When people ask me what I thought of my time in the SACH house, I tell them that it was honestly the best experience of my life, by far. I say this because of all the previous experiences that I have had (volunteer or otherwise), none have ever exposed me to such a level of community and cultural diversity at one time! From the moment you walk into the house, you will almost immediately notice the positive vibes as many of the children will run up to greet you. Most of the time you won’t even make it to the front door because the children will usually come outside to greet you first! When you see children that hail from different parts of the world and speak different languages happily playing together, it is hard not to smile and join in.
After spending so much time with these children and constantly seeing them play and smile, it becomes easy to forget why they are there in the first place. I believe that this was the idea behind the SACH house: to serve as an escape where they can continue to grow and develop while still receiving treatment. It is because of this that I am so thankful that I was given the opportunity to serve as a full-time volunteer and be a part of these children’s lives.
I’d have to say that the last night in the SACH house was by far my favorite when the Ethiopian families were celebrating Christmas together. That night, other families came by the house with traditional Ethiopian foods that they shared with everyone, including the other kids that weren’t from Ethiopia! After dinner when the guests left, the kids put on music and both the mothers and the children danced for hours and I could barely keep up with them! As hard as the last night was, the feeling of community had definitely lifted my spirits and made saying goodbye not as difficult.
Working with SACH was the best experience of my life thus far because the children in this organization helped me redefine the meaning of companionship and compassion. As I leave the house, I will take with me the memories that put a big smile on my face (as well as a few fun Swahili and Amharic phrases that the kids taught me too!).
To experience volunteering at Save a Child’s Heart like David, find more information on our website!