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YEAR OF EXPANSION 2017 has been a year of expansion and breaking new ground. Before the year ended, we increased our field team to now, 10 men/women strong with wardens anchoring three existing hostels and two new hostels opening its doors in 2018. Strategically located in the poorest regions in Sabah, our hostels serve the purpose in providing safe havens and education opportunity for the poor. The Kapit Lighthouse project in the heart of Sarawak, has taken off with hope that it will be a beacon of light to the youth and young ones there. At Starfish Malaysia Foundation, we find ourselves perpetually learning, re-learning and unlearning as we go along. Community development has kept us on our toes and one thing we’ve learnt is to always be ready in and out of season, without compromising our values and beliefs. Perseverance and grit is absolutely essential if we want to last the long haul. I’m proud of the team we have though few in number, yet together we are able to achieve much. I’m reminded of an African quote, “if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together”. It’s true that when we band together, we can achieve more. We are deeply grateful to our sponsors, partners and volunteers who have come alongside the foundation and supported us. Thank you for believing in our vision and our efforts. The little or much that you gave has helped lighten the burden and encouraged us to go farther. Sincerely grateful,  

WHAT DO WE DO EDUCATE - We build and manage hostels catered for primary and secondary school students to accommodate students from remote areas. ELEVATE - We assist farmers in identifying cash crops to grow in their own villages. We provide interest-free seed funding, undertake the transport and ascertain the best market price for the produce. EMPOWER - We identify and set up business opportunities and develop business models for rural entrepreneurs. 

Jimmy Lei


T.H.I.S IS OUR PHILOSOPHY Starfish Malaysia Foundation strives to bring Transformation in a Holistic manner through an Integrated community-based system to provide Sustainable solutions for a better future.


We believe our work needs to be transformative. With the money, time and resources plowed into the work, our projects need to have clear quantitative and qualitative impacts. When you are in the business of making a difference, your results need to be evident.


An integral part of our work is the focus and value we put on the partnerships. Building a community is not a one-man-show, therefore integrated networks are important and must be forged and maintained.


Our programs need to be holistic in nature. A person’s well being is four fold physical, mental, social and spiritual. Growth is multi-dimensional and we want to develop a new generation that is well-rounded and versatile.


For our projects to last long, it needs to be financially, environmentally and socially sustainable. Our efforts are strongly hinged on this idea that if we lay a strong foundation, the work will be able to withstand the storms ahead.

2017 AT A GLANCE JANUARY Hostel Marigold Solimpodon began full operations

FEBRUARY Launched a new agriculture product - Roselle tea

MARCH First Starfish Malaysia Foundation Team Retreat Sabah Warden Retreat (including warden’s from other hostels in Sabah)

MAY Hostel Rose Kudat began full operations Joint Intensive Tuition for Form 3-5 students with DUMC’s Dream Hostel in Tenom

JUNE Bible Holiday Camp at Hostel Jasmine Talantang

JULY Kicked off Youth Alpha program at Hostel Marigold Solimpodon

AUGUST Medical Camp at Hostel Jasmine Talantang English Weekend Program at Hostel Jasmine Talantang organised by Bethany Church Sabah Warden Workshop in Kota Kinabalu Children’s Bible Camp in Kapit Lighthouse & Youth Centre organised by TRAC - Puchong Methodist

SEPTEMBER Hostel Marigold Solimpodon’s students participated in “Penuaian Jiwa Borneo” event in Kota Kinabalu Inter School Christian Fellowship (ISCF) Camp in Kapit Lighthouse & Youth Centre organised by Scripture Union

OCTOBER Training of new wardens for upcoming hostels Signed a three year agreement with Georgetown Baptist Church for Hostel Sunflower Sikuati Iban Leadership Course in Kapit Lighthouse & Youth Centre organised by local Iban leaders

NOVEMBER ‘Way, Truth and Life’ Youth Camp at Hostel Marigold Solimpodon “No Apologies” Camp in Kapit Lighthouse & Youth Centre organised by Kapit Chinese Methodist Church “Berdiri Teguh Merentasi Ribut” Camp in Kapit Lighthouse & Youth Centre organised by SPECS Services Bhd

