Our mission

Escape from poverty through education

Nurturing Pakistan's disadvantaged children

Our mission is to improve Pakistan’s literacy by enabling Christian schools to provide good quality education, in an environment that helps students to learn and achieve, inspire ambition, and prepare a generation to take their place as equal citizens in the country’s future.

Our campaigns

What we're striving for

Our projects are run independently by trusted local people who have a vision to bring about change in their communities. We focus on education in Pakistan, which we believe will strengthen communities to eventually support themselves, giving them hope and a future.

Nearly 9,000 children are now receiving an education in schools supported by Starfish Asia. Working with partner ministries in Pakistan, we currently support 46 primary, middle or secondary schools. Some are fully supported and some partially. They vary in size, the largest is a High School with a student body of nearly 800, the smallest contains just three or four Primary School classes and fewer than 50 children.

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We support 6 homes for disabled, blind or orphaned children. These are situated in and around Lahore. These homes play a vital role as many disabled or orphan children can easily be taken advantage of. The homes provide not only a safe place but also help the clients to develop to their full potential through education, vocational training and a lot of love and support!

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Starfish Asia provides scholarships for students wishing to pursue vocational courses, further and higher education. Such education and training helps lift these children and their families out of poverty. Poverty restricts the Christian minority in being able to counter the effects of discrimination. Through the scholarship program many young people, especially girls, are able to get a better education and hence better jobs.

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We are committed to excellence, starting with the basics, providing an education for the poor, but always striving to raise standards. Key components of our approach are:

  • Supporting Local Leaders / Teacher training
  • Improving Facilities
  • Securing Accreditation
  • Providing Schoolbooks
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If you really want to help our community, help us with education

—  Ashley Arshad

It costs only £5 (less than US $10) a month to give a Pakistani child an education

—  Mike Wakely, Founder, Starfish Asia

Pakistan faces an unbelievable combination of problems. I know no other country that faces more challenges

—  Richard Holbrooke , US special envoy

Why we're needed

Education in Pakistan is in a state of crisis. More than 22 million Pakistani children do not go to school. Starfish Asia’s work is a small part of the solution to improve literacy in Pakistan.

Christians in Pakistan are a minority and like their brothers and sisters in other parts of the Islamic world, are under pressure. They suffer discrimination and prejudice and are treated as an underclass. Our work equips them to raise their status in society.

As Pakistani society becomes more extreme, it is important to support and build up religious minority groups whose presence helps build attitudes of pluralism and tolerance.

By investing in education in Pakistan we convey an important message that the rest of the world has more to offer Muslim countries than bombs and destruction. The UK government spent over £½ million sending just 2 aircraft to Afghanistan.  How important, then, for us to keep finding our annual budget of less than £½ million to keep 46 schools and 6 homes not just running but developing and improving!

Life is competitive, and it is important that everyone has a chance to be educated. A little girl only gets one chance to go to school. If she misses out, or if she receives a substandard education, she is very likely to face poverty and lack of opportunity all her life. However, through education we give the opportunity for her to break the cycle of discrimination and poverty, not just for her but also for future generation.

Our vision and values

Our vision is to give hope to thousands of deprived children from Christian and other religious minorities in Pakistan, enabling them to take the journey from ignorance and poverty to a life of dignity and responsibility.

The values of Starfish Asia guide the way we work with each other, our boards, project partners and other concerned parties.

We believe that generosity must be at the heart of our charity – generosity in attitude, generosity of time and talent, as well as generosity in our provision of acts of mercy.

We respect what others are doing in the same areas as ourselves, and we are happy to co-operate with them where appropriate to deliver the best outcome for our beneficiaries. We do not look for any special credit for our projects or to enhance the name of Starfish Asia.

Our aim is to be professional in our work, offering the best service possible to people in need, within our means and with the highest standards of efficiency, quality and accountability.

We are motivated by love, as exemplified in Jesus Christ, especially for the poor, the downtrodden and the marginalised, and seek to love our neighbour as we love ourselves. While aiming to be efficient in our management of resources, we determine to remain compassionate in our concern for human frailty.

We aim to inspire, train and empower local leaders and communities, retaining trust and respect for our partners and avoiding any attempt to control or undermine their authority – while ensuring the highest standards of accountability to their own boards and beneficiaries.

We are committed to truth and honesty, urging transparency and openness in our partners as the basis of our relationship of mutual trust. We aim to be open and honest in our publicity and willing to share our failures as well as our successes.

Our partners in Pakistan

Starfish Asia does not start or run projects. We do not open schools, direct schools, oversee schools or control those who do. We do what we can to come alongside national Christians who are gifted, capable and committed to help the poor and to provide them with the resources to do the job that God has given them to do.

At present we are working with over 50 Pakistani project leaders. They need your prayers and support.

Every one of the projects supported by Starfish Asia is overseen by reliable and capable partners, who have a personal passion and concern to bring help to the needy and the suffering in their own society. We count it a privilege to be able to provide resources to those who use them so well.

Our projects in Pakistan

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With your support, we CAN make a difference

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