A goat recipient and Dining for Women visitor
Dear Global Givers,
I hope you are enjoying a sunny and adventurous summer. It is an exciting season for Health In Harmony and our program partner ASRI with an anniversary, a generous matching donation challenge, an upcoming marathon, a rewarding site visit, and ASRI Kids’ second summer. For us, this summer has been a time to celebrate ASRI’s anniversary and the success we have achieved through partnership with you. ASRI opened its clinic doors six years ago and began providing quality, affordable health care to the communities around Gunung Palung National Forest. Today, more than one third of the individuals living in those communities have come to ASRI to benefit from that care. The results from our five-year survey completed earlier this year gave us even more reason to celebrate. We see the health of the people and the ecosystems improving hand-in-hand.
The only limit to this success is physical space. Serving so many patients in addition to providing trainings in organic farming and other alternate livelihoods is stretching Clinik ASRI beyond its capacity. We recently received a building permit for a new Community Health, Surgical and Training Center and are working on a fundraising push. One very generous donor, Jan O’Brien, gave $10,000 to the center - a gift we are currently tripling for ASRI’s birthday! A gift that size would build the dental suite or three outpatient rooms or the radiology lab. Wow! You can read more about the progress on the new clinic on our website and blog.
HIH and ASRI staff is helping with the July fundraising goal by participating in the Portland Marathon, in our headquarter city in October. ASRI Cofounder Hotlin Ompusunggu, fresh off a marathon in Indonesia, will run with Volunteer Coordinator Kari Malen and her husband Loren Bell, and donations to the team will go to the new clinic. You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates on the team’s training and ways to donate.
Since we last wrote, Kelsey has also posted albums on Facebook with photos from Michelle’s April trip to Sukadana with a group from Dining for Women. The women participated in a deeply meaningful Goats for Widows gifting ceremony that was the highlight of a powerful and emotional journey making connections across geography and language.
Finally, summer is also the season for ASRI Kids. This was the second summer for the program, and the children, families and our leaders continue to be very excited by the opportunity for local kids to learn about making paper, recycling, rainforest ecosystems and, the yearly highlight, taking a field trip into the national park. Even though these children live right on the park’s border, most have never visited, and they saw orangutans and other spectacular wildlife for the first time on this trip. This year’s class also had the serendipitous opportunity to meet Dr. Birute Galdikas, premier primatologist and the founder of Tanjung Putting National Park. One of the ASRI Kids cofounders, Ana Sofia, wrote a wrap-up of the summer with some great photos – you can read it on our blog here.
None of the success in health, reforestation or environmental education we have seen in the past six years could have happened without your support. When people like you see the connections between human and environmental health, lives and forests are saved. Please continue following our blog, our Facebook and our Twitter for the latest news about our July matching donations, the Portland Marathon training and more happenings in Portland and Sukadana.
The vision for our new health center
ASRI Kids in the national forest