My name is Talia Edelman, and I was a full-time volunteer at Save a Child’s Heart. I feel truly privileged to have spent a week at SACH and be part of the children’s life stories. I had not expected to develop such strong relationships with the children, their mothers, and the other volunteers in such a short time. But once I left and received WhatsApp’s from the moms and kids, I realised how deep a connection we formed.
The home is really the most special place on earth. There’s something about it that allows complete strangers to become friends instantly, whether it’s the kids, their moms, the other volunteers, or the doctors who live at the home. Two hours into my first day, there was a group that visited the home. I sat down to watch the SACH video with the group and 5 of the kids came and sat my lap or next to me like we’ve been playing together for weeks. The next day, a few of the kids went for a checkup at the hospital. When they returned, I got a huge hug from each mom like we were best friends, even though we only met the day before.
During my time there, a large group of kids and their moms returned back to Ethiopia. Seeing them leave left me with mixed emotions – I was incredibly excited for them to go home but I would really miss them. My favourite moments at SACH were the evenings on my last few nights at the home when there were just 4 older kids still at the home. That was my time to really bond and hang out with Mati, Denis, Rose, and Kennedy. We would chat about our favourite activities, their friends and families and of course they would teach me Swahili. I think that Rose painted my nails 5 times while I was there!
Spending time at SACH was such an incredible opportunity and I’m looking forward to bringing my memories and experiences to the SACH branch in New York and to invest myself in starting a SACH club at my college. The memories from my time at Save a Child’s Heart will stick with me forever, and I hope to spread the love for helping these amazing children!