Hands and hearts at work in Indonesia

two people playing with a baby

“Dear Intrepid Team,

Thank YOU for having such a generous impact on Bumi Sehat and our patients. Your group visits have been amazing”, writes Robin Lim, founder of Bumi Sehat, Indonesia.  Bumi Sehat provide free maternal and infant health services in Bali and Aceh and The Intrepid Foundation is a proud supporter.

“It’s been a wonderful and challenging month at Bumi Sehat. We had a stillborn baby (no heartbeat at all at birth) 10 days ago, but after 33 minutes of neonatal resuscitation, the baby hung onto life. She is now gaining weight, and is breastfeeding well. Yesterday this baby girl, who I visited at home in Tagalalang, smiled at me – a real miracle!

Because of the rising HIV/AIDS crisis in Bali, Bumi Sehat has now opened its own laboratory for voluntary and confidential testing of all sexually transmissible infections and of course we will be doing the ‘See and Treat’ protocol to stop cervical cancers. Other tests will include Complete Blood Count, Samonella screening and Dengue Fever, all much needed here.

Next time Intrepid visits, please stop in and see the new lab. We have named it the ‘Bumi Sehat Valentino Lab’ in honour of a baby boy, born with AIDS at Bumi Sehat. Valentino died 36 hours after his birth. Had his mother had prenatal care, and had she been tested for HIV, we could have put her on anti-retro viral medication, which would have prevented the baby from being born with AIDS. His life was short, but his memory will save countless lives.

Additional services mean more responsibility for me to fundraise, however… the lab just seemed so essential for our Community Health Services to really address the needs of the ‘Last, the Lost and the Least’ of the people.  As beautiful as Bali is, we must accept the fact that there are young women who are so hungry, that they have sex for food and get AIDS. We are doing our best to educate people, to help stop the spread of HIV. We have a new full time HIV/AIDS Counsellor on the Bumi Sehat team, Ratika, who is just amazing in her skill at helping people understand, and feel safe.

On the sunny side… there are two new babies this morning snuggled into their mother’s arms. Two more mothers are in labour. Yesterday our holistic doctors, nurses and regular doctors saw over 50 walk-in patients. All in all it’s been quite wonderful at Bumi Sehat.

When I worry that it’s all too much, I get a visit from people, like Intrepid’s groups who care, and it gives our team courage to carry on.

In a few days I will visit our Bumi Sehat Tsunami Relief Clinic in Aceh, very close to the epicenter of the 2004 disaster that took hundreds of thousands of lives. We are still there and have no exit strategy, though most other NGOs have left. If Bumi Sehat closes the clinic, people will have no medical care, people will suffer and die. Last month a wind storm took off most of the clinic’s roof in Aceh. But our donors responded immediately, and the roof was replaced within days.

Bumi Sehat also has free education opportunities at our Bumi Youth Centres in Bali and Aceh, to give teens a leg-up by teaching them English language, computer skills, organic farming, music and life skills, including sex education – answering the questions no one else answers for them.

We’re proud that Bumi Sehat continues to help young women (and some young men) become teachers, midwives and nurses. We believe that if an underprivileged young person, especially a girl, wishes to become of service to humanity, if she has a dream, we will support it.  After graduating from midwifery or nursing school, these young women may choose to work at Bumi Sehat in Bali or in Aceh.  We include in each of their educational packages: tuition, books, uniforms, transportation, room, board, medical and a stipend. Bumi Sehat understands that an education can raise a girl out of poverty forever. An education can uplift her entire family and her village. Some of the funds raised through The Intrepid Foundation has helped towards educating these girls.

We consider ourselves the ‘hands in the field’ but you are the HEART, without your care and help nourishing the project, we cannot do the service we love.

Thank YOU… We LOVE and Need YOU,

Ibu Robin and Team Bumi Sehat.”

You can see the fabulous work of Bumi Sehat during Intrepid’s Beautiful Bali, Bali & Lombok Adventure or as an option on Jakarta to Ubud and Java & Bali Explorer.

Bumi Sehat is one of the beneficiaries of Project SAMA, Intrepid’s global initiative promoting gender equality. If you would like to help us share the gender equality message, please follow Project SAMA on Facebook.

You can help support Bumi Sehat’s work through The Intrepid Foundation or Project SAMA.


And if you’ll be in Melbourne, Australia, on 27 July then you won’t want to miss Intrepid’s Winter Gala. Come along for an evening of canapes and drinks at the uber plush Red Spice Road. There will be great travel giveaways, exciting auctions and travel celebrities amongst the crowd – all to help support Project SAMA!

About the author

Jane Crouch - Jane is a responsible business guru who writes about all aspects of how travel can bring positive environmental, social and economic benefits. Informed through travel on seven continents, leading Intrepid trips through SE Asia, work in outdoor education, energy conservation, international development, philanthropy and climate change action, plus a big love of walking, mountains and world music.

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Can’t get to Melbourne for drinks at Red Spice Road but go if you can. Ibu Robin has done wonders by setting up Bumi Sehat. I’m hoping to visit next year to make her story one in many about resilience, courage and healing. Like all the Intrepid Foundation projects I’ve visited, here is another it’s so important to support.

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