Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne, a well known wildlife celebrity from Sri Lanka

The main reason for birdwatchers to visit Nusa Penida is the iconic Bali Starling. The Bali Starling is a white bird with a blue eye patch. It very probably went extinct in the wild and has been sustained with captive bred introductions. Nusa Penida is a re-introduction site in a captive breeding program managed by the Bali Starling Project supported by Begawan Foundation. The project spent the first year persuading the fifteen thousand or so islanders not to catch or kill birds. The result is spectacular. Even native Balinese are awe struck at how closely wild birds can be observed.

Kayti Denham and Matt McCormick, and a group of secondary students from Bali International School

Overall it was a fantastic experience

Frank Hemmings, Curator, John T. Waterhouse Herbarium, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental

I had practised my Bahasa Indonesian for the trip to the centre, but hadn’t really been prepared for beyond that! My guide Anton’s English was far better than my Bahasa and the day went well, after our initial difficulties. I had a good look around the various cages and saw the lorikeets, starlings and others. I saw a number of free flying Bali Starlings in the vicinity. These certainly seem to be doing well there. After this we drove to Hutan Tembeling. It was a little quiet for birds by the time we arrived, but … we saw another starling near there. The views were spectacular on the coast … All in all it was a great day. I definitely hope to return to Nusa Penida one day.

Dr Paul Jepson, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, UK

I have great admiration for what Bradley … and you have achieved and I suspect that this will get the recognition it deserves in the fullness of time.

Bob Jackson, a reputed Lorie breeder in the UK

To be honest your set up is by far the best I have seen in Indonesia.

Andrew Owen, Curator of Birds, and Roger Wilkinson, Head of Field Conservation & Research, both from

The breeding facilities for the Bali Starling are based within the grounds of the International Green School. These were of a very high standard and it was clear that the aviculturists there were very competent.

Roger Wilkinson, Head of Field Conservation and Research and Andrew Owen, Curator of Birds, from Chester Zoo in UK

Most impressed with work at Green School and great to meet Mehd who clearly has been instrumental in assisting both release and breeding programmes

Marlisa Wareman, Director of Taman Indonesia in The Netherlands

Had a wonderful 4 days there, saw various of bali starling doing very well  (one pasangan was going in and out their lobang with food!) and saw the kaketoes as well. Beautiful.

Steve Milpacher, Operations Director of World Parrot Trust

So wonderful to know that these individuals were available to help draw attention to your important work, and that through the releases they were able to participate in such a meaningful way

Brad Sanders from Harapan Rainforest

Thanks to Mehd and all the staff at the Begawan Foundation for taking time to educate Derrick and his friends about the Bali Starling and the importance of nature! The Bali Starling is an iconic and real-life example of biodiversity conservation and the plight of endangered species that young kids can easily learn about and carry for the rest of their lives!

Tony Sumampau, Chair of APCB (Bali Starling Conservationists Association) and Vet drh. I Kadek Kesuma Atmaja from Bali Safari and Marine Park

Thank you for the warm welcome that has been given by friends at Begawan Foundation (Mehd, Deva, Agung and other staff) as well as the information provided and the exchange of information to increase the population of Bali Starling with a better genetic quality. We are pleased to find that the released Bali Starlings at Green School that is adjacent to Begawan Foundation Breeding and Release Centre are flying freely in the wild and can be seen and enjoyed by everyone.

Dr Jean Paul Ly and Dr Carmen Lee from Animal Recovery Centre (ARVRC)

It was indeed a pleasure to see you again and am so glad to see the progress within a short time!

David Jeggo, Durrell Wildlife Conservation

It was a most pleasant day and so nice to talk and discuss in a relaxed atmosphere.

Satya, Bina Bangsa School, Bandung

There is nowhere else that can teach me so much about Bali Starling other than the Begawan Foundation. The situation of Bali Starling captured my attention that I need to help in taking care of them, and not only the Bali Starling but also other species around us, especially those that are endangered of extinction. The activities we did there really broadened my horizon that we, as mere students, can take part on a bigger community to help in a bigger cause" and from Steven,"Begawan Foundation: a complete encyclopedia about the Bali starling, really introduced me to it.

Paul Greenway, guidebook author & film-maker

I first went to the Begawan's place about 5 years ago and was impressed, but am now even more so as the setup is highly professional. This time I went to do some filming for the 'Ubud in a Minute' YouTube channel where you can see a short film clip about it, and loved the place once again. I really think this has the potential to be a tourist attraction - with limited numbers, perhaps by appointment, and an entrance fee to help fund their work. 

