Last year the Michael Jackson (Yes THE Michael Jackson) Legacy Fund gave Starfish a grant in excess of £3,000 to create an orchard near our Glad Tidings Orphan Care project to show children about the wonder of nature, the value of a varied diet and teaching good gardening methods. See how it is going by clicking here.
Please read this update from Peter Bell, who leads our fundraising work. During the short time Peter has been working with us, he has worked hard to lay the firm foundations of a comprehensive strategy. We are already seeing the first fruits of his efforts. Please click here to read his latest report.
Our annual London Beach fundraising meal is approaching. Please see our invitation below:
The library has become a very helpful resource centre since its inception. Different groups of people ranging from Pastors, church leaders,have been coming to the library to study. For students who are sitting for their final exams in form 4, the library is a haven of their educational improvement. Eight out of ten students who come to read, admitted that the centre has an environment that suits most of the students especially the quietness and the resources the library has. Most of the schools have inadequate resources for students to read. Many thanks to our very own secondary school sponsorship that introduced the incentive that is not only benefiting our own sponsored students but it has rather helped non sponsored students.
Preparations are underway for an innovative new project in the Salima area of Malawi, designed to improve children’s literacy - a key factor in overcoming poverty (currently around 1 in 4 young adults in Malawi cannot read or write). The project will create a network of teachers from across different primary schools, who will become Literacy Leaders. Candidates have been identified already and are excited to take part! They will access training, resources, links with schools in the UK (sharing writing both ways) and build relationships with local nurseries. They will feed these benefits back to their teaching colleagues, serving as mentors within their schools. Rachel Ormrod, a teacher and International Development graduate from the UK, will be setting up the project as a volunteer, with the aim to hand this role over to a Malawian in due course so the project is both sustainable and empowering.
You can read more and donate specifically to this project - which is relying on your generosity now to get it kickstarted - at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/literacyleaders.
Under a brilliant blue sky and warm sun our Bewl Water walkers set off for their 7 or 13 mile sponsored walk. All enjoyed the beautiful countryside, the fellowship with fellow walkers and the knowledge that it was for the great cause of the Glad Tidings Orphan Care.
The initial forecast for the amount raised is between £4,000 and £5,000, which will make a huge difference to the lives of the children at Glad Tidings. Thank you to all who walked and to their supporters.
Since 2009, the Crowborough Christian Men's Group have been working tirelessly for the growth of the community in Chapsinja. In that year, the chief was converted to Christ and life has never been the same since! Over the last eight years, there has been a new nursery, a church, and a primary school for over 600 children. There has been an ongoing feeding programme. Please click here to read the latest newsletter from the community. We thank God in the way that he spoke to these men all those years ago and for their dedication in following it through.
We are pleased to let all our supporters know that the Malawi Country Director, Emmanuel, has now won his case for a 10 year visa to the UK. Emmanuel, Maryanne and the family intend to visit the UK in July/August, 2017. We are so grateful that this has now been successfully resolved.
You will have read about Margaret's 100 days in Malawi. She has now visited all the linked schools. We thought that you might like to see the sorts of information that is shared between the schools. Chikombola - Lamberhurst is one of our more active links and I'm sure you'll be delighted to see what is going on in Malawi. Click here to read.
School children from primary schools on Starfish Malawi’s schools linking programme, visited Bedgebury National Pinetum in Kent last week to learn about tree conservation and take part in an international project to help save the critically endangered Mulanji Cedar in Malawi.
The Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), Mulanje Mountain Conservation Trust (MMCT) and the Forest Research Institute of Malawi (FRIM) are running a 3 year project to help save the Mulanje Cedar, which is endemic to Mulanje Mountain in Malawi.
To raise awareness, Starfish Malawi worked together with Botanic Gardens Conservation International and the Bedgebury National Pinetum tree conservation team to run a two day event in the Pinetum where 66 children from Goudhurst, Sandhurst, Bodiam and Etchingham primary schools came together to learn about the plight of the Mulanji Cedar. All the children had the opportunity to learn about deforestation in Malawi, see the Bedgebury Pinetum and visit the nursery where they planted wild collected seeds of the endangered trees. The future of the Mulanje Cedar seedlings will form part of the propagation trials for the “Save Our Cedar” project, which Starfish is also supporting in Malawi to raise awareness in local schools.
Great news from Malawi.
Three of our UK team have just returned from an inspirational trip visiting out projects and meeting with the Malawian team. God blessed the time and enabled us to see future developments of the projects. We met with many people and saw the good work that is being among the children and their communities. There is much to do but seeds are being sown that will bring forth fruit in the years to come.
For the work to continue in Malawi, we try and run a few fundraising events each year. Most of our income comes through regular donations from supporters and we are exceedingly grateful for these.
Our main fundraising activity is the Bewl Water Walk and we hope that you may be able to come on 10 June. Everybody enjoys a great day in a beautiful part of the world and the money is used to support orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi. Please find out more by clicking on the link below.
We are delighted to tell you about the fantastic work in Glad Tidings Orphan Care in Salima in 2016, where we seek to fulfil our vision of “a just world where every child is educated, healthy and cared for”. Click here to read this inspiring report.
Starfish Malawi Christmas Appeal
On the first day of December, we are excited to launch our annual Christmas Appeal!
Christmas is a time for family, friends and being thankful for all that God has blessed us with. It is also a time for giving and for taking time to consider those less fortunate than ourselves.
In Malawi, many girls are confined to their homes during menstruation and are unable to participate in everyday activities. Therefore, female students miss up to one quarter of school time, often including vital end of year exams, because of their menstrual cycle.
