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Little Stars - Luxor Children's Trust

UK Charity Commission Registration Number 1120536


Newsletter 19- December 2008

Archived Newsletter - November 2008


December was another busy month for Little Stars with the start a new ‘Adopt an Egyptian Family’ project.  The scheme grew from a small seed when a supporter asked if he could assist a family to allow the children in it to go to school.  Once the seed was sown it grew rapidly and within the space of two weeks prospective sponsors had reached double figures and were growing daily. 

There are already two hundred families on our food parcel distribution list, which is more than we can care for every month, and to get the scheme underway we had to begin the task of prioritising those who were in the greatest need.  This was not an easy task when everyone on the list, and many who are not on it, is in dire need of assistance.

This girl will now be able to go to schoolboy in the streetA big smile
When funds are low the last in a family to be educated are the female children

As a starting point we stipulated that there must be children in the family and then we created a series of boxes denoting the “lack of” various basic necessities.  Top of the list was lack of a breadwinner in the shape of a father or elder son of working age.  The aim was to select those families where the mother was widowed or abandoned with young children and those where the head of the family was totally incapacitated through illness or disability.

The first family we considered was the one featured in our newsletter last month when Cheryle our Administrator was seen holding a newly born baby.  We are pleased to report that the baby is doing well.  There are three generations of women in this family who live in a mud brick home and have no financial support.  The mother has two daughters, who each have two children.  There is no furniture at all in the house and all the family eat and sleep on the floor. 

Little Stars already supplies the family with a monthly food parcel but a sponsor was immediately found and now 1kg of meat and a chicken can be added to it. This is likely to be the only meat that the family will have all month.  It is not a lot but it is a start as it means that the children will have clothes when they need them and will be able to go to school when they reach the right age.  Without sponsorship schooling of the female children would have been almost impossible. 

Family group of three generationsFamily group

Families can manage a smile despite their adversities

Our next family was a widow with two children, again with no support.  She was fiercely protective of her family and desperate to get assistance for them.  There were no beds in this house and like the first family the children slept on the floor. However, in this case it was very dangerous as they live in a single story building.  Sleeping on a plain mud floor left the children liable to be attacked by vermin including scorpions which are common on the west bank of the Nile.  In addition to this problem, there were large holes in the roof.  This is not important in the summer, but it is in the winter when it is very cold and there are vicious winds from the desert. Little Stars has bought two beds for the family and with the help of their new sponsor we hope to be able to set the mother up with a little shop so that she can start to provide for her family and gain her self esteem.

Family groupChildren of the family
Cheryle nurses a newly born baby in a the one-room home of a young mother

Another family had eight young children in it.  Again it covered three generations and was without support as the elder woman’s husband was terminally ill in hospital and her daughter, who had two children of her own, was widowed.  To another family, we took flour for baking but discovered that their bread oven was damaged and they did not have the money to repair it and so went hungry.  This family did have a father but he was very elderly and very infirm.  Little Stars has paid for the repair of the oven.

This toilet is just a pot over a holeToilet in the streetthe broken bread oven
Toilet facilities can be very unhygienic and without privacy.  The broken bread oven.

One of the things that became very quickly apparent was the need for improved sanitary conditions in homes where there were children.  Few of the homes had a modern toilet of any kind and most had a simple pot over a pit without walls, roof or privacy.  In others, a squatter toilet had been installed but there was no water nearby for a flushing system.  In one home the toilet was in the street but it was above the level of their home (which was a poorly converted tomb) and had soaked the inner wall of their home with waste water and sewage.  Hopefully with your help we will be able to correct some of these problems.

Atomb dwellingA tomb dwellingHoles in the roof

Living conditions can be terrible for tomb dwellers and for those with holes in the roof.

Vetting of the families went on for days and was very harrowing as everyone we saw was deserving of help, but everyone welcomed us and could still smile despite their deprivations.  There was also a lonely old woman who could either have been a widow without children or a spinster who had nobody at all to care for her and pair of elderly women who lived in a dank dark tomb.  The first woman was barefoot and made a desperate plea to our driver.  The second ladies were just silent in their adversity.  Unfortunately our remit would not allow us to help them but we think that in the future we might be able to offer assistance in such cases through a different route.  The new Internet Shop that is being developed through is donating 100% of its profits to Little Stars to distribute to Luxor’s charities and we are sure that some of the funds can be put to one side to assist in cases like this.  One day we may even be able to start an “Adopt a Granny” scheme.

If you would like to be a sponsor and “Adopt an Egyptian Family” then please contact us on  The commitment to a family is £10.00 sterling per month but if this too much then we can arrange for you to share a family with another sponsor.  Your entire sponsorship donation is used for your specific family.  No money is actually given to the family but their needs are assessed regularly by the Chairman or the Administrator when the monthly food parcels are delivered.  You will receive regular updates on the progress of your family and it is possible for you to meet them should you ever be in Luxor.

The new clinic is flourishing and plans were made for its official opening which will take place on the 9th and 10th of January.  On the 9th, in accordance with local customs, the clinic will be blessed by the Sheikh from the mosque with accompanying Koran readers and the offering of a sheep which will be later distributed to the poor. The next day the clinic will be officially opened by Mr. Ehab Gaddis the Honorary British Consul.  There is to be a party for our patients and local children with entertainment from a much loved pantomime horse, a band and a whirling man with colourful skirts.  We had promised this party earlier in the year after attending a similar function for the children who attend the East Bank clinic at Karnak Hospital.  Arrangements are under the watchful eye of Mr. Charles Woods who is volunteering to help with the preparation of refreshments.  Distribution of food still takes place from the clinic but the main storage centre is on the East Bank.

Patient at the new clinicThe new bath

One of our happy patients and the new bath with the hydrotherapy unit.

Patients from the old clinic at Seul have quickly settled into the new clinic with its improved conditions and new patients are asking for treatment daily.  Detailed records are kept of all patients including a diagnosis of their disability, and treatment plans for the present and the future. A new bath has been installed to accommodate the hydrotherapy unit which would not fit into the bath that had previously been installed.  The system is now functioning well.

While we are thanking our sponsors for their support we would also like to thank the Military Order of Hospitalers who sent us an extremely generous donation of £1,000 sterling.  These funds will be used to buy an ultra-sound soft tissue pain relief system for the new clinic and to cover part of the cost of the purchase and installation of the proposed dental equipment.

An analysis of our expenses for the year to-date shows that we are still well within our aim of keeping our expenses below 15% as they are currently 13.34% of our expenditure and far less than that when compared with the level of your donations.

Christmas is on the 7th January in Egypt and we wish all our supporters a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  We would also like to thank everyone who reads our newsletters and visits our website for their interest.


You are welcome to print off a copy of our newsletter. Back copies have been archived through a link each month but if you wish us to send you copies of our newsletters then please send a large stamped addressed envelope to our UK registered office. Back copies can be emailed to you, and any queries answered, through


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