Creating a Vision of Sustainability
Begawan Foundation is the brainchild of Bradley and Debbie Gardner, who were also the creative forces behind the world-renowned Begawan Giri Estate on the Indonesian island of Bali. After discovering this magical spot while holidaying on the island in 1989, the couple formed a vision to create a private estate at Begawan that would be both economically viable and sustain the surrounding villages. Bradley and Debbie began by constructing a bamboo house that served as both their home and their office. Begawan Village had few facilities in 1991. It had no “roads”, just mud paths. There was neither running water, electricity nor telephone lines. The bamboo house was lit by candles and oil lamps. A charcoal-burning oven was built, with large terracotta pots to heat water that had to be carried up a mountain slope from springs located around the estate. But the Gardners persevered, and over the next 10 years, undertook the process of understanding the land, creating the gardens and planning with Malaysian architect Cheong Yew Kuan the creation that followed.
Begawan Giri Estate began to take shape. Right from the outset, the Gardners decided that its landscape should be a key factor. It would be developed without imposing upon it. The materials they chose for building the homes would echo their surroundings. Recycled timber would be used wherever possible. The homes would be integrated naturally with the gardens.
In the early years, the couple spent a lot of time simply sitting in the gardens and understanding the land. They terraced the slope of the mountain and constructed the Water Gardens. The Amphitheatre was created for cultural events that continue today.
More than 2,500 trees were planted on the Estate, including coconuts, mahogany and teak, as well as a bamboo grove. Besides these, the Gardners planted coffee, cacao, aloe vera, lemongrass, cashew nut, and a myriad varieties of banana. Vegetable gardens and fish farms were created, and pig breeding farms constructed with the local farmers, to create sustainable farming and produce supplied to the Estate.
Both the Breeding and Release Centre and the Learning Centre rely on donations to assist in the running of activities.
Lend A Hand
We accept volunteer applications all year round. It's a great opportunity for anyone who is keen to learn about our Conservation and Education activities here at Begawan Foundation.