Integrating conservation, dentistry and health care through community-based projects, with a mission to break the cycle between poverty and illegal logging in Indonesia.

Hear from Project Director Hotlin Ompusunggu:

As a dentist for more than two decades, I have always wanted to help change  society for the better. Since the beginning of my career, I have practiced  dentistry in underserved communities as part of my commitment to community development. In 2007, I broadened my horizons beyond dentistry  and gained the second title of “conservationist” as I came to believe that  development is not complete without including care for the environment and  ensuring sustainability of life. 


I learn that my homeland lay some beautiful forest that is also on the threat  of destruction from the community who has very limited option to survive  when they also know that they should protect the forest for the future. And  this underserve community are predominantly Christian. I would like to reach  out to our brother and sister who has more resource to share to help local  rainforest community in Harangan Tapanuli North Sumatra to say thank you  for protecting the forest that is important for the health of our one only planet  that we all share.  


Rev 22 : 2b: “On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit,  yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of  the nations.” 





Vision: Healthy People Healthy Environment  

Mission: Integrating conservation and health care through community-based projects, with a mission to break the cycle between poverty and illegal logging in Indonesia.  


Healthy Planet Indonesia scrubs


Objectives of the organisation: 

Deforestation in Indonesia is rampant due to government-sanctioned land conversion to agricultural  crops such as oil palm, as well as large-scale and small-scale illegal logging as forest conversion to  agriculture places additional pressure on the country’s remaining forest areas.  

Most of the work was focusing on direct effort on protecting the forest and wildlife conflict with  patrol, restoring deforested forest. The community reaching out through community empowerment  toward sustainability has not given enough approach to address the threats. Bill Gates also mentioned  in a BBC interview that humans are not evil but they don’t have enough incentive in protecting the forest  as much as to destroy it. Therefore, we need to find solutions to the good incentive for the  community to be the guardian of the forest.  

The biggest drive of deforestation and poaching is economic. Indonesia has implemented  the national health insurance which is currently facing funding shortage and this will limit the  service to the community.  

The HePI approach will aim to give health care incentives to the community and empower local  communities to be the guardian of the forest through livelihood training. 




The Theory-of-Change is based on the philosophy that local communities know the solutions  needed for the problems they face, and to solve these problems, you must listen with an open heart  and mind – a philosophy that we call ‘radical listening’. The chart below details the anticipated  interventions to be undertaken (health care incentives and conservation education) based on  conversations with communities. Undertaking these interventions will generate the social capital  needed to leverage community involvement in HePI’s conservation mission. They will also reduce  the social acceptability of logging, and the health care incentive will reduce the economic pressure  that may lead local communities to log or clear forest land. The caveat is that local communities  may identify additional or different interventions for reducing illegal logging and encroachment  during the radical listening phase – these interventions will form the basis of future conservation  engagement.


Expected outcome(s): 

  1. Communities from villages bordering Batang Toru Ecosystem will have active participation  in forest rehabilitation by access to health care with noncash payment that promote  conservations.  
  2. Raised awareness of the importance of forest protection through human and environmental  health educations to community and schools.  
  3. Development of community training for the conservation of Batang Toru, based on inputs  from local communities about the root causes leading to deforestation and solutions to follow  up with expected tangible impact for forest protection and the community’s welfare

Goal:  Improve the community health whilst saving the Rainforest of Batang Toru Ecosystem (Harangan  Tapanuli)

Project Aims:  To Increase the participation of the community who live by the forest to protect and rehabilitate  the forest.

Our Impact to date:  Since March 2020 to December 2020 we run 15 community meetings and validations 

  • We have distributed more than 320 reading glasses for elderly people for community forest who live near by Batang Toru. 
  • Since September 2020 to March 2021, we have seen 144 patients with 194 treatments. 
  • We have received 526 seedlings from non cash payment.  
  • We also run health educations for 9 primary schools and 1 secondary high school. 
  • There were 203 students participated in the education program.  
  • Train 60 farmers, women health cadre about 1. forest rehabilitation and 2.incentive payment system  that promote conservation, 3. Eco friendly polybag from banana trunk.  
  • In 2020, We have interviewed 866 community forest households, from 13 villages, 7 districts and 2  regencies using Location intelligence link with GIS and real time about their social economic and their  status and perception on health and environment.




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ABN 42 958 367 110

HealthServe Australia works in partnership with other international organisations, complementing their strengths with health resources. It has a special relationship with the largest group of Christian health professionals in Australia, the Christian Medical and Dental Fellowship of Australia (CMDFA) through which it was established. Many of the CMDFA members have worked for a number of years overseas in health work.



We acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands on which we work and live, and pay our respects to First Nations people, and their Elders past and present.

ACNC Registered Charity