Starfish Project

REQUEST: $2,500 for vocational training certifications and testing.

  • Population: 1,400,000,000
  • Languages: Standard Chinese or Mandarin (official; Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese)
  • Religions: Folk religion 21.9%, Buddhist 18.3%, Christian 5.2%, Muslim 2%
  • Median Age: 38.4 years

Starfish Project cares for women and girls escaping human trafficking and exploitation in China. We help these women experience freedom, establish independence, and develop careers through our jewelry business and holistic care program. We provide women in our program employment opportunities, counseling, discipleship, education, vocational training, healthcare, and safe housing. These survivors learn to create beautiful jewelry, with many becoming managers, accountants, graphic designers, and photographers.

Most women come to Starfish Project with very little education (often 2nd grade) and many of them are unable to read and write. Due to the Chinese educational system, it is incredibly difficult to return to school after leaving; therefore, these women and girls have very little opportunity to improve their situation. Because girls are not valued in their villages, most of them are sent to work at a young age so they can provide income for their brothers to attend school. They are uneducated and only qualify for low-level jobs that do not bring in enough income. At Starfish Project, we have seen that if we can provide these women and girls with a safe living and work environment, many of them are incredibly capable and can not only hold a manual labor job, but they are also able to learn skills that provide them with real career opportunities.

We provide specialized vocational and educational training for every woman and girl at Starfish Project, first through our computer, literacy, and English classes provided onsite, and then at specialized training schools throughout the city that offer training in higher level skills. This gives women in our program the opportunity to develop the skills they need to achieve high-level success and escape the risk of being re-trafficked in the future.

Through providing opportunities for vocational training certifications and testing, you are helping to give women and girls at Starfish Project the opportunity to receive a professional certification through the Microsoft Corporation. This is often the first time that women in our program have ever received a certification and have been acknowledged for an academic achievement. This is not only beneficial for their professional growth but builds their sense of self-worth.

Image Copyright: Starfish Project

Women and girls at Starfish Project that completed their Microsoft Corporation Certificate!

Starfish Project Overview

Image Copyright: Starfish Project

Lay Lay’s Story in her own words:

Starfish Project’s outreach teams met me when I was working in the brothels. I started working on the production team at Starfish Project, but today my job is to inspect the finished products and organize them for shipment. I make sure they are up to our standard and have no flaws.

One of the things I enjoy most is the training Starfish Project provides. I have been taking computer and math courses, and really enjoy the process of learning. So far, I have earned my Microsoft Word and Excel Certifications. I look forward to getting my Outlook Certification and taking math classes next. In the past, I didn’t have many opportunities to learn. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunities that I have at Starfish Project!













* Highlighted budget icons apply to this grant

Certifications of online courses and training$2,500
(25 certifications/courses x $100)  
Total Budget Requested:$2,500

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