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Little Stars - Luxor Children's Trust

UK Charity Commission Registration Number 1120536. Egyptian Charity: Luxor Charity No.8 (2010)
 

Newsletter 60/61 - May/June 2012

Archived Newsletter 58/59- March/April 2012

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Egypt

In June Egypt entered a whole new era of its long history when, for the first time, the Egyptian people had the freedom to vote for a President of their own choice.  It was almost eighteen months after the first days of the ‘Revolution’ and was almost scuppered at the last minute by a soft coup from the Military when they dissolved Parliament and declared that they would hold supreme power over almost everything but the election went ahead and brought a very close result between the old regime that had been ousted and new groups which were largely untested.  Luxor, always afraid of change, voted for an old regime man.

The road to the elections was a very bloody one with over 1,000 people losing their lives but after a delay in announcing the results it was clear that Dr. Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood was the new President with a promise that all sections of the people of Egypt would be represented in his new Government.  Egypt now has a bright new future.  Many of the old regime generals and politicians are in the new government but this is a transitional period and eventually Egypt will move forward and the corruption that has suffocated it will end.

 
Dr. MorsiDr. DarderyDr. Ezzat Saad
  Dr Morsi – new President of Egypt                 Dr. Dardery – MP for Luxor                      Dr. Ezzat Saad – Governor of Luxor
     
    Little Stars has been working with the charitable arm of the Muslim Brotherhood for some time and has witnessed the excellent work they have done in the poorest parts of Upper Egypt.  We are sure that this help will continue and that even greater things will be done to help the poorest children in Egypt once the new Government is settled in place.

    There is little evidence of police or security forces on the streets of Luxor and this is still a major concern for everyone.  Safety in the villages has improved but there is still an excessive number of firearms in circulation which has led to several accidental and totally avoidable deaths.  We are sure that this situation will improve in the near future.

    Little Stars has gained the full support of the new Government and we thank Dr. Dardery and Dr. Saad for the help they have given Little Stars.

     
    End of Year Accounts
     

    The 28th May saw the completion of the Little Stars’ fifth year operation and the preparation of our end of year accounts which were forwarded to Mrs A Shaw BA (hons) for inspection and approval before submission to the Charity Commission. Income from all sources during the year amounted to £74,427 of which £66,579 was used during the year on Little Stars projects leaving £7,848 to be added to the Trust Fund.

    Relief of poverty was, as in previous years, a major aspect of Little Stars work during 2011-2012 and took up £26,175, which was more than a third, of our total spending.  This covered the distribution of food parcels and the upgrading of living conditions for our sponsored families, buying beds and mattresses, installing basic sanitation, repairing faulty roofs, rebuilding collapsed houses, and buying cookers and fridges.  The cost also includes the rent, staff and expenses of running of the East Bank Distribution Centre where everything is stored. 

    Little Stars accounts 2011-2012

    The clinic continues to flourish and provides a wide range of health care procedures for the children without charge and without means testing.  Medicines are also provided free of charge when required.  The costs include rent, salaries of 8 staff, all expenses, medicines, wheelchairs and medical equipment. The total cost of health provision including medicines was £13,676

    Education costs included the rent of premises for the nursery school and the training centre, the salaries of 8 staff, the purchase of sewing machines for women who successfully complete the course and all necessary materials and teaching equipment.  In addition all the children who attended the nursery school were provided with school uniforms, shoes, school bags and the required text books.  The total expenditure on the nursery school and training centre was £16,116

    We are delighted that the total of our expenses which includes the full cost of collecting funds was around 11% and continues to be well under our self-imposed 15% limit.

    As we are not entirely sure what constitutes ‘Luxor’ in our Governing Documents and how far the boundaries extend, we want to be sure that we are permitted to help in the outer villages and have applied to the Charity Commission to have the area in which Little Stars operates to the whole of Egypt.

     
    Fund Raising
     
    Fund Raising is something that happens all year and takes a lot of very hard from our volunteers to whom we are exceptionally grateful.  Without funds, we would not be able to do anything.  Our biggest single event of the year was the day we were allotted at Royal Ascot.  We had five collectors there on the day and they had £1,300 in coins and notes shoved into their buckets.  The highlight of collectors’ day though was having a photo taken with Robson Green who made a donation and signed the top of their bucket seal. (The seal will now be treasured.) Thanks are given to all the people who donated to Little Stars and to the more well known of them: Frankie Dettori and John McCririck from the racing world, Viscount Lindley and Sheikh Rushid al Maktoum, Peter Jones from Dragon's Den, Mrs Shilling with her wonderful hats and Sir Stirling Moss. Plus of course Robson Green and many many more. Thank you so much.

