Wheelchairs delivered!

Dear donor:

So here we are again, over half a year since we launched our wheelchair campaign in the GlobalGiving March Accelerator and you made your life-changing donation to deliver wheelchairs to the poorest country in Europe. We did it!


The delightful news is that, with your help, we REACHED OUR CAMPAIGN GOAL! Additional funds came in after the campaign period and a total of 80 caring people helped us raise the full £5,000 | $7,235! And that covered the delivery cost of a total of 202reconditioned wheelchairs from the UK to Moldova, and then some!


Mid-September volunteers loaded 160wheelchairs together with over 1000pieces of specialised equipmentsuch as walker frames, toilet seats, commodes, crutches, and more in York, UK, On this occasion, MAD-Aid partnered with Physionet, an award-winning charity led by Peter Thomson, which also collects physiotherapy and mobility equipment and distributes it to developing countries across the globe. Physionet trustees and their volunteers alongside MAD-Aid volunteers did the physical loading into the truck. From the funds raised, MAD-Aid covered the expense of collecting and refurbishing the equipment, supplied the truck, and paid the trucking costs to Moldova. You can watch the loading in this one-minute video.


The truck arrived in Moldova just in time for the Marathon for All, the very first marathon organised in the capital Chisinau for wheelchairs users and other people with disabilities. It’s hard to believe this happened in Moldova, a country where just five years ago most people with special needs were totally isolated. This is inclusion! This is progress! Thanks to the timely appearance of these wheelchairs from the UK, a few more children and youth were able to take part in the marathon.


You’ll recall that in April we already sent off one full truckload with 42wheelchairs along with 20hospital beds and 20examination couchesthat were urgently needed.


In a separate campaign, in September MAD-Aid welcomed once more eight CHUWA trucks loaded with humanitarian aid—six from England and two from Ireland—to Moldova to deliver smiles to children. This semi-annual event is possible through the close partnership between MAD-Aid and Communication Workers Union Humanitarian Aid (CWUHA), where MAD-Aid coordinated the logistics and oversaw the distribution of aid to three centers, a hospital, and four villages.


MAD-Aid now turns attention to its third core program—establishing a modern elder care residence next to its already running day care centre for children with special needs. Phase 1 involves major capital renovations. You can learn more about this program (and how you can help, if so inclined) on our website or on our Facebook page (links below).


THANK YOU once again for believing in us—be assured that YOU have Made a Difference!

CAMPAIGN UPDATE: Deliver 200 UK Wheelchairs to Moldovan Youth


It’s difficult to accept that three months have already passed since we participated in the GlobalGiving March Accelerator Campaign. But it has, and much has happened in the world of MAD-Aid… This is just a brief update to THANK YOU again for believing in us and to let you know how YOU have Made a Difference!


With your help, we raised £4,278 / $5,982 of our £5,000 / $7,231 goal! And that covered the delivery cost of 165 reconditioned wheelchairs from the UK to Moldova.

In the month of April we sent off one full truckload with 42 wheelchairs along with 20 hospital beds and 20 examination couches urgently needed. The balance of chairs will be shipped end-July.


The 42 wheelchairs found overjoyed new users. Of the 30 standard chairs, 10 were delivered to Singerei District, 10 to Balti, and 10 to Edinet, all in northern Moldova.


Some children, unfortunately, have needs that cannot be accommodated even by a standard wheelchair. In this batch there were 12 highly specialised chairs used for optimal positioning of children with cerebral palsy and other severe cognitive or physical disabilities. Such chairs are very hard to get and usually cost around £2000 each even second-hand. Eight specialised chairs were delivered to a centre housing children with multiple severe disabilities. Four still remain to be distributed.


You know, a wheelchair completely changes the young lives of these children in Europe’s poorest country. Usually this will be the first time the children have ever had a wheelchair, thus changing not only their lives but those of their families, too.


Not only do these children reap the obvious benefit – physical mobility – these wheelchairs offer an opportunity for social inclusion for these youth and children who are typically used to living life completely isolated and hidden.


The other major advantage of mobility for these children is it gives them a chance at education, which in turn boosts their confidence and expands their horizons. They then have the same opportunities as able-bodied children.


In a separate campaign, on May 10, eight CHUWA trucks chock-full of humanitarian aid left the UK to drive the 2,000 mile trip to Moldova in order to deliver smiles to children. This is a high-energy semi-annual event executed in a close partnership between MAD-Aid and Communication Workers Union Humanitarian Aid (CWUHA).


Also aside, MAD-Aid founder Victoria Dunford took part in the First Annual Diaspora Forum of the Parliamentary Network on Diaspora Policies of the PACE in Geneva on May 18, 2018. Victoria presented MAD-Aid’s work and charity activities in Moldova, which will be used as best practices on how to empower diaspora members to contribute to the development of their countries of origin.

