The Tony Hawks Children's Health Centre improves the life quality of chronically ill children from socially vulnerable families.
Despite some improvements, socio-medical care in Moldova (Europe’s poorest nation) over the last 15 years many parents of children with special needs still face indifference at best, direct discrimination at worse. Ignored by healthcare professionals, negative stereotyping, stigma against children living with disabilities, requirement to pay bribes for treatment all have and still do violate the fundamental rights of the children.
With many families being single parents, either through abandonment of one partner due to the child’s disability, or one parent working abroad, poverty is frequently observed amongst the families served by the centre.
By working with parents of young children, the Centre is able to give a hope to the family and prevent the child being abandoned to a life locked away in an institution.
Through rehabilitation and parental education, the Centre facilitates the children's integration into society. The aim is to optimise the child’s potential for the future through physical control and development of their young bodies.
One parents says: "You are saving lives. You make tomorrow happy, especially for our children"
ChildAid, in conjunction with The Tony Hawks Centre and one of our other partners in Moldova, The Phoenix Centre, are working to introduce paediatric occupational therapy into Moldova as a known and accepted therapy practice.
Bogdan was "written off"
At the opening of the new therapy centre Bogdan walked across the therapy hall in his school uniform to hug Dr Diana Covalciuc. Ten years ago when he first started attending the Centre the medical profession had written him off and told his parents he would never walk and that they should abandon him. Ten years ago it would have been illegal for him to attend school. Thanks to the dedication of the staff over those years, Bogdan can now walk and thanks to another of ChildAid’s partners in Moldova mainstream education is open to children living with disabilities.
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