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  • Writer's pictureKay Sandberg

Update from the Field: Indonesia; Giving Thanks for Global Birth Workers

Hello Friends,

As we approach the one day a year when we stop to "officially" give thanks for the bounty of our lives and the opportunity to serve. Despite climate-related disasters and humanitarian crises we cling to hope. Birth workers--midwives, nurse midwives, doulas, doctors and others, often celebrate holidays at the bedside of new mamas and babies. We honor them!

Here's an update on our October 11th blog regarding Ibu ("Mother") Robin Lim and Bumi Sehat's work in Indonesia after the earthquake and tsunami in Sulawesi. Ibu Robin asks us the question, "What about the women and children? What happens to pregnant, birthing, breastfeeding mothers in this era of climate change?"

Midwife Robin Lim loving mama/baby after a disaster

"Most recently I have been in working in Lombok (destroyed by earthquakes in August) and Sulawesi (end of September 2018, earthquakes, tsunami and liquefaction - entire villages engulfed in quicksand, mot scary to see, and landslides.). I am very concerned about what happens to women and children in these disaster zones. The problem is becoming more frequent, and intensity of the earthquakes, storms, fires, volcanic eruptions, etc. all increasing with Climate Change.  I have seen so much sorrow in Bali (after terrorist bombs), Aceh, Jyogja, Padang, Haiti, Philippines, Nepal, Lombok, and Sulawesi. 

Disasters are profoundly harming women and children.  From the actual moment of fleeing for one’s life; the women are scooping up the children, heavy with child, running, as the men jump on their motorbikes, and think about their families, too late. It is unimaginable what a woman woman in a camp of 6,000 people, would do to get a jerry can of water for her children. As these disasters are so frequent, and migration of peoples from danger, is everywhere… Americas, the Rohingya situation in Pakistan, the people fleeing Syria and Iraq via the Mediterranean.  I saw families in the Philippines, displaced by the typhoons, renting a grave because the raised cement rectangle helped keep them dry! I am currently raising money to help move 300 families from the uppermost slopes of our active volcano, so they don’t get toasted in the next eruption.   My question is always: what about the women and children? What happens to the pregnant, birthing, breastfeeding mothers, in this era of Climate Change?"

Rohingya refugee mama/baby cared for by Hope Foundation for Women & Children of Bangladesh

Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, and investment in the wellbeing of future generations-- and of Mother Earth herself!

With a full heart,




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