Eleven-year old Amelie Anderson hasn’t been fazed by the restrictions imposed by COVID-19, causing thousands of children across the country to study from home in recent months.Later this month, Amelie – from Richmond, Surrey – will undertake a sponsored walk over two days along the Thames tow-path, from Hampton Court Palace to Tower Bridge.The 60,000-step walk of 26 miles (42km) is the length of a full marathon and is in aid of the Save A Child’s Heart charity in Israel.“The heart of a healthy 12-year old girl [Bat Mitzvah age] beats approximately 60,000 times every 12 hours,” explains Amelie, who will be celebrating her Bat Mitzvah next summer. “My goal is to walk 60,000 steps to raise $15,000 (£11,500) to enable a child from a developing country to undergo life-saving heart surgery in Israel.”“I wanted to do something meaningful to mark my Bat Mitzvah, that will make a positive difference in other children’s lives,” says Amelie who is a pupil at The Green School for Girls in Isleworth.“I heard about the work of Save A Child’s Heart, and how they bring children with heart problems from developing countries around the world to Israel and give them an operation that they wouldn’t have been able to receive in their home country, to help them live, with a healthy heart. I think that’s amazing!”Amelie’s goal of $15,000 covers all medical care, as well as travel and accommodation for the child and a family member during the child’s stay at Save A Child’s Heart in Israel. Her campaign is part of a special project on tzedakah and tikkun olam she has been working on in the run-up to her Bat Mitzvah with her aunt who lives in Israel.Amelie corresponded with 13-year old Abay, from Ethiopia who recently underwent successful heart surgery with Save A Child’s Heart.“We discovered that we both enjoy Maths,” says Amelie, relating how, thanks to her surgery, Abay now looks forward to pursuing her dream of one day becoming a teacher.Proud grandparents Lynne and Tony Zeffert of Liverpool and Dr. Alan and Alison Anderson of Sheffield will be cheering her on from a distance.Amelie is the daughter of Dr. Chloe Zeffert-Anderson & Robert Anderson of Richmond who are members of Richmond Synagogue.Mum Chloe, who is a GP, says: “Despite the unprecedented challenges we are facing as a result of COVID-19, we shouldn’t forget the millions of children around the world who are suffering from life-threatening conditions, and who need urgent help.”“I am so proud that Amelie is marking this special milestone in her life by doing something to make such a profound difference to the life of another child and their family.”So far, Amelie has raised over £5,000 among family and friends. “But we still have a long way to go,” Amelie says with some trepidation. “I really hope that with people’s support I can reach my goal.”Uri Geller to gift art portfolio to highest donorIsraeli-British psychic and TV personality, Uri Gelller, heard about Amelie’s campaign and has gifted a collection of lithographs which will be awarded to the person who makes the highest donation to her campaign by December 31, 2020. Geller created the collection with Cypriot artist Andreas Charalambides.
More about Save A Child’s Heart
Save A Child’s Heart is an international, non-governmental humanitarian organisation, based in Wolfson Medical Centre, Israel. Since 1995, they have carried out over 5,400 life-saving procedures on children suffering from congenital and rheumatic heart disease from 62 countries and trained 125 doctors and clinicians.
Approximately 50% of the children are from the Palestinian Authority and Gaza, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Morocco, more than 40% are from Africa, and the remainder are from Asia, Eastern Europe and the Americas.
Save A Child’s Heart is a winner of the United Nations 2018 Population Award.