Sunday, May 22, 2011
Former House Guest Wins Conservation Award!
File this under "Good News." Dr. Hotlin Ompusunggu, an Indonesian dentist, received the Whitley Award, presented to her May 12, 2011, by HRH The Princess Royal (that would be Princess Anne). Hotlin is co-founder of Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI),an Indonesian organization that links the health and well-being of rainforest villages with important wildlife habitat in Gunumg Palung National Park in West Kalimantan, Indonesia.
The US fundraising arm of ASRI is Health In Harmony, which you may have read about in this blog. (Click HERE to refresh your memory.)
I met Hotlin when I hosted a fundraiser at my house. She's a short, energetic, charming woman who showed me how Indonesians cook rice: boil water, add rice, boil until done. Too much water? Drain some off. Not enough? Add more. Perhaps I've made too much fuss about rice...
She and Dr. Kinari Webb established ASRI to provide health care to some of the poorest people in the world and have linked the health of people to the health of the environment. I was especially impressed that they asked the villagers what they needed, rather than announcing the services they chose to deliver. ASRI is innovative in many respects, including helping to protect and restore Gunung Palung and its orangutan population. Orangs are not doing well at all as Indonesian is deforested for palm oil plantations and other crops, so this is important.
Give a thought to ASRI as one of the charities you support. You get two bangs for your buck--healthcare for people, habitat for a multitude of tropical species. Can't beat that!