Begawan Foundation focuses on education for the village children and conservation of the endangered Bali Starlings. Even though it seems like these are two different activities, the two actually support one another. At its centre, the core work of Begawan Foundation is building the local community in Melinggih Kelod and surrounding areas.

Within the Learning Centre itself, Begawan Foundation is developing education for the local children by building a generation of critical thinkers with an entrepreneurial mindset that will assist to develop their community, while still being aware of surrounding social and environmental issues. They are the future – a generation that will continue conservation work and the protection of the environment, so focusing our education program on the local children will support the community overall.

With the Breeding and Release Centre located at Melinggih Kelod, the local community’s involvement is essential. The main goal of the Breeding and Release Centre is to safely release the Bali Starlings back to the wild. Poaching and keeping single birds in cages has been a constant issue for all birdlife, but telling the local communities this is not enough. It is not enough to just go to villages and tell them not to steal Bali Starlings or keep single birds in cages.

It is important to also involve them in the work, so they see for themselves why by protecting the Bali Starlings, they are actually benefiting themselves. That is why we are collaborating with the local breeders association, the Madhusuara Breeders Association, to work together on our conservation program. We hope that together, we can create another source of income for Melinggih Kelod through Eco-tourism.

By developing the local community in general, education and conservation work becomes easier. There is a synergy between the two and the connecting point is building the spirit within the local community so that they themselves want to educate and conserve the endangered animals in the future. (Astari P Sarosa)

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