Initiatives Bumi Sehat
Jul 26, 2006, logo Bumi Sehat
Bumi Sehat Bali Field Report, April 2006 by Ibu Robin Lim
2005 was a beautiful and busy year for Yayasan Bumi Sehat both in The Tsunami Relief Clinic in Aceh and at the Family Health Center in Bali. I have written extensively about Aceh. Now is a chance for me to catch all the Friends of Bumi Sehat up on our activities in Bali….
At the Bumi Sehat family health center in Bali we received 385 babies and did 2050 prenatal exams, in 2005!! This does not include the babies we caught in Aceh and families who opted to birth at home in Bali.
Now in 2006 we can only imagine that we will receive more babies than ever, as the word spreads of our gentle birth services, and financial hardship affects many Balinese and displaced people from other islands living in Bali.
Today is a quiet day at the Bumi center we have one woman in early labor, and later this afternoon we will have prenatal care clinic. This week alone, 11 babies came into the world at Bumi Sehat, plus one home birth.
Dr. Bobbi Aqua continues to give free acupuncture for people in acute pain i.e. arthritis, rheumatism, etc. These clinics serve the chronically ill, as well as those patients who are just recently sick. All are welcome, and Dr. Bobbi and the Bumi staff usually see 40 to 55 patients each time clinic is offered. Dr. Soma Dewi, with Dr. Bobbi's help, offers a free pediatric clinic every Monday at Bumi. Ibu Gandri, Dawn, Ida, Brenda, Mas Meng and other volunteers provide translation and support. They see between 20 and 30 children each week. Not counting the many children, who turn up at all times of day or night seeking medical help from our midwives and nurses on 24 hour duty.
Thursdays Dr. Anne Entus, with the help of nurse Swastini, meets with the high blood pressure support group. All of the participants are successfully controlling their blood pressure without medication, using meditation and counseling techniques. Dr. Anne has been such a successful guide, that even when she was in Aceh, doing trauma relief for Bumi Sehat, the group continued to meet.
Monday evenings Brenda or I hold a Natural Family Planning class, for couples hoping to avoid or achieve pregnancy. We see so many couples having trouble either achieving pregnancy, or carrying their pregnancies to term. We teach these couples the Billings Ovulation Method (thanks to Marie Zenack, Robin's Guru of NFP) and when necessary refer them to Dr. Bobbi for balancing with Traditional Chinese medicine. Many of our class participants have gotten pregnant and given birth at Bumi.
In our village of Nyuh Kuning, Bumi Sehat, with the help of Mas Meng, has been able to establish the recycling of rubbish. This means that there is almost no more burning of plastic here. Lots of consciousness raising and enthusiasm went into educating every one, including the school children, about keeping our precious environment in balance. As a result, this year, Nyuh Kuning was distinguished as the cleanest village in Bali.
Some exciting news: The beautiful building in our neighbor village of Mas, given into our stewardship by Pong after the death of her husband, Ken, will soon become the Bumi Sehat Youth Center. Since the terrorist bombings in Bali back in 2002 and again a few months ago, the economy has taken a dive. Bali's young people can no longer sell their handicrafts. Gone are the busy clubs of teens making woodcarvings, jewelry, paintings, weaving blankets, etc. There are simply not enough tourists to buy them. Hotel and restaurant jobs are scarce in our regency. The only thing that seems to be on the rise is the crime rate.
The Bumi Sehat team believes that a place where young people can learn capacity building skills will bring a ray of hope into this dark situation. Computers are in Indonesia to stay. Computer courses will be offered to students who normally do not have the means to be included in this kind of livelihood training. At present twice a week the handi-capable young people use the Youth Center building to hold music, dance, and life skills classes. Volunteers, Ruben and Jodi, are busy preparing a brochure for the Bumi youth center. In August of this year we hope volunteers Bonnie and Scott will join us to head up the youth projects. Planned programs for the Bumi Youth Center include life skills, drug, alcohol, and smoking prevention workshops, as well as HIV/AIDS awareness and voluntary testing. Sports education, dance and art exhibitions are also in the planning stages.
The Bumi Sehat birth moms still boast a 100% breastfeeding rate. This year with the help of WABA we launched a father's club. Dad's whose babies breastfed exclusively were given beautiful t-shirts. Mas Meng instructed the fathers-to-be in the importance of Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. Our midwifery team counsels families in nutrition and best first foods for babies after six months of age. Most of our families do breastfeed for two to four or more years, as they aim for maximum health benefits for their children.
We are soon to launch our newest book, Asi Esklusif Dong (breastfeeding exclusively dude), aimed at new fathers, written by yours truly and illustrated by Zion Lee. Other Bumi Sehat/ Half Angel Press books released this year include, Buku Ajaib (miracle book) illustrated and written for the siblings of Bumi Sehat babies by, O'Nell Starkey. Tsunami Notebook, Poems Washed Up from the Sea of Tears, and Obat Asli… the traditional Healing Herbs of Bali.
