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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Giving Thanks for A Real Hero

Thanksgiving is a time for counting blessings and for stopping for a minute (before or after the pumpkin pie) to notice the good things in our lives.  I’m looking forward to being with my family and can’t wait for pumpkin-sticky hugs from my grandchildren---that’s always something to be grateful for, only slightly dependent on whether my clothes can be washed or need dry cleaning.

This year I’ll stop to notice and give thanks for how healthy all the children are, because this week I had the chance to witness a Real Life Hero and hear the inspiring story of her work with mothers and children who now have a chance of a healthy life.

Robin Lim is this year’s CNN Hero Of The Year. I had known about Robin, but when I heard her telling the stories of her mission to reduce maternal and child mortality rates in Bali and Indonesia I knew I was in the presence of a hero, if not a saint.

Ibu (Mother) Robin began providing free health services for pregnant women in 1994, after her sister tragically died in childbirth. She studied to be a midwife, and when she moved to Bali, started caring for pregnant women out of her home in a small village. The women could not afford decent food, let alone health care, and the mortality rates were shockingly high. It was common practice for babies to be taken away from the mother if they could not pay for their hospital bill for the birth.

 In 2005 The Bumi Sehat Foundation became officially incorporated as a health clinic, and now offers general health services and gentle birthing services to over 17,000 people  a year who come from all over Indonesia, and other countries, to have their babies in a loving and supportive environment. 

The motto of Bumi Sehat Foundation International is “Gentle Birth Heals Mother Earth.”  These gentle birthing practices put mothers and families at the center of the birthing process and help to give the children a healthy start in life.

Of course there is still need for support to keep the project going and growing. The Bumi Sehat wish list includes medication for mothers and children, nursing supplies, supplements, and basic equipment like receiving blankets and infant clothes. If you would like more information, visit

Thank you for your important work, Robin, and may we all be thankful for the good things that we notice in our lives.

Happy Thanksgiving and Sweet Dreams,


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