Student Sponsorship Programme

"I fully appreciate the support that you have been giving me.   Through your help I have managed to get secondary education which has so far opened the gates to University education." - Goodluck Banda (sponsored student)

Who does it help?

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.  

 What does it involve?

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. 

Students must pass their Primary School Leaving Exam with high enough grades to be selected for Secondary Education by the Malawi Education Board and also meet the Starfish Sponsorship Programme selection criteria.  The Starfish Bursary Fund provides a living allowance and travel assistance for those of our students who are studying at University.  

Why are we doing this?

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.

“We have experienced a sense of great satisfaction and fulfilment in knowing that we are instrumental in not only helping to form young minds but giving them hope
and love for their future.”
— - John & Michelle Cattell (sponsors)

The Road To Secondary School - (14:24) A short film about the importance of secondary education created by the children of Old Bexley Primary School (UK) linked to Napache Primary School (Malawi).


Sponsored Student Stories

Princess Chirwa was selected to receive a Starfish Sponsorship in 2009, having achieved excellent results throughout her Primary School education at Kaputu School.

Her father died in 2004 and her mother has a debilitating health condition.  It is a struggle to provide for her six children and there was certainly no money to pay for secondary education for her bright daughter.

Princess attended Chipoka Secondary School where she applied herself to her studies and passed her MSCE final exams with excellent grades, the highest of our girls in that year.

Princess is so grateful to her sponsor who faithfully paid her school fees for four years, and who continued to contribute to the Starfish Bursary Fund which provides help towards transport and living costs for our students who are in further training.      

     Above:  Princess Chirwa (sponsored student)

   Above: Princess Chirwa (sponsored student)

She has just commenced her studies at a University of Malawi Polytechnic for a Bachelor of Technical Education degree. She has a future which would not have been possible without the benefit of a Starfish Scholarship and her hard work.

Sarah Malala was one of the first students to be sponsored by Starfish Malawi. Sarah would wake up very early to leave for school at 5 am with her friends, often on an empty stomach. After achieving very good results in her primary school leaving exam, she managed to get into secondary school. However, the school fees were too high for her father to pay.  Thanks to the Starfish Malawi Student Sponsorship Programme, the staff at a Magistrates' Court in the UK decided to sponsor Sarah throughout her secondary education.  She worked hard in class and passed her Junior Certificate and Malawi School Certificate of Education with excellent grades before applying for the university entry examination.   Due to her good grades Sarah successfully applied to go to the teachers training college in Kasungu District.

  Sarah Malala  (teacher - former sponsored student)

Sarah Malala (teacher - former sponsored student)

A member of her sponsor’s team continued to provide money for her needs during her teacher training course, which enabled her to study without the added anxiety of financial worries.

Sarah completed the course and began her teaching career. 

Sarah has told us, “My aim is to give back my community the benefits I have received from Starfish Sponsorship”.

If you feel able to help us support and provide for a young person,
then please complete one of the forms below or feel free to contact us.

Requests for Student Sponsorship

Starfish Malawi is a small charity and our Student Sponsorship programme provides Secondary School education for a small number of orphans and vulnerable children, most of whom are from our linked primary schools.   

Sadly we are unable to assist those who are seeking sponsorship for University and College fees and are not able to recommend another organisation that would be able to help.


Maggie Mitchell

Sponsorship Programme Director


Tel: +44 (0)1622 812297


Pamela Thwaites

UK Sponsorship Coordinator   


Tel: +44 (0)1622 833277