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.