The Starfish Parable
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 to that one!”
Starfish is making a significant impact in 75 communities across eight of South Africa’s provinces, working through 46 non-governmental and community-based organisations. These organisations provide various services to the children: home visits, counselling, access to education and social grants, amongst others. Starfish funding enables these organisations to care for and support over 23,000 children.
Stories that Inspire Us
Starfish believes in the power of stories – indeed, it was a story that first inspired us and gave us our name. Today it is the real-life stories that inspire us: the stories of the young heroes, right across this land, who yearn for the opportunity to astound you with their courage and determination. Yours is the privilege to help make their dreams come true. Yours is the privilege to be a part of the story that turned the tide on the orphan and vulnerable child crisis in South Africa.
13 year old Thandiwe said: “I want to thank you for training my grandmother. I am seeing some changes at home. My grandmother has started teaching us what you have been teaching her. We are very thankful for the big change this has created in our home. The work you are doing with our Granny, is not only changing her life but is also changing ours.”
17 year old Thomas said: “Starfish, you make me feel better, you make me cry lesser, you make me dream bigger, the best part of being a child is to have you as a mother”
Starfish firmly believes that anyone, anywhere can make a difference. Visit the Starfish Greathearts Foundation website to learn how you can help change a child’s life today!
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