Starchild is a registered charity set up in memory of the founder’s adopted brother Frankie Marsh. Frankie's parents were both Ugandan. Frankie was adopted at 13 months old. Sadly he died in a house fire at the age of 27 years. Frankie and Michaela were raised as twins and pushed in a twin pram. On a visit to Uganda in 2012, Michaela miraculously found her brothers family. In a country of over forty-one million, it was like finding a needle in a haystack but it was obviously meant to be. Overwhelmed by the poverty Michaela witnessed, she came back to Scotland with a dream of setting up Starchild to help the most vulnerable and marginalised in Uganda. Since gaining charitable status in 2013, Starchild has gone on to build a school for Creative Arts and improve the lives of many. We hope you will take a moment to look through Starchild's projects in Uganda and in Scotland.
Michaela has recently published this incredible, heart-warming story.
IN 2012 MICHAELA TRAVELED TO UGANDA AND MIRACULIOUSLY FOUND FRANKIE'S FAMILY. THIS INCREDIBLE STORY HAS NOW BEEN TURNED INTO THE BOOK – STARCHILD
A brief background
Starchild’s main aim
Empower and improve the health and
well-being of children, vulnerable people and women in Uganda by providing access to sustainable education, vocational training, food, support and love.
By another strange coincidence, while I was there, a member of staff passed by the Head teacher's door. Now this teacher, Phibi, was not supposed to be there that day as it was a school holiday. However as fate would have it, she came by to pick up some papers and Vicki called out to her to come and join us. It turned out Phibi was a relative and knew Frankie’s family. They were so excited by this synchronicity and encouraged me with great enthusiasm to meet with the family.
Within 3 hours I was sitting with Frankie’s brother Frank.
I will let the photographs and video tell you the rest.
IN 2012 MICHAELA TRAVELED TO UGANDA AND FOUND FRANKIE'S FAMILY. BELOW IS THE STORY OF HER INCREDIBLE JOURNEY AND THE FOUNDING OF STARCHILD
After both my parents died, I came across Frankie’s adoption papers. Having read the short notes on his mother, and the circumstances surrounding his adoption, I could not stop wondering about her and what it must have been like to give up her child. There was very little information in the notes themselves, as adoption at that time was cloaked in secrecy.
My imagination took over and hence the birth of my fictional novel ‘The Matoke Tree.’
I had arranged to go to Uganda, mainly for research for the novel. I had set up a number of meetings, one of which was at the Gayaza High School, just outside Kampala. Since my main character was very loosely based on Frankie’s mum (who was a teacher), I had placed her in this school as a teacher.
Later, when I had the privilege to interview a missionary, Sheelagh Warren, who had been the Headteacher at Gayaza for 40 yrs, I discovered, by complete serendipity, that Frankie’s grandfather had been the pastor there from 1950 – 1960. It was like finding a needle in a haystack without even trying! I had not set out to find Frankie’s family.
When I visited Gayaza to interview the head teacher, Vicki, little did I know that his mother attended the school and was one of the schools brightest pupils! Only the week before, they had found a photograph of her from 1948! Before I arrived there I had only a faint hope that, just maybe, they would have a photograph of his Grandfather.
Seeing her photograph for the first time was extremely emotional. She looked so like him.
Provide aid and support to Uganda’s most vulnerable children and young adults many of whom have no one to provide even their basic needs.
Introduce the role of creative arts as an extra curriculum activity at Grace Primary School and local communities, encouraging those of all ages not naturally gifted in academia.
Promote education and enterprise to vulnerable young girls and women. Assist in menstrual health and sanitary care.
Break down the social barriers dispelling myths and stigma’s surrounding autism spectrum disorder and disabilities.
Help sustain the Starchild School for Creative Arts and Vocational Training Centre in Uganda.
Help sustain The Mama Wa Mit Women’s project based in Jinja, Uganda. Empowering local marginalised and vulnerable women to become self-sufficient and responsible for the development of the projects ongoing sustainability.