The march to Make a Difference goes on… and we’re grateful to have you join our mission!


A PEEK INTO WHAT MAD-Aid DOES… A personal account by Victoria

Ever wonder how MAD-Aid sends equipment and other aid?


Let me tell you in brief how our last few weeks went to get a truck of aid ready to go from Isle of Wight to Moldova.


It always starts with one of many phone calls. From NHS or a hospice, or perhaps a person who does not need a mobility scooter anymore.


“Victoria, we have 16 beds and 16 examination couches; come tomorrow to collect them.”


Right, this equipment weighs around three tonnes in total, about 120 kg for each bed. I know the beds are working because the electronic department checked them for us. So here comes the first hurdle – to find storage space. We negotiate with the hospital to keep everything in for another week while we scramble to locate more free space. Our regular storage of two 20ft containers is already chock full of specialised equipment and over 100 armrest patient leather chairs.


But we can’t lose the beds. We know how many rusty old beds there are in the Riscani hospital alone.


In the end, just two volunteers and I move those beds in one single evening into temporary storage.


The work continues. We need to raise funds because there is too much equipment and furniture and we need a shipment to go very soon. Got it. So the truck is booked, it’s ready to go. Volunteers for loading are lined up. The ferry ticket for Saturday is bought. The paperwork is almost ready. The plan looks great!


Well, if just life would be so easy. As one of my trustees reminded me, we make plans and God laughs at us.


Suddenly I get the call that there’s an issue with the truck: the driver needs to take a 45- hour rest starting Friday evening 21:00. This news comes to me on Friday at 12:30. Yep, Friday, when the truck is booked for the next day. As if bringing a 17-meter truck to Isle of Wight isn’t a challenge in itself. The options become clear: the truck arrives the same evening or we leave the loading for Monday, which when relying on volunteers is not ideal, as most of them work during the week.


Many phone calls later, we finally get one ferry slot booked at 17.00, arriving at the first point of loading at 18.00. We have three hours, four volunteers, and a forklift to load everything in three different places. Even the rain decides to indulge us and reminds that we are in England, pouring down quite heavily.


Within 30 minutes the first place was done – 17 beds and 60+ units of different mobility items (crutches, walking frames, bath chair, commodes, etc) loaded. We move to next place – 16 examination couches and few respiratory machines.


And here I think the day could end. We park the truck next to our two containers and return the next day with another group of volunteers. However, volunteer Dorin encourages everyone to carry on for another hour, even in rain.


You guessed it! We complete loading the contents of the remaining two containers in 50 minutes, stacking the aid up as high as possible to make sure to fit it all in the truck.


Soaking wet yet fulfilled and feeling accomplished, we all went home.


We also looked well after the truck driver for two days during his 45 hour rest period.


And with cheers he drove off to deliver the joy.


Stay tuned for next part of the story when we tell you where this wonderful equipment will
make a huge difference!


WIN-WIN for everyone!

WIN-WIN for everyone!


We are excited to announce that this week the MAD-Aid volunteers based on Isle of Wight managed to collect vital equipment from St Marys Hospital and Early Mountbatten Hospice. We would like to express our gratitude to these organisation for servicing and donating to us many tonnes of re-usable equipment.


The 20 beds, examination couches, bathroom chairs, patient chairs, respiratory machines and much other disabled equipment are getting ready to be delivered to Moldova.


You can contribute to support paying for transport or volunteer for loading the truck.


MAD-Aid’s efforts are a triple win for everyone; the NHS and Hospice are saving money and getting the feel-good factor by donating equipment, the equipment does not have to go to landfill, and many people and hospital wards in Moldova will benefit from it years to come


You can be part of Make A Difference!



MAD-Aid Opens New HQ in East Cowes

MAD-Aid, the Isle of Wight’s only medical aids collection and redistribution charity, is excited to announce the opening of its new headquarters on York Avenue, East Cowes, on 22nd of March.


MAD-Aid provides a unique service — we take redundant / out-of-date medical equipment that the NHS cannot use anymore, reconditions where necessary, and then distributes it to hospitals and disabled and needy children in Moldova. Our service of collecting the equipment from them helps Island healthcare providers save the expense of disposing it, and then also helps save the environment.


On our first day of opening, we were visited by Councillor Karl Love, MAD-Aid trustees and volunteers, and members of local businesses.


Victoria Dunford, founder of MAD-Aid, who was awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s 2016 New Year’s Honours list, said: “This is an important milestone in our journey. As populations get older and technology moves on, we anticipate there will be an increased need for our service on the Island. The new centre will enable us to collect more medical aids from healthcare organizations around the Island in a more efficient way.”


