SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Orphaned Starfish Foundation

Founded in 2001 by philanthropist Andy Stein, The Orphaned Starfish Foundation is a 5013 non-profit organization focused on developing vocational centers for orphans, victims of abuse and at-risk youth. Through the creation of computer centers and a focus on the development of computer literacy, OSF creates increased employment opportunities for the children they serve, it runs fifty computer centers in twenty-five countries. OSF was founded by a philanthropist with a background in international banking. While working as the joint head of corporate finance in the Philippines for Chase Bank, Stein became'financially and emotionally' connected to working with orphans and orphanages, he insisted any clients who wanted to pitch business must arrange a visit to an orphanage. In Chile, Stein spoke with a nun, who informed him of the challenges that face orphans after leaving the orphanage, including homelessness, drug addiction and prostitution; this inspired him to file the necessary paperwork to create a charity, raise funds for a state-of-the-art computer center for the orphanage in Santiago.

The foundation is named for Loren Eiseley's famous parable about a young man throwing starfish into the ocean. When the man is told he cannot make a difference saving one starfish at a time he replies, "It makes a difference for that one." Stein identifies this as the mission of OSF--though the foundation will never save all the orphans, it "starts with just one starfish." OSF funds the construction and staffing of vocational training facilities. These include over 50 computer centers, for which they have provided furnishings and computer equipment as well as funding for teachers, English language programs, job placement, scholarships. Stein identifies the development of life skills as essential to the foundations work, programs include training on how to manage a budget, obtain independent housing, maintain a healthy lifestyle. Once a center is established, OSF commits to their operation "for life". A staple of Stein's personal visits to the orphanage are his magic shows, he is known by the as'Tio Mago', uncle magician, he considers magic a tool in his outreach: "It's a way to make the children feel like they have the ability to do anything in the world."

OSF is a registered 501c3 charity, its budget is generated in large part from the general public. The Annual Gala in New York City raises 80 percent of their annual operating income as well as the entirety of their scholarship fund

Gora (region)

Gora is a geographical region in southern Kosovo and northeastern Albania inhabited by the Gorani people. Due to geopolitical circumstances, some of the local Gorani people have over time self declared themselves as Albanians, Bosniaks, Muslim Bulgarians, Serbs and Muslims. Gorani inhabited settlements in Albania and Kosovo are synonymous with the geographical outline of Gora as a region. Between 1992 and 1999, the Gora region in Kosovo was designated as a municipality, its population was 17,574 people according to the 1991 census. Today in Kosovo, the region is part of Dragaš municipality that includes the Albanian inhabited Opoja region. In Albania, the Gora region is located in Kukës County and parts of it are subdivided in the Shishtavec and Zapod territorial units. Nearby, two Gorani settlements geographically located in the Polog region of North Macedonia are ethnographically and linguistically associated with the Gora region. Gora is bordered to the west and northwest by the region of Lumë, within Albania and a small portion in Kosovo.

In the northeast it is bordered by the regions of Opoja, to the east by Polog and to the south by Upper Reka. The region of Gora within Albania contains 9 Gorani inhabited villages: Zapod, Pakisht, Orçikël, Cernalevë, Oreshkë, Borje and Shishtavec. According to the disputed 2011 census figures, just over two-thirds of the population in Shishtavec Municipality identified as Albanian, while 7.7% identified as Macedonian. In Zapod Municipality, 79% identified as Albanian and 11.7% identified as Macedonian. The region of Gora within Kosovo is made up of 18 Gorani inhabited villages: Baćka, Vranište, Globočice, Gornja Rapča, Gornji Krstac, Donja Rapča, Donji Krstac, Zli Potok, Kruševo, Lještane, Ljubošta, Mlike, Orčuša, Radeša, Restelicë and the town of Dragaš. Following 1999, Dragaš has a mixed population of Gorani, whom live in the lower neighbourhood and Albanians in the upper neighbourhood that constitute the majority of inhabitants. According to 1991 census data, the population of the Gora municipality was composed of: Albanians: 22,785 Gorani: 16,129The Gora municipality and Opoja region remained separated during the Milošević period.

After the 1999 Kosovo war, the Gorani-majority Gora municipality was merged with the Albanian inhabited Opoja region to form the municipality of Dragaš by the United Nations Mission and the new administrative unit has an Albanian majority. The town of Dragash is the regional and municipal centre for both the Gora and Opoja regions of Dragash municipality. Kosovo's Gorani people have stated that they want the former Gora municipality with a Gorani majority, merged with the Albanian-majority Opolje to form the Dragaš municipality which has an Albanian majority) to join the Community of Serb municipalities. On 3 November 2013, 70% voted in favour of establishing the Gora municipality as part of the Community of Serb municipalities, according to Gorani political leader Safet Kuši. In the Republic of North Macedonia, there are two Gorani inhabited villages within Bogovinje Municipality: Jelovjane and Urvič located in the Polog region that neighbours the Gora region. During the Macedonian census of 2001, the population of Jelovjane self declared as Turks while Urvič self declared as Turks and Albanians.

Gora 1968 part 1 - Short Documentary film about Gora Gora 1968 part 2 - Short Documentary film about Gora