We are very sorry for the lateness of this edition of our newsletter. It should have been published several weeks ago and we apologise for the delay. We will do our best to publish the next edition on time
Little Stars Centre
Arrangements had been made for our Training Centre to be opened by the new Governor of Luxor on the 2nd August 2011. Unfortunately the Governor was called to Cairo on the 1st August and was replaced by another new Governor whom we have yet to meet. We are hoping that the promises made by the previous short-term administration will be kept and that the land we need for the development of an independent centre in Gurna and a bathhouse in Haja Marise will be met.
The date for the parliamentary elections has been set for November and Luxor is among the first regions to be able to vote for the new Government. Voting for a new President will not take place until all the regional elections are complete which will be sometime in 2012. Many new parties have risen since the ‘Revolution’ and voting is going to be complex. We are sincerely hoping that the newest Governor will retain his position no matter which party is elected. However, with everything in a state of flux it is hard to make firm plans.
We are seeking land for a new centre because time has passed quickly and we now have only two years left to run on our present lease on the clinic and three years on the nursery school. When we opened the clinic, the building was single story and we were the only occupants. Now the building has five stories and many occupants which has rendered it far less suitable for children and it no longer affords the level of security for the children that we would wish for. Also, at present there is no outside area where for our children to play as the hopes we had of renting the land at the rear of the building did not materialise. While it is likely that the leases could be renewed, the rent will rise considerably and become even more burdensome that it is now. If we are given the land as promised, then we can start building a comprehensive new centre bit by bit. This would allow us to have a play area and a small livestock area so that we can teach animal care and dairy skills.
Everything inside the clinic, nursery school and Training Centre belongs to us and that includes all the fittings so we would only incur the cost of the basic structure. We are hoping to see the new Governor soon and will report back to you on our progress.
Dental health is not a high priority among west bank families and we consider that our dental surgery is at times under-used. The concept of getting children’s teeth checked rather than waiting until there is a problem with toothache still has to be adopted as a general principle. In order to educate, we have distributed 5,000 leaflets in the villages saying what the centre does and encouraging people to get their children’s teeth checked regularly.
The same applies to the General Practitioner services that we offer. We would like to encourage mothers to bring their children for regular health checks so that health, weight and growth can be monitored, rather than leaving visits until a child is actually sick and in need of care. This can only be done through education. We have sufficient baby clothes to offer all new mothers who come to the clinic, clothing and basic baby items and we hope that this will act as an incentive