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Little Stars - Luxor Children's Trust

UK Charity Commission Registration Number 1120536
 

Newsletter 25 - June 2009

Archived Newsletter - May 2009

June saw the start of Little Stars’ third year of operation and your generosity made it one of the best months that the charity has had with more than £8,000 sterling being donated from a wide range of people and organisations.  Because of the cost of providing aid and developing the new nursery school, we are still not in a financial position to buy a much needed mini-bus but we are hoping that your generosity will continue and that we will soon be able to acquire one.

On a truly positive note, although with constantly fluctuating exchange rates it is hard to calculate precisely, your generosity during June meant that you have donated more than 1,000,000 le to help Luxor’s disabled and disadvantaged children.  Two years ago when we were struggling to raise the basic funds required (£5,000) to register with the Charity Commission in the UK, such a huge sum would have seemed a far off dream.  At that time, the cost of running the fledgling charity was being borne by the Trustees, now your support is so wonderful that we have been able to grow and increase the provision we can make far beyond original expectations.  For this we cannot thank you sufficiently.

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The vehicle we hireCrammed with food parcelsTwo volunteers

A vehicle is stacked high with food parcels.  It takes three days to deliver them all. Interpreter and a volunteer nurse

A vehicle is now more essential than ever.  We have gained more sponsors during June, and in July will be seeing more families to add to our list of sponsored families for which there is a huge waiting list.  The number of children now involved is well over 150 and growing each month.  These children are within families, but they are families that can love them but do not have the resources to feed and clothe them properly.  Health and growth suffers and education becomes impossible but the situation for some can be improved dramatically with sponsorship.  However, sponsorship brings responsibilities.  It is not just a case of Little Stars driving around delivering food and clothes and then going away, it is about caring for the children’s health and education too.  For this we need transport so that we can get to the villages more easily and whenever we need to.  Sick and disabled children cannot walk miles to reach public transport so we need to be able to collect them to bring them to the hospital, the clinic or the nursery school.  At present we hire a vehicle every afternoon, but once the nursery school opens in  the mornings as well as the afternoon, the time we need the vehicle for will double.  This will also double the cost of hiring transport and take it almost beyond our means. Without being able to collect the children, they will not be able to reach the school. 

When our sponsorship programme first started we started an improvement scheme to try and create some sort of toilet facilities in homes when it was feasible to do so.  One instance was thought of as completely unfeasible as the house would be in danger of collapsing if we started to dig holes close by.  However, the facilities that they had were so awful that we had to do something.  We are delighted to report that a solution was found and a toilet built, much to the delight of the widow and five children who live in the home.

The original toilet was a pot over a hole in the groundThe new toilet is in a brick cubicleThe new toilet has still to be tiled

The original toilet was a pot.  Now there is a brick enclosure.  The tiles still have to be laid but it is a major improvement

The process of registering Little Stars in Egypt began in January 2009 and is now nearing completion.  Egyptian registration was not essential for Little Stars’ projects but because of the immense amount of paperwork needed when working overseas; it was a advisable step to take.  The wheels of officialdom grind very slowly though and it has taken a long time to finalise.  All the official checks on the staff, the premises and the Trustees have been completed and now there are just the final steps to finalise. Once registration is complete then Little Stars will be able to buy a vehicle without have to pay tax on it which in Egypt is quite heavy burden so it will be a considerable saving.

The Good Samaritan Home, which we have been supporting for the last two years, is having a tidy up of its playground and is adding a laundry to its premises.  Last year it looked as though the Home might find itself ‘homeless’ as there was a problem with the lease but things now seen a little better,  The Home’s school, which had lost the use of an upstairs flat, had moved twice in the year but has now been reinstalled on the upper floors.  The Home collects more than twenty severely disabled from their homes and brings them to their school five days each week.  At present, like Little Stars, they are hiring transport but again this is becoming expensive.  Little Stars has pledged help with the laundry and with purchasing a second hand bus to alleviate their problems. 

 

The playground before cleanrance work startedThe playground after some clearanceThe corridor which is to become a laundry

The playground was full of old furniture before clearance. The old corridor will become a laundry

Luxor city is undergoing a period of change.  Areas are being cleared to make way for archaeological excavations and the houses on the ‘mountain’ have been demolished.  The Government has built a new village for the dispossessed at Qwabawi.  The scheme has had it supporters and its critics.  There are those who do not want to see Luxor and the surrounding villages change as they believe it to be picturesque.  Poverty is sometimes picturesque but could YOU live without water or sanitation, without a sink to wash in, a cooker to cook on or a bed to sleep in.  Those who have been moved to the new village with its facilities are the lucky ones and envied by those in outlying villages who still have so little.  If someone offered them a solidly constructed home with a shower and a kitchen it would be the equivalent of winning the lottery.  Instead reality bites.

 

It is quaint but could you live in it?Could you cook for 8 children on this cooker?Could you draw all your water from this well?

This looks quaint but has no facilities.  Could you cook for family of 8 on this cooker or draw water from this well?

For lovers of Luxor’s glorious past there is welcome news.  The 5th Earl of Carnarvon, the great grandfather of our patron the present Lord Carnarvon, directed and financed the search for Tutankhamun’s tomb which was discovered by Howard Carter.  The house in which Carter lived while the dig was taking place, is at the bottom of a hill very close to the Little Stars clinic and will soon be opened to the public as a museum.  The opening is planned for November of this year.  Also, to take off some of the stress which thousands of visitors cause to the tomb, an exact replica is to be constructed along with replicas of the magnificent tombs of Seti I and Nefertari which have been closed for many years.  If you are visiting the Carter House Museum, then you are also welcome to visit the Little Stars clinic, which is on the main road just beyond Qurna hospital.

Little Stars has now joined Facebook on the Internet and has already attracted more than 60 ‘friends’ who will spread the word about what the charity is doing and achieving.  We have been trying to keep track of each new ‘friend’ and have added their names to the Supporters page on our website, but it is becoming increasing difficult as the numbers grow.  If you are one of our supporters and we have omitted your name from any of our lists then please let us know and we will add it.

Thank you for your support.

 

 


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

 


 

 

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