WHO WE ARE
A MESSAGE from the CEo
Starfish Pakistan was established in 2003, with an aim to help and launch a platform to aid the Christian community. This remarkable work was started by Mike and Kirsten Wakely who made sure that the problems the Christian community was facing in Pakistan were catered to properly. The medium that was opted for this task was education. It is our belief that giving an individual the right to an education makes a huge difference in their tomorrow. Today, Starfish Pakistan stands as a reputable establishment which acts as a helping hand investing in the individuals so that they can have a brighter future, full of opportunities.
Perhaps, this would be better understood if explained this way: We want to change the mindset that many in our community have. Give identity to these children, inspire them, empower them and equip them with the skills that will help them build their own future.
We, as an establishment, do only a small part. The rest is the hard work of the schools and individuals we invest in. Our main focus is to give back to the community, create a cycle where everyone is connected to each other in helping build a place where our opportunities are shared and their dreams are as important as any other citizen of Pakistan. In this way, the Christian community can contribute to the prosperity of Pakistan.
This is why I call myself a proud Pakistani Christian.
ANSER JAVED | CEO - STARFISH PAKISTAN
Starfish Pakistan is an establishment that aims to provide the Christian community of Pakistan with equal opportunities and a greater degree of social inclusion via education. The Christian community continues to remain one at the receiving end of discrimination and ostracisation due to the social and religious divide in the country as well as being the target of injustice geared towards minority religious groups. They are among the poorest communities, often seeking employment as laborers, domestic cleaners, street sweepers and sanitary workers. Due to surviving on impossibly low wages, they are often hindered by a lack of educational facilities.
Starfish Pakistan was conceptualized to eradicate this gap in education. The organization came to be as a result of Mike and Kristen Wakely’s vision of establishing a charity with the sole function of meeting the needs of the poor and the underprivileged in Pakistan, which would focus particularly but not exclusively on the Christian community. This was done when a pastor’s call for help after the destruction caused by the 1997 flood led to the rehabilitation of 35 Christian families through funds raised by Tearfund UK. The said funds were used to construct houses and churches. Additional collaboration with Caritas Pakistan helped run Ananias Home for Blind Girls, and with the Fellowship of Christ attempting to help and educate poor Christians, the idea leading to the formal conception of Starfish Pakistan was born. It aimed to generate support given to schools and homes for disadvantaged children, with projects being run by trusted local frontrunners who share the objective of helping and bringing about a positive change in society.