MANILA, Philippines – In Sunday’s ceremony at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, Robin Lim, a Filipino-American midwife who helps poor women have healthy pregnancies and births in Indonesia received the CNN Hero of the Year 2011 award.
“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,” she said while accepting the honor.
In Indonesia, Lim noted pregnant women are 300 times more likely to die in the next 12 months than women who are not pregnant.
“Ibu Robin” (Mother Robin), has been running her free clinics Yayasan Bumi Sehat (Healthy Mother Earth) in Bali and Aceh with Indonesian midwives since 2003. The clinic provides free prenatal and birthing services for poor Indonesian women. Lim also provides training for young midwives.
With Lim being named CNN Hero of the Year, her non-profit Bumi Sehat Foundation will receive a $250,000 grant. This is in addition to the $50,000 already given to each of the Top 10 CNN Heroes.
In 2009, Filipino Efren Peñaflorida, who started a “pushcart classroom” to bring education to poor children as an alternative to gang membership, was named CNN Hero of the Year. He was the first Filipino to win the award.