Starfish International, Gambia

Over the past 10 years, Starfish International has motivated hundreds of middle and high school girls to develop a determination to make their families and their communities better through service to humanity.

About the project

Starfish International, a nonprofit community-based organization that is focused on providing Gambian girls scholarships to achieve the highest level of education, teaching them entrepreneurship skills that will enhance their financial independence, exposing them to opportunities and experiences geared towards guiding them find their voices and choices and educating them to break all social, cultural and global barriers to girls’ education. Most importantly, the organization requires its members and beneficiaries to direct their knowledge, skills and virtues towards serving their communities and humanity at large.

How we help

Mona Foundation provides funding for their Skills and Business Centre which will serve as the financial backbone for the organization. Once it is established, the center will be an opportunity for community members, particularly 100 girls and women, who never had the opportunity to have or attain a high school education, to learn skills that will enhance their capacity in being financially independent.

In the long run, these individuals will be skillful enough to contribute even more to the development of their communities, mostly by starting their own businesses and even hiring others. The Skills Center was founded by Mama Kujabi, a victim of life-long violence and abuse who resolutely defied all odds and started a small business which enabled her to support and educate herself and three daughters.

Over the past 10 years, Starfish has motivated hundreds of middle and high school girls to develop a determination to make their families and their communities better through service to humanity. Staff and students at Starfish have engaged in community service projects including:

  • Educational and awareness programs with community leaders such as The Lamin Village Development Council, both Christian and Muslim religious leaders, and village elders.
  • Individual and group service projects and sensitization campaigns conducted in the surrounding communities
  • Gender equality workshops with various schools in the community.
  • Parents’ service projects where parents and guardians of our students come to the Starfish Community Library to render service in support of their children.
  • Adult Education and Literacy Classes including Mathematics, English, Reading and Writing.

This dedication to service has transformed the way the community sees our students. These girls are now honored as selfless community servants who are committed to making the world a better place. As a result, the community and local institutions continue to provide support and to show appreciation for their efforts.

Help establish and maintain a centre where young women are taught how to gain financial independence.

This year Mona Foundation will help establish a Skills and Business Centre for 100 Gambian girls.


2019 Achievements

Trained 43 women, ages 13 – 20, in sewing skills, hairdressing, cooking, arts and crafts

2020 Project Goals

Purchase a building for the Skills and Business Center with 4 classrooms, dining and conference hall, offices and bathrooms for students and staff – giving space for 100 students and 15 teachers

Change a life!

Give $24 a month to support one girl gain financial independence.