We're working hard to transform the lives of disabled children across the UK, supporting them to become confident and independent young adults.
MAD-Aid’s founder, Victoria Dunford, was born and raised in Moldova, rated by the World Bank as the poorest country in Europe. After completing her degree and Masters in Moldova, Victoria had the opportunity to come to the UK for a year. She met her husband, and stayed, but Moldova remains her home country and her love.
The stories behind MAD-Aid:
Once part of the Soviet Union, Moldova lost a huge part of its infrastructure when the Soviet Union collapsed. Not long ago, Victoria’s mother had surgery in a local Moldovan hospital. To Victoria, the thin, stained mattresses on rigid iron beds, the chipped tiles, the lack of hot water and the blood-pressure meter with three holes in it were normal. It was only later, when she started work in a UK hospital on the Isle of Wight, that she realised just how different a modern hospital could be.
UK hospitals spend millions of pounds each year updating equipment so that they can stay at the cutting edge of healthcare. There is no room to keep the old equipment, and it either goes into storage, at great expense, or the hospital pays for it to be taken away and disposed of. Victoria thought of that poorly equipped Moldovan hospital with its leaky blood pressure meters, and said “We must be able to do something to get that equipment to where it is needed.” The hospitals she spoke to agreed, and MAD-Aid was formed.
And that wasn’t all. When she was young, Victoria believed Moldova had no children with disabilities. They were there, but they were invisible. Because mobility aids are almost non-existent, children with mobility problems cannot access education unless their parents can afford to pay for private tuition in their home. These isolated children become isolated adults, trapped at home alone for long periods, and lacking the support they need.
And so we are looking for ways to help end this isolation, by improving mobility and creating education and health centres.