Guest blog by Maggie Gumbinner

I’m often asked why I choose to spend my free time working for Health In Harmony from the many good organizations and causes out there. But, it all became very clear to me one day on the Journey to Borneo last year during a hike through Gunung Palung National Park.

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As of February 1, 2017, we are temporarily suspending our sending of new volunteers to ASRI. This is due to recent changes in Indonesian immigration regulations and visa requirements. Though no new volunteers will be able to travel at this time, all volunteers who are currently at ASRI are able to stay for the duration of their trip, as planned. Short-term visits involving our supporters — such as our Journey to Borneo in May — will also proceed as planned.

Health In Harmony and ASRI staff are working with the Indonesian government to understand the new procedures and regulations. It is our priority to adhere to Indonesian law and ensure the safety and security of all who visit. The volunteer program is of immense mutual value for ASRI staff and for visitors, and we hope to reinstate the program in the near future. Though we are not currently processing applications for our volunteer program, we have a form where individuals can express interest and sign-up for updates. Once procedures have been clarified, we will contact you.

We are immensely grateful for all the students, doctors, conservation professionals, photographers and many others who have volunteered their time, contributed their skills, and advanced our mission over the years.

Please reach out at any time to Amy Krzyzek, International Partnerships Manager, or Trina Jones, Managing Director, with your questions.

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January’s latest and greatest reads on deforestation, global health, and everything in between.

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Thank you for an amazing 2016! Your outpouring of support has inspired us to set big goals for the new year. We plan to continue strengthening the incredible programs at our partner Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI), start replicating our model to other sites in Indonesia, and share our story of win-win solutions with the biggest audience yet.

We hope that you will join us in continuing to fight for a healthy planet with healthy people.

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Last month, midwestern natives Jackson and Sara Helms moved to Borneo to work with our partner Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI). Jackson, ASRI’s new Conservation Director, served in the Marine Corps for five years and now has his PhD in Biology from the University of Oklahoma. Sara, Health In Harmony’s new On-Site Partnership Coordinator, graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Studio Art in 2014, and spent two years teaching at an elementary school for at-risk youth before moving to Borneo.

This week, we interviewed them to learn about their new roles and what they hope to accomplish during their time in Sukadana. Sara has also taken over our Instagram this week – click here to follow along and see what their day-to-day looks like!

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Guest blog by Leni Glassman

In August, ten-year-old Leni Glassman traveled to Borneo with her mother, father, and sister, to see Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI), the program that her family has been supporting for years, in person. Now, Leni reflects on her experiences and the memorable people she met. Read More

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For our last What We’re Reading of the year, we’ve rounded up our staff’s favorite articles of the year. What were your favorite picks of 2016?

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Guest blog by Tea Chandra

What is the thing in the world that makes you most happy? To be in love? Maybe. To have lots of money? Yes, for many people. Well, I think a little differently…

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#GivingTuesday is less than a week away, and this year, we want to make it easier than ever for you to save forests and save lives.

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Orangutans are at threat of becoming extinct. There are many reasons why orangutans are going extinct. But believe it or not, your everyday actions can help limit those threats, even if you’re on the other side of the world from the rain forests where orangutans live.

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This weekend, Health In Harmony’s incoming Executive Director, Jonathan Jennings, joined the Board and Staff at our annual retreat in Stevenson, WA. Jonathan had the opportunity to spend the weekend learning more about our organization as we look to the year ahead, and thoughtfully shares his reflections below. He currently serves as Deputy Executive Director of Doctors Without Borders, Canada with over 15 years of experience managing relief and development projects around the world. He also has a BA in Biology, MS in Conservation Biology and Applied Ecology, and MA in International Politics and Security. He will officially begin working at Health In Harmony at the end of January.

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Guest blog by Felona Gunawan

Sometimes I wonder what life would be like if I never moved to the United States. It was partly to satisfy this curiosity that I decided to go to Sukadana, Indonesia for my rotation as a Johnson and Johnson Global Health Scholar. I was both nervous and excited. Nervous because I was not sure what to expect: will people still be able to understand my elementary level Indonesian? Have the social and political climates changed much from when I moved in 1999? How much can a doctor with Western training that depends so much on technology contribute? Thankfully, a lot of these fears quickly dissipated soon after my arrival in Sukadana. Not necessarily because these challenges were not present, but more so because of the amazing and dedicated staff and community. Moreover, my experience in Sukadana has allowed me to reconnect with the humanitarian aspect of medicine that is often lost in the practice of Western medicine.

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This weekend, the ASRI staff was all hands on deck to help with a BIG transition – moving the clinic into the new hospital building!

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The effects of climate change seem to become more evident every day. Each season, the weather patterns seem to grow more extreme. Extreme heat means more droughts and damage from forest fires. More heavy rain means uncontrollable flooding. Drought means fewer crops, less water in the rivers, and less snow in the mountains, which means less water in our reservoirs come summertime. Preventing forest fires will slow climate change because of the amount of carbon dioxide that is released through large-scale fires.

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This is part two of a two-part series exploring the right to health, how the right is connected to our mission and to our goals for scaling-up, and how your support is vital to our work. You can read part one here.

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Receiving an invitation for the Independence Day Ceremony in the Presidential Palace was something that Pak Noor never dreamed of. Yet, on August 17th, 2016, he was there – invited by Indonesian President Joko Widodo as one of the “Outstanding Farmers” representing the Kayong Utara Regency in West Kalimantan. So, who is Pak Noor?

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This is part one of a two-part series exploring the right to health, how the right is connected to our mission and to our goals to scale-up, and how your support is vital to our work. You can read part two here. Read More

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Guest blog by Vince O’Hara

Only 17% of my fellow Americans are “alarmed” by climate change, according to a recent survey. More than half (55%) rank climate change last among 23 competing political priorities.

As someone alarmed by climate change, this news is alarming. When I look around and see rising temperatures, increasing carbon emissions, declining forestsdying seas, booming human population, mass displacement, and surging migration, alongside an admirable yet insufficient international agreement that assumes that we will make fundamental economic shifts by mid-century or otherwise face unimaginable heat, I cannot help but be alarmed.

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If you are like me, then you too are proudly watching as the Community Hospital and Training Center (CHTC) rapidly approaches completion.

If you are like me, you love hearing stories from community members and volunteers about how the projects at ASRI are affecting them directly and changing the way they see the world.

If you are like me, you are also looking at the future wondering, how can we do more?

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Guest blog by Maggie Gumbinner

Last month, a group of nine Health In Harmony supporters traveled to Sukadana in West Kalimantan, where our partner ASRI operates, as part of the 2016 Friendship Tour. On the trip, they met members of the ASRI staff, saw the rain forest that they helped reforest, talked to the patients whose lives were saved at the clinic, and watched the hospital grow before their eyes. Below, Health In Harmony Board Vice President and trip participant Maggie Gumbinner shares her reflection from the trip.

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