Eliana Smooha


Eliana is currently pursuing her Master's Degree in Occupational Therapy at NYU.

From the minute I stepped foot at the Children’s Home, I was met by a large group of children eager to play with huge smiles and open arms. Within five minutes, my hair had already been braided on all ends by Claudia, my lap had become a comfy seat to Niema and Evalyne, and my arms were covered in stickers thanks to Roshelle. To say I felt a warm welcoming would be an understatement. However, this was only the beginning. Each time I entered the gates to the children’s home, I felt more at home myself. You could feel the love and excitement each child, mama, and nurse radiate throughout.

Eliana with Claudia and Evalyne

While I was nervous a language barrier could get in the way of having meaningful interactions with the children, I quickly realized I was mistaken. Instead, we were able to connect and understand each other through play, laughs and silly faces. I was humbled by how much love these kids had for me and I had for them, in such little time with such few words. During my time at SACH, I witnessed a quiet, reserved Niema flourish into a confident and bubbly little girl with an ever contagious laugh. Not only did Save a Child’s Heart give this young girl a chance at life, but also a chance to blossom and shine.

Eliana with Niema

Each day brought something new. Another game, craft, yoga class or dance party- there was truly never a dull moment; while I was meant to keep the children entertained, I found myself constantly amused by them, learning more and more about their traditions, languages and cultures - shout out to Claudia for showing me my new favorite song, Mi Amor!

I cannot express how gratifying it felt to be able to leave happier than I was when I arrived. Although exhausting at times, I have never felt so exhilarated. I am forever grateful to the SACH family for giving me the opportunity to open my heart to help better the lives of others.