Victoria continued: “In the five years we have been operating, we have already collected and redistributed over 350 tonnes of medical equipment, saving Island organizations storage, disposal and transportation costs. By re-using this equipment elsewhere we prevent it going to landfill here on the Island or in UK. This reduces the environmental impact of medical aid disposal, as some items can take over 30 years to breakdown, such as battery operated wheelchairs that would otherwise need specialist disposal.”


MAD-Aid specialises in the collection and subsequent onward delivery of unwanted medical aids, for example, wheelchairs, walking frames, beds, bedside lockers, crutches, as well as supporting a number of other programmes, such as delivering unwanted hotel beds to orphanages in developing countries.


The new HQ also has a shop window, selling hand crafted items offered in partnership with sabirian.com, hand crafted items made by children at our Phoenix Centre in Moldova, and Isle of Wight landscape canvasses provided by our trustee, Ann Lewis.





Deliver 200 UK Wheelchairs to Moldovan Youth

There are 1000s of children who rarely see the sky, homebound, for the mere lack of a wheelchair. With your help, we can, for GBP26 / USD36 a child, equip 200+ poor Moldovan youth with refurbished UK wheelchairs, giving them mobility, social inclusion, and access to education. The project is win-win: for the UK healthcare sector that saves on the disposal expense, funds that can better be used for patient care, and for the Moldovan youth who are given a chance at a brighter, more joyful future.


WE NEED ***YOUR*** HELP! Support us NOW, today, because a strong kick-off day will make MAD-Aid a permanent partner on GlobalGiving, which opens other doors to raising funds for us to deliver more medical aid and equipment to hospitals in one of the poorest countries in Europe.


CLICK and DONATE now. Oh, and share this campaign with family and friends.



Get MAD!

The Life and Times of a Mad Woman
By Victoria Dunford, BEM




GET MAD! is a book to mark the 5-year anniversary of MAD-Aid, the organization based on Isle of Wight that has transformed the lives of thousands of people in Moldova, Romania, Belarus, Bulgaria, and Africa. Victoria Dunford, founder of the charity, wrote her memoir to inspire other people around the globe to do the same.


The launch of the book coincides with the anniversary event, a charity ball Once Upon a Time, on 14th of October 2017 on Isle of Wight, Great Britain.


Once Upon a Time event brought together 70 guests, of whom over 40 were Moldovan born living in all parts of Great Britain.


The event was sponsored by Taxace LTD and Ocavia Limited, companies managed by Moldova-born Iurie Bivol, who also is a trustee of MAD-Ai. Another sponsor to whome we thankfull are PC Consultants and Mermaid Services IOW.


The guests were impressed by our performers Iurie Sula, Ecaterina Cîrlan, Rhys Morris, Elena Sava, Robert Tollow. The anniversary cake was made by Olga Ursu, and the room decorated by Vio Silistra.


On the volunteer team we had: Veaceslav Neaga, Doinelu Busmachiu, Dorin Vacarciuc, Dina Vacarciuc, Trofim Vladic, Mihaela Pavlenco. The staff at Lakeside Park Hotel & Spa looked after everyone very nicely; thank you Khalid Elbalat and Melanie for managing it.


Special thanks also to Cwu Humanitarian Aid members who took part in the event. Julie Dowd is the one who managed to raise so much with the auction, including selling Victoria’s “Get MAD!” book.


The event raised around £2500 that will be used for Phoenix Centre, the centre for children with special needs in the north of Moldova.


The first “Get Mad!” book sold for £250 in an auction battle between Vadim Turcanu and Vilen Murzac, Vadim won and donated the book to the Embassy of the Republic of Moldova in London.



“GET MAD!” is about how Victoria went mad about injustice, mad about poverty, mad about education and transformation. As a great believer that change starts with every single one of us, she got up, brushed off her insecurities, stopped her whining, and converted her MAD to Making A Difference!


Within just five years, Victoria managed to break barriers, push stereotypes aside, and prove that life is in our hands; we can be the change we want in the world. Despite thousands of bureaucratic obstacles and challenges, she carried on, built a door every time she hit a brick wall, and put humanity ahead of everything.


“’Working in Moldova, the ex-Soviet country, is going to be impossible,’ was the common refrain I heard. I will just try and see for myself.”


Phil Batson, the former British Ambassador to Moldova said in his forward: “Victoria has turned on its head the notion that individuals cannot deliver positive change against the weight of the authorities and social stigmas.”


Is she stopping here? Of course not.
Were the government hurdles deal breakers? Not if you don’t let them.


Read her story. You will see that you can do the same, and learn step-by-step how to do it.

Buy the Book!

All the proceeds from the book will go to support MAD-Aid programs.

Be Inspired!

MAD-Aid started in 2012 with a MAD Moldovan woman living in the United Kingdom. That is as in MAD – passionate – about giving back to her country of origin.