DECEMBER Horse riding outing for the students of Hostel Jasmine Talantang Community Christmas carnival at Hostel Jasmine Talantang  Graduation ceremony for Standard 6 and Form 5 students at respective hostels “ReadySetGo” (Sports Ministry) in Kapit Lighthouse & Youth Centre organised by NGI Sarawak


OUR HOSTEL PROGRAM One of the goals at Starfish Malaysia Foundation is to elevate the literacy level of children and youth in rural Sabah to give them a greater chance for a brighter future. Children living in the rural areas often have to travel a long way to get to school. Some live as far as three hours walk away and getting to the nearest school on a daily basis becomes a tiresome feat, resulting in unacceptably high dropout and illiteracy rates. That is why boarding facilities such as hostels are required. Starfish Malaysia Foundation currently has five (5) hostels in Kota Marudu, Pitas and Kudat districts and these hostels provide a safe, wholesome and conducive environment for students to develop and thrive in their studies. The running of the hostels are based on an economically self-sustainable model. When it comes to developing and grooming the next generation, it takes a lot more than just good infrastructure. To ensure the wholesome development and growth of our students, we believe in strategic partnerships that contribute to the success of our hostels.  As the proverb goes, “It takes a whole village to raise a child” and we are invested in this journey. There are four essential pillars for sustained success when it comes to running our hostels. Partnerships are forged between:





Parents are crucial if not the most vital part of a child’s development. We meet with our students’ parents regularly to update, discuss and chart their child’s development and well being.

As the primary guardian of the students, our wardens play a pivotal role in ensuring that the hostel is a safe haven. They ensure the smooth running of the hostel and put in place disciplines and routines to facilitate growth.

On the academic front, we build good rapport with the schools that our students go to by attending parentteacher meetings and initiating discussions with the principal and teachers in order to keep afloat with our students’ performance.

We develop strong relationships with the nearby church and its leaders because we believe that a child’s holistic development include a sturdy grip on their faith and beliefs.

OUR HOSTELS        |      CAPACITY       |       TYPE Hostel Hostel Hostel Hostel Hostel

Jasmine Talantang                 Lily Mangkapon                       Marigold Solimpodon*            Sunflower Sikuati*                   Rose Kudat*                            

48 32 64 90 100

*in partnership with the Protestant Church in Sabah (PCS)

primary primary secondary secondary secondary



HOSTELS' REPORT 2017’s focus was to implement and put into place processes and systems to ensure strong foundations are laid for the future. A big chunk of our hostel projects were at its fledging stage. We had to ensure smooth operations by implementing and regularly tweaking methods of operation that best suit each hostel and community. With it came its own set of challenges as we worked towards changing mindsets and ideologies of how an excellent organisation should be.

* Our wardens are assessed bi-annually to help them improve and gain the skills needed to excel in their role.

For 2018 and 2019, we plan to introduce e-learning and also basic computer programs in our hostels. We also want to network with other organisations to explore possible opportunities for school leavers to obtain vocational or practical training, scholarships and job opportunities.



HOSTEL WARDEN Our wardens have said, in their own words: “At one point, I felt like quitting - but I know this is my calling and I can’t just call it quits.” “I want to give back to my own community.” “I love the children like my own.” There are some things in life that you can’t fully prepare for. You can read as many books, plough through the internet and consult friends, yet nothing prepares you for the moment when it happens. For example, when you become a parent. The sleepless nights, the undivided attention demanded of you, the meltdowns and sick days, the unspeakable joy and candid moments, the friendship problems and teenage issues - the list never ends. When you become a parent, you commit yourself to journey with your child through thick and thin. Now imagine if you had 10, 20 or even 30 children under your wings? That’s a glimpse of what it’s like to be a warden. At Starfish Malaysia Foundation, we engage and train wardens (house parents) to run our hostels. They provide care and guidance to the students, cook and clean for them and ensure that the hostel is a safe, clean and conducive place for the students to live. It’s not an easy task and definitely not a 9to-5 conventional job.

