According to the World Health Organisation, Indonesia has one of the highest maternal and infant mortality rates in Southeast Asia. In 2003, midwife Ibu Robin Lim and her husband opened their first birthing clinic, Yayasan Bumi Sehat (Healthy Mother Earth Foundation), aimed at reducing maternal and child morbidity and mortality by supporting the health and development of communities through direct services, and through the training and development of Indonesian midwives and community health nurses. Following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, Ibu Robin took the Bumi Sehat Foundation to Aceh. In 2011, she was honoured as the CNN Hero of the Year.
Bumi Sehat provides:
- A culturally appropriate, woman-to-woman model of midwifery and maternal healthcare directly to economically challenged and socially marginalised women and their families.
- General family health services, education and environmental programmes.
- Health, nutrition and hygiene training, midwifery and nursing scholarships to women and girls from poor families.
- Medical outreach teams to areas experiencing natural disasters to offer maternal health services and educate local midwives and traditional birth attendants on disaster birth protocols.
Combined, the centres in Bali and Aceh have facilitated the birth of more than 5,000 babies. The Bali Community Health Clinic conducts approximately 20,000 consultations and welcomes more than 500 new babies into the world each year.
The Garden of Life Foundation will provide support and funding for Bumi Sehat’s vision to expand its services and build a new and much larger clinic. The number of patients is constantly on the increase and with it the demand for general health preventive services, gentle birthing, family health, elderly wellness and education.
“Every baby’s first breath on Earth could be one of peace and love. Every Mother should be healthy and strong. Every birth should be safe and loving. But our world is not there yet. Bumi Sehat needs your help to build a permanent place where compassionate healthcare can happen.” – Ibu Robin Lim
Muntigunung, in North Bali, is one of the island’s most economically deprived villages, covering 28-square-kilometres and comprising 36 hamlets on the mountainous slopes above Lake Batur. Here, a population of around 6,000 people live in poverty. There are no rivers and no springs; the soil is arid and poor, and there is a drought for eight months of every year. Most of the residents are unregistered with no income; until recently they had to walk for five hours to collect their fresh water, there is no access to health services, and no education. The lack of sanitation is the cause of a very high mother and child mortality rate. For the survival of their families, the women and their young children hike to the more affluent areas of Bali to beg for money.
The Muntigunung Poverty Eradication Programme, a partnership between ‘Future for Children Switzerland,’ ‘Yayasan Dian Desa, Yogyakarta,’ ‘Mitra Samya, Mataram’ and lecturers of the Medical Faculty of the Udayana University, is helping these villagers by:
- Providing a sustainable water daily supply through rainwater harvesting
- Implementing capacity-building with the aim to create 1,000 jobs with a minimum income of US$100 per month
- Reducing the prevailing high child mortality rate by 50%
- Ensuring an adequate education for all the children
Since the project began, 21 hamlets have been provided with a sustainable water supply, more than 400,000 trees have been planted, and 220 jobs have been created within three independent social enterprises. Health and education programmes have been established and are now well underway, but it will take another 10 years and a continuously-increasing product sale to finally achieve the set objectives. Our role at the Garden of Life Foundation will be to support the small local businesses of Muntigunung by purchasing the villagers’ products as keepsakes for our donors, and to make the regional products available for visitors to purchase at the Garden of Life.
Yayasan Solemen Indonesia (Solemen) has a long and successful track record and has been hailed as being ‘one of Bali’s most trusted, popular and reliable charities’ (Bali Advertiser). Solemen is a dedicated, compassionate and highly trained team of humanitarians dedicating their lives unselfishly each day to help the disadvantaged. ‘Solebuddies’ is the ever increasing number (currently 127) of disadvantaged people in Bali who Solemen support with:
- Social, psychological, and health related resources, such as medical care and counselling
- Nutrition, Therapy and Education
- Family care
- Housing, and a host of other services.
Funding from the Garden of Life Foundation will provide resources for Solemen to better support current ‘Solebuddies’ with varying needs, while also allowing Solemen to take on more.
L’Wellness Asia is a Singapore-based impact investor in Indonesia and is the global leader in the development and deployment of appropriate technology for village-based coconut empowerment through the sustainable DME-EVCO model (Direct Micro Expelling Extra Virgin Coconut Oil). In Bali an initial pilot project is operating successfully at a micro enterprise level in Cadungan Village in the Bali Highlands and is:
- Bringing new support to the farmers who grow and farm coconut palms
- Allowing farmers to create local self-sustaining businesses producing virgin coconut oil, while at the same time utilising all of the by-products
- Creating sustainable supply chains by connecting the farmer directly to markets
- Empowering local families and youth to reverse rural depopulation
Virgin coconut oil (VCO) is being hailed as one of the world’s ‘superfoods’ with endless health benefits both for all who use it and for those who produce it. For villagers, it can be produced right where coconuts grow. The operating model is gender neutral; it produces zero waste, is sustainable, fair and ethical, and inclusive with the communities from which the VCO and by products are produced.
