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ansisters 5 august 2005

Unravelling, a performance by Sarah Fraser documented at the 2005 FACE/Ansisters opening event. 

Copyright © FACE 2005.
All rights reserved.

about us : starfish foundation

why starfish?
what we do
our impact

Tracey Kelsey

Heidi Flint




Why do we call ourselves Starfish?

An old man had a habit of early morning walks along the beach. One day as he looked down the shore he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. As he came closer he saw that it was a young woman and she was not dancing but was reaching down to the sand, picking up starfish and very gently throwing them into the ocean.

“Young lady, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?”
“The sun is up and the tide is going out, and if I do not throw them in they will die.”
“But young lady, do you not realise that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it?
You cannot possibly make a difference.”
The young woman listened politely, paused and then bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it in the sea, past the breaking waves, saying …
“It made a difference for that one!”


What does Starfish do?

  • Starfish is a charity that supports children in South African who have been orphaned or made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS. These children may have lost one or both parents, or may be living with a grandparent who is unable financially to support them.
  • Founded in London 2001, Starfish has raised over R25 million in cash and close to two million in products. Starfish now has active offices in the UK, USA, Singapore, Canada and South Africa.
  • South Africa has the second highest number of HIV positive people in the world with over 1000 children being orphaned every day. By 2010 it is estimated that 3.1 million children will be orphaned in South Africa, 1.7 million due to AIDS (source Children on the Brink – USAID, UNAIDS and UNICEF).
  • Of these children 70% are NOT HIV positive.


Where does Starfish make a difference?

Motivated by our founding parable, Starfish believes that each of us can make a difference to the lives of the children of South Africa orphaned or left vulnerable by HIV/AIDS. By challenging perspectives and beliefs, the Starfish Foundation seeks to inspire and mobilise individuals in their various fields of influence to bring life, hope and opportunity to these children and their communities.

Starfish funds community-based projects, which are delivering care to the orphans, by ensuring that their physical, educational, psycho-social and shelter needs are being met.

Posted 15 July 2005,, author: Tracey Kelsey.