The Tony Hawks Children's Health Centre improves the life quality of chronically ill children from socially vulnerable families.

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"

Tony Hawks, writer and comedian, who has sponsored the Centre from its very beginning says:

“We are at a crossroads. The need for the centre to grow is overwhelming. Moldovan politicians are waking up to the fact that this kind of healthcare should be provided by the state – but a walk around the Children’s Hospital in Chisinau will reveal just how much money needs to be spent elsewhere – and the government just doesn’t have the money”

A purpose designed and built Centre has made a real difference to over 600 severely disabled and chronically ill children. Key objectives of the Centre are:

  • Improving access to a wider range of therapeutic care and family support services within one multidisciplinary therapy centre.
  • Creating a child-friendly, welcoming environment in which disabled children and parents have an improved and more integrated assessment of their needs
  • Avoiding duplication and unnecessary delays
  • Avoiding multiple visits and the need to retell their story many times
  • Avoiding isolation of children and parents (children benefit from being with other disabled children realising that their difficulties are not unique. Parents see they are not alone)
  • Ensuring that children and parents have their needs met more rapidly, appropriately and efficiently
  • Increasing the range of available therapies to include Hydrotherapy, occupational therapy and more intensive Speech and Language therapy
  • Ensuring that therapies or referrals for surgical interventions are introduced at the right time
  • Supporting more children and their parents - with larger premises and by structuring visits to the Centre more efficiently, we can increase the overall number of treatments
  • Specialists are together under one roof; e.g. while a child is receiving therapy a parent can consult a social worker
  • Creating more training facilities for specialist staff and parents. Already known for being a centre of excellence, practises can be shared and transferred
  • Laying a firm foundation from which this model can be replicated across the region

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.