Bumi Sehat Clinics offer free maternity care for pregnant women, mothers and their babies, plus healthcare for all those in need. They provide this care 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, unconditionally, in Indonesia, the Philippines and disaster-struck areas around the world.
As the demand only grows and has gone beyond the capacities of the current clinics, Earth Company is raising funds for the new clinics as well as garnering scale-out support.
In 1992, in a Balinese village without a paved road and limited electricity, an elderly midwife spoke his final words, “In ten days time, my successor will come.” And with that, he passed away. Ten days later, still carrying her unborn fifth child, Robin and her family turned up in the very same village.
Two years previously, Robin had lost her younger sister and her unborn child to complications in the pregnancy. Her sister could have been saved, but in a busy hospital, the doctors were too preoccupied to see her when she became worried about her own condition.
Having moved there in search of a fresh start, Robin soon realized that, in Bali, lives that could be saved were being lost everyday due to malnutrition or poverty.
Recognizing this injustice spurred Robin to action. She realized that her life now had a purpose – to live a life for love. With that she took to a future of protecting mothers, babies and their families.
A few months later, still recovering from the birth of her fifth child, Robin found herself inundated with villagers asking for her help as a midwife. Already an experienced birth attendant, Robin returned to the U.S. to officially become certified and in 1995 began practicing as a professional midwife in Bali.
Over the past 20 years since then, Robin has worked across borders and touched many lives, and has come to be known as ‘Ibu Robin’, or ‘Mother Robin’ by the adoring people around her.
In 2011, Robin was awarded CNN’s title “Hero of the Year”, followed by the coveted “Bayanihan Peace-builders Award” with the Bumi-Wadah disaster relief team from the President of the Philippines. She has now authored a total of 19 books.
For the past 20 years, Bumi Sehat has funded its activities purely through donations gathered from around the world. It is clear that Robin has an extraordinary magnetism and ability to draw people in. Not only is her impact on society both wide and deep, but she provides a safe haven for the community, with bottomless passion and energy, and a superhuman capacity to accommodate the needs of those who rely on her. A crusader who works around the clock, she devotes herself to helping others out of pure love. Robin serves as an incredible example to us all.
The maternal mortality rate in Indonesia is the worst among Southeast Asian countries – a staggering 373 deaths per 100,000 births (2013 data). The reasons for this high rate are poverty, hunger and malnutrition. These can lead to premature births, while postpartum hemorrhaging can be fatal. What’s more, mothers can be forced to give birth on a schedule, given drugs to artificially induce labour, or forced to have unnecessary cesarean sections.
Although it’s primary mission is to provide reproductive services to all marginalized, displaced or low-income peoples, regardless of their background or condition, Bumi Sehat never turns its back when a person walks in to seek help whatever their problem may be. While serving all those in need, Bumi Sehat’s role in the community has evolved to become one of a true community center providing a wide range of services; from medical care and education to environmental and community development programs.
Western medicine and prescriptions
Complementary therapies such as acupuncture and homeopathy
Eye tests and provision of free glasses
Lab (CBC, HIV Tests, Blood and Urinalysis)
Community medical outreach
Community empowerment / development programs
Yoga and other activities for the elderly
HIV Education Workshops
Midwifery training and scholarship program
Village Recycling Program
Babies brought into the world by Bumi Sehat’s Clinics to date
Patient visits to Bumi Sehat’s Clinics per year
Beneficiaries of Bumi Sehat’s midwifery scholarships a year
Even at times of devastating disasters, babies will continue to be born.
When there’s a disaster, Bumi Sehat immediately dispatches a team to set up a temporary clinic to provide disaster relief, maternity care and inpatient general medical services.
For example, after the Sumatra tsunami in 2004 and Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, Bumi Sehat was there in the immediate aftermath, setting up temporary relief camps which have now become established clinics. These clinics are a lifeline for those still suffering from the effects of a disaster.
Even now the queues remain, with every bed full as people wait their turn.
Bumi Sehat is adamant about protecting mothers and babies whatever their situation. If a pregnant woman is poor or malnourished, they will visit her home after birth to check her circumstances, provide food and clothes when necessary, and even help their husband find work. If a couple have had a stillbirth and can’t afford the burial, Bumi Sehat will step in to find a way to cover the costs. In extraordinary cases, if they find out that a mother cannot take their newborn home after a hospital birth because she is unable to pay medical fees in full, Bumi Sehat will pay the bill and ensure the mother and baby return home safely.
