I love stories of “ordinary” people doing “extraordinary” things.   People who work tirelessly to make the world a better place. They inspire the rest of us to give a little more, try a little harder, complain a little less…..

I recently watched the film Guerrilla Midwife  http://www.guerrillamidwife.org/,  a documentary about one such person, and her name is Robin Lim.  Robin is serving the poorest of the poor in Indonesia. With open arms and unconditional love Ibu Robin is safely welcoming the planets next generation into the world. Robin’s work was inspiring to me not only as a midwife but as a human being. Birth is a sacred event. The space where the hopes of our futures are balanced on the scales. A place where intolerance and division, hate and war, do not exist.  I went to Ubud to meet Robin and she told me about a day at Bumi Sehat that was over-flowing with possibilities, a glimpse of peace on earth…. 3 families, 3 cultures, 3 religions. A Muslim woman, A Hindu Woman and a Christian woman labored, birthed and nursed their babies side by side. Their stories are forever connected; woven together with threads of Love, gratitude and respect… “changing the world, one gentle birth at a time”.
The most important and “connected” moment we will ever experience  is our birth, our child’s birth, our wife or daughters births…. “Does the world have a responsibility to all pregnant women, to each new baby? Yes,” Lim said. “Each baby, each adult deserves a clean, healthy, loving environment. … Those things are basic. Those are a human right.” (cnn.com)

Unfortunately for much of the world this basic human right is not accessible to the poor. In Indonesia, the infant mortality rate is 30 deaths for 1000 live births ranking it 151 out of 224 in the world.  The care Robin offers can be the difference between life and death. The average income here is $8.00 a day. A hospital birth can cost between $70 and $700 USD. If a family can not pay their bill the baby can not leave. They are left laying alone in the hospital while the postpartum mothers are left laying on bamboo mats outside the hospital doors. Allowed in only twice a day to feed and clean their newborns. Because of this many woman choose to have their babies alone or with unskilled attendants leading to complications for both mom and baby.

Robin saw this problem and was determined to do something about it. In 2003 she and her husband opened Yayasan Bumi Sehat (Healthy Mother Earth Foundation) health clinic in Ubud, Bali.  After the 2004 Tsunami in Sumatra, she opened another clinic in the desperate Aceh community and then another in Haiti after their Earthquake. She finds those in NEED and offers HOPE . These clinics offer free prenatal care, birthing services and medical aid to anyone who needs it. They also offer HIV screening, Prenatal vitamins, English lessons, crano-sacral therapy, acupuncture, yoga and a recycling program!!

If you want to make a difference and be part of the solution you can start by voting for Robin here. She is one of this years nominee’s for the CNN Hero’s award.  Robin has made it into the top  10 and with enough votes she could win!  A “win” for Robin means much need funds (250,000 usd !!!) will allow her to expand her services, A “win” for Robin means global awareness of the plight of our mothers, wives, sisters and babies around the globe. A “win” for Robin will shine a light on the love, respect and safety Midwifery care offers our women. A “win” for Robin is a win for the mothers and babies that find their way into her clinics.

Voting is open until Dec. 7. To vote for Robin Lim, click here. You can vote up to 10x a day. Vote, Vote, Vote!!!!

Ibu means Mother in Indonesian.

Learn more about Robin and her work here.

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