Robin Lim, an American woman who has helped thousands of poor Indonesian women have a healthy pregnancy and birth, was named as a 2011 CNN Hero of the Year last December.
Through her Yayasan Bumi Sehat health clinics, "Mother Robin," or "Ibu Robin" as she is called by the locals, offers free prenatal care, birthing services and medical aid in Indonesia, where many families cannot afford care. "Every baby's first breath on Earth could be one of peace and love. Every mother should be healthy and strong. Every birth could be safe and loving. But our world is not there yet," Lim said.
APPPAH is honored to recognize our longtime friend, Robin Lim, for her commitment to life and birth. Congratulations Robin for winning CNN Hero of the Year...You are truly our hero. We would like to share this personal tribute that Robin Lim wrote regarding the immense influence one of our founding members, Jeannine Parvati Baker, made on her life and work.
Robin Lim wrote:
Imagine being a "mom" living in a foreign land, and suddenly you are hurled into midwifery! That was me, many years ago. Who does one turn to for courage? I turned to a few willing Crones, women who I wished to be like someday, if I was blessed:
Nan Koehler, Mary Jackson, Mary Kroeger, Jan Tritten, Robbie Davis-Floyd, June Whitson...all steered me to their own personal heroine, Jeannine Parvati Baker. As a teenaged mom, I grew up on Jeannine's books, Prenatal Yoga, Hygieia and co-authored with her husband Rico... Conscious Conception, I was in awe of this Woman. "Call her? Are you crazy? How could I disturb Jeannine Parvati? She is busy with Freestone Press, reinventing the world, healing Birth and healing our Earth. She has no time for a shy mom-at-home with so many questions and a dubious calling."
Because I had so many questions, and because I believe that asking the next, and the Next and the NEXT question, is the only way we humans learn, I contacted Jeannine. She was living in Hawaii at the time. I was struggling to find information on postpartum, foolishly writing a book, when I could barely formulate a sentence, but I had a passion. She seemed to sense my yearning and she nurtured my wide-open heart. She sent me ALL of her books, photocopies of articles. She encouraged me. Jeannine believed in me.
Today, I sit in an airport lounge, a grandmother midwife, the scent of the birth I just attended a few hours ago still with me as I depart for Haiti to do earthquake relief, and Jeannine is with me. I FEEL her love. I have stolen her motto, "Healing Birth Heals Mother Earth", and I know in my heart it's OK with her. The Indonesian project I have given my life to, Yayasan Bumi Sehat, prints it, in two languages, on t-shirts, on cloth bags, stickers.
Jeannine was always, all-ways generous. She cared for each and every fledgling mommy-midwife, like a daughter, a sister, a friend. She made time for "US"... she was our teacher, and her curriculum was simple, LOVE. She honored all of us, she trusted us to be impeccable as BirthKeepers. She believed in me so entirely, that I learned to believe in myself.
Traveling and meeting mothers from all corners of our planet, inevitably the mama-speak turns to talk-story about Jeannine. By golly, she was not just a catalyst for me, women-midwives-doulas from Australia, Japan, the Philippines, Holland, France, Austria, Germany, Norway, Canada, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Indonesia, and Italy have told me they were first inspired by Jeannine. This woman, weighing not much more than an owl's feather, forged an army of peace-keepers, to squat at the gateway of birth, the fulcrum of a dream of peace on Earth.
In late November, 2005, I was leaving again for the Tsunami relief clinic in Aceh. I called Jeannine; she had not spoken on the phone for a while, but her daughter Haley felt she would want to talk. Jeannine's voice was so weak; her body was literally giving up her ghost. "So you're going to Aceh again, hummm. This is the last time we will talk, hummm. You are blessed."
I was shaking, crying as silently as I could, so I could hear her tiny voice over the wire that stretched half way around the world, long silence, I waited, "I love you." she said. I felt she would never leave us, not really, because she taught us to trust in the power of love.
Jeannine Parvati Baker passed away on December 1 2005...at peace and at home. We who loved JPB along with APPPAH are proud to announce this special acknowledgement ... The Birth Keeper of the Year ... given to a humanitarian who has dedicated their life to the concept that, "Healing Birth is Healing our Earth".
APPPAH is pleased to acknowledge Robin Lim, for her dedication and devotion to Healing Birth.