After not having visited SACH in almost a year, I was very excited to be back visiting Save a Child's Heart. The new children’s home continues to amaze me with its warmth and spaciousness, providing an inviting and comfortable space for the children and their families to eat, play, relax, and enjoy their time while recovering from surgery. On this particular visit I met a young boy from Tanzania, who proceeded to give me his personal tour of the house, taking me by the hand and walking my outside and around the house, all the while telling me “kum”, which I understood to be come or some iteration of “follow me.” As always the best part of the visit were these interactions - individual conversations and connections that make truly tangible the life-saving work of SACH. Each surgery is a child, each child is a story, each story is special. I enjoyed every minute of my time at SACH and the visit re-energized me for the all activities in the works for SACH Young Leadership.
Save A Childs Heart (SACH) is a unique nonprofit organization that helps provide vital heart surgery to children from developing countries. These children are brought to Israel & are provided state-of-the art medical care, all free of charge. SACH actually saved these children's lives.
I was lucky enough to learn about Save a Child's Heart this summer by volunteering in Israel where children who benefit from this foundation are treated. What striked me the most was that this charity truly follows a no strings attached policy. Despite Israel's relations with the Middle East or various countries, there is no discrimination as to the origin of the children chosen for treament. Save a Child's Heart selflessly gives underprivelaged children a chance at having a healthy long life, and after witnessing this first hand I left with a new found inspiration to get involved and continue volunteering.
When I heard about Save a Child's Heart through friends, I knew it was something I needed to look into. After being in Israel for some time I realize that I have made a lot of big changes in my life this year but there are two things above all else that I am absolutely sure of. The first is that with every day I fall in love with Israel a little more. The second is that coming to volunteer my time at SACH has been one of the most valuable experiences of my life. From the moment I entered the Children's home for the first time I was in love. The children are thousands of miles away from home and have every reason in the world to be frightened and yet they are warm and welcoming. Minutes after I arrived there were games and hugs and laughs galore. Days went by and then weeks and I felt like I couldn’t get enough of these children. I started off volunteering twice a week and realized very soon that I was getting more from them than they were from me. I had to be here more, those two days weren’t enough. Even now being here four or five days a week seems like no time at all. The strength and perseverance of these children is astonishing. I had never felt such a fierce passion for a cause that I had been introduced to so abruptly. With other things going on around me, I noticed that I had renewed sense of gratitude in all aspects of my life. There is no greater feeling than to wake up in the morning and love how you are investing your time and effort. I didn’t just want to become more involved, I needed to. With the help of the wonderful staff, I was able to find an internship opportunity where I could help behind the scenes and contribute my efforts so that the opportunity for a long, healthy life would be a reality for more children.
I'll never forget the day that I had the opportunity to go with another volunteer and take two nurses from Zanzibar and Tanzania to Jerusalem. They told us that it was an experience that they believed would always be out of their reach. There were so many things in the beautiful city that they had never seen before. I had never seen two people so excited to be in an elevator. We walked around in the old city and visited Al Asq; as religious muslim woman it was an extremely emotional experience to be visiting to such a holy site. I was witnessing a life changing moment for them and I couldn't have been spending my time with two people who were more grateful. These women were away from their families, in a foreign country, caring for other people's children and yet they were elated. That day they bestowed upon me the great gift of tolerance. I have always considered myself an open-minded person but I was able to further indulge in the beautiful aspects of Islamic traditions from a respectful distance. I am certain that they will never forget their spiritual experience in Jerusalem and neither will I.
Before SACH, I don't think I truly understood how much a hug and a nice word could mean to another person. In a scary place full of unknowns, a familiar face is the greatest of all things, it surmounts any language barrier or difference in skin color, nationality, religion. Anything. A smile and a hug trumps all.
In particular there is one child that has touched my heart forever. Her name is Kadija, she is a beautiful 6-year old girl from Angola. I have never felt such a strong connection with a child as I do with her. This gorgeous girl has a glow about her; she has such passion and such a fiery spirit. Not only is she beautiful but she is perceptive and thoughtful. Before her surgery she was so expressive in her desire to be healthy. She was always letting me know when she would be going to the hospital, touching her chest and giving me a big smile and a thumbs up. If you don't find her learning a new language by mimicking everyone around her, she will most definitely be with the smaller children. Ever the facilitator, she will be starting games, comforting the crying toddlers. While I always had a special place for her, one afternoon I was getting ready to leave and she ran up to me, pulled me close to her and whispered, "thank you." Only when I believe that I couldn’t love the children anymore, they remind me why I invest so much time in SACH.
The children are leaving Israel with a healthy heart and I also feel like I leave here every day with a heart that is just a little stronger. My capacity to appreciate, love and empathize has grown infinite amounts. I can attribute this growth all to the beautiful children of Save a Child's Heart.
After working with SACH for about 4 months, I have realized that I now want to look into a masters program that focuses on International Public Health. This organization has truly changed my life forever. This organization is not only organized, but all of the staff work together as team and all actions and initiatives are transparent through the hardworking members of the SACH team.
There is no organization that has had a greater impact on my life as a future physician than Save a Childs Heart. We exist in a world where we strive for peace and understanding both in the middle east and around the world. At SACH children from all around the world, including many enemy states of Israel, are given world class cardiac care free of cost. Far greater than the life that is saved is the seed of compassion and love that is planted in the midst of chaos and hate. Jewish tradition teaches that to save one life is to save the world, there is nowhere where this is embodied more than Save a Childs Heart.
I've worked for Save a Child's Heart for almost two years. This is an amazing organization that works non-stop to save the lives of children in need. Working in the Israeli office allowed me to meet the children that have come for treatment. It is amazing to see them arrive sick and tired, and leave laughing and jumping around. As a worker, I also had the opportunity to travel to Zanzibar with the doctors on a Medical Mission and see first hand the amazing work SACH does, not only in saving lives of children but also in training doctors from developing countries, so they can continue the work back home.
This is an organization that literally saves lives every week. Children arrive who are sick and for somehow unentitled to the miraculous gifts of childhood, but by the time they leave they are able to run, play, tease, and enjoy life. This is not only because of the medical care they receive here, but also because of the nurturing care and love they are given by the many volunteers before, during, and after their surgical treatments. People come together here, and children leave healed and happy. It happens every week, and every week I become more and more inspired by the Save A Child's Heart Cause.
I have been involved at Save a Child's Heart for years now, as an employee turned biggest fan and advocate. I admire the organizations approach to leaving politics, race and boarders behind and treating each child with the love and care they deserve. They have changed the lives of so many - providing a second chance at life and a chance for a better future for entire communities.
From the second I learned about Save A Child's Heart (SACH) I knew I had found something that truly mattered to me. Since that time my love for the work done at SACH has only grown. SACH is an organization which brings children from developing countries all over the world to Israel for life saving, and FREE open heart surgery. Children from all over the world are saved by the tireless work done by the doctors who perform these operations with no monetary gain for themselves. The feeling of home and family seeps into every aspect of this organization. I feel truly blessed that it has become such an important aspect of my every day life.
I donate and volunteer for Save a Child’s Heart because the organization constantly inspires me. Their mission is simple, they are transparent with their spending, and so many people volunteer their time to save children. I couldn’t write enough good things about this organization.