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 £16 per month, or £192 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)

Sponsored Student Stories

Morton Sibale was one of the first children to be helped through our Student Sponsorship programme. He was also the first Starfish student who went to University straight from Secondary School.

In an interview with a member of the Starfish Malawi team in 2015, Morton said, “whatever I will end up being, I will owe it to Starfish Malawi for helping me see this journey through from secondary school to college, which is 8 years. It was something my single mother would not have managed, and the efforts of Starfish to change my life are commendable. Now I see myself becoming someone in life, something which could not have been realised if it were not for Starfish!”

Read his full story here.


Daniel Augustine 

was accepted into the Starfish Student Sponsorship Programme in 2008. 

His secondary education was at Chipoka School and in 2011 he passed his MSCE Final Exams.

He had an interest in Information Technology and with his sponsors’ encouragement and assistance he embarked on a Computer training Course.   He was successful in this and at one time assisted in the training at the Starfish Office.

Daniel enjoyed being a trainer and this gave him a desire to teach. He was accepted to train at Kasungu Teacher Training College.

He is now qualified and teaching Standard 6 pupils at Lombwa School.

In his own words, Daniel says:

“Starfish was a transformation in my life.  I came from a very poor family and had little hope of a future.  But Starfish gave me a chance and now I can take care of my Mum and sisters.


Above: Morton Sibale

Above:  Daniel Augustine

Above: Daniel Augustine

If it were not for my sponsors I would never have been able to attend Secondary School, to have a skill in Information Technology, and to have a great future as a qualified teacher. I am so thankful to them for their support through the years.”


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


Fiona Gibbon

UK Sponsorship Coordinator


Pamela Thwaites

UK Sponsorship Coordinator   


Tel: +44 (0)1622 833277