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Little Stars - Luxor Children's Trust

UK Charity Commission Registration Number 1120536


Newsletter 18- November 2008

Archived Newsletter - October 2008


Little Stars is now eighteen months old and this time last year, six months after we started, we were proud to report that donations had reached £8,000.   Since then, thanks to your generosity, another £60,000 has been added to that figure and we have been able to make a real difference in the lives of many of Luxor’s disabled and disadvantaged children.

Front of Clinicsigns
The front of the new clinic has been concreted and the new signs, in English and Arabic, are in place.

Since our last newsletter, the forecourt of the new clinic has been concreted over, with the contractors showing their artistic talent through addition of colourful patterns.  This has made the area more visually pleasing and a lot safer.  The clinic’s signs, which light up at night, have been made in English and Arabic, although they do not say exactly the same thing.  The English sign gives the name of the clinic (Little Stars Carnarvon Clinic) and registration details but the Arabic sign also makes it clear that treatment is without any charges. 

The clinic opened as planned at the beginning of November and was an immediate success with children being brought to the centre by their families for physiotherapy treatment.  Dr. Marwa, who joined us soon after the clinic opened, used to work at the International Hospital but now works for the clinic full-time.  Instead of only offering treatment for two hours per day as did the old clinic, the new clinic offers completely free services for six hours daily.  This has greatly extended the number of children that can be treated.  In addition, there are stocks of fruit juices and powdered milk at the clinic which are given to the children who need extra nourishment.

Patients at playYoung PatientPatient in the play area
Our young patients enjoy the toys in the new play area

Dr.Marwa keeps records of all the children and prepares individual treatment plans for each child together with attendance records and progress reports.  Further physiotherapy equipment is being bought so that every child gets the treatment they need.  We are now seeking another doctor to join the team so that children with other problems can be seen and treated.  Medicines in Egypt are not free, so the clinic will have its own securely stored stocks of antibiotics and other generally used medicines, to be dispensed only by the doctor, so that children from destitute families can be properly cared for.  A surgery has already been prepared for this purpose.

Even though the clinic has already been open for a month, we would still like to have an official opening and a party for our patients and the children in Qurna.  It is hoped that this will take place early in the new year. Mr. Ehab Gaddis, the Honorary British Consul, who visited the clinic last month with Sir Dominic Asquith the British Ambassador, has agreed to cut the ribbon and open the clinic for us.

Our transport problems have been temporarily solved as we have hired a vehicle and driver who works only for us during the clinic’s opening hours.  This enables us to bring children to the clinic from the outer villages such as Habashi and Ismam which are to the north of Qurna and Barat which is to the south, on a regular basis.  We amended our plans and chose this option as it is economically more viable than buying an old vehicle with the inherent problem of repairs.  However, when finances permit we shall buy a new and reliable vehicle for the clinic.

new babymud brick house
Cheryle nurses a newly born baby in a the one-room home of a young mother

Our improved transport facilities meant that we could go to villages that we had not previously visited and it was our new Administrator’s, first real experience of village life.  We visited a village one day to see a young woman who lives with her family and sisters in one room of a mud brick house without basic facilities.  She already had a ten month old baby and the birth of her second child was imminent.  When we returned next day with baby clothes and milk we found mother and new arrival exhausted but healthy.  Cheryle Taylor is pictured above holding the baby who, at two hours old, must be the youngest child in our aid programme.

Our wheelchair distribution programme is still progressing and our newest recipient was overjoyed to receive her chair.  Her delight is apparent on her face.  She is 12 years old and although still slightly built, was becoming hard for her family to carry everywhere.  The wheelchair will give her the opportunity to get out of the house more.    

playing the the streetdelight with a new wheelchairvillage girls
Children use their imagination with toys and a little girl shows her delight with a new wheelchair.

While in the villages it was a delight to see the imagination of children at work.  The little boy’s dumper truck has no wheels but is heavily laden.  The lack of wheels matters little to him as his truck could surely build the Aswan Dam.  Toys are few and far between, so if you have any that your children have outgrown then please let us have them.

The little girls with the bemused expressions are looking at us as though we have come from Mars.  They live miles away from other people in the middle of farmland and I am sure that we were the first ‘foreigners’ that they had ever had actual contact with.  They are fatherless, do not attend school and are in need of help as are many children in the same situation.  We cannot banish poverty and all we can do is our best to relieve it where possible.

officeblanketsredecorated Centre

The East Bank Distribution Centre has been decorated and stocks of blankets have arrived from Cairo.

On the East Bank, the Distribution Centre has been redecorated and restocked with food. The blankets have arrived from Cairo and will be distributed with the next delivery of food parcels which will be at the beginning of December.  The Centre is now clean and bright and from January will be open on a regular basis.

The world financial crisis has overshadowed the world food crisis.  It has not gone away it is just buried in a host of other world problems but for those caught in spiralling food prices the situation seems insurmountable.  We now need your help more than ever and we are hoping to start an 'adopt a family' scheme whereby mothers without support can get assistance on a regular basis. This scheme will be administered from Luxor and we will ensure that all sponsors are kept informed about the progress of their Egyptian family.



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