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Starfish Project - Asia


Starfish Project help and empower
exploited women through:

Building Relationships

Starfish Project staff and volunteers regularly go out to the streets to find and develop relationships with women still trapped in exploitation. These teams go out nearly every day of the week and seek to build meaningful relationships with each woman, and serve them in practical ways, such as taking them for hospital visits, providing language and health education and celebrating the women's birthdays. Nearly all of the women have histories of degradation and abuse before they became trapped in exploitation, so the Starfish Project seeks to affirm each woman as worthwhile and being of value.

Enabling Access to Health Care

The Starfish Project views access to health care as a critical need for exploited women. Along with taking women still in exploitation for hospital visits, the Project provides for women it employs, comprehensive medical insurance and annual medical check-ups. Medical professional volunteers meet regularly with the women in the Project as well as with women still working the streets, providing health seminars, emotional and practical support, and simple consultation. Additionally, the Starfish Project provides funding grants for some medical needs.

Providing Counselling

Every employee in the Starfish Project receives regular counselling and emotional care as part of their holistic transformation. The women participate in group sessions where they begin to confront and heal their past hurts, and learn life-skills and tools for their future. They also have weekly individual sessions with trained therapists. In the past few years, the women have grown from an initial reluctance to open their hearts and expose their hurts, to a deep desire to have inner healing and deal with the trauma of their pasts.

Supplying Family Education Grants

With the high cost of schooling in the cities, many migrant families choose to send their children to live in the countryside with relatives, while the parents remain in the cities to earn money. Starfish Project believes that it is best for families to remain together, and that the women of the Project are the key in breaking previous cycles of abuse and neglect. Therefore Starfish Project provides education grants to its employees' children so that they can be educated in the city and the women of Starfish can renew and heal their relationship with their children.

Facilitating Education and Vocational Training

As part of its commitment to holistic care and growth, every woman at Starfish has the opportunity to receive education and vocational training.  Women are encouraged to grow in their skills and responsibilities in the business and are given on-the-job vocational training in areas such as computing, production, marketing, inventory and stock-keeping. Women are also offered educational grants to undertake vocational training classes through other providers, so that they can receive training for future employment and pursue their dreams. In-house literacy and English language classes are also provided throughout the working week. Due to poverty, many of the women at Starfish only completed very low levels of schooling and so are limited in their native language ability and therefore crippled in their future work possibilities.  The Starfish Project provides literacy education when needed, and now all women of the Project are literate in their native language and many are becoming proficient in English.

(credit www.starfish-project.com)

From our customers

  • EPHAS offers fantastic customer service, postage is reasonable and quick and the products are simply beautiful. It is easy to promote such gorgeous pieces when they have a story behind them like EPHAS does, and my customers appreciate my sourcing products that are Fair Trade and align with their beliefs. (So not only are the products amazing, but they also sell well.) Wouldn't hesitate to recommend purchasing EPHAS products

    Mel, Owner, Surya Gift Shop
  • I have been thinking about your products a lot. They have struck a cord with me. The story cards were very useful and helped me to clearly understand what Starfish Project does and the important work they are doing. I am really glad to have met EPHAS - thank you for introducing me to your products and giving me the opportunity to support such a meaningful cause.

    Yumi Director, One Village Shop
  • I am always really excited with the new jewellery designs that we order in from EPHAS. The entire range has been very popular with our customers and ever since it landed at One Village, it has been flying out of the shop! We have now increased our range of Starfish Project jewellery to keep up with the demands of our customers. We feel very fortunate to share in the journey with EPHAS to create a brighter future for the women who are behind the beautiful jewellery. Thank you for always providing us with excellent customer care.

    Yumi Director, One Village Shop