Last Christmas, you helped us raise over £500 to provide 100 re-usable sanitary kits to girls in Malawi, through our GATEWAY programme - the joy and freedom this gave these girls was wonderful to witness, thank you! This year, we would love to provide 500 more kits to girls in need in the communities we support and with your help, we can make this dream a reality!
We have set ourselves a target of raising £1,000 by the 7th January. If we meet our £1,000 target, your donations will be DOUBLED, matched pound for pound by some of Starfish Malawi's top supporters!
Just £4 provides a girl with a re-usable sanitary kit and gives her the gift of education.
Give the gift of education this Christmas
By teaching local communities how to produce the packs, our GATEWAY project strives to empower local women to take their future, and the futures of their daughters, into their own hands.
Just £4 buys a girl a re-usable sanitary towel and gives her the gift of education this Christmas.
Don't miss out on the opportuntity to double your donation this Christmas, please consider supporting our Christmas Appeal.
Thank you for all of your support throughout the year, we could not continue our work without the generous support of our Starfishers. May we wish you all a very happy Christmas.
"We cannot change the world immediately, but we can make a difference......one life at a time."
Starfish Malawi's Children's Clubs provide activities for children aged 5 to 16 in the Salima community of rural Malawi. Children take part in a range of activities including advice on practical living, understanding the Bible, sports and art.
The Children’s Clubs provide a safe environment for children to grow. The Starfish team in Malawi oversees these clubs weekly, run by trained volunteers and youth leaders. In the safe environment of the Children's Clubs, leaders teach the children safe ways to live so that they can maximise their joy in a country where poverty is rife.
Our sports equiptment is on it's last legs so last month we launched our StarfishBig30Appeal to buy 30 brand new footballs and 30 netballs for the children to play with.
We were overwhelmed with the support of our Starfishers and would like to say a big thank you to everyone who supported this appeal.
The people in the photo are Ian Bull, left, who is the Club Chairman of Kings Hill Football Club. I'm in the centre and Richard Morrison, right, is the Vice Chairman of the junior age groups plus kit.and equipment officer.
Jan Mileham, Starfish Committee Member and UK Nursery Co-ordinator said,
I first became aware of Starfish Malawi in 2010 after visiting Malawi on a Missions Trip with a charity called Soapbox. I joined the Starfish committee about 3 years ago and now I'm responsible for Nurseries and Children's Clubs.
The Starfish Big 30 Appeal was to raise money to buy 30 footballs and 30 netballs for the Children's Clubs in Salima, Malawi. The response has been very encouraging. Special thanks must go to Kings Hill Football Club for donating balls, kit and boots. I would also like to thank members of Connect Church, Maidstone who have given 17 new balls in total. Thanks also to members the Life Church in Maidstone and individuals who donated money.
Starfish Malawi Scheme - Free Money for Starfish Malawi
Chris Knott insurance has partnered with Starfish Malawi to help you donate money without it costing you!
Before Starfish Malawi was born in 2003, our Founder Chris Knott, started his own Insurance Company, Chris Knott Insurance, in 1983. When the call to go to Malawi happened and Starfish was formed, Chris sold his business, which still exists in his name today. Chris is no longer a shareholder, but the company has offered to pay some commission to Starfish Malawi if people get a quote and go ahead with a policy for any insurance product.
If the quotation is not good enough, then nothing is lost. However, if the quote is better, then you save money on your insurance and a donation is made to Starfish Malawi, helping us to continue our life-changing work - there is no catch!
You can get in touch for free on 0800 917 2274 and quote 'Starfish' to see how much money you could save - and support Starfish at the same time!
For more details you can also contact Chris on firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the 1st October, Starfish hosted a special Education Dinner to celebrate another year of success in the Student Sponsorship Programme! The dinner was a wonderful opportunity to share good news and progress with Starfish Sponsors and to thank them for their continued support, without which, the Sponsorship Programme simply would not exist.
We welcomed over 65 guests to the special dinner, most of whom were sponsors, but teachers from our UK link schools and others interested in our work were also there to enjoy the evening. Together we raised over £1,200 to support our ongoing work!
The event was organised by key members of the Starfish team, Chris Knott, Holly Nicholls, Pam Thwaites and Maggie Mitchell with the support of Margaret Lewis, who will very shortly be heading out to live in Malawi to support the charity's educational projects.
Pam, our UK Sponsorship Programme Coordinator, said "I felt the event was a huge success, the sponsors were informed of many aspects of our work that they were previously unaware of. The whole event presented an informal, friendly atmosphere promoting our extremely worthwhile cause."
Our Founder, Chairman and CEO Chris Knott said "those who attended London Beach were surprised and excited by the scope of the work of Starfish in the realm of education. When we talk about schools linking and secondary school sponsorship, most people thought about fundraising and pen pal letters only, but they never knew that it included social justice, global citizenship, our place on the planet, creativity, diversity and much more....but many know now."
What is the Student Sponsorship Programme all about?
Our sponsored students are orphans or vulnerable children, and all come from very poor circumstances where there is no possibility of payment of school fees.
Sponsorship provides for school fees, board, food, most books and a small amount of pocket money. Assistance is provided for those who cannot afford uniforms. The cost of sponsorship is as little as £15 per month, or £180 for a full year. Sponsors receive details of their students background and a yearly school progress report and students write one letter to their sponsors every term.
Primary School education in Malawi is funded by the government. However Secondary School education is fee-paying only. So, for those families with barely enough money for food to survive, paying school fees is clearly out of the question.
We believe that education is a key to change. Sponsorship gives a child the means to escape from poverty and to change his or her life for good. Not only does it make a difference to a young person’s life, but sponsors tell us that it has made a difference to their lives too.
How can I get involved?
We would like to say a very big thank you to all of our sponsors who make this life-changing programme possible and to The London Beach Hotel their continued support.