Right from the start I knew Starfish Project was working towards helping people have their needs met. This is the basic concept of system condition four of the Principles for a Sustainable Society, “reducing and eliminating our contribution to conditions that systematically undermine people’s ability to meet their basic needs…to ensure that human rights are respected.” This is Starfish Project in a nutshell. Every day when someone came into the store I was able to share with them the beauty of Starfish. They work day in and day out spreading the women’s stories so that they can bring awareness to their group; so they can bring awareness for the women. One of the most important things I’ve come to realize while interning is the idea of a global understanding. Just because Starfish is set up in Asia doesn’t mean that we should turn our backs on helping in what little way we can. Just by talking about the problem of trafficking brings about awareness, but by putting a face and a story behind it makes it real.
The women taken in at Starfish Project are often cast aside by their families, or are so poor they have no other choice. Husbands may demand they work in the red light districts in order to bring home some money. Hearing some of their stories makes you realize how much many of us have at home that we often take for granted. For me, this also struck true with an interview article we read for our internship called Bridging the Green Divide between David Kupfer and Van Jones. In it, when they are talking about green jobs and sustainable measures that need to be taken Jones mentions that “the green economy will be strong enough to lift people out of poverty, but only if the people who need the jobs most receive training and support. Otherwise you’re just retraining the existing workforce and not making a dent in the larger social problem.” Whereas in other jobs and areas the women would have been forgotten, left to try and take care of themselves. Here, however, with the Starfish Project they are given a chance toward a new job, a new life and new perspective on how they can work to sustaining their own needs.