Dear Friends,

2022 was a momentous year in Haiti. One hundred armed gangs on the mainland held the country hostage, crippling nearly every sector of life: commerce, fuel/energy, healthcare, sanitation, transportation. The cost of food doubled. Severe hunger became (and remains) prevalent. A record 4.7 million people are currently facing acute hunger (World Food Programme, October 14, 2022).

We’re thankful that no gang-related violence has reached La Gonave, but the impact of gang activity on the mainland has severely impacted our friends on the island. With gas and diesel fuel all but absent in the country, boat-deliveries of food staples (eg, rice, beans) to the island ceased. We’re so thankful that our fruit tree-planting efforts over the past several years did help to mitigate some of the hunger in some pockets of the island, and the current crisis certainly motivates us to move forward with our agricultural work.

Traveling to Haiti has been extremely difficult for much of this past year, with concern for safety our biggest concern. Two other factors preventing us from traveling have been lack of fuel (ie, making visiting our distant project sites impossible), and scarcity of food (ie, not wanting to be an extra strain on their scarce food supply).

Thankfully, there are optimistic signs, heading into 2023. The fuel supply issue seems to be improving. This alone will positively impact every other economic sector and will open things up for us to resume our visits and hopefully resume sending in our supplies containers. Hosting large visiting teams will remain a challenge, so long as gang activity continues to be a problem, but we’re hopeful we can soon start receiving small-sized teams.

Financially, Starfysh was blessed in 2022 with its biggest year ever, with over $470,000 in donations. Amazing when you consider that our support comes largely in the form of small, individual donations, ie, not public/corporate/foundation grants. We do have several churches that provide ongoing support, including a church in Switzerland!

Because of your tremendous support, six schools are in session today, educating and feeding hundreds of children and employing a total of 73 teachers. Another 23 Starfysh employees are able to provide for their families because of your continued donations to our work. With all we’ve been up against this past year, we have been able to build a 9-classroom school (all local labor, locally-resourced supplies). Because of your ongoing support, our two Life Garden campuses have produced and distributed 52 pounds of seeds and over 39,000 banana, papaya, fruit tree, and vegetable seedlings to island farmers. Between the two campuses (sea level, highlands), 1,344 farmers received field-level training over the past year.

I have to catch myself, sometimes, when I come up with snap solutions and simple fixes, me with my tap water, underground sprinkling, and flush toilets. Me with my two cars, smooth roads, stocked refrigerator, and roof that doesn’t leak rainwater down onto my bed. How can I be so quick to think I can fix their problems when only by the grace of God was I born where I was?

We choose to respond not so much with solutions, but with presence. We show up.

Friends, I’m fully aware that most of you reading this have not yet had the opportunity to visit our work in Haiti, to see and experience what life is like for the 100,000-or-so people who call La Gonave home, and to witness in-person their struggle to survive today, and then tomorrow. Nevertheless, you continue to support Starfysh’s ministry. Amazing. Your support makes it possible for us to continue to imagine a bright, rather than bleak, future for the precious people of this island. During tumultuous times it’s not all that logical that we would grow and thrive in our work. But “If God be for us, who can be against us?” We thank God for 2022 and trust Him to continue His work, through us, in the year ahead.

As we approach the end of one year and anticipate a new one, would you join me by…
Celebrating God’s provision in the face of an extremely difficult 2022
Praying for wisdom and discernment as we set vision for the next 5 years
Supporting that vision with a generous year-end gift.

Thanks friends. Through our partnership God continues to show off! Indeed, we are witnessing modern-day miracles on La Gonave.

God bless you this Christmas season!

Steve Edmondson
President, Starfysh
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2021-22 Financials

Fiscal year 2021-22
Income $471,903.80
Administration and fundraising $50,526.46
% A&F 10.7%
Starfysh’s fully-disclosed financial information can be viewed at: (EIN 27-1976856)
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Looking Ahead

We expect 2023 will be a very good year for Starfysh. We don’t expect to add more schools this year. Rather, we hope to pour into our current schools through curriculum improvements, continued teacher training, enhanced classrooms (furniture, supplies), and student care. We will reach more farmers than ever through our Life Garden agricultural initiatives (producing tree seedlings for farmers, etc.). And we’ll continue to expand our community health initiatives (eg, latrine building, health education by extension, water filters, etc.).
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Unprecedented Matching Gift

Three separate donors have come together in offering up an amazing end-of-year matching gift challenge. What they have said is that for every $1 in giving, they will match it with another $2… up to $30,000! Meaning, if we can come up with $30,000 in donations between now and the end of the year, they will match it with $60,000, for a potential $90,000! This is the best matching gift we’ve ever seen. If we can take full advantage, we’ll go into 2023 well-positioned to make a monster difference.