     

    Claire Murphy's Yoga GroupRobson Green at Ascot
    Claire Murphy’s Yoga Group                  .............................             Robson Green with Pat Udall at Ascot
     
    Shipment of Clothes to Egypt
     

    At the end of June our last shipment to Egypt was still in Alexandria but we were so sure that it would be released that we started to gather together another shipment of clothes and vital items.  (The shipment was released in July and we shall write more about that in the next newsletter).  Clothes and toys were received from all over Britain and we cannot sufficiently express our gratitude for the wonderful support that we have received.

     

      Donated clothesDonated ClothesThe lock-up is filling up
    Bags of clothes have been received regularly from supporters and a new shipment is being prepared.
     
    Building Programme
    During May and June we started a major rebuilding programming involving several houses.  All of our building work is done by local men and is they know it is all for charity, even though they are themselves poor men, they give us a discount on the work.  All three of the houses shown below are in the village of Haja Marise but the next ones we attend to will be in the villages of Tariff and Nage Birka which lie to the north of Luxor’s west bank thanks to a wonderful donation from Sylvia Kennedy..

    The first house we tackled was in a dreadful state.  Despite several attempt to upgrade it was beyond saving.  The house was totally demolished and a new larger brick house built on the site.  Over the next few months it will be further improved with the addition of piped water and a sewage pit which will allow a toilet to be installed.

    Haja MariseHaja Marise new houseHaja Marise - inside the new house
    This old house was not fit for habitation and was demolished it was replaced with a larger simple brick structure
      The second house had been partly demolished leaving the house open to the elements when the family next door built a new house.  Over the space of several months the house was rebuilt and then a separate kitchen area was added.  We have been able to give the family a cooker so that they do not have to cook on a dangerous open fire but we still have to find the funds to provide them with a refrigerator
       
      Haja MariseHaja Marise - new houseNew Kitchen added
      This house was partly demolished by a neighbour but has been slowly rebuilt until now it is solid and safe
       
      The third house that was improved was one that will also eventually have to be demolished and rebuilt.  However, the improvements are slightly to the rear of the house and will still be of use when rebuilding is complete.  This home does have water but it is through a single broken tap on the outside wall of a courtyard where most of the family sleep.  A new sewage pit has been dug and a brick toilet has been built.  The work here is still incomplete but it will be the toilet will be finished with ceramics, piped water and a sink.
       
      familyWater supplyNew toilet
        This house has no sanitation and only a single broken water tap.  Now a sewage pit has been added and a new toilet built.
       
      Funds also allowed us to buy cots with mosquito nets for families where new babies were due.  We were also able to provide hand crocheted blankets and new clothes for the babies.   Plans were also put in place plans to upgrade the houses with the addition of solid floors to replace the present mud floors which have to be constantly dampened and attract mosquitoes.  This will provide a safer environment but neither house, as yet, has sanitation or piped water.
       
      New cotsPleasure at a new cotA new cot
        New cots were bought for new arrivals
       
      Luxor’s Youth

       

      We were again able to help Luxor’s youth boxing club by providing them with a set of head guards which were needed.  Thanks to Ken Robinson for all the hard work he puts in there.
       
      Head GuardsHead Guards in UseGirls in the ring
       
      Head Guards in use by the Boxing Club Members
       
      Training Centre and Nursery School
       
      The sewing classes in the Training Centre are continuing throughout the heat of the summer but the Literacy classes and the nursery school closed in June when temperatures soared above 40 C.  The classes will resume in September when the intake for the nursery school will be increased from 30 to 40 children.  There are now four experienced teachers in the nursery school and they will be able to cope with the extra numbers.  Extra tables and chairs will be bought to accommodate them and all forty children will be provided with a uniform, underwear, shoes, school bag and all books. 

       

       

        Thank You

        With you we can do so much – Without you we can do nothing.


       

       

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