About us

Miriam Barendsen, co-founder of the Baladi Foundation.
She is a dog addict, an animal lover in general.
She lives her life with respect to nature, is a dog trainer and educates people about dogs.
She has a deep developed empathy ability, so she really cares!

The Baladi Foundation envisions a future in which people live in harmony with nature. A world where people treat animals and the planet with respect.


Her Story

About 30 years ago, I traveled to Egypt, South Sinai and encountered the Baladi dogs and cats.
“Baladi” is a term that translates to “local”, so the term refers to the homeless critters of the region’s cities and towns or beaches and mountains. In this area of Egypt, the dogs are luckier than in cities like Cairo or other main city s in Egypt. I did witness many hungry dogs there too. They do poison dogs, but there are some good people too. My heart was shattered when I started to see, abandoned, starved, and neglected animals in the big cities. I have seen also people who understand the meaningful relationship with the dog! So there is hope!

I’ve been involved in the fight to save them and care for them, since my first experience in Egypt, South Sinai, but I’ve always wanted to do more!
During the start of Covid 19, I had to stay in the area called South Sinai where I lived with half-wild dogs
for nine months. I fed them daily. The dogs are free and very protective of their part of the beach.
There are dogs everywhere. Some of them come in packs to look for trouble with other dogs. My daily
job was to stop the fights between them. They are natural dogs, half-wild and very strong and clever.
During this time there were no tourists coming, because Israel closed the border in between Egypt and Israel. That meant that there were many hungry dogs, even more than in a normal situation.
I spend all my finances on food for as many dogs as possible, but that was by far not enough.
There is a real emergency situation in Egypt. The Baladi dogs and cats are in constant danger.
Baladi stray dogs have a bad reputation due to a lack of understanding, which leads to fear.
This is such a misunderstanding of them, they are the kindest dogs I have ever met.


When I arrived back home, I knew exactly what to do!
My destiny came to light. All those years of me going to this spiritual area was for this reason.
Twenty-three years ago, I met packs of dogs for the first time. They were so kind, so incredibly kind.
I kept coming back for them and for this holy place. Every year again I kept going as often as I could. Bringing lots of food, paying for far too much for weight at the airport, but I did not care. I knew that the dogs were waiting for me.

Tremendous gold-hearted people who live in the U.S & Egypt are on board.

People officially involved:

Chris Foster, Boston, USA
Gizelle Foster, Boston, USA
Darinia Rayne, Michigan, USA

Rasha Ibrahim, Egypt

Jala Fawzy, Egypt