Phoebe Wasserstrom

United States

When people ask about my time at SACH, I always start with saying that I cried on my last day. Going into this summer, I was excited for the opportunity to live in Israel and gain some experience in the nonprofit world. While living in Israel was everything I expected it to be, the time I spent at SACH exceeded my expectations in ways that are hard to describe.

As I reflect on the time I spent at the children’s home, I immediately feel a smile on my face as I am reminded of all the joy I felt.  Each child I met had an immense impact on my experience. While a language barrier was present, it did not impede any of my relationships. Without ever communicating with words, I spent lots of time seeing Munawar and Mukrim grow. When I arrived, they were learning to crawl and hold themselves up, but by the time I left, the two were improving their walking skills.

Throughout my time at SACH, I was able to form extremely strong and unique connections with each of the patients. At the children’s home, I was able to witness Eliajah’s English improve, which is by far one of the highlights on my time I spent there. Upon his arrival, he was quiet and too shy to ask for things. By the time I left, he was striking up conversations with the other volunteers and patients.When l think about all the time I spent with SACH this summer, I am also happily reminded of my friend Liyabonga. On my first day, Liya was still awaiting surgery and showed me his favorite memory game. The following day, we played again. When he went to the hospital to receive his surgery, I was anxiously waiting for his return, but also unsure if his excitement to see me was mutual. When I walked into the gate about a week after his surgery, I was greeted by a smile as he ran to embrace me. It was at this moment I realized I was making a real difference in the children’s lives.

SACH is a wonderful organization that provides deserving children with a second chance at life. Despite being thousands of miles away from the children’s home today, part of my heart still resides in Holon along with every child I met there.