Daria Navitovsky

Israel
Simple words and laughter became full of meaning when I gave it to a child who had just come back from the hospital

This summer, I had the incredible opportunity to volunteer as a part time volunteer at Save a Child’s Heart children house in Holon, Israel. I heard about this amazing organization approximately four years ago, and unfortunately couldn't volunteer sooner.

As soon as I reached out and had the chance to meet and speak with the amazing staff, I understood I came to the right place. Additionally, to its unbelievably great contribution, Save a Child's Heart has the most dedicated professionals. When I first arrived, the language barrier was a little bit overwhelming, but after less than an hour, the children and I had learned to communicate in other ways. Simple words and laughter became full of meaning when I gave it to a child who had just come back from the hospital or played with me in the garden when a child wanted a toy, he learned to tell me what he wanted it by pointing and it didn’t take long to understands everybody's preferences.

As my summer continued, the children and I learned to interact and connect. I created meaningful connections with many of the children by songs and games and with their amazing mothers. Mothers that come to a country that they didn't know, with a language that they do not understand, to get treatment that is not available to them in their country of origin. And then, a few weeks later, you get to see the children happy and going back to their countries to live healthy lives, made possible by Save a Child’s Heart.

One girl, named Alicia, was an example of that miracle. Back home she couldn’t leave her house run and play like a regular girl. She was quiet and shy. After she came to the SUCH house, and had her surgery, we couldn’t stop her! She run EVERYWHERE and had the greatest time.

Moments like these made me realize how important is to have an organization such as SACH. It is not only for treating the hearts of these children but for providing them with a place to grow and learn at the same time. I am currently studying medicine in Latvia, pursuing my goal to become a children's heart surgeon. As a medical student, I have the possibility to become a medical intern at Save a Child's Heart at the Wolfson Medical Center, another way to witness and see the organization's contribution in action I am grateful for my experience at SACH, and I am hoping it's not my last!