Isabel Kennedy

In 2015, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit Save A Child’s Heart with my
summer camp and learn about the organization, as well as volunteer with the children for a day. The second I walked out of the welcome gates that afternoon, I texted my parents and told them that no matter what, I would come back and work with SACH in the future. This summer, I was finally able to return as a part time volunteer. Immediately embraced by everyone there, I was able to make connections with families from across the world that I know will last a long time. I realized that through the smallest toys and material items, we were able to make inseparable bonds and despite the language barrier present, our physical play and communication was just as meaningful as verbal interactions.

The first day at SACH, I wore my large fashion sunglasses which were immediately taken and passed from child to child, especially loved by three boys from Zanzibar and Tanzania: Abdulluh, Zaharani, and Khamis. We laughed while we bonded over their incredible modelling skills and spontaneous photo shoots that we held across the SACH lawn and house. This tradition of bringing these glasses lasted over the full month I was there, and it was expected that selfies would be taken and posted on SnapChat every day. As I watched these boys move in and out of the hospital, receiving surgery and echoes, their spirits remained high and their smiles continued to radiate. The most incredible fact for me was that  not a single one of these boys came with their mothers, despite being young teens, and not only quickly embraced each other but also reached out to the younger kids around them as well who
were receiving medical treatment.

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