Yeti and Muliono were extremely poor and living in the slums of Bali. Blessed with twins, they had been visiting Bumi Sehat for the free prenatal checkups despite having to walk for several hours. When the time finally came, Yeti started walking to Bumi Sehat but went into labor on the street! Unable to get there in time, she was taken to a nearby local birth center and ended up giving birth there. The couple found they were only able to pay the medical fees for one of the babies, and as a result they were only able to take one baby home. When Robin bumped into Muliono weeks later, he broke down and told her what had happened. Horrified, Robin immediately went to the clinic in question together with Muliono, but the baby was nowhere to be found. Miraculously, with the help of a lawyer, Robin was able to help them track down their baby in Java and ensure his safe return.
Bumi Sehat has been running for the past 20 years on donations alone, gathered from all over the world. However, running such an operation is no easy task, and finances are always tight – to run the Bali and Sumatra Clinics costs $1200 a day, or $430,000 a year (USD). As such, Bumi Sehat always welcomes donations in order to provide the vital services it does.
One Gentle Childbirth for one mother & her baby
In West Papua, around 100,000 people have lost their lives so far fighting for greater autonomy, and it is a province with a maternal mortality rate 3 times the Indonesian national average. In the central highlands, home to around half the province’s population (approx. 400,000), there is only one hospital. Though a local church has put in a request for a new Bumi Sehat clinic and has even secured a potential site for the clinic, there are currently no funds to turn this into a reality.
Funds required to establish a new clinic in West Papua
Palawan, comprising of some 1,780 islands, has the country’s highest maternal mortality rate, the 3rd highest infant mortality rate, and the 2nd lowest rate of access to subsidized maternal health services. Due to a territorial dispute with China, safety concerns have kept expectant mothers of the outer islands from traveling to the main island to receive maternity care. Bumi Sehat received a request from a local community leader to open a new clinic in Palawan to address this problem. The community has already donated a land upon which to build it, and secured support from the Ministry of Health that has agreed for the Filipino army to fly out their midwives to the remote islands to provide checkups.
Funds required to build the clinic’s facilities in Palawan
Our Impact to Date
While the land lease of its Bali Clinic was coming to an end, Bumi Sehat set out to build a new clinic 3 times the size of the existing one on a new site. Alongside other partners, Earth Company helped Bumi Sehat raise enough funds to construct the new clinic, which opened in October 2016. Earth Company also raised funds to open new clinics in West Papua and Cebu where its needed.
In order to raise the profile of Bumi Sehat’s activities in Japan and build new opportunities, Earth Company generated 9 instances of coverage for Bumi Sehat across a variety of media, from online outlets to scientific journals. Examples include a full story on Bumi Sehat in the Japanese Journal for Midwives.
In terms of rates in maternal mortality, perineal incision, breastfeeding, and postpartum hemorrhaging, Bumi Sehat’s practices in childbirth are not only leading in the developing world, but more effective than many of the current practices in more developed countries. Earth Company is currently seeking partnership to bring this model to other parts of the world where it’s needed.
Our fundraising campaign for Bumi Sehat’s new clinic started in September 2015 and came to a close in June 2016. During the campaign we gratefully received donations from a total of 97 individuals and 7 corporations. A beautiful traditional ceremony was held to officially open the clinic on October 15, 2016.
Though our official period of focused support for Bumi Sehat has now ended, we will continue to offer follow-up support, creating opportunities where we see them, and will continue to accept both one-off and recurring donations.
Thank you for your continued support!!
“I spend days and nights worrying over each Mother and Baby.
But because Earth Company team and its supporters are being so generous and amazing, I am now able to focus on what I do best, saving mothers and babies…
Thank you so much… I LOVE YOU…
I wish words could say more.
You are amazing…
Peace and Love in all the dreams we share.”
ー Robin Lim
$50,000+ (with intentions of long-term support)
Hinoki, a Japanese real estate company, owns and manages a number of commercial and residential properties in cosmopolitan Tokyo and rural Japan. Driven by a fervent social conscience, the company provides support to many innovative ventures in Japan. Hinoki has generously donated $60,000 to Bumi Sehat in partnership with Earth Company.
Hyperbiotics provides probiotic products to empower individuals to reach their full health potential. Having supported Bumi Sehat for years, the American companymatched part of the funds raised ($40,000) by Earth Company to help Bumi Sehat build its new clinic in Bali.
$500+ | technical support | strategic partnership