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The Starfish Foundation for the Empowerment of Filipino Youth (FILSTAR) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that aims to empower, inspire, and give hope and help to motivated and underprivileged youth in the most poverty-stricken areas of the Philippines. 


Before Starfish Foundation was established, one of our founders had been dedicated to helping disadvantaged Filipino youth individually by providing them with educational assistance. As time went on, he wanted to assist more students but needed help. He then formed relationships with an established NGO in Tacloban City, Leyte, a church, and an NGO in Calbayog City, Samar to be able to do more. 

As relationships with other organizations developed, the number of students increased, and other related projects were able to be done. We built and renovated five schools in Calbayog City, repaired a church, and accomplished other projects there as well. One of his observations was that "life is real there", and he fell in love with Calbayog City and its people. 

Samar is one of the most impoverished provinces in the Philippines and poverty is a way of life for many who live there. Opportunity for young people is lacking, no matter how much enthusiasm they may have or how big their dreams may be.

A young girl was walking along the beach one morning where thousands of starfish had washed up onto the shore. She came across an old man who was picking up one starfish after another and throwing them back into the sea.

"Why are you throwing the starfish back into the sea?" she asked.

red starfish isolated on white background.jpg

​"Because the sun is coming up and the tide is going out, and if I don't throw them into the sea they will die."

"But there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it. You can't possibly save them all. Even if you work all day, you can't make a difference at all," she replied.

The old man bent down picked up another starfish and threw him into the sea.


"Well," he said, "it made a difference to that one."

The Starfish Story



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