My home smells of citronella essential oil – the smell is reminiscent of a local anti-mosquito oil I was given by Wayang, a friend whom I met while on vacation in Bali, Indonesia. One inhale and I am sent back, one deep breath and my spirit is filled with the essence of all that is Bali. It was explained to me that the land, the culture, and the people of Bali would always remain a part of me. I never truly understood that sentiment until I left the island.
While on our five-week family vacation my husband and I jumped on a motor-bike (it was my first time) and made our way to Nyuh Kuning village to visit Yayasan Bumi Sehat. I was overwhelmed and inspired by what we encountered. Overwhelmed by the courageous goals of this non-profit organization: “to reduce the maternal and child morbidity rate and to support the health and wise development of communities.” Inspired by the passion and commitment of all the individuals involved. I had envisioned visiting the clinic, dropping off my donations, and leaving fulfilled. Over five years later and halfway across the world I am still doing what I can to support Bumi Sehat.
I had been introduced to the film “Guerrilla Midwife” by one of the volunteers at the clinic that day and though I was enchanted by the title I never got around to watching it until a few nights ago.
I cried-alot…tears of utter sadness and tears of hope. Tears of disbelief and tears of wonder. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since and have decided that I must share what I have seen.
The film is about midwife Ibu Robin Lim the founder of Yayasan Bumi Sehat-which by the way means Healthy Mother Earth foundation. We are given a glimpse into the life and work of Ibu Robin as she attends births in Bali where the center was first established. We then journey to Aceh, Indonesia where Ibu Robin and her team offer aid after the 2004 Tsunami devastated the area. We also learn about the foundations latest efforts in Haiti. Did I mention the director is the daughter of the Guerrilla Midwife?
What was so insanely powerful about this film and the work of Robin Lim is the bigger picture. It is not just about the people of Indonesia, it is not just about disaster relief-it is about birth, its about women, it is about our children, it is about our mother earth and it is about a connection.
Ibu Robin Lim’s message that gentle births can heal mother earth is so beyond a fancy slogan. It is a message that is profound and significant. One need not read the research though its there if you want it-Google Michel Odent’s work, look up Marshall & Phyllis Klaus to name a few. This declaration is something we mothers know deep down to our core.
I would like to leave you with an excerpt from the film’s synopsis-a message that I am confident will remain with you as you continue on your day-a message that I hope will inspire you to click on the links below to learn more, donate, and/or get involved.
“In every country on this planet, there is a WAR being fought to gain an asset more precious than gold or oil. The battlefield is a woman’s body when she is most vulnerable and in need of protection… when she is giving BIRTH. In this war we stand to loose our humanity. At this pivotal moment of life individuals develop either an intact or impaired capacity to love. Protecting our capacity to love is essential to saving our planet. The inappropriate use of technology during birth has disempowered women, harmed the bonding process between mother and child, and has sabotaged breast-feeding and our essential human right to peace. At the heart of this war, perpetuated by the agendas of big business and by our misunderstanding of the physiology of birth, we find the guardian of natural childbirth – the midwife.”
*Side note-Last year Ibu Robin Lim won the CNN Hero of the Year Award!