Angelia Yulita (Angel), high school mathematics teacher from Jakarta

The volunteer opportunity was an unforgettable experience and all of the staff were so welcoming and friendly. I learned a lot and it motivated me to contribute even more in conservation and education. I hope Begawan Foundation will keep up their restless effort to conserve Bali Starlings and to educate the locals about wildlife, education and conservation. I think we need more foundations like this in order to increase people’s awareness about the global environmental threats we are facing.

Laurynas Veckys, Economic and Finance student from the University of Southampton

Many thanks to birdkeeper Dewa for the Balinese language lessons and all the fun times at the breeding centre. Moreover, I believe that Begawan Foundation will continue to successfully restore Bali Starling’s population and I wish them the best of luck in this mission.

Auliya Indiarti Zen (Indi), MSc. Animal Behaviour (Application for Conservation) student from Anglia Ruskin University

Hopefully Begawan Foundation can continue their great efforts in the conservation of Bali Starlings and other birds, and also with the education program for local children. I think education for the younger generation is very important. I hope my university and I can continue to have good relationship with Begawan Foundation and hope that there can be more research collaborations with the foundation to learn more about the Bali Starling.

Katherina & Anna, volunteers from OPCFHK

By volunteering with Begawan Foundation, we undertook real-life experiences that demonstrate when students are given opportunities, they are more involved in conservation efforts. We see how the students always arrive early before the activities and try their best to find the answers and learn during the process. Another interesting observation we had was that the decoration for the Drama Musical was from the environment, using flowers.

Aaron & Nicholas, volunteers from OPCFHK

We became aware how significant it is for community and conservation to work together from our volunteering experience. Thank you for doing a great job, Begawan Foundation!

Pearl & Meow, volunteers from OPCFHK

We learned a lot about how a conservation NGO works, and enjoyed a lot being part of the team. We cherished the meetings we had with the Founder. We also valued the experience we had in participating in the clean-up with a local school.

Gusti Ayu Keysha Maheswari’s Parent (BF Learning Center Student's Parent)

I would like to thank you for all the time, patience, dedication, and materials that have been given to my daughter who is participating in the BF programme. I have seen so much development in my child, in terms of knowledge, skills, insight, and now she has much better confidence. She always wants to participate in all activities very seriously. For me, that is a very extraordinary thing. I would like to thank you very much for all the efforts the BF team has done.



Putu Cantika and Kadek Agus’s Parents (BF Learning Center Student's Parents)

I would like to thank you for the attention, time, patience, and materials that have been received by my children while participating at BF. I have seen so much progress and development in my children, in terms of new abilities and skills, and much better self-confidence. As a parent, I like to participate in the learning activities and environmental assessment. I support the programs at the Begawan Foundation. Thank you to all the teachers at Begawan Foundation.



Kintan's Parents (BF Learning Center Student's Parents)

I personally have a positive response to the BF program since it was introduced at school and I supported my children to take their lessons. The children are happy to join the environmental tourism program, the cooking lessons add to their ability to prepare their own food, the drama performances increase their confidence in public, and the video competition makes them learn the use of digital tools. The environmental program adds to their understanding of the importance of cleanliness and nature preservation. I hope the BF learning program will continue.



Gandari’s Parents (BF Learning Center Student's Parents)

After participating in the activities at BF, my child is more expressive. She studies more actively and she’s very knowledgeable. I like the “learning by doing” method, it’s very helpful. I hope more children can take part in the lessons. This is very useful in Banjar Pengaji, particularly in Melinggih Kelod. Thank you Begawan Foundation and keep up the spirit.



Sangtu and Sangade's Parents (BF Learning Center Student's Parents)

I would like to thank Begawan Foundatian and the teaching staff for their guidance to my children. I am very happy to see their progress. Beside developing their personalities, they have also started to take responsibility and carry out their duties independently. I hope that in the future Begawan Foundation will continue and there will be more students.



Ni Made Intan's Parents (BF Learning Center Student's Parents)

I would like to thank Begawan Foundation and the teaching staff who have educated and taught many things to my child. After a year studying at BF, my child has undergone many changes. My child was shy and didn't really care about the environment. Now she is brave, she dares to speak her opinion in front of a crowd, and now she really cares about the environment. She likes to plant trees, sort organic and inorganic waste, and her grades at school are starting to improve. I hope that in the future Begawan Foundation will continue to produce independent, innovative children who care for the Earth.

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