Today, in small villages in Indonesia in Bali and Aceh, seven bright, caring young women are on a path to becoming midwives. We believe educating future midwives is promoting peaceful birth practices for a peaceful planet.
Ary Ekantari, Komong Wirayuningsih, Wayan Ari Rasmini,Wayan Sudarmini, Yeni and Dahlia have been chosen by Ibu Robin Lim, founder and head midwife of the Yayasan Bumi Sehat, to receive a free university midwifery degree. In return, they will be employed for 10 years with Yayasan Bumi Sehat to ensure that local women have access to affordable and peaceful birth services.
Yayasan Bumi Sehat has two by-donation clinics located in Bali and Aceh that provide health and peaceful midwifery services to those in need. The clinic in Bali has been running for almost six years to a community that was economically devastated by the Bali bombngs in 2002 and 2004. The Aceh clinic was established in early 2005 in direct repsonse to the December 2004 Asian Tsunami to provide for tsunami survivors and their families. The number of people using these clinics has continued to increase each year. Currently, each clinic provides health care to approximately 1,000 people each month and welcomes over 1,000 new babies into the world each year. Given that community demands for Yayasan Bumi Sehat services is immense, having a continuing supply of well-trained midwives is essential.
These young women were not only at the top of their class in high school - they are dedicated to serving the women, babies and families in their communities and have spent much of their free time volunteering at the Yayasan Bumi Sehat clinics. Ibu Robin knows that midwifery is a unique combination of skills and an open heart and they have the motivation to be "with women"; however, like most families in Indonesia, they are not able to afford the cost of a college education.
The goal of Peaceful Midwifery Scholarships is to provide a free midwifery education for these women and to inspire the world to find ways to find peace in birth. A shining example of providing a free education for women is Made Suastini, a student midwife from Nyuh Kuning, who is a year away from being the highest educated woman in the village! Suastini is already providing compassionate and competent care to the patients of Yayasan Bumi Sehat. She is the inspiration for this project and has and will continue to be a valuable role model for these young women. Suastini's story is the motivation behind Peaceful Midwifery Scholarships.
“The world needs midwives now more than ever!“
This message is coming from the World Health Organization, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the World Bank. These agencies recognize that midwives are critical to improving maternal and infant mortality in the developing world. According to the World Health Organization, Indonesia has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in Southeast Asia. In addition, complications in pregnancy and childbirth are among the leading causes of death throughout Indonesia. But, positive birth experiences and positive birth outcomes are more than statistics.
The Peaceful Midwifery Scholarships are critical to improving health outcomes as much as generating peace, one midwife and one birth at a time. By educating these women, each one is being empowered as an individual, improving the quality of life for her, her family, and her village. At the moment of birth, a midwife holds the space for one woman and one baby (sometimes more!) as they move through the journey of birth life into the world. Birth may be a short journey, but the love and energy through that process stays with a mother and her child for a lifetime.
Help us educate these women. Your contribution will not only support young women to receive a university midwifery education, but will also ensure that well-trained midwives are available to work at Yayasan Bumi Sehat clinics to save lives and to ensure safe and peaceful births for the women of Indonesia for many years to come.
“Peace on Earth Begins with Birth.”