Starfish – Greathearts Foundation helps South African children

“Starfish Greathearts Foundation is an international development charity, aiming to bring life, hope and opportunity to orphaned and vulnerable children in South Africa. We believe that everyone can make a very real difference to the lives of these children.”

Starfish – Greathearts Foundation – Turning the Tide on AIDS

I only recently heard about this organization, but it looks interesting.  They’ve got a good, informative website, and it looks like they’re doing some great stuff.  If you’re interested in the issues that concern orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs), this is a good place to look.

I recently got an e-mail from Starfish, containing a press release about some of their work.  I was having a hard time finding a link to it, so I’ll just paste the full text below.

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Starfish Greathearts Foundation Announces Strategy To Reach Children Orphaned by AIDS, Utilizing PEPFAR Support

  • Strategy builds the capacity of community-based organizations in South Africa in order to reach more children orphaned by AIDS
  • Starfish will use PEPFAR funds to continue its Mentoring and Training Program
  • Program helps the approximately 450 children in South Africa orphaned every day

August 4, 2008 – Today the Starfish Greathearts Foundation announces its strategy to better reach children orphaned and made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS in South Africa, the group most likely to become South Africa’s “lost generation.” By utilizing continued PEPFAR funding, Starfish is able to advance its Mentoring and Training Program in South Africa.
“This year marks the fourth consecutive year Starfish has received funding from PEPFAR for our support of community-based programs, which draws from the philosophy that children who are cared for by families within communities are more likely to thrive than those in institutions,” says Cynthia Schweer, Executive Director Starfish USA. “While last year we focused on accelerating that Program, this coming year we will focus on increasing the Program’s quality so we are better able to address the individual needs of children affected by HIV/AIDS in South Africa.”
Starfish currently supports 28,446 orphaned and vulnerable children across 111 community-based projects. Of these, 11,073 children are supported by PEPFAR by means of 45 community-based projects. A range of essential services from food parcels to psychosocial support are provided to orphaned and vulnerable children primarily through careworkers, who are in turn trained to provide care and to build local organizational capacity. A total of 471 careworkers have received this training.
A New Strategy: Empowering the Next Generation of Leaders
Starfish’s new strategy will focus on three core areas: growing the number of community-based partners to reach even more children; increased relevance to meet each CBOs individual needs and strengthening data quality to provide for continuous improvement of the strategy.
By addressing these three core areas, Starfish hopes to improve the quality of care and services to orphaned and vulnerable children, as well as the organizational, managerial and technical competence for CBOs on the ground in Africa.  The new strategy will also help Starfish better provide children affected by HIV/AIDS in South Africa with proper education, health care and other basic social services that are critical to their growth as individuals, and to the growth in the next generation of South Africa.
“The new strategy will better help community-based organizations in South Africa become effective mechanisms for distributing PEPFAR funds and Starfish services to orphaned and vulnerable children,” says Schweer. “Continual and improved CBO training is a means to the primary goal of Starfish’s existence – to reach as many orphans and vulnerable children as possible.”
Building A Global Community
By partnering with carefully selected NGOs and CBOs, Starfish ensures a sustainable intervention and, importantly, a diversification of risk for funding received. Through strong partnerships, Starfish is better able to address the urgent need to invest in the future of South Africa, a growing economy with the potential to contribute positively to the world’s economy.
“Since 2001, Starfish has been building lasting relationships with community-based organizations to help address the needs of children orphaned or made vulnerable by the HIV/AIDS pandemic in South Africa.” says Ashley du Plooy, Starfish CEO. “This new strategy better equips Starfish to stand as the linking interface that ensures a holistic approach to the orphan crisis in South Africa.”
South Africa: An Investment for the Future
While the implications of AIDS affect everything from human development to economic growth globally, South Africa has the world’s highest number of people living with HIV, and the most AIDS-related deaths. As a result, approximately 450 children in South Africa are orphaned every day, and maternal orphan numbers are forecasted to reach approx. 2.1 million by 2010.
“These children have the potential to grow up and contribute to South African society,” says du Plooy. “If these orphaned and vulnerable children are not cared for, nurtured and educated, they will become a lost generation.”
About Starfish
Starfish Greathearts Foundation works to improve the health and well-being of orphaned and vulnerable children in South Africa whose lives have been affected by HIV/AIDS.
Starfish is a vehicle for building an international, active and socially aware community of people who want to work to address the unmet needs of orphaned and vulnerable children in South Africa affected by HIV/AIDS.
By deriving sustainable solutions for improving the lives of orphaned and vulnerable children in South Africa, Starfish has developed a community-based care approach that has improved the lives of children in all provinces of South Africa.  Starfish aims to reach 100,000 children by 2010.
Starfish was selected by Sir Richard Branson to make up the “Voice for Africa” at the G8 Summit and was selected by Virgin Unite as one of the seven South African CSI partners.
Starfish’s projects serve as an inspirational example of the success that can be brought about by the support from individuals. The model enables the organization to address its bold and focused mission with both personal attention and operational excellence.


~ by h.e.g. on September 4, 2008.

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