Founding Board of Directors
President: Dilhara Seneviratne, Vice President and Secretary: Medini Ratnayake, Asst. Secretary: Lasni Gunawardena, Treasurer: Sumudu Weerasinghe, Board members: Hasanthi Abeysinhe, Upamali Munaweera, Champa Perera, Nadeera Ranawaka, Enoka Abeyratne
Board of Directors (2008-2010)
President: Binodh De Silva, Treasurer: Kaushalya Hettiarachchi, Secretary:Thushani Hewapathirana, Assistant Secretary: Rangani Punchihewa, Board members: Nelum Balasuriya, Sonali Bandaranayake, Chitra Liyanage, Champa Perera, Deepthi Perera
VAASOCAL will foster a vital community of Visakhians in Southern California by providing opportunities for social, professional, cultural and charitable collaboration to uphold and propagate the traditions, values and exceptional standards of Visakha Vidyalaya, Sri Lanka, to achieve betterment of its members and society at large.
It is with great pleasure that I am writing this message for the VAASOCAL website. It is exciting to see this organization blossoming from where we started year ago. The leadership and the members are the lifeline of this organization and it is very encouraging to see new alumni joining and keeping the pahana glowing.
Life in the East coast is going very well for our family. We have adapted to the winters that have been quite severe since we moved here. My husband Gamini is enjoying his job designing underwater robots. My daughters Nethmi and Vidharshi are both doing well in school and other extracurricular activities. I am enjoying my work and really proud to be part of a team that worked on an oncology drug that recently got approved for multiple myeloma and lung cancer. When we see how the quality of life of the patients is affected by these medicines it gives meaning to what we do on a daily basis. I am grateful to the primary education I got at Visakha and that foundation and the experience is what guides me to this day. I am truly proud to be a Visakhian. The traditions, values, ethics and all the teachings during my time at Visakha is what I cherish, honor and respect to this day.
During my leadership, I along with my team tried our best to repay in a very small way what our alma mater gave us in abundance. It was a very humble promise, since there is no way we can even fathom to what Visakha Vidyalaya gave us. It is my hope that Visakhians in USA along with their families and friends will unite to continue to serve the communities in need while celebrating the success of their own and others touched by their good deeds.
I am proud to be part of VAASOCAL, part of the global network of Visakha alumnae who share a commitment to engage and serve. The results we have achieved as an organization are impressive. We have hosted a variety of events bringing Visakhians in California together at same time raising noteworthy contributions for the betterment of our school and communities in need in Sri Lanka.
Visakha Vidyalaya and its students have changed over time, but the qualities that we value in each other – courage, leadership, excellence, humor and a genuine common bond – link us together. The friendships and experiences I have gained by being involved with VASSOCAL are precious and have enriched my life.
Our members vary in age and interests. But when we get together as Visakhians we can make magic happen and achieve wonderful things. VASSOCAL is as strong as our members. So come join us. Get involved in your own way and choose to support your alma mater that has done so much for you.
Visakha Alumnae Association of Southern California (VAASOCAL) was founded in the year 2006, by a group of ‘Visakhians’ (Alumnae of Visakha Vidyalaya (College), which is a leading Girls High School in Sri Lanka), who migrated to the United States. This team of women from all walks of life, united to form a non profit organization to work for the greater good of the deprived in Sri Lanka and in the USA.
The name ‘Visakha’ originates from the name of the chief female lay disciple of the Buddha, who was renowned for her generosity. Following her footsteps, the members of VAASOCAL have touched the lives of many. Financial help to renovate aging buildings like the hostel, the main auditorium and new constructions like the swimming pool, bathrooms and computer room at their Alma Mater, providing infra-structure facilities, scholar ships and school supplies to kids from poverty stricken rural areas of Sri Lanka, aid in constructing sanitary conveniences to disabled soldiers, aid to tsunami victims are among several projects that VAASOCAL members accomplished over the years on a ‘full voluntary’ basis.
It is my honor to be part of such an enigmatic team that has chosen to devout their precious time and energy for entirely benevolent causes, despite the countless self-centered alternatives available.
I am very excited about our new Project 'HOPE', which is centered on ‘cancer support’; Much needed help for a sad but very real epidemic that has affected us or someone near and dear to us at some point of time. Our aim is to raise money through a couple ‘mini’ fundraisers and a main event ‘Pahan Silu 2017’. The proceeds will be used in procuring surgical equipment for the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital in Sri Lanka and also helping cancer patients who are in need of financial assistance in obtaining mammograms for their cancer diagnosis. Proceedings from Project 'HOPE' will also be used in supporting a few current Visakhians through our ongoing scholarship program.
I am confident that the VAASOCAL members and their friends will unite yet again to bring about ‘positive’ change in the world by saving lives and giving hope to countless communities.