An old story which teaches us that each and every one of us can contribute to making the world a better place is the reason behind the organization’s name – „Sao Bien“ which is the Vietnamese word for starfish.
‘The starfish’ story or ‘We Can Make A Difference’
While walking along a beach, an elderly gentleman saw someone in the distance bending down, picking something up and throwing it into the ocean. As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, picking up starfish one by one and tossing each one gently back into the water. He came closer and called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?” The young man paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.” The old man smiled, and said, “I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” To this, the young man replied, “The sun is up and it is low tide. If I don’t throw them in now, they’ll die.” Upon hearing this, the elderly observer commented, “But, young man, do you not realise that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!” The young man listened politely. Then he bent down, picked up another starfish, threw it back into the ocean past the breaking waves and said, “It has made a difference to this one.”
The story („The Star Thrower“), written by Loren Eiseley, was first published in 1969 in „The Unexpected Universe“ and many different versions of it have been written since then.