The Starfish Project

  • Facebook

Follow us @StarfishVic

How the small things we do make a difference.

One morning a man walked along a beach

that was littered with thousands of starfish

washed ashore by a high tide. In the

distance he saw a young boy, eagerly

throwing the starfish one by one into

the ocean.


As he came upon the boy, the man asked him

what he was doing. Without looking up from

his task, the boy replied, “I’m saving these

starfish, sir.”


“But the beach goes on for miles and there

are more starfish than you can save,” said

the man. “Do you really think your efforts will

make a difference?”


After listening politely, the boy bent down and

picked up another starfish. As he sent it

sailing back into the water, he said,

“it made a difference to that one.”

You can make a difference.



We are a group of Canadians working in partnership with the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) through their private sponsorship program helping refugees not only come to Canada, but to successfully integrate into society as productive citizens. This private sponsorship program is uniquely Canadian. These sponsors form a “ Constituent Group” under ICA who acts as the Sponsorship Agreement Holder with the Federal Government. Under this
arrangement, ICA is fully responsible for the volunteers and the disbursement of all funds to the family once they arrive in Canada.


The Starfish Project has been in existence for two and a half years. The first family we sponsored has successfully integrated into life in Canada. The husband has started his own business and, after one year, is expanding and hiring
employees. The mother has successfully completed English classes at University of Victoria and is hoping to further her education. The children are at school and doing well.


Here is their story as outlined by a brother who has lived in Victoria for 8 years:

My brother needs your help.


Here is my plea:


I am writing this in the hope of leaving an effect on your heart and the hearts of those you choose to share this with. I am seeking your help to save my brother, his wife and their 2 little girls from the daily suffering they go through in their refuge country, Lebanon.


I am going to start by telling you a little bit about my brother and how he ended up in Lebanon. He is an honest, intelligent, hard working man. All the people who meet him can tell you how beautiful his soul is. He is very generous and giving regardless how little he has, he will share it with those who need it. Shortly after the war started in Syria and the horrific bombing on civilians started to accelerate, he felt terrified for his family. He decided to leave the country and go to Lebanon in the hope of finding a safe refuge and a better life.

He works as an electro-mechanical technician. He has advanced in his trade and specializes in methods to fix generators.  In Lebanon his skills are not respected and his talent triggers hateful reactions in the Lebanese people. They think he is taking away their work. One time they fired a gun a couple metres away from him to scare him away. People often refuse to pay him for his work and they tell him that he can do nothing about it. More importantly, the majority of people surrounding him are supportive to the regime in Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon. He told me how scary it is when Hezbollah fighters are killed in Syria.  He told me that he has to hide at home for at least two days as there is a big chance that they might take revenge on him and his family or any Syrian in the area, blaming them for the death of the soldiers. He fears so much for his wife and children and can’t bear the daily suffering anymore.

Please help my brother and his family to find a better life in this wonderful country, Canada.  All what I want for my nieces is a better future and  a safe life with dignity.

Please …please help me.!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart to you and anyone you know who is willing to help!"


Every dollar contributed by you (less any applicable credit card processing fees or administrative fees levied by online platforms) goes to support this family.  Contributions made directly to ICA receive a charitable receipt through the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria.  Every donation helps – no contribution is too small! Our goal is to raise $40,000.00, which is the budgeted amount to support a family of four for a year.  All funds raised in excess of the budget and deposited with ICA will be allocated by ICA, in its sole discretion, to the sponsorship of other refugees. You can contribute directly by credit card to our secure online giving tool (CHIMP account) and receive a charitable tax receipt via CHIMP immediately (see link below) or you can mail a cheque directly  addressed to Inter-Cultural Association of  Greater Victoria (930 Balmoral Road, Victoria, BC, V8T 1A8). Please quote charity #CG078-18 on your cheque memo line to ensure the funds are allocated to the right family.  Persons donating by cheque will receive a tax receipt directly from ICA by February 2019.


It’s easy to see the overwhelming needs in the world and think that you can’t make a difference.

It’s just as easy to be cynical about those who try to make things better in the midst of such massive need.

Just find one person and make a difference to their world. And then another, and another.