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 27, 2015

Faces of the Forest

Conservation Manager Erica gives Guardian awards
Conservation Manager Erica gives Guardian awards

On September 21st, 32 of 34* ASRI’s Forest Guardians gathered for an all-day workshop hosted by the ASRI Reforestation team. Forest Guardians are respected community representatives from each village surrounding Gunung Palung National Park and represent powerful bridges by which ASRI can communicate with and help villagers improve their health and livelihoods, and protect their watershed. Each Forest Guardian is recruited based on their commitment to conservation and their potential to act as leaders within their communities. They are responsible for monitoring all illegal logging activity in their villages, representing ASRI among their village, and helping to disseminate ASRI’s message of healthy forest, healthy lives — or as they say in Bahasa Indonesia, “Hutan terjaga, masyarakat sejahtera” — Protected forest, prosperous community.

Throughout the day, the Forest Guardians discussed their experiences over the past year, and ideas for raising local awareness of ASRI’s health care discount. Hendriadi, the Forest Guardian program coordinator, presented data on logging trends over the last year. Pak Frans, the Reforestation Coordinator, introduced the seedling health savings program to the Forest Guardians, who were given seedling polybags to distribute to their community members to build “savings accounts” at the clinic by donating seedlings for use at the reforestation sites.

Many Guardians reflected on successes and stories of the past year. One Forest Guardian boasted about the reduction of 60 illegal loggers down to 4 during the past four years. Another told a story about confiscating a logger’s chainsaw, because the logger had cut down a fruit tree in the Park that “belonged” to another family, according to local tradition.

To close the event, ASRI staff distributed awards for distinguished Guardians. One award category for “above and beyond call of duty” went to a Forest Guardian who created a personal health savings account of $70 (by donating 88 seedlings) over the course of the year. One day his neighbor fell ill and the Forest Guardian graciously paid for his neighbor’s medical care at the ASRI Clinic with his own health savings account.

In October, we profiled other Forest Guardians on our Facebook page, including:

Pak Wawan who went to every logger in his village to encourage them to apply for jobs at the hospital instead of cutting down trees.

Pak Amir who won the Best Forest Guardian award this year for being dedicated to his job in addition to other full-time work, bravely standing up to hunters, and helping his village earn a 'yellow' logging status and 50% discount in the clinic.

Pak Samsu who has long loved the forest, takes personal responsibility for protecting it, and helped his village go 'green', which means there is no logging happening and villagers receive 70% off their medical bills.

Pak Ridwan who is from one of the villages most entrenched in logging, but doggedly pursues an end to the practice by engaging his community members in regular radical listening meetings.

All of the Forest Guardians are a vital part of the ASRI program. We are incredibly grateful for all of their work protecting the rain forest and caring for the needs of their community members.

 

*Two forest guardians were not able to attend because they had been asked to represent their communities at government meetings — a sign that they have become trusted leaders within their villages.

Forest Guardians workshop
Forest Guardians workshop
Pak Amir
Pak Amir
Pak Ridwan
Pak Ridwan
Pak Samsu
Pak Samsu
Pak Wawan
Pak Wawan

Links:

Aug 5, 2015

Reaching the Unreachable

Dr. Yuli, the staff, and members of the community
Dr. Yuli, the staff, and members of the community

The ASRI Clinic has a lot of programs, and one of them is the Mobile Clinic. We do the Mobile Clinic twice a month and visit the Pangkalan Jihing and Matan villages, which take 7 hours and 9 hours to reach by car, respectively.

Since February 2015, we've also visited the Jago village, an hour away from Matan. The first time we went to Jago, we came across a truck that got stuck in the mud. We stopped, and with the help of everyone around, we helped pull it out, and then continued our trip.

When we first arrived in Jago, people would come and see what we were up to, but did not want to be seen by a doctor. They assumed that they would have to pay a bill of 300,000 rupiah ($22) for a doctor's visit, a cost too high for the residents of the rural village. We then explained our payment system. At ASRI, patients can pay for health care with cash, or non-cash options -- which include manure, handricrafts such as mats, baskets, and bracelets, or offering their labor with the Clinic or conservation programs. After our explanation, everyone was enthusiastic and wanted to be seen by the doctor! One patient was surprised when the bill she paid was one tenth of the price she expected.