Small business opportunities such as these create industry for those living in remote areas. Additionally, the work can be done from the home village setting as opposed to a factory setting. The industry is self-fuelling, using the coconut oil, shell and husks as an energy source, and it is a certified organic, 100% renewable and sustainable energy source. The cooperation with the Garden of Life Foundation will help L’Wellness to expand the reach of its business model into more rural communities, bringing perspective and self-empowerment to local youth, families and farmers. By partnering up with the Coconut Knowledge Center for nursery development and tree planting planting activities, the Garden of Life Foundation assists small scale farmers in the recovery of the coconut plantation to help preserve this valuable natural resource for their future needs.
Bye Bye Plastic Bags
Bye Bye Plastic Bags is a social initiative driven by local and international children to get the people in Bali to say not to plastic bags. Sisters and founders, Melati and Isabel Wijsen, started the initiative in 2013 when they were just 10 and 12 years old. Today, they have a team of 25-30 student volunteers from schools across the island. Slowly they are spreading the word as well as inspiring schools to start similar projects.
The Bye Bye Plastic Bags initiative does many things at the same time:
- Educational and inspirational talks at schools and international conferences in Indonesia, Singapore, Holland, Switzerland and India… so far they have spoken to more than 5000 people. Check out their latest talk at TED: http://bit.ly/GOLBBPB
- Collecting 1 000 000 signatures, getting the governor of Bali to sign a ban of plastic bags in Bali by 2018
- Running a pilot village, distributing alternative bags made of 100% recyclable materials
- Raising general awareness to say NO to plastic bags, in fun ways (booths at markets, street campaigning, flash mobs)
After a lot of hard work and many successes they have the commitment of the governor and government to work towards making Bali plastic bag free by 2018! They hope that the long but not yet finished journey of Bye Bye Plastic Bags will inspire the youth of this world, and show them that they as the youth, have the power and motivation to be the change the world needs today, even if it is for one thing at a time!
Funding from The Garden of Life Foundation will benefit Bye Bye Plastic Bags in a supportive way to grow awareness amongst the people of Bali and beyond, to take care of the environment in order to create a green and sustainable lifestyle for all of us. Together we can take the first steps to this by saying no to plastic bags.
Yayasan Karang Lestari Permuteran
Since its formation, the Karang Lestari Foundation has created the biggest coral reef conservation and restoration programme in the world using Biorock technology, a process that is helping to restore damaged reefs, bringing back marine life and increasing fish stocks in small coastal communities in Bali and Lombok.
Biorock technology uses low-voltage electrical currents to help stimulate the growth of natural limestone rock onto steel structures of any size or shape. This creates a coating of natural limestone substrate material, the same as what coral skeletons are made from, thus providing an attractive base for baby corals to settle. This technology allows for the corals to grow anything from three to five times faster. In addition, a dedicated public awareness campaign has led to the empowerment of the local community to take ownership of this programme.
In cooperation with the Global Coral Reef Alliance, the local community in the coastal village of Pemuteran in northwest Bali has learned how to make use of Biorock technology to bring back their coral reefs. This initiative is attracting fish and other marine life to the area, as well as creating a boon for the tourism industry. Since 2000, more than 70 coral nursery structures have been installed, with a current total length of over 500 metres in a total area of two hectares, making it the largest coral reef restoration project in the world.
The Karang Lestari Foundation has received over 20 international awards for its dedicated work so far.
The Karang Lestari Foundation provides:
- Education and job opportunities for youngsters from local families, and empowerment of the local community
- ‘Active’ transplantation, restoration and protection of coral reefs
- Environmental education and information for local people and tourists
- Community-based environmental management and planning
- Monitoring of threats caused to the reef by erosion, garbage and sewage
With the help of the Garden of Life Foundation, Karang Lestari plans to replace their existing regular energy sources with carbon-neutral solar panels, and to expand their education and regeneration programmes for community-based conservation and the protection of all marine life. By shifting from destructive harvesting methods to ecologically-friendly alternatives, local fishermen are being helped to transform themselves from hunters into self-responsible farmers who respect, care for, and protect their coral reefs.