Is that a long period or a short one?!

Today, August 2, MAD-Aid celebrates seven years of charitable work. Over these many years we can emphatically say that we learned how to run before we allowed ourselves to walk. Not what we would suggest, looking back, but somehow we made it through.

From the start, the vision and aim of Victoria, the founder and locomotive of MAD-Aid, was to offer help where it was most needed, to leave a legacy, and, most importantly, as each program was designed and implemented, to eventually make them all sustainable. At the seven year mark we can assess how that’s all going.

The MAD-Aid name came from Medical Aid Delivered and Make A Difference.

Yet what MAD-Aid has accomplished in its first seven years is so much more than deliver a few trucks of medical aid or solve a few needy cases. Rather, we meaningfully touched thousands of lives. We can’t tell you the exact number but behind each number there is a story to tell, there is a human life.

Every program, every project undertaken, was built on lessons learned and from listening deeply to the real needs and points of pain of ordinary Moldovans on the ground.

Will you come take a walk through MAD-Aid’s memory lane with us?

If you’ve been with us since the beginning in 2012, you know that it all started with the “simple” idea of sending discarded and usable hospital equipment from the United Kingdom to Moldova, Victoria’s land of birth, and to other poor European nations. This first core program of medical aid delivery is still going strong and to date MAD-Aid has:

Our second core program responded to our discovery that hundreds of children in Moldova languished lonely and in the darkness of their bedrooms because they had no means to be mobile and their parents were poor and ashamed. Thus we embarked on the arduous road of securing space, raising funds and donations in kind, and renovating an old dilapidated kindergarten to build the world-class Phoenix Centre. After opening its doors in the fall of 2015, we:

With the rich experience of Phoenix Centre under our belts we thought setting up our third core program would be a relative cake walk. We couldn’t have been more wrong. Repairing the second half of the dilapidated kindergarten structure into the first model care facility for elders has entailed a multitude of challenges, not least of which was raising the needed funds. It stretched the personal energy and inner resources of Victoria to the max.

With many helping hands and generous donors and partners, we are proud to have met our self-imposed deadline of June 22 this year for the soft launch of Phoenix Home. Our celebration of the completion of the renovations was indeed a joyful one, attended by so many supporters.

Much work remains to be done before the doors can be completely opened to elderly residents in September. This work includes all the tasks involved in hiring and training up to 25 additional local professionals and staff, drafting work processes, and further fundraising. We warmly welcome you to volunteer your time and skills in any of these areas.

Why is this program so important to us? Because it is Phoenix Home that we plan will eventually sustain the expenses of operating Phoenix Centre, and, remember, sustainability was the aim from the beginning. This residence for elders will provide professional yet family-style care in clean, comfortable, and fully accessible premises for comparatively reasonable fees in a global market where demand for senior facilities is high. Run as a social enterprise (non-profit), part of the income generated will help run the day centre for poor youth with special needs. That makes Phoenix Home a unique model that can be replicated not only in Moldova, but elsewhere.

The fourth core program that will complete our dream of the Phoenix Complex is the building of the first fully accessible hydrotherapy pool in Moldova. To complete the Phoenix Pool, we still urgently need and rely on your help and support (click to donate now).

The vision of the Phoenix Complex would not have been realized at the fast pace it has without MAD-Aid’s close partnership started in 2014 with Communication Workers Union Humanitarian Aid (CWUHA). Thanks to this special collaboration, together we’ve completed these additional projects:

Throughout this journey, we have deeply appreciated the remarkable support of our steadfast board of trustees, the many open-handed individual and organisational partners, sponsors and donors, and the dedicated volunteers. We make special mention with gratitude of our collaborations with ChildAid, Sustainable Partners, PhysioNet, and most recently, The Little Edi Foundation. Last, but certainly not least, our heartfelt thanks to the devoted team of Moldova AID, MAD-Aid’s feet on the ground in Moldova, without whom none of our work would have been possible.

If you haven’t already, we warmly invite you to join our social media presence. We have built vibrant Facebook pages with over 2200 followers for MAD-Aid and 1100 for Phoenix Centre, as well as a MAD-Aid group of nearly 900 members. On these FB pages and on MAD-Aid’s YouTube channel you will find the photos and videos that record the difference we have made together.

Sadly, raising funds to achieve all our accomplishments has been—and remains—the most stressful and time-consuming of our work. We therefore created MADclub and are slowly building a growing membership of people who became part of the MAD-Aid family. These good folks see merit in giving monthly in order to invest in the long-term viability of MAD-Aid’s core programs and to provide an ongoing predictable cash flow that enables us to focus on serving. There lots of room in this club still and you can join here.

So looking back at all this we can admit that for us at MAD-Aid the past seven years feel both like a lifetime and a blink of the eyes. Will you continue on this journey with us for the next seven years?

Thank you for helping MAD-Aid Make A Difference.

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