Daniel Bruce came from the U.S. to offer our staff a two-day workshop in Somatic healing for trauma relief. This was a true team builder and so healing for every one of us. We are in gratitude to Daniel for his devotion and service to Bumi Sehat. Remember, all of the Bali team works devotedly to support the Bumi Tsunami relief team in Aceh. Many of us roll between working in Bali and Aceh. All of us benefited from understanding the anatomy of trauma and how we can find healing in ourselves.
Much progress has been made in the organization of the Foundation not least due to the installation of a proper administration data base for which we give many thinks to Frank and Armiti for their tireless patience and staff training. We are so happy with this increased capacity to be truly accountable!
Frank joined us last year as honorary Financial Director. Not only does he guide us in our budgeting and finances, he also nurtures us with cups of hot chai and lovely cakes, served with the wisdom of his calm presence. It his words, "It's just a process… all is good."
Renita and Will of Ethos made a major contribution in capacity building the organization. They started by helping us make a proper strategic plan and went on to do fundraising and improvements in our office systems. We miss them right now, as they are back in Australia, and look forward to their return later this year in June.
Nita Noor, also from Ethos, helped to get all our legal documents complete, her expertise enabled us to navigate the maze of bureaucracy. She is still assisting Eka in getting clearance for a shipment of vitamins for our malnourished expectant mothers. Special thanks to Vitamin Angels who have secured the donation of these essential supplements which preserve life both in Bali and in Aceh.
Many new faces have joined our staff, which now numbers 29. Plus our tireless international volunteers who roll between our Bali home and Aceh Tsunami Relief Clinic.
Eka is a totally invaluable addition to the office and is our administrative manager. To be quite honest we cannot remember how we ever coped without her!
Raka is the angel who makes sense of our books. Irene our volunteer accountant is busy creating the budgets and capacity building the office staff, yet another angel.
Leman, our new young nurse from Lombok works day and night to assist the midwives, is ever busy and always smiling. Next week he is off to the Bumi Sehat Tsunami Releif Clinic in Aceh.
Pastika heads up the recycling program, drives, supervises clinic maintenance, and assists in purchasing supplies.
Ida has become Ibu Robin's part time assistant, when she is not at the Clinic in Aceh translating and assisting the medics.
Ibu Budi, who has been promoted to clinic medical manager, as well as head midwife, is expecting a baby in July. We are excited… this baby we get to keep, while all the others go home after their births.
Our two new young midwives, Oka and Sumi are devoted, skilled and wonderful additions to the team. Sumi will soon depart for Aceh, where she will help our trainee midwife, Dewi.
Ibu Putu and Iloh continue to ensure that Bumi Sehat runs one of the cleanest medical facilities in Bali.
Pak Pagi, is still our driver on 24 hour standby for emergency transports. It is he or Pastika who make the many weekly journeys to the airport, to meet, greet and collect our volunteers and guests.
Sandi continues as our treasurer and purchasing manager. He and Tini, receptionist for prenatal care, were recently happily married, which may be why he seems to be glowing.
Frederik has become our web site wizard, check us out at: www.bumisehatbali.org
Melanie continues to be the angel of logistics, coordinating staff movements safely between Bali and Aceh. Without Mel, ibu Robin's life would be miserable.
Ibu Brenda and Mas Meng had their first beautiful boy last year, to add to the passel of female offspring flitting between their house and the birth center. Brenda still finds the time to keep Bumi Sehat's vision on track, as a member of the board of directors along with Made Wena, Made Yasa and I. Ketut Baguio.
This past year in Nyuh Kuning village we have had births galore, baby blessings, weddings, and yes deaths. Through all these life passages we have grown stronger as a team
In September I must travel to Italy to accept the Alexander Langer International Peace Award. I do this on behalf of all of our team, and supporters. Special thanks to the Dancing Donors, ASH Charities, Sakthi Foundation, Bruce Grady, Community of Fairfield, Iowa, John Fawcette Foundation, Zimmerman Foundation, Leap Now, Ethos, Rotary Bromsgrove, Rotary Seminyak, Rotary NYC, and Rotary Ubud, Rotary S.E. Asia Fund, Vitamin Angels, plus all the individuals and families who have so generously kept this grass roots project alive.
In my youth I dreamed that the poet Rumi's "Orchard" would exist in my lifetime. That somewhere a place would manifest, where people of all colors, ages, cultures and faiths could come together to celebrate creativity, service to humanity, peace, and harmony on Earth. I believe now that Yayasan Bumi Sehat is the fulfillment of that dream. That together, we all have created a little heaven on Earth.