MAD-Aid has been able to flourish only with support of many people who care – trustees and supporters – and has aimed to involve more Moldovans.


In 2015 alongside the existing trustee, Iurii Bivol, a Moldovan and self-made businessman in London, joined MAD-Aid’s board of trustees.


And now, in 2017, MAD-Aid steps into yet another era – with yet another great Moldovan supporter. Meet Vadim Turcanu – a serial entrepreneur and author.

Vadim, so much like everyone else at MAD-Aid, wants to make a difference in Moldova. He only learned about our charity a few months ago and immediately he generously offered to donate the sales proceeds of his first 100 books – a limited edition – to MAD-Aid.


Buy Here


Please donate the minimum of £30 and Vadim personally will sign and ship you the book.


You can help both yourself and the mission of MAD-Aid by pressing the link and buying a signed copy of Vadim’s book. Be assured it will inspire and change your life.


In “No One’s Business” a courageous young man from Moldova walks for six months to reach a destination he knows nothing about, a new country, where even going to prison is a better option than what he left behind…


Vadim Turcanu is a successful entrepreneur, judo champion and philanthropist who shares his own vision to make better life choices. The author shares his true story as it happened to him, about when he walked barefoot for six months with nothing but his own dream to be a winner at the game of life.


If you are thinking, “why do I need to know his story?” the answer is very simple: you can learn more about who you are and how to overcome limiting beliefs and social conditioning. But the key message of this book is that you are a migrant yourself, even if you have never left the comfort of your home to look for a better life, even after you have achieved what was expected of you, because you still have the right to be curious about who you are and what is obtainable when you open your mind to other people’s experience. You learn what they did to become so successful.


You see, migration is not only about geography; it’s not limited to moving from a village to a city, or from one country to another. It’s about transforming from where you are in your life at present to where you want to be.


PS: When buying the book please insert your mail and address so we can post it quickly. Thank you

Happy New Year from all of us at MAD-Aid!

2016 has been a challenging year globally, and for us too. Despite the challenges, we’ve carried on Making a Difference to the people in Moldova that we support.

Here are some of the things we achieved in 2016

We sent three trucks full of Aid and delivered their contents to the local hospital in Riscani, to disabled people in the North of Moldova, to the Mother and Child Hospital, Care Home in Riscani, and to other vulnerable people in the community.


The Phoenix Centre has continued to transform the lives of the children who use it. They are becoming personalities, full of life, having fun and making friends. For the first time in their lives they have been out on a variety of excursions, from a trip to the local swimming bath to a visit to a Pizza restaurant.


34 children have benefitted from Phoenix, through over 1800 visits. They receive education, activities, transport to and from home, food, love and care. Thanks to our Partners and the local community, each child received 7 Christmas presents. They have lived in isolation for so long, we’re pleased to have facilitated this for them.


We also opened the Phoenix Centre inclusive playground, the first of its type in the Country, which has a range of disability-friendly play options.


The Early Intervention and Rehabilitation Centre has provided therapies for 120 children in nearly 1300 therapy sessions. The therapy treatments were tailored to the needs of each child and therefore varied in length and complexity.


26 children have been assessed by a British orthopaedic specialist, Dr Bassel El-Osta, who donated his time and funded his own travel to help these children. Eight of them have surgery programmed for April 2017 with Doctor El-Osta alongside a Moldovan surgical team. Other children were sent for further investigation, and some have had therapy specially tailored for them, to be given at the Early Intervention Centre.


We have set up a Volunteer Programme to help the centre run more effectively.
In partnership with other organisations, we have sent aid to Romania, Africa and Ukraine. We also assisted the Communication Workers Humanitarian Aid (CWUHA) in sending 2 humanitarian aid convoys to Moldova, a total of 12 trucks.


Last but not least, we created a new partnership with Dent Aid. From 2017, they will work in Moldova providing dental equipment, training and volunteers.

MAD-Aid’s 2017 started with sad news and great news.

One of our founding trustees, our Treasurer John Barnes, passed away on New Year’s Day. John was at the heart of the charity, always professional, fun to be with, helpful and determined. We will miss him hugely and it will be hard to learn to go on without him. He was with us at our last Trustee meeting in November 2016, and throughout our development to date, he had kept our accounts meticulously.


John visited Moldova for our opening in 2015, and intended to return. We will remember his contribution to MAD-Aid with huge gratitude and appreciation, and we are very sad to lose him.


  John Barnes, former trustee


Our exciting news is that our founder, Victoria Dunford has been nominated for a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List for services to children with disabilities in northern Moldova. This is a huge honour for MAD-Aid and reflects the work and support of all of you.



Thank you for being with us during 2016. We hope to inspire you to stay for many years to come.

Wishing you a happy, healthy and fulfilling year ahead.