In 2004, Petra Nemcova fell victim to the devastating tsunami disaster in Thailand. Severely injured and separated from her fiance, she held on to a tree for over eight hours before help arrived.
However, more than her injuries, she says she was impacted most by hearing cries of help she could not answer.
"I was not able to help those children," Nemcova told ABC News. "You heard them screaming for help and after some time you couldn't hear their voices anymore."
Soon after her recovery, she was moved to action. Nemcova founded the Happy Hearts Fund to help children regain access to education after natural disasters. Thus far, her organization has helped rebuild at least 50 children education centers in nine countries.
This year, the Happy Hearts Fund opened a school in Haiti, reports ABC News.
As 50 percent of Haiti's children do not attend school, Nemcova hopes to encourage Haiti to invest in its next generation.
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