The Philippines…

Dear Ones —

We are all distraught, I know, by the images of suffering coming out of the Philippines. I wanted to open up a conversation about this…I want to see what you all think is the best way to help?

And I wanted to share a link to — in case anyone is looking for a way to help.

Those of you who follow this page know that I am a passionate supporter of Dr. Robin Lim (who, two years ago, CNN named "Hero of the Year".) Robin is a midwife and an advocate for women's health and natural childbirth and breast-feeding, whom I personally know from Bali, because she operates her extraordinary natural birthing center in the village where I used to live.

She is a tireless and incredible advocate for women and babies. When the 2004 tsunami hit, Robin was the first responder on the ground in Aceh, Indonesia — where in the rubble and terror of the aftermath, she immediately started delivering babies and taking care of new mothers.

Babies arrive in this world every moment of the day — not pausing for disasters. They come when they come, and it is always such a fragile, dangerous entry. Times like this, more dangerous than ever. When I first heard the news of the typhoon in the Philippines, I immediately thought, "I'll bet Robin is on her way over there to help…"

Indeed, as I just found out, she is on her way. She is on her way over to the Philippines with her team, to make sure that pregnant women, women in labor, and newborns babies and moms are getting the care they most urgently and desperately need right now.

Just try to imagine what it would be like to be going into labor in the days after a disaster of this magnitude, in a refugee center, with limited food and water, and perhaps with missing family members. It's horrifying and frightening, but Robin will find those women and help them.

Need is everywhere, and I'm so curious how you all are helping. There is no one best right way to respond, but we all have to do what we can, and offer what we feel to be our best contribution. Let's all share thoughts and ideas and links today on how to help.

I myself am making a donation to Dr. Robin Lim's mission today — to the Bumi Sehat Foundation.

With love and prayers to the people of Philippines and to all the international teams of first responders (my brave cousin Sarah with Catholic Charities, included!) who are there helping right now, or soon on their way…

Strength to all,

Bumi Sehat Foundation | Gentle Birth for a Peaceful Future
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