The Starfish Greathearts Foundation – a charity that provides support to more than 12 000 children orphaned or vulnerable in South Africa – has launched an interactive children’s e-book The Starfish Story, aimed at children from the ages from two to seven-years old.
Available via the Apple app, The Starfish Story tells the story of Nozi and starts when her mother tucks her into bed at night, and the magical adventure that ensues as Nozi drifts into a deep sleep. The story is ideal for a child’s first book, as parents can read the text or choose to have the story beautifully narrated, by Lebo Motsoeli. For older children who are learning to read, the tale includes a series of interactive ‘Easter eggs’, such as lighting and animals that come to life on the screen when they are clicked, or as the iPad is hugged, tapped or moved from side to side.
Belinda te Riele, CEO of Starfish explains:  “It is a challenge raising funds in our market, as South Africa is considered a middle-income country with less foreign aid coming through. Also, many people are experiencing donor fatigue, so we needed to find a more innovative way of raising funds and to build a community of support for children.

“We approached digital advertising agency Retroviral to develop a campaign for us that would support an earned income strategy and which would enable Starfish to further extend services to children orphaned or vulnerable in South Africa.”
Adds Mike Sharman, co-founder of Retroviral: “Charity is often a grudge purchase so our challenge was to create something ‘sticky’ that members of the public would find valuable in exchange for the disposable income that they are parting with when supporting Starfish over other charities.”
Retroviral modernised and localised the Starfish narrative, collaborated with a team of designers (You and Me) and developers (Aglet) and the result is a fabulous interactive, iPad e-book where all proceeds from the sales will go directly to Starfish.
Concludes te Riele: “The Starfish story e-book is the ideal stocking-filler this festive season, and those buying it for their children or as a present for a niece, nephew or grandchild, should remember that by doing so they will be giving two gifts for children this Christmas.”
The Starfish Story e-book app is currently available on iOS for iPad and can be purchased at:https://appsto.re/za/WY2nfb.i for R139.

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