The Scottish Parliament
building was a fine venue for an event in Edinburgh showcasing the work of Starfish Asia – an occasion made possible thanks to a kind invitation by Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP), James Dornan. Starfish Pakistan’s Anser Javed spoke movingly of how, thanks to education, he had grown from a child sweeping the streets of Karachi when his mother was too ill to work, to now find himself speaking in the Scottish Parliament.
As well as introducing new people to our work, this was a chance for the Starfish Asia staff to meet with supporters and others with a heart for Pakistan and an interest in education. James Dornan MSP introduced the charity’s work. Director of Starfish in Scotland, Ian Anderson, set the scene, describing his impressions of Pakistan returning many years after his childhood there.
Through schools, scholarships and training Starfish Asia is seeing lives transformed. Anser shared some of these stories of transformation. In Kot Radha Kishan where a Christian couple were thrown to their deaths in a brick kiln two years ago, a school is now up and running with over 90 students and construction of a new building is underway. Starfish Asia has about 150 students receiving scholarships for further study and training in medicine, nursing, engineering and law. One of those students, Raja Ayub has recently graduated as an engineer, to the delight of his mother.
The publication of the survey of Christian Schools, commissioned by Starfish Asia, was also announced at the gathering . While highlighting the dedication of staff in these schools the survey leaves little doubt that needs abound.