How SALT Began
Andy and Alison Fry have had links in Sub-Saharan Africa and over the years visited several countries there. In early 2007 they responded to an invitation to visit Zimbabwe where they met a number of people involved in different kinds of work, especially amongst the poor. They have continued to visit and form good relationships with many people and various organisations, seeking to do what they can to serve them. With a desire to do more to see the poor empowered and lifted out of the trap and cycles of poverty, they considered how they could best help achieve this. Part of their response has been the formation of SALT (Serving Africa-Led Transformation) to help serve and support initiatives that are being taken in Africa. Knowing and embracing the principles of The Starfish Story (see below), SALT is working relationally in situations where a real and positive difference can be made to the lives and future of people and communities. It is Andy and Alison’s belief that Africa is able and should be encouraged to take the initiatives to lead its own growth and development.
The Star Fish Story
Early one morning, an elderly man was walking along the sea shore after a big storm had passed. He saw that the long beach was covered with starfish as far as the eye could see, going in both directions.
In the distance was a small boy and the man noticed that every so often he was bending down to pick something up to throw it into the sea. As the boy came closer to him, the man called out “Good morning! What are you doing?”
The young boy paused and replied, “I’m throwing starfish back into the sea. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t get back by themselves. They’ll die unless they return to the water.”
Then the old man said, “But there are tens, even hundreds of thousands of starfish on this beach. What you’re doing isn’t going to make any difference.”
The boy bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it back into the sea. He smiled at the old man and said, “Well It made a difference to that one.”
This is adapted from The Star Thrower, by Loren Eiseley (1907 – 1977)