, colleagues, supporters, and collaborative partners,

We fervently hope, trust, and pray that this newsletter finds you and your loved ones safe and well.

"When we give our hearts with our alms, we give well"

As we enter the final month of the financial year 2019/20 in Australia, we are conscious of the difficulties confronting many of you during these extraordinary times. We deeply value the support you have given us and appeal for your continued sponsorship that will enable us to care for our children with disabilities and their families in Sri Lanka who are encountering many significant hardships.

We are pleased to mention that our financial analysis report as at the end of May 2020 showed that 88% of your donations were deployed directly and 11% indirectly for the benefit of our children and their families while admin costs remained at 1%. This is because our unique operating model enables us to keep overall costs down since our mission is administered by a team of dedicated and committed volunteers.

In fact, our Australian, US and Sri Lanka team consists of a total 127 members, of which 119 are volunteers and only 8 are salaried staff. We have 330+ children registered with us across the Uva province in Sri Lanka.

Tax deductible donations can be made to VACD Australia in following ways:

1. Via the VACD webpage:
https://www.vacd.org.au/index.php/donations/cba-credit-cards where you can make regular or ad hoc donations via your credit card, PayPal, electronic transfers, or a direct deposit.

2. Via Good Company: (Workplace giving)
https://www.goodcompany.com.au/charity/Volunteers-to-Assist-Children-with-Disabilities where you can make regular or ad hoc donations that will be matched by your participating employer.

3. Via the VACD Bank account: (cash, cheque, or online electronic/ direct deposits)
Name of account: Volunteers to Assist Children with Disabilities Limited
Bank: Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Branch: Cnr of Liverpool & Castlereagh Streets, Sydney NSW 2000
Account No: 1130 2156
BSB: 062-016

Tax deductible donations through VACD USA:

Tax deductible donations can be made in US Dollars via the VACD USA webpage: https://vacdusa.org/ or directly to their bank account:

The VACD USA leadership are in the final stages of establishing a new bank account. We will notify you of bank account details as soon as possible so that you will be able to make tax deductible donations directly to this account or via the VACD USA webpage https://vacdusa.org/.

Donations in Sri Lanka rupees can be made via the VACD Sri Lanka bank account as follows:

Name of account: Volunteers to Assist Children with Disabilities Private Limited
Bank: Seylan Bank
Branch: 240 Badulla Road, Bandarawela, Sri Lanka
Account No: 046035439722001

Our capacity expansion plans:

The Uva province in Sri Lanka is made up of two administrative districts, Badulla and Monaragala. Official data shows that there are 2,142 children with disabilities between the ages of 5 and 20 in the Badulla district alone. Our VACD centres in the Badulla district are located in Bandarawela and Badulla.

We plan to open the third centre in the township of Welimada (Badulla district) no sooner we secure medium to long-term sponsorship of approximately A$ 10,000 per annum to establish and maintain this centre. Department of social services data show that there are 505 children with disabilities between the ages of 5 and 20 in the Welimada/Uva Paranagama divisional secretariat region.

Our Bandarawela centre is sponsored by Mr. William Clark, a close family friend and long-term supporter of our mission. The centre is named in memory and honour of his father Sir Robert Clark.

The Badulla centre is sponsored by Mr. Greg and Mrs. Jenny Fendler who are members of the VACD Australia team, close family friends and long-term supporters of our mission. The centre is named after Greg’s sister Dora Jeanne.

Nutrition Program:

To eliminate under-nourishment among our children from impoverished families that attend our centres in Bandarawela and Badulla, a program to provide them with a daily nutritious meal was introduced on the advice of a government health inspector who observed that the children were malnourished and brought nutrition-poor meals from their homes when attending our centres.

We are delighted to mention that Mr. Annesley Caspersz from Melbourne in Australia has kind-heartedly commenced supporting our “Nutrition Program” initiative having gained first-hand knowledge of how much support, care, love, and assistance these children need due to their special circumstances.

The photographs below show Mr. Annesley Caspersz and Ms. Franziska lighting a traditional oil lamp when they visited VACD in Bandarawela Sri Lanka in December 2017. Also, in the photograph is the late Mrs. Sarfun Niza Niyaz – founder member and former director of the VACD Sri Lanka board. Annesley and Franziska entertained our children and their families with their fun-filled acrobatic and magic performances later that afternoon.

Funding Initiatives:

We seek your support to assist children and families for our following programs:

1. Top priority: Support an impoverished family by donating A$ 25 or equivalent per month under our “Family Assistance Program – FAP” as their predicaments have intensified since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic that is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon.

2. Support a child with academic potential to receive an education, maximise employability and eventually support their family under the “Educational Assistance Program - EAP costing A$ 25 or equivalent per month.

3. Support our “Nutrition Program” to ensure that undernourished children are served a daily healthy meal at the centres since their impoverished parents cannot provide these children with proper food.

Your support for these specific programs will enable us to deploy other donations towards rehabilitation & education camps for our children and their families, skills, vocational training, medical support and specialist medical treatment for our children, special training for our teachers and parents and conducting public awareness seminars and workshops to eliminate myths, discrimination and abuse encountered by our children with disabilities from within their own local communities.

Please join us on this benevolent journey:

Please support us in our efforts to make a difference in the lives of children who need your love, support and assistance and reach out to us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and 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 that began on 27th December 2011.

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.