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Little Stars - Luxor Children's Trust

UK Charity Commission Registration Number 1120536

 

Newsletter 21 February 2009

Archived Newsletter - January 2009

February was the first time we could really assess the effectiveness of the new clinic and the new sponsorship scheme.  We are proud to report that both have been a resounding success.  There is now a long list of young patients at the clinic who can see Dr. Sara on a drop-in or an appointment basis. 

The addition of Madam Dowlet as a Speech Therapist has opened up a whole new area of treatment. Our team, shown below, still needs the appointment of the equivalent to a General Practitioner and one should be appointed during March or April.  The team, which is led by the manager Abdul Hamid, is close knit, caring and dedicated to helping the children so it is imperative that we find a doctor with the same attitude and approach.    

Dr. SaraMadam DowletNasserHentSamira

...........Dr. Sara      .......           Mdm Dowlet      ............   ..........Nasser...........................Hent               ...................     Samira.............

Physiotherapist  ...    ....Speech Therapist     ..... ....    Needs Assessor .............Nursing Assistant       ..........    Housekeeping

More equipment is being bought for the clinic to ensure that the children get the best treatment available and a loan scheme is being devised so that children can take appropriately sized devices home with them for continued treatment.  The devices can then be returned to the clinic when they have been ‘outgrown’.  In this way more children can be reached and costs can be reduced.  Two wheelchairs have also been put aside for short-term loan to adults who because of lack of income would otherwise be bed-ridden and without help.

During February, the Chairman and the Honorary Treasurer of Little Stars made inspection visits to Luxor and spent two weeks visiting a number of villages to meet families who already have sponsors and to prepare reports on those families who are still seeking sponsorship.  It was an opportunity to accompany the Needs Assessor on his ‘rounds’ delivering beds and cots to sponsored families and to acquire a more in-depth assessment of families which enabled them to prioritise a list of each family’s basic needs and essential repairs to roofs and toilets. Instructions have been left for work to be carried out during March.

GroupDelivering a bed

 Little Stars’ Honorary Treasurer with the Luxor team         .......................................  …  Nasser, our  Needs Assessor delivers a bed

From a visit to a desert edge village called Haja Marise which is to the south of Luxor’s west bank, it was evident that the level of poverty was even worse than had previously been estimated.  None of the homes had a water supply or toilet facilities.  The only toilet was in the middle of the village.  It served approximately twenty families and was without a door,
making privacy impossible. 

Most of the homes were totally without furniture of any kind, in most cases with a mother and her children sleeping on a bare mud floor without blankets.  Many of the children were in poor health and some had untreated skin and eye infections.  The problem lay mainly with the lack of funds to buy even basic medicines.  If children were ill they stayed ill or died. 

Family 1Famil 2Family 3

Widowed and abandoned wives in the desert villages are in desperate need of sponsorship

The problems in Haja Marise were too severe to be tackled immediately and all that could be done was to provide beds and mattresses for the worst cases which were essential to get young children off the bare mud floors where they are susceptible to infections and vermin attacks.  Approximately twenty-five beds and thirty-five mattresses were ordered to be delivered during March. 

Ten families in Haja Marise have been added to our list of families needing sponsorship.  The majority are widowed or abandoned wives but some have fathers that were too sick to work and support their families.  If you feel that you would like to sponsor one of these families then please contact us.

The bed shown below serves a mother and her five children and is the only piece of furniture in the home.  A mattress has being bought by Little Stars.   The kitchen area in the second photo has a cane frame for a cupboard. This was the only furniture in the home. A bed and matress has been bought. All the beds and mattresses purchased are locally made and the expenditure helps the local economy. The tin shown below serves as a toilet for three generations of women in one household in the village of Nage Birka and although it will be very basic, a toilet can be added to this home for approximately £100 -£120 sterling. Work will start on the installation of a toilet in March.

Bed needing a mattressKitchen areaBucket Toilet

         A mattress has been ordered for this bed. The cane 'cupboard' is the only furniture in this house. A tin serves as a toilet for three generations of women.

A source of low-cost cots has been found in Luxor and this enabled Little Stars to give cots to two sponsored families to protect babies from mosquito bites.  The cots will be returned when the babies have outgrown them and they will then be passed on to other needy families.  We are trying to get some wooden cots made locally which will be more robust and will again help the local economy.  We are also seeking a source of low-cost pushchairs as our wheelchairs are too big for some of our smaller disabled patients. 

Cot to protect a baby from mosquitoesA cot to protect a baby from mosquitoesBeds to keep children off the floor

Cots were delivered to sponsored families in Nage Birka to protect babies from mosquito bites and beds were bought to keep children off the floor.

In addition to the repairs, approximately one hundred kilos of poultry was distributed along with the monthly food parcels.  This was shared between the families with a ratio of at least ½ kilo per person so that families with seven children plus the mother received up to 5 kilos of chicken which is less costly than beef.  This is likely to be the only meat that the family will have during the month.  Lentils, although expensive at the moment were also added to the bags as a source of vitamins and protein.  Each bag contained, one kilo each of lentils, rice, sugar, beans and macaroni plus 2 kilos of flour, a litre of oil, packets of salt, tea and stock cubes and a jar of tomato paste.
- 4 -

Last month Little Stars bought a chair, table and a box of cotton thread for a widow with a sewing machine so that she is able to supplement her income.  This month we are again trying to get women into ‘work’ and more self-sufficiency.  The Heath Robinson type machine shown below is actually a home made candy-floss machine which only needed a small repair and some sugar to get it into working condition.  Although the income from the sale of candy floss will be small it is still infinitely better than nothing. 

The shelves shown are part of a minute mini-market which at present only sells crisps and eggs but which with a small outlay could provide a widow and her family with an income.  Stronger shelves are being installed during March and the new ‘shop’ is being initially stocked by a donation from a Luxor shop-keeper.  It is not possible to get all our families into ‘work’ as few have marketable skills but Little Stars will encourage entrepreneurship where possible.

 

 

We have 200 families on our distribution list and we need more sponsors.  That means we need you.  Please help if you can.  £10.00 sterling each month can double a family’s income.  No money is ever given directly to a family but its needs are assessed regularly when food parcels are delivered and everything is done to improve the health and education of its children. You can reach us on sponsors@LittleStars-Luxor.org

Little Stars’ other news is that we are about to become a Foundation by registering as an Egyptian Society.  We have chosen this option rather than becoming an Egyptian charity (Association) because it not only is the next step up but has several benefits not least of which is the ability to buy equipment without the burden of taxation.  It will take several months to complete but the paperwork has already been started.  We have therefore shelved plans for the opening of a nursery school until the registration is complete and until the exchange rate of sterling increases against the Egyptian pound. 

 

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 printable on A4 paper can be emailed to you, and any queries answered, through

contact@LittleStars-Luxor-org


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

 


 

 

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