The Bali Animal Welfare Association was founded in 2007 to rescue sick, injured and abandoned animals from the streets and beaches of Bali, heal them and find them loving homes.
The Bali Animal Welfare Association is a non-profit organization that works to save, protect and improve the lives of all animals in Bali and beyond. BAWA also translates into English as 'to take or bring.' It was founded by Janice Girardi, an expatriate from the US who has been rescuing dogs since the 1970s.
Janice traveled to Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and southeast Asia trading handicrafts, gems and jewelry. After first visiting Bali in 1973, she returned in 1980. She lived in the Celuk area of Bali and worked with silver jewelers. She admired Bali's culture, craft heritage and techniques, which led her to form Janice Girardi Designs.
Janice Girardi Designs has 100 crafters who enjoy fair pay, health insurance and a great working environment. It has won awards from both the Indonesian government and the governor of Bali for being the best company for female workforce development.
"Much of my inspiration comes from Balinese spiritualism and culture. Bali has temples, spiritual ceremonies and offerings made to the gods. Many of our jewelry designs are heavily influenced by these traditions and history," she says.
"I worked with the older generation of master silversmiths, many whom are unfortunately no longer with us. I strive to inspire the younger generation to continue these silver crafting traditions and safeguard these ancient techniques. With an eye for color, I combine natural stones with detailed and creative metal working techniques to create modern, unique and timeless jewelry."
When not designing jewelry, Janice manages BAWA, which is located next to the Janice Girardi Design office. It was founded in 2007 to rescue sick, injured and abandoned animals from the streets and beaches of Bali, heal them and find them loving homes, and is funded only by donations. "Through BAWA, I've met amazing people and seen the positive impact on thousands of animals," she continues.
"BAWA has a staff of 55, including veterinarians, vet nurses, educators and investigators. It also relies on amazing volunteers to assist with feeding strays, dog walking and administrative functions.
"The native Balinese dog breed, or kintamani, is at risk of extinction and must be saved. It is highly significant to history, culture and science. Saving the Bali dog from the many threats to its survival is BAWA's signature program.
"BAWA's mission is to relieve suffering, control the population and improve animal health, especially Bali's heritage dogs, while educating the public on animal welfare. We have an emergency hotline and the only free animal ambulance service on the island. In addition, we offer sterilization, vaccinations and foster and adoption programs.
"Practices like animal sacrifice, cockfighting, eating dog meat, and the mistreatment of animals conflict with global norms of welfare. BAWA advocates for change and it works with local institutions and religious leaders to get their support. We also provide educational programs in public schools and the community.
"BAWA advocates for law reform and tries to relieve suffering when there is little or no recourse in the law. Our association has been widely recognized and applauded internationally for demonstrating that the mass vaccination of dogs controls rabies better than mass euthanasia. BAWA has received grants from the International Fund for Animal Welfare and won awards like the Marsh International Animal Welfare Award."