Early this year, I have been approached by one of my customers that apparently is a dentist. She had volunteered in a small medical clinic at a small village in one of the most remote areas in West Borneo, called Desa Sukadana (5 hours by boat from the city of Pontianak or 2 hours driving from Ketapang) that lies between the foothills of Gunung Palung and the South China Sea.She told me a story about this brilliant yet endearing non-profit medical clinic named ASRI, an abbreviation from Alam Sehat Lestari. They have a smart program that could help the local villagers get the appropriate medical assistance while paying at a minimum cost or even with non-cash medium such as plant seeds, hand-woven buckets, etc. All with the expense of leaving their livelihood of doing illegal loggers.
This lovely dentist named Stella asked me whether I would want to help them to raise fund to build a hospital, an extension of the house-clinic they have right now. The ASRI clinic wants to build a hospital in Sukadana since they could not cope serving more than 10,000 registered patients in that area.
At that time, I was completely blank. Then all I did was following my heart and gut by going there alone, for the very first time stepping my foot on the land of orang utan and tropical rain forest, observing the clinic and exploring the area and surroundings for few days. And next thing I know it, I fell in love with ASRI, its founder (an amazing women, by the way) drg. Hotlin Ompusunggu, the ASRI family, the doctors, the volunteers, the community and….. Borneo.
See more of my Borneo trip in my next post. If you want to know more about ASRI, click here.