The Starfish mandate is to educate, elevate and empower rural communities in East Malaysia. We do this through:
Educating the young by providing infrastructure and facilities for them to attend school.
Elevating income through providing agriculture expertise.
Empowering communities by setting up business opportunities and training facilities for rural entrepreneurs.
"the World Bank confirmed in 2010 that Sabah and Sarawak is the poorest and second poorest states in Malaysia. This is a figure derived at by using the figures of the Economic Planning Units of the Sabah and Sarawak Governments and the Economic Planning Unit in Putrajaya."
-Common Interest Group Malaysia (CigMA)
Our Sustainable Plan
At Starfish Foundation, we acknowledge that rural community development work is far reaching and the positive results are often seen only over an extended period of time. With this in mind, we have established two yardsticks to help us determine our work and the projects we are involved in. The two yardsticks are sustainability and impact.
Our projects have sustainable models that ensure that after the successful implementation and involvement of Starfish's support, these local communities are empowered and have the right structures in places to continue to thrive even after the completion of a project. Sustainability starts with understanding the communities and people we work with. We work very hard to engage them at every level and hopefully, through our conversations and partnership, we are able to groom champions within these communities for the next generation.
The impact of our work is measured over time - whether it is helping to alleviate poverty or improve access to education - our projects are measured so that we can continue to close the gaps, innovate new models for change and record successes.
Achieving these two requires a lot of ground work (partnership), networking (collaboration) and mentoring (leadership) - of which Starfish strives to do in all our projects.
The Starfish Story
In the often told story, thousands of starfish had been washed ashore the previous night on a lonely stretch of beach. The scene opens with an elderly man witnessing a little girl picking up one starfish at a time and throwing it back into the sea. He shouted to the girl, “It is a hopeless and impossible task to try to save these thousands of starfish.” The little girl picks up another starfish and throws it into the sea. She turned to the elderly man and said, “But IT MATTERS to that little starfish!”
We can't save the world, but we can impact one life at a time and hopefully, that one life will impact many others...
We have been inspired by the Starfish story when our awareness of the many marginalized groups within East Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak). Acknowledging the near “impossible” task to help all of them, we are determined in hearts to do our part in our social consciousness and responsibility… at least to help those individuals or people groups whom we have come across who are in need of helping hand. IT MATTERS TO THESE INDIVIDUALS. Thus, the birth of Starfish Malaysia Foundation in February 2014.
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