Health in Harmony

The vision for Health In Harmony began more than 15 years ago in the forests of Gunung Palung National Park where Dr Kinari Webb recognized the direct link between the environmental destruction wrought by illegal logging, the desperate state of human health in the communities around the park, and the impact of rain forest loss on health worldwide. Our comprehensive approach works at the intersection of human and environmental health to provide sustainable change in communities around the world.
Oct 5, 2012

Good Bringing Good

Photo by volunteer Chris Beauchamp
Photo by volunteer Chris Beauchamp

Since we last wrote to you, our dear Global Givers…

  • Our partners at ASRI celebrated Ramadhan, one of the most important holidays of the Muslim calendar, and had excellent meetings during the part of the holiday called Syawalan. At a meeting of ASRI-trained organic farmers from villages around Gunung Palung National Park, the farmers came forward with the idea to form cooperatives to better market their produce!
  • The Five-Year Survey, an update to ASRI’s Baseline Survey, has been analyzed and the final report will be released very soon – keep an eye on our website for the very exciting results.
  • The Health In Harmony Board of Directors held a very productive annual retreat, at which we mulled over the past year, celebrated our successes, and made a plan for the year ahead. We all appreciated the opportunity to bring our geographically scattered Board and Staff come together.
  • The first-ever Borneo Bicycle Challenge has just launched! It’s an opportunity to lighten your impact and help save a rainforest, in solidarity with the communities around Gunung Palung National Park in Borneo, Indonesia – by riding your bicycle.Gunung Palung’s perimeter is 85 miles. We are asking all Bike Challenge participants to ride 85 miles in 85 days. The Bicycle Challenge begins October 1 and runs through December 24th. That’s 85 miles, 85 days…join us!

With all that’s happened, the only phrase that seems fitting is the traditional Ramadhan greeting, "Halal bil halal," from the Arabic words meaning "good things bringing (pulling) other good things." Your support is the seed, the first good thing, that pulls in more good – we are proud of our work, and we are deeply grateful to you for supporting us. 

An organic farm!
An organic farm!

Links:

Jul 6, 2012

Recycled Paper, Forest Guardians, & ASRI Birthday!

ASRI Kids making a rainforest-themed mural. (KSM)
ASRI Kids making a rainforest-themed mural. (KSM)

From Dr. Hotlin Ompugusunggu’s U.S. tour to getting down in the dirt with seedlings, the past two months have been chock full! 

Besides being involved in the regular conservation activities, the last forest guardian meeting for the period of 2011-2012 was held.

Based on the core values and philosophy of HIH and ASRI – that community be at the center, involved in and own the solutions of change – our Forest Guardians have inspired a 45% increase in villages that have totally stopped logging. 

 In June, a wonderful new program called ASRI Kids began. This program aims to connect local children with the environment and with the many plants and animals in Gunung Palung National Park, to instill care for the environment. The children have been learning about what they can do to take care of our planet – and doing fun activities like making recycled paper, picking up litter, and making recycled notebooks. Like us on Facebook to see the adorable photographs of their activities!

Programs like the Forest Guardians and ASRI Kids, as well as organic farm training, reforestation, and the clinic itself, are all deeply interconnected, working in tandem to change the face of global health – from the roots up. We could not do it without you - Thank you for all that you do.

On that note, will you celebrate with us? We are excited that our partner ASRI’s 5thbirthday is so soon, on July 15th! Will you give ASRI a birthday gift, here on GlobalGiving?

ASRI Kids making recycled paper. (KSM)
ASRI Kids making recycled paper. (KSM)
Hotlin gives a talk during her U.S. tour.
Hotlin gives a talk during her U.S. tour.
Forest Guardians en route to their meeting. (KSM)
Forest Guardians en route to their meeting. (KSM)

Links:

Apr 5, 2012

Regrowing a Rainforest, Together

Participants in Green Day plant seedlings together
Participants in Green Day plant seedlings together

Each year, we make headway on regrowing a portion of key orangutan habitat adjoining Gunung Palung National Park. This past year was no different. Over the course of 2011, 17 acres were carefully replanted with 21,800 seedlings, in an effort that employed many local people.


Since the beginning of our work, our partner, ASRI, has reforested 42 acres of rainforest, with an extremely high seedling survival rate of 85%!  Our Reforestation Program works to return the vastly-reduced orangutan habitat to a larger area, giving these magnificent forest-dwellers room to reproduce and roam; while also decreasing erosion, a major issue in a land where rainfall is plentiful.


Last month, the villages surrounding Gunung Palung National Park celebrated Green Day. The annual event was a resounding success, with over 400 people gathering from all walks of life – schoolchildren side-by-side with local government officials. Each planted a seedling, a tangible, growing symbol of the community commitment to stewarding the regrowth of this amazing forest. 


It's events like this, that include young and old, that truly demonstrate the power of community to make a difference in integrating human and environmental health. It's thanks to your support that these trees can be planted, these new livelihoods forged. We couldn't do it without you! We extend our heartfelt gratitude, and invite you to stay involved in Saving the Rainforest with a Stethoscope. 

Seedlings take root (photo by Kari Malen)
Seedlings take root (photo by Kari Malen)

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