(Save a Child's Heart)
A 25-year-old man, Yared Worde, arrives in Israel on Sunday November 20 for a very special visit - this is Yared's first visit to Israel since his life was saved in 1999 by Save a Child's Heart, an Israeli-based international humanitarian project providing life-saving heart surgery for children from developing countries.
Born in 1984, Yared was an orphan who lived on the streets of Addis Abba scrounging for food and basic existence. When he was twelve, he was diagnosed as having rheumatic heart disease. Yared's doctor referred him to the Save a Child's Heart program and he was brought to Israel where he underwent life saving heart surgery. Today Yared is the Director of the Saint Yared School in Addis Abba, a school that fights poverty through education and provides education to the city's poorest and unprivileged children.
Two years ago, in 2009, Yared met a very ill young orphan named Tamaru, who was brought to the hospital in Addis Abba from his orphanage in north Ethiopia, because he desperately needed life-saving heart surgery. Yared immediately approached Save a Child's Heart for help. It took a few weeks until Tamaru was well enough to fly to Israel to undergo open heart surgery. During those weeks Yared personally took care of Tamaru. When Tamaru returned to Ethiopia after his successful surgery, Yared took him into his home in order for Tamaru to receive the necessary follow-up care.
Yared recently turned down a full paid scholarship to an American University for a Master's Degree because he believes it is more important that he remain in Ethiopia, run the school and give as many indigent children as possible the chance for a future through education. Yared is married to Netanyet and has a two month old baby girl named Anna Ami, who is named after the founder of Save a Child's Heart, the late Dr. Ami Cohen who operated on Yared and saved his life.
Visiting Save a Child's Heart in Israel this week, Yared met children from Ethiopia, Angola, Zanzibar, Uganda, Moldova, the Palestinian Authority and Iraq, who were all brought to israel to undergo life-saving heart surgery. Yared told them about his experience and encouraged them to be strong. Yared also met with the doctors who treated him when he was in Israel 13 years ago.
Antonio is a 7-year-old boy from Luanda, Angola, who has four brothers and one sister. He loves cars and has an appetite that never ends for anything ‘good and delicious'.
Hayat is 8 months old from Jimma, Ethiopia. She was diagnosed with congenital heart disease and came to Israel with her mother, Ganat, to receive treatment and undergo surgery. Hayat loves being the center of attention and shrieks with laughter when people smile and wave at her. She loves dancing with her arms to the music of Justin Bieber, and even though she is not strong enough to crawl, she scoots around on the floor by sliding backwards or with the help of a toy truck that she loves to ride.
Lawen is a 5-year-old girl from northern Iraq who is in Israel with her mother. With her active and vibrant personality, little Lawen made friends with everyone at the hospital very quickly. She is full of life and it is a delight to see her smile and play with everyone around her.