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On Sunday night Robin Lim, founder of Bumi Sehat one of Vitamin Angels' partners in Indonesia, was named the 2011 CNN Hero of the Year. Referred to as “Mother Robin” or “Ibu Robin” by the locals, Lim has helped thousands of Indonesian women in need have a health pregnancy and birth through the Yayasan Bumi Sehat health clinics. The clinics offer free prenatal care, birthing services and medical aid for those who cannot afford services. Lim opened the clinics several years ago after the death of her sister and her sister’s baby inspired her and her husband to sell their house in Hawaii, move to Bali and spend the remainder of their lives working towards improving maternal health in devastated areas.
“Every baby's first breath on Earth could be one of peace and love,” Lim said during "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute. “Every mother should be healthy and strong. Every birth could be safe and loving. But our world is not there yet.” Lim believes that Indonesia’s maternal and infant mortality rates are high because the average family in Indonesia earns about $8 a day, making it nearly impossible to be able to afford a hospital birth. Perhaps because of this, three out of five women giving birth in South Asia are without a skilled birth attendant (United Nations Population Fund). While accepting the award, a tearful Lim said, "Today on our Earth, 981 mothers in the prime of their life will die -- and tomorrow again and yesterday. And I'm asking you to help change that. We don't even know how many babies are lost, but all of us can help change that."
Robin Lim, accepting her 2011 CNN Hero of the Year Award.