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Guest blog by Dr. Abhimanyu "Manu" Uberoi
Extremely eager to embark on a once in a lifetime experience, I was elated when I found out I was accepted to the Yale/Stanford Johnson & Johnson Global Health Scholars Program, and even more excited that I got my first choice: Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI). Once there, I was flabbergasted and able to appreciate what HIH/ASRI is really about. During the first week, my jaw was nearly on the floor, as I was so impressed with the institution established. The complex, community centered, multifaceted organization with all its projects: the reforestation group, the Forest Guardians, the Goats for Widows project, organic farming, DOTs, and Clinic were all intertwined.
Morning meeting at ASRI is an amazing expression of the HIH/ASRI model. The way that Dr. Kinari and Dr. Hotlin have established an egalitarian organization, where morning meetings more closely resemble a democracy as opposed to a corporation, where every morning everyone: nurses, doctors, drivers, the cook and volunteers are involved in discussing plans for how to move all the ASRI projects forward, while concurrently and collectively accomplishing the underlying goal of ASRI-- to save the environment and provide affordable, accessible healthcare to the local communities.
I am a simple man of medicine with a huge interest in the mission that HIH and ASRI are pushing forward. I am astounded by the accomplishments that this organization has made thus far, optimistic about the impending projects and confident that there are many great things to come. I only hope that we (I am using the word we, in the collective sense, as I now feel like a part of the ASRI family) can share the message and mission of Health In Harmony and ASRI with every other like-minded individual who may not have the luxury of spending six weeks here like I did.
Accordingly, the brilliance and altruism of HIH/ASRI is to be celebrated as together the HIH/ASRI organization, our local Indonesian families, staff and volunteers continue to work so hard to be the change we want to see.
About Abhimanyu Uberoi
Manu volunteered as a Medical Resident at the ASRI Clinic through the Johnson & Johnson Global Scholars Program at Stanford University in 2012.