January 12, 2012

Filipino-American Robin Lim named CNN Hero of the Year 2011

Mother Robin, or "Ibu Robin" as she fondly called, received the CNN Hero of the Year 2011 award  in a ceremony at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles from Anderson Cooper.

Robin, a Filipino-American midwife in Indonesia, has been named as the second “CNN Hero of the Year” with Filipino roots. The first Filipino CNN Hero of the Year, Efren G. Peñaflorida Jr., won in 2009 for his Kariton Eskwela (pushcart classes) project that educates poor schoolchildren in his home province of Cavite. Now in its fifth year, CNN Heroes is a multi-platform campaign that spotlights on individuals who go to extraordinary lengths to serve others.

Lim  has been running her free clinics Yayasan Bumi Sehat (Healthy Mother Earth) in Bali and Aceh, Indonesia with other Indonesian midwives since 2003 providing free prenatal and birthing services for poor Indonesian women. They also provide training for young midwives.

"Every baby's first breath on Earth could be one of peace and love. Every mother should be healthy and strong. Every birth could be safe and loving. But our world is not there yet," Lim said during "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute," which took place at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles and recognized Lim and the other top 10 CNN Heroes of 2011.

After being announced as the CNN Hero of the Year, a tearful Lim accepted the award from host Anderson Cooper and made an impassioned plea for help.

"Today on our Earth, 981 mothers in the prime of their life will die -- and tomorrow again and yesterday," she said. "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."


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