The photographs you are about to view are mainly of children, from vastly different areas of the world, of all ages, colors and genders, who along with more than 3,700 others, were given the gift of life by Save a Child's Heart.
This humanitarian effort, based in the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, Israel, was founded by Dr. Ami Cohen in 1995, when he agreed to bring two Ethiopian children home to Israel to be operated upon by the staff, without pay, but with the approval of the hospital administration.
Since that time, despite his untimely death in 2001, Ami's vision has grown to encompass more than 3,700 children from 50 countries…and counting. Most are brought to Israel for surgery and housed in the SACH home near the hospital. SACH provides on-site training in all fields of pediatric cardiac care as part of their outreach program with partner hospitals across the globe. Every Tuesday, a cardiology clinic is held for Palestinian children from Gaza and the West Bank, who have been pre-screened.
The tireless staff undertake numerous medical missions to China, Ethiopia, Moldova, Jordan and elsewhere, where they evaluate patients and perform surgeries together with the local personnel. In order to be prepared for the varying standards in infrastructure and staff, they travel fully equipped for possible situation.
On occasion, some very inspired photographers have joined these missions. One has been volunteering since 2001 and arrives more than once a week… like clockwork… to photograph each child who comes to SACH, in the wards and out and anytime she is asked. All have been touched by the children they have met and the faces that greet them. This is their impression:
I documented SACH activity for over a year in which I followed Betty along with the other children in the group from their homes in Addis Ababa, through the surgery and recuperation in Israel. This documentary portrays not only the story of Betty and her family but also the story of SACH, the doctors, surgeons, nurses and volunteers. It also stands for all the other children and parents, those who suffer from problems like Betty's but who, unlike her, will not get the treatment that could save their lives. - Gilli Yarhi
Eli is the curator for the exhibition and created the SACH collage you see here. He began his photography studies in 1974 and from 1976 has been one of the leading industrial photographers in Israel. He has also been a guest lecturer since 1976 in colleges around the country. Beginning in 1985 he has held the post of senior staff teacher of the Photography studio at Wizo College of Art and Design in Haifa, where he resides.
He has exhibited his work in museums and colleges in Haifa and Tel Aviv and has won numerous awards throughout his long career. Eli has also had his work published on the internet and in photography journals and articles, commencing in 1975, with the British Journal of Photography. In 2004 he was chosen as house photographer of Packard Bell worldwide. Eli has volunteered his services to Save a Child's Heart.