It was a big week in Sukadana! In between meetings with the contractors, the team met with the local community throughout the week for “Community Socialization” gatherings. They discussed the details of the hospital and community benefits, and the space allowed members of the community to come forward to voice their questions, thoughts, and concerns regarding the hospital.

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We're sure you've noticed that lately, we've been talking a lot about building ASRI's Community Hospital and Training Center. What's so great about this hospital, you ask? Well, I've created a side-by-side comparison for you, so you know exactly why this hospital is so important:

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Guest blog by Dr. Yuliana Jeng

"The sky is dark without the stars tonight. Still, I can hear the sound of rain falling down to the ground. I always love this moment. While I was watching the  rain through my window, I remember our lovely six year old patient, a little boy named Yasir."
- Dr. Yuli

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ASRI's programs have always been designed and implemented by the people living in the villages around Gunung Palung National Park. Thirty of the 32 villages surrounding the park have signed memoranda of understanding (MOU) with us, agreeing to work together to reduce illegal logging. This month, we received word from our program partner, ASRI, that one of those two remaining villages also agreed to an MOU! That means there is only one remaining village that has not signed. After signing villages get discounts in the clinic even if they don't managed to stop the logging (but more if they do!). We are celebrating one more village having access to affordable healthcare and  protecting precious habitat!

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Guest blog by Josh Fleming

Josh and Etty pose with ASRI Kids.

Josh and Etty pose with ASRI Kids.

So what is ASRI? I find myself contemplating this question upon arriving back home from my time spent away. Trying to properly convey to myself or furthermore others not having been a witness to the beauty and scope of ASRI, is no simple feat in itself. It is hard to easily define and put into words ASRI’s full magnitude and the breadth of complexities of this intricately designed program, but I wish to be so bold and try to articulate the essence of what I believe ASRI to be in my most humble opinion.

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DIANE DAKIN – Physician

Diane Dakin in Sukadana

Diane in Sukadana

"I have volunteered in health projects in Latin America where I felt comfortable with the language and the culture for 40 years. The decision to volunteer in Sukadana with Health In Harmony/ASRI represented, initially, a testing of my comfort levels, challenging the familiar. Yet, perhaps because it required a leap of faith, it gave me one of the greatest rewards, in terms of feeling useful,appreciated and seeing  that I could contribute to the learning experience of the next generation of Indonesian doctors. I was inspired by ASRI's mission and how it functioned on a daily basis, and by the wonderful people with whom I worked every day, who made me feel so welcome, and who quickly became an extension of my family. I gave the clinic a few months of my sabbatical but I received an invaluable and heartwarming lesson in commitment, dedication and human understanding."

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Orangutan Mother and Baby

Orangutan Mother and Baby. Photo by Sachi Oshima.

SAVING LIVES AND VITAL HABITAT ONE PRECIOUS STEP AT A TIME

At Health In Harmony, with our partner ASRI, we are forging a model that is measurably changing the face of global health and conservation. How? By saving lives and restoring vision at Klinik ASRI, while simultaneously working side-by-side with and training health care providers, traditional birth attendants, and midwives in exchange for restoring the rain forest, protecting critical orangutan habitat with community-based guardianship, teaching healthy, sustainable organic agricultural methods, and providing goats to widows. And, we are getting ready to build a beautiful community hospital that will serve as a center for conservation education, training, and a foundation for replicating the Health In Harmony model.

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