Starfish Greathearts Foundation is an international nonprofit organisation aiming to bring life, hope and opportunity to children who are orphaned and/or made vulnerable by HIV and AIDS in Southern Africa. Its vision is to ensure that every child left orphaned or vulnerable has equal access to basic sustainable services.
Starfish was founded in May 2001 by a group of young South Africans living in London in response to the unfolding tragedy of children orphaned or left vulnerable by the HIV and AIDS pandemic in South Africa. They started out by raising funds to make memory bags for orphans in KwaZulu-Natal. In 2002, two of the friends, Anthony Farr and Tracey Webster, returned to South Africa to formally establish the Starfish Greathearts Foundation in South Africa.
Today, Starfish is making a significant impact, working with community-based organisations to support approximately 36 000 children across South Africa. These organisations provide various services to the children, including home visits, counselling, access to education and social grants.
Through partnering with these organisations, Starfish aims to:
- Improve the quality of service to orphaned and vulnerable children;
- Increase the number of orphaned and vulnerable children supported by community based organisations, without compromising quality of care.
The type of support offered is dependent on the needs of each community and can include capacity training in organisational development and orphan care, operating expenses to cover stipends, travel costs, provision of food parcels and a host of other services.
Starfish funding and support enables these organisations to ensure that each child’s basic needs are met and that they have access to social support - home visits, counselling, access to social grants; nutritional support - food parcels etc.; and educational support - school fee exemptions, school uniforms, stationery etc.
For more about Starfish Greathearts Foundation, refer to http://www.stafishcharity.org .