“A boy was walking along a beach after a great storm. The storm had washed thousands upon thousands of starfish onto the beach. The boy began to pick up the starfish and, one by one, he would throw them back into the sea and save their lives.
An old man watched the boy as he came towards him. When the boy was close enough the old man asked, ‘What are you doing?’ ‘Putting the starfish back’ he replied. ‘Why bother?’ asked the old man, ‘After all, there are so many you can’t possibly make a difference.’
The boy looked quizzically at the old man. He stooped down, picked up a large starfish and threw it back into the sea. ‘Well it sure made a difference to that one!’ he said.”
What’s in a story?
When Signpost staff visiting the Philippines saw a woman working as a manicurist in a small village, she became the inspiration for the creation of the Starfish Club.
She was earning up to £1 a day – enough to buy rice to feed her family – by giving her neighbours manicures. And all this for an initial set up cost of just £20 to buy the manicure kit, a large selection of polish and a big plastic box to keep it all in!
While a sum of £20 is achievable for many Western families, it is beyond the reach of most people living in the developing world. But these types of ‘micro’ business, and other small projects, are a very effective way of making a big impact on the lives of people living in poverty, for relatively small sums of money.
And so the Starfish Club was born: hundreds of people clubbing together with small, regular donations that are changing the lives of thousands of people across the world, providing:
- Electricity generators
- Livelihood skills training
- Literacy camps
- Small business training and set up capital
Together we can make a difference
Supporters of the Starfish Club commit to giving small monthly amounts of money – or a larger one off gift – and together these individual amounts help change hundreds of lives.
Read the stories of what your money has achieved in the Starfish pages of Changing Lives, Signpost International’s twice-yearly magazine.