Maldivian NGO Tiny Hearts might have fallen short in its attempts to secure a place in the Guinness book of World Records, despite thousands of people turning up at Male’ National Stadium yesterday, yet the NGO said the event was nonetheless a great success for charitable aims in the country.
The NGO, which was formed back in 2009 to help local children suffering with Congenital Heart Defects (CHD), attempted to gather thousands of people into a heart shape to raise awareness about the number of Maldivians affected by the condition. The charity estimates that one person in every 100 born around the world suffers from a CHD.
According to organisers of late nights record attempt, the target number for participants needed to enter the record books was 11,708 – a figure corresponding to the date of the attempt July 8 2011 – with 4,665 turning up to be involved.
Although not sufficient to make the record books after several attempts yesterday evening, a spokesperson for tiny hearts said that as a means to create awareness and organise local people to a cause, the event was still a success for the group.
“Ultimately, we aimed to get as many people together as possible to raise awareness [about CHD] across the country. We therefore achieved our objective,” said the spokesperson. “We managed to organise thousands of people together for a single cause, with no salaried staff: this is a huge success.”
Yesterday’s event was designed as a means to celebrate two years of Tiny Hearts being registered as a charity in the country. Yet in looking ahead to its future goals, the NGO’s spokesperson said that it was not presently planning to renew its attempts to break into the record books – focusing instead on fundraising measures.
“Right now, we are trying to minimise costs in looking for events for funding,” the spokesperson said. “At present one surgery [for a local child] costs US$5,000, this does not include additional charges for transportation abroad. People affected by CHD are increasing all the time in a country. We have more than 200 children registered with the charity and there are likely to be an even larger number unregistered.”
Last year, a charity football match organised by the charity involving public figures and celebrities raised Rf265,000 (US$20,500) for patients.