International Projects News – Togo, West Africa
In continuation of our focus on education and in partnership with Plan Canada, The StarFish Foundation funded middle school education for 900 children – 650 girls and 250 boys – in Togo, from 2010 to 2012. In addition we funded the building of a primary school in the village of Koulan, Sotoboua province. While our focus in Canada is to provide post secondary funding, in West Africa many children have to drop out of school long before their college days due to a permanent or temporary lack of family funds. We decided that supporting more children in simply achieving a secondary education was where we needed to focus in Togo.
Our funding for the Togo project was achieved by 2013 and we partnered with Plan on a new project in Burkina Faso that is rehabilitating educational and vocational centres. The vocational centres feature workshops and equipment for hands on training for seven trades. As less than 18% of Burkina youth complete high school, vocational training is an important option for young men and women who would otherwise not have an opportunity to develop essential life and work skills. The project includes a focus on gender equality through gender equality training, a supportive curriculum and a gender-sensitivity code of conduct.
Our funding for this project is due to continue into 2016.
National Projects News – Ontario, Canada
In partnership with the Children’s Aid Foundation, we continue to provide funding grants of $5,000 to several Canadian youth each year. These young people are coming out of the Children’s Aid system, or similar circumstances, and their ability to fund their own post secondary education is limited. Given the challenges they have already surmounted in their short lives it is an absolute credit to them that they are in a position to pursue post secondary education at all!
Since 2004 years we have provided over 50 grants and in some cases been able to fund the same young man or woman for several years. We have seen several of them graduate from a three or four year post-secondary programs! Their determination and commitment to pursue an education, that will give them opportunities to build a better future, is nothing short of remarkable and we are humbled to be a part of their journey.
In 2016 we have funded five grants and in 2017 we aim to fund five more!