Cecil and Janice were both born and raised in Pretoria South Africa and attended the same secondary school albeit some 5 years apart.
Soon after leaving school, Cecil got involved with a Gospel Band which after some years joined Youth for Christ as “Seventh Avenue”. The band served in ministry for close to 15 years from its start, but it was at YFC where his path crossed with Ted Carr.
Janice and Cecil were married in 1979, but only became involved with the care of vulnerable babies in about 1996 when Janice registered as a place of safety with SA Cares for Life. In the years since then, Janice served as a Temporary Place of Safety mom and the manager of the Abba Toddler House operated by SA Cares for Life.
Following Janice’s resignation as Manager of the toddler house, Cecil and Janice and some of the ‘Care Home’ moms as they had become known, established an organisation which would provide care for babies through a network of Temporary Places of Safety (TPS). The NPO Starfish Projects was registered with the Department of Social Development (DSD) in November of 2020.
The Spencers have been responsible for saving the lives of well over 100 babies.
The organisation Starfish Projects has the purpose of servicing society’s needs through projects.
The first project launched by Starfish Projects is “Starfish Babies” which has a network of Temporary Places of Safety which care for the many abandoned or abused babies brought into their care. Starfish Babies supports these TPS families holistically providing the equipment, baby clothes, formula, and diapers, etc. but also supports them emotionally, spiritually, and practically when medical care or therapy is needed.
Starfish Projects currently has a sponsored premises which serves as an office, a place for baby visits, and a store for the equipment, clothing, and baby consumables. It also has a Donations Depot which is made available free of charge and is staffed by volunteers. This depot collects or receives donations of equipment, clothing and babies’ consumables and distributes unneeded donations to other organisations.
A sponsored vehicle suitable for collection and delivery of donations and transport of staff, and babies.
Donations of equipment and consumables needed to care for babies
Financial support for staff expenses, wages, salaries, and daily needs – R30 000 p/m
Starfish babies serves the TPS by providing the necessary network of support structures and services such as:
- supporting the application, screening, clearances, registration, equipping and establishing of the TPS
- agreements with medical practitioners, clinics, hospitals, social workers, SAPS branches, and Child Protection Agencies for the protection and support of the babies
- providing formula, clothing and baby consumables monthly and as required
- social, practical, emotional, and spiritual support of TPS families
- fund raising to cover costs of baby care
- medical care of babies