Our wardens need to have the organisational skills to manage budgets and schedules, housekeeping skills to make sure the hostel is in order, inter-personal skills to build relationships with the students, parents, the local community and school, discipline and commendable character to ensure that the students have good role models to follow after and maturity to make right decisions when called for. Essentially, our wardens are guardians to our hostel students 24/7. And just like becoming a parent, nothing quite prepares them for this role. In fact, there is no degree or course that you can take to qualify you for this. They learn onthe-job, through trial and error and a lot of grit. Honestly, this is not a job for everyone, it’s an arduous (but extremely rewarding) role for those who don’t see this as a job, but as a new lifestyle. Their long-sighted vision have earned them the role of a warden. Their reward extends beyond salaries, bonuses and incentives because they have the wonderful privilege of shaping lives for the future.


AGRICULTURE PROJECTS Our efforts to improve the livelihood of local farmers expand across a variety of projects. As agriculture is the main mode of economy in rural Sabah, we sought to provide solutions to improve yield, eliminate money runoffs so that farmers get a higher price for their produce and increase efficiency by working through the supply chain. Our agriculture projects are dotted across Sabah and they include: 

Organic Farming in Kg Solimpodon, Pitas As part of our self-sustaining economic model for our hostels, we cultivated the land surrounding Hostel Marigold Solimpodon by planting organic vegetables such as corn, long beans, okra, brinjal, bottle gourd, cucumber, pumpkin & winter melon. The harvest has been bountiful, enough to supply the hostel and surrounding hostels. The surplus harvest is packed and sold through various networks in Kota Kinabalu.

Vegetable harvest in 2017: 17,000 kg Veggies provided to the hostel(s): 2,100 kg

Roselle farming in Kampung Mangkapoh, Ranau Our very first agriculture project which started in 2015 where we provided roselle seedlings to farmers, bought the roselle flowers from the farmers at three times the market price and subsequently produced bottles of roselle enzyme that is sold in Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur - is now evolving. We launched a new product - the floral Roselle tea, sold in airtight packages.

Amount of roselle harvested in 2017: 770 kg Number of farmers impacted: 15

Soursop farming in Kampung Maatol, Tulid Soursop is high in demand, but also highly perishable. Although farmers in Kampung Maatol are able to produce good fruits, they are only paid RM0.60 per kg  when sold to the middle man. This price is a pale comparison to the price city goers in Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur pay for a fruit - up to RM22 per kg. Starfish Malaysia Foundation decided to partner with World Vision (Sabah) who has an existing education project in Kampung Maatol to provide farmers with seedlings and free organic fertilser. Additionally, soursop harvest was bought from the farmers at RM2.50 per kg. Today, the farmers not only have better pay for their hard work, they contribute back to the local education centre run by World Vision (Sabah). 

Amount of soursop harvested in 2017: 980 kg Number of farmers impacted: 32




RM450,000 renovation & refurbishment cost in 2017

RM10,000 average monthly cost in 2017

RM250,000 expected for Phase 2 renovation in 2018

Kapit Lighthouse and Youth Centre is Starfish Malaysia Foundation’s only project in Sarawak. We learned about Kapit's rising social ills such as drug abuse, teenage pregnancies, increasing number of school dropouts and unemployment. We saw this as an opportunity in disguise, amidst the cloud of problems - to empower the next generation by providing a space for them to learn, a safe place to mingle with the right crowd and a chance to build strong value systems.   Beginning January 2017, we renovated and repaired a rundown vacant building to make this a centre to be used for wholesome activities to benefit the children and youth of Kapit. Initial repair works and refurbishment was completed in July 2017.    Kapit Lighthouse is managed by a two separate boards - the Management Board (financials and governance) and Board of Ministries (program management and creation) at the center. The members within these two boards include representatives from Starfish Malaysia Foundation, FGBMFI Malaysia, TRAC Mission Board (Methodist WM), Sarawak Iban Methodist Church, Sarawak Chinese Methodist Church, lban Baptist Church, SIB Sarawak & Scripture Union.

CONSTRUCTION EFFORTS 2017 Clearing approximately 1.1 acre of land surrounding the old building.  Repaired and built new toilets and bathrooms. Knocked down and renovated three rooms on the ground floor and made it into a multi-purpose hall & dining space with a roof terrace.  Built a new kitchen. Constructed a huge awning at the front of the building .


