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Little Hearts, a Project Funded Mainly by Saudi Donors, Is Saving Children’s Lives and Aiming for a World Record

One project has been gaining traction across the globe and, in the process, is now aiming to set a unique world record. Little Hearts, an initiative created to provide children who have congenital heart disease (CHD) with life-saving treatment, has set its sights this year on a very specific record – the Guinness.

According to Arab News, the project, which is mainly funded by Saudi Arabian donors, is aiming to grow its impact over the next three years by helping to increase capacity in hospitals and cardiac centers in developing nations. In order to raise the funds needed for this goal, it is looking to raise awareness and gain international recognition by launching a Guinness World Record attempt to create the largest-ever online photo gallery.

Little Hearts team in Bangladesh

Speaking to the news site, Reza Malik, the fundraising officer for Little Hearts, explained, “The Guinness World record itself is to get 60,000 photos of individuals making the heart gesture, which just fits perfectly with the campaign, as every heart deserves to beat […] We want to set ourselves a target of a year.”

Little Hearts is a project under the global humanitarian charity Muntada Aid, which operates in some of the world’s most vulnerable places, aiding communities affected by disasters, conflicts, and poverty. The project’s overall mission has always been to offer support, education, and hope to families anywhere in the world affected by CHD through its support services, and to promote public awareness for this number one birth defect. Little Hearts provides free life-saving cardiac surgery, which can cost over $1,800 per child, and interventional cardiac catheterization for children with CHD from underprivileged families.

“Initially a lot of the funding for the project, when it was first initiated, was from philanthropists from the Middle East, primarily Saudi Arabia,” Malik said. “Now we want to take this global. We want to take the Little Hearts mission and the cause of children with congenital heart defects and to turn that into a visible, viable issue and concern for the international community — from the UN to governments themselves.”

“The campaign has two aims; one to raise awareness of the plight of children suffering with congenital heart disease; secondly to give it that platform and visibility on an international stage and among high-level governments and within the United Nations so we can engage and say these are the solutions, now there needs to be action and finances,” he continued.

“You can’t expect the general public to be pooling together these resources, because they are not cheap. We know there is funding for public health care infrastructure. Let’s give it its due. Because those 1.4 million children deserve that.” 

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