In Indonesia there is a quote, "Poor people should not get sick." This quote is actually a satire to criticize the government's policy. People expect accessible health facilities and affordable bills. ASRI, a non-profit organization, tries to reach especially unreachable people. We give the best service to them and every time we do the Mobile Clinic, we meet grateful people. Happy people are our pleasure.

Truck stuck in the mud
Truck stuck in the mud

Links:

May 11, 2015

Adiwiyata

ASRI Teens now educate other students
ASRI Teens now educate other students

The word Adiwiyata is derived from 2 words in Sanskrit; ‘adi’ and ‘wiyata.’ ‘Adi’ means big, great, ideal, or perfect, while ‘wiyata’ means a place to get knowledge, norms and ethics in social life. The Adiwiyata program is run by the Indonesia Ministry of Environment, whose aim is to raise knowledge and awareness of environmental conservation among students and faculty in schools. They do this by paying close attention to how lessons are taught and making sure should they are linked to environmental awareness. They also teach the 3 R’s (Reuse, Reduce, Recycle) and manage gardens for medicinal plants, etc.

Since August 2014, I have served as one of the committee members of Adiwiyata Kayong Utara Regency, representing ASRI, along with other committee members from the Ministries of Environment, Education and Religious Affairs. There are 12 schools in the regency whose vision and mission center on environmental awareness. I have been visiting and educating students in some of these schools.

The subjects I teach include “Environmental Threats” (for primary school students) which focuses on waste management, “Tropical Rain Forest” (for junior high school students) which centers on the benefits and threats regarding the rain forest, and “Environmental Threats” which also covers the rain forest and includes mangroves and corals in the lesson. 268 children (coming from 7 different schools) have attended these lessons. One of the schools also requested for ASRI to come plant trees with the students, and even sent 42 students to ASRI’s conservation office for a lesson on how to make recycled paper (taught by senior ASRI Kids). Furthermore, another school requested ASRI to teach environmental education as a local content subject for the 4th and 5th graders. So far, we have taught 4 lessons, each with a total of 105 students!

These schools are not only being guided by the regency committee, but also being evaluated and scored on how they implement environmental awareness in school activities and lessons. The 12 schools are expected to adopt environmentally-centered models. If they reach a certain exemplary level, the higher provincial committee, will guide and evaluate them to become the model school in the province, and then, in Indonesia.

This program will continue to conduct lessons and guide schools every year, and we will continue to monitor those 12 schools. We will also continue to encourage other schools to include environmental education into their activities and lesson plans.

Being involved in Adiwiyata has made the ASRI Kids program widely heard. A group of science teachers invited me to teach them how to make recycled paper, so they can implement it in teaching their students on the “Role of People in Environmental Management.” Moreover, six former ASRI Kids who are now known as ASRI Teens are teaching in one of the Adiwiyata schools once a month. Their students are 7th, 8th, and 9th graders who join an extracurricular activity called SINAM (Siswa Pecinta Alam, translated to “Students of Nature Lovers”) in their school. Before they teach the class, I train them on how to make a lesson plan that includes creating fun teaching techniques and media and managing a class that involves 20-30 students.

Seeing my students’ enthusiasm in learning and being aware of their environment means a lot to me. As I have been involving myself in ASRI Kids program and Adiwiyata, being an environment educator has been my great passion.

Students build a house that could survive a flood
Students build a house that could survive a flood

Links:

 
   

donate now:

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $10
    give
  • $20
    give
  • $50
    give
  • $75
    give
  • $200
    give
  • $10,000
    give
  • $10
    each month
    give
  • $20
    each month
    give
  • $50
    each month
    give
  • $75
    each month
    give
  • $200
    each month
    give
  • $10,000
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Reviews of Health in Harmony

Great Nonprofits
Read and write reviews about Health in Harmony on GreatNonProfits.org.
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.