The vision, mission, purpose behind presenting this photo Journal, is to acknowledge and honor the feminine divine energy in all its wisdom and beauty and to inspire and awaken humanity. If given the same opportunities as men, woman by nature will support, nurture, inspire, uplift, bring co-operation, and more compassion and raise the consciousness of humanity.
Stephen Laurence Harvey
As one of my favourite authors profoundly stated ...
“If woman are allowed the freedom to grow to their full potential, there will be many, many women enlightened; many, many women mystics, poets, painters, healers, And they will enhance not only the woman’s part of the world – because the world is one – they will enhance the whole world. They will give man also new dimensions because their ways of seeing things are different. Man looks at things in one way; the woman looks from a different perspective. Life will become richer."
Robin Lim ("Mother Robin," or "Ibu Robin") is a midwife and founder of Yayasan Bumi Sehat (Healthy Mother Earth Foundation) health clinics, which offer free prenatal care birthing services and medical aid to anyone who needs it. She and her team have been working since 2003 to combat Indonesia's high maternal and infant mortality rates, and the Bumi Sehat birth centers serve many at-risk mothers. She was awarded the 2011 CNN hero of the year award by the CNN news network for helping thousands of low-income women in Indonesia with healthy pregnancy and birth services. In 2012, the Bumi Sehat Foundation provided 50,050 recorded incidences of patient care, educational and human services. From its beginnings as a community health and childbirth clinic in Bali, Lim took the Bumi Sehat Foundation to Aceh following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. Combined, the two clinics have facilitated the birth of more than 8,000 babies. And when earthquakes struck, Lim took the project to Yogyakarta in 2006, Padang in 2008 and Haiti in 2010.
Lim and the Bumi Sehat midwives are prepared to provide maternal and infant care in the middle of devastated areas with limited materials. Instead of cutting the umbilical cord, for instance, she burns it—especially in disaster zones, because it's something she can teach midwives and doctors who have lost their instruments. Using scissors to sever the umbilical cord carries a risk of tetanus, while burning the cord mitigates risk of infection. In addition to knowing how to safely respond medically, Robin Lim and the Bumi Sehat Foundation don't have any particular religion, and honor all requests and faith traditions, aiming to help mothers feel safe and supported.
Lim is an advocate for parental rights. Babies are often held by hospitals in Indonesia, until payment is made for birthing services. Parents sometimes in desperation relinquish their rights and place their babies up for adoption. Lim's Yayasan Bumi Sehat birthing sanctuaries offer free prenatal care, birthing services and medical aid to anyone who needs it in Indonesia, where the average family earns the equivalent of $8 a day, and a normal hospital delivery without complications costs around $150. A Caesarean section can cost more than $1,000. Indonesia's high maternal and infant mortality rates are caused in part by these costs, which many women cannot meet. In turn, their lives and the lives of their babies are at risk. While some Indonesian celebrities and expatriates choose Bumi Sehat to birth their children, and they often give donations, 80% of the families served by the clinics can barely pay anything, and are helped for free.
Lim is a U.S. citizen, with deep roots in the Philippines, the homeland of her mother. Lim is a mother of eight children of her own, and author of many books related to infant and maternal health. She became a midwife after several personal tragedies, including the death of her sister (and her baby) from complications during pregnancy, and the loss of her best friend and one of the midwives who delivered one of her own children.
Lim was raised in the USA and Philippines while her father was stationed in Vietnam with the U.S. military. She studied at Santa Barbara City College. Lim and her husband, William Hemmerle, sold their home in Hawaii and moved the family to Bali. Once in Bali, Lim volunteered to help local women birth their babies in various homes. As the demand for her services grew, she decided to obtain formal midwife certification. Lim is a Certified Professional Midwife with the North American Registry of Midwives. In 2003, with help from the Balinese community and donations from friends across the globe, Lim and fellow midwife Brenda Ritchmond as well as board members; Eka Yuliani, Made Wena, and Made Sandiyasa opened the first Yayasan Bumi Sehat clinic.
With a unique musical perspective, intimate voice and prolific treasure-trove of lyrics, singer-songwriter Brenda Russell proves that a truly glowing talent only deepens with time. Composer of the classics “Get Here,” “If Only For One Night,” and the Grammy-nominated “Piano In The Dark,” Brenda’s songwriting prowess and chameleon-like ability to shift between musical genres and combine styles trumpeted ovations in 2005 with the opening of the Tony Award-winning hit Broadway musical The Color Purple–a show for which she, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray co-wrote the music and lyrics. Brenda and her co-authors were also nominated for a 2007 Grammy in the Best Musical Show Album category for the original cast album.
Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker and presented by Oprah Winfrey, The Color Purple’s story spans a 30-year period in the life of its female African American protagonist Celie through music that blends jazz, blues and gospel of the early and mid 1900s with the writers’ pop sensibilities creating a show and soundtrack brimming with emotion, authenticity and memorable songs.
While composing The Color Purple, Brenda also wrote, recorded and co-produced a solo album, Between the Sun and the Moon–released in 2004 on Dome Records, an R&B- focused label based in the UK. Narada Jazz licensed the CD for release in the U.S. The album aptly displays her song craft and nuanced vocals mixing up-tempo grooves with her classic balladry in a work that satisfied longtime fans while enticing new listeners. Recorded in both the UK and the U.S., the album includes production and writing collaborations with such notables as Bluey from Incognito, Lee Ritenour and Patty Austin.
Born to musical parents in Brooklyn, New York, Brenda grew up there and in the Canadian town of Hamilton, Ontario. She encountered her first piano while singing as a teenager in the Canadian company of the rock musical Hair in Toronto. Without formal musical education, Brenda says she worried that she would never be able to write another song after her first composition. “Then I had a revelation: ‘You’re not doing this alone. You are just a channel for this,’ Brenda recalls. “Once I realized that, I was sort of fearless about songwriting. I thought: ‘If that’s the way it is, I can write anything.’ And that’s the premise I’ve based my whole writing career on.”
“I am a citizen of the world and believe in peace and love to all people. That is what I write about and what I sing about. It’s the motivating force behind everything I do and the way I live. I want my music to bring people together.”
Brenda Russell is a true Woman of Wonder