How the 2017 Big Give Christmas Challenge will help us tackle rabies in Indonesia

Take part in the Big Give Christmas Challenge and help save dogs in Bali

The Big Give Christmas Challenge is one of our favourite times of year. It’s a great way for supporters to make their donation count twice as much, and it allows us to give much-needed funds to vital projects around the world that help animals!

Click here to make your donation.

Each and every year we think long and hard about choosing a project where the Big Give’s match funding will be critical to success. This year we're pleased to have selected the amazing IFAW Bali Dogs Project. 

IFAW’s Bali Dogs Project is a community-supported, sustained effort that mitigates the threat of rabies in humans and dogs through door to door outreach and service provision in three villages (known as desas). This project is a pilot that aims to demonstrate the viability of an approach which we'd then like to scale-up to all of Bali's 700 desas.

There's an urgent need for this work. Rabies emerged on the island in 2008, but in response to a recent resurgence of the disease on the island, the government decided that killing dogs was the only way to control the outbreak. We oppose this on welfare grounds -  but also know that it's a bad decision for public health, too,  as culling contributes to the spread of rabies by removing vaccinated dogs from the population.

We have a better solution: using an IFAW-trained team who are skilled in addressing animal welfare, conducting education in communities and ensuring that veterinary care reaches those dogs in need. 

To reach each of the 28 neighbourhoods in our pilot area, team members have mapped the dogs using the latest epidemiological software. This population mapping is a new initiative in the area, but it is integral in order to reach the 70% vaccination coverage goal. This is the amount required to adequately protect both dogs and humans from rabies. Through our pilot we will be able to demonstrate an effective model for rabies control which can be replicated across Bali, leading to a situation where villages in Bali will be safe from rabies through vaccination and improved dog care, local communities will have the knowledge and support to practice rabies control safely - and culling will be off the agenda!

We urgently need to raise at least £26,000 with this year’s Big Give Christmas Challenge to make this happen - and you can help!

The Challenge starts at 12 noon on Tuesday 28 November. To take part, just visit the Big Give website and make your donation. Thanks to some very generous sponsors, the first £13,000 we raise will be matched, so your gift could go twice as far!

Please add an appointment to help save Bali's dogs into your diary – with your support, we’re looking forward to making a huge difference to the lives of these animals, and the local communities they’re part of.


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Cynthia Milburn, Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
Senior Advisor, Policy Development
Jan Hannah, Campaign Manager, Northern Dogs Project
Campaign Manager, Northern Dogs Project
Kate Nattrass Atema, Program Director, Community Animal Welfare
Program Director, Community Animal Welfare
Shannon Walajtys
Manager, Animal Rescue-Disasters