LIGHTHOUSE KAPIT In 2018, we would focus on further refurbishment and upgrades for the building including a sizable car park area, a stage, fencing the building area and installing a gate. If you're interested to support this work, please contact us.   Happenings at Lighthouse Kapit in 2017 include: 


SPONSOR A STUDENT We believe all children deserve a right to education, proper nutrition, love and care. The children we work with come from impoverished families whose parents are often farmers and fishermen. We charge a minimal fee of RM50-80 per month per child to stay at our hostel(s) but it barely covers the cost of RM300 per child needed to provide three wholesome meals a day, additional tuition classes, a comfortable bed to sleep, electricity and running water. Our sponsor-a-child program has empowered individuals to directly make a difference and give a child the greatest opportunity for a better future - access to education. By committing RM250 per month, you have the privilege of caring for a child / youth and in that process, you can get to know them better and journey with them. Contact us at for more information.




RM510,735 MONEY RAISED IN 2017 390,000




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*se g sne n ita pxE re pO

tn e dn mp a t iuq na E lP

and many other individuals who gave, supported and helped spread the word. We value and appreciate all of you!


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Aceplus Technology Services Acts Church Barnabas Fund Bethany Church City Harvest Church KL CLAC (E-Ministry) Destiny Assembly Dream Hostel FGBMFI Malaysia Georgetown Baptist Church Kajang AOG Kena Tembak Kiwanis Club, Kuala Lumpur Moscow Christian Doctors Fellowship       Salt X Paper Sin Chew Foundation SPECS Services Bhd Tanco Enterprise Teachers' Christian Fellowship Techstream Sdn Bhd The Edge Education Foundation The Protestant Church in Sabah

*RM71,000 of depreciation is included

(Audited account for period April 2016 to March 2017)

All Starfish agriculture activities are managed by New Change Agri Sdn Bhd



BEST PRACTICES Starfish Malaysia Foundation is committed to the highest standards of transparency, accountability and governance and with it, we have our self committed guidelines for T.A.G.



We believe that transparency builds trust. Starfish ensures that our projects are well documented. This includes agreements, contracts and larger-scale donor support. We believe every dollar needs to be accounted for and every effort marked and evaluated on a consistent basis. Our staff and work are monitored both qualitatively and quantitatively. We believe in continual improvement and excellence in all we do. Our financials are externally audited under the guidelines given by the law of Malaysia.

We strive to have greater accountability in our work which means implementing the following: a clear line of communication for all staffs quarterly reviews with all levels of staff ethical fundraising activities code of ethics for our staffs financial transparency and accountability

GOOD GOVERNANCE Starfish has strong governance frameworks to ensure strategic and responsible use of funds, high performance, and execution discipline that balances compliance and performance. The Foundation is guided by the Board of Directors. They provide strategy and guidance to ensure the Foundation will be a force for good to create positive and deep impacts across its focus areas. The Board is supported by an operations and field team that manages the day-today running of the Foundation's projects.  The Foundation complies with all requirements stipulated by Companies Commission of Malaysia in carrying out its goals and objectives. All funds are used only for social or charitable purposes. All Directors are not paid salaries, directors’ fee or any form of remuneration.

MANAGEMENT & STAFF Jimmy Lei Ho Cheng Leong Larry Siah Wee Lai Alex Yong Andrew Lau Deborah Chan Terence Ooi Frankie Dawin Hendlee Hostel Staff

Chairman Director Director Management Management Management Program Coordinator Program Coordinator Agriculturalist Farm Supervisor 11 wardens and helpers

Starfish Malaysia Foundation (1081161X) 3rd Floor, Lot 16-3, Block B, Lintas Square, Luyang, 88300 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. Tel: +6088 212 400 Facebook: Starfish Malaysia Foundation


Starfish Stakeholder Report 2017  

Progress, updates and report about Starfish's activities in East Malaysia, for the year 2017.

Starfish Stakeholder Report 2017  

Progress, updates and report about Starfish's activities in East Malaysia, for the year 2017.