what we do
SCHOOL SUPPORT PROGRAM
As of 2018, Starfish fully or partially supports around 32 schools of varying sizes, and has enrolled over 70,000 students. Currently 18 schools are located in city suburbs. Starfish has also played a role in helping to keep pre-established schools running, such as the Holy Shepherd Grammar School in Mianwali. The school suffered from a dearth of funds after its founding donors withdrew in 2004, and soon began receiving support from Starfish. Under the guidance of Anser Javed, the school underwent development and has a student body that currently stands at 650. The Holy Shepherd Grammar School is just one example of numerous educational institutions that Starfish Pakistan has helped establish and preserve all over Pakistan.
Starfish Pakistan holds the belief that a well-trained mentor is the key to making successful and responsible citizens of tomorrow. For this purpose, the Starfish Teacher Development programme has conducted numerous workshops aimed at polishing the capabilities of teachers. Till date, 18 training workshops have been conducted which have benefited over 450 teachers.
In 2014, a one-day workshop was held at Dar Ul Hikmat Education Centre in Lahore. The workshop was geared towards the teachers of various schools that have collaborated with Starfish Asia. It featured two trainers, Mr. Ian Anderson and Mr. Steve Curran
Schools sponsored by Starfish Pakistan have also had training workshops conducted via ‘The Citizens’ Foundation.” which explored an array of diverse themes, such as leadership & team building, problem-solving, extending feedback to teachers. In addition, they were given an introduction to school finances & human resource management.
As per statistics, only 1% of the current Christian population have access to college education and are able to compete for government jobs with a grade 12 to 17 pay scale. In addition, only 0.5% of Christians have the required level of higher studies and professional education. All schools supported by Starfish have access to a basic level of education i.e. matriculation. However, Starfish keeps in mind that higher education is expensive and to combat this, it offers scholarships for either vocational training or higher studies. Starfish is accredited with
The Ananias Home for Blind Girls is run by Caritas Lahore. It aims to provide a safe residential environment for 26 blind girls from Christian homes. In addition, it provides in-house tuition to equip and prepare the girls for their practical life. The Home reached out to Starfish when it was about to close due to a shortage of funds. Starfish determined that financial support amounting to just 20,000 rupees a month (about £200 or $300) could help save the Home. They agreed to step in and Ananias became the first of seven homes that they support.
In a society that has limited avenues for the rehabilitation of abandoned and underprivileged children, Ashraf Naheed, a school teacher, and his wife Wilma opened the Abba Home in 2007, with the help of Starfish. Abba Home Orphanage, which literally translates to “Father’s Home”, is an orphanage for girls who have lost their families. It currently houses 32 Christian girls from different areas of Pakistan.
According to Ashraf, the orphanage currently assumes responsibility for the provision of shelter, medicines, clothing, and education, as well as recreational facilities, skill training, relief work, and networking. For this purpose, Abba Home welcomes university and college students for weekly classes on extracurricular subjects and training sessions. The orphanage aims to empower the oppressed and deprived orphan girls to become confident and self-sufficient women.