Dear Friends,

When I visited Kenya at age 19, I taught primary school in a Nairobi slum. One of my pupils was a girl named Aliphonza. She would spend her lunch breaks at my desk, begging for extra problems. She was smart and eager. Her talent was special, her dedication was awe-inspiring.

Man lifting up a child

Her efforts were fruitless.

After defying the odds by excelling in primary school, thousands upon thousands of African schoolchildren hit the same deadend. Unable to pay for secondary schools, they are forcibly removed from the system. And so rather than receiving the opportunity to deploy their unusual intellects on the troubles that plague their society, they drop out of school and get sentenced to a life of poverty and despair.

The struggle to save Africa is on, and hundreds of organizations are fighting this good fight. These groups supply an additional meal to a hungry family, they purchase the necessary drugs for the rural hospital. Starfish Africa does not exist to replace these services, nor to compete with their providers as the best outlet for donor resources. We exist because there is a niche in the educational system which remains wildly underexploited.

We intend to find some of Africa's next wave of leaders -- the young men and women whose potential is exceptionally great -- and to educate them at elite African secondary schools. Let's take this 'next step' together -- help us empower young Africans to transform their continent!

Peter Kingston
President, Starfish Africa

Our Motivation

"I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."
Matthew 25:40

Why Africa?

Africa's per capita income hovers around 500 USD, and the continent is home to roughly two-thirds of the world's fifty poorest countries. Due in part to these economic hardships, Africa's educational system is sorely lacking, leaving its human capital potential untapped. In sub-Saharan Africa, just 3 in 5 adults are literate, and only 4 in 5 children enroll in primary school.

In Kenya, where we currently focus our efforts, hundreds of thousands of children benefit from free primary education, a product of the Universal Primary Education (UPE) and the World Bank's Education For All (EFA) initiatives. However, fewer than half of these children will ever attend secondary school, and even fewer will graduate.

Since widespread access to education is a precursor to democracy and sustained economic growth, we believe Africa is ripe for targeted, proactive sponsorships at the secondary school level.

Story of the Starfish

"One day, an old man was walking along the shore when he came upon a young man reaching down to the sand, picking up starfish, and throwing them into the ocean. "Why are you doing this?", he asked. The young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them back in, they'll die."

The old man replied, "Do you not realize there are miles and miles of beach, and starfish along every mile? You cannot possibly make a difference!" At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "I made a difference for that one."