UK Charity Commission Registration Number 1120536
One of the most frequently questions asked of charities concerns the level of their expenses compared with the donations they receive. During the last financial year, the expenses of Little Stars were higher than we would normally expect them to be as we had to cover the set-up costs for our websites which were doubled due to unforeseeable webmaster problems. Despite this, our expenses were still less than 15% of our donations. This sum accounts for all the administration expenses incurred in both Egypt and the UK and includes the charity’s Public Liability and Employer’s Insurance. We believe that this is an acceptable level which we will do our best not to exceed in the future.
Unfortunately. Little Stars’ bid for funding from the Lottery Commission for the new West Bank clinic was not successful but this has not daunted us in going ahead with our plans as the Lottery Commission had already stated that they would not cover capital costs of building etc. and most of the funding we needed was already in place. By the middle of July you had generously donated more than £42,000 sterling to enable Little Stars to work on your behalf. Of this, £15,000 had been put away for the new clinic and this was enough to get work started and to buy to basic equipment.
We are therefore doubly delighted to tell you that we have signed a lease on new premises on the main “Sugar Cane Road” on the west bank, very close to the hospital. This is an ideal place for a clinic as it is central and on a bus route. It also gives us more than twice the space of the old clinic at Suel and can act as a food distribution centre as well as a medical clinic. The new clinic will be called the “Little Stars Carnarvon Clinic”. When extra funds are found a purpose built centre will be made but until then we could not have hoped to find anything better than the premises we have located.
The extra space means that we can give medical assistance to chronically sick children as well as those who are disabled and hopefully we can provide a burns and first-aid clinic which will fill a gap in the free present medical provision on the west bank. We are aiming to open the new clinic in the mornings as well as the afternoons and it should be able to receive its first patients in about three months’ time. Until then the old clinic at Suel will be open and fully funded by Little Stars but funding of that clinic will cease when the new clinic opens. Manacare has decided not to resume their funding the old clinic which means that it will close but, if permission is obtained from Luxor Council, it could eventually be turned into a Hadana (Nursery School) for deprived children in the Suel area. This will not disadvange the present staff or patients as they will move to the new clinic.
The running cost of the new clinic will double Little Stars’ financial commitments and we will need your help more than ever. If you are not able to help us with a donation then consider bringing sterile dressings, burn dressings, bandages or children’s toys with you when you next come to Luxor. They are light and easy to pack and we will willingly collect them from you and show you the Little Stars’ projects.
The new premises consist of two adjoining ground floor flats, one of which is finished and one which is partially finished. One flat has three bedrooms and the other has two bedrooms plus kitchens and bathrooms. The connecting wall is being removed so that it can operate as a single unit. This gives us an office plus four treatment/consulting rooms, a staff kitchen, bathroom for hydrotherapy, a shower room and a room for the storage of food items which can be dispensed monthly. The second kitchen area will become a private consulting room/dispensary where doctors can, if necessary, talk to the mothers and provide free medicines where applicatble. The Consulting Room can also be used by visiting dentists and opticians.
The bonus of the double size reception room, which will be available when the wall between the two flats is removed, is the cherry on the cake as it will act as a play/exercise area for the children. Also in this area will be a television to show information Videos/DVDs in Arabic to help the mothers learn how to cope with their children’s medical problems. This clinic will be completely free and treatment will not be means tested but the provision of medicines rather than advice will be free only to those children whose parents are truly in need.
There is a large rear garden to the premises on which alfalfa is growing at the moment. The landlord is willing to rent this to us as a play area but we will not commit ourselves to this until the success of the clinic is ensured. There is also the roof area, which is already walled, but which would still require considerable work to guarantee the safety of children. However, both areas would increase the opportunities of children to play in specifically designed areas. This will be considered when more funds are available.
Due to the crisis in world food prices the demands for Little Stars’ food parcels has doubled as more people fall below subsistence level. We are still buying as many food bags as we can through the Egyptian Food Bank and have been in discussion with their representative to ensure that this operation runs as smoothly as possible. In addition to this, we have been increasing the number of our own food parcels. These cost three times as much for us to put together as the bags from the Food Bank bags as our food is bought commercially and is not subsidised but it does allow us to provide for those whose paperwork is absent or not in order.
We have regained contact with the little girl who was without papers that we found last year. This little girl was abandoned by her family nearly three years ago. One day she woke up and found that they had gone. Since then she has been cared for by various neighbours but with the rise in food prices her position had become even more precarious than before. Now that she is receiving food parcels from Little Stars, she can ask others to share food with her rather than her begging food from them. She will start school in September for the first time and during the school break she will be taken into Luxor and kitted out with a uniform, shoes, school bag and all necessary books. Her school fees will be paid for her and for the first time in many years she has a hope. She is only eight years old and despite her troubled life she is a cheerful little girl.
As a hedge against rising prices, £2,000 sterling has been spent this month in stocking the distribution centre with basic food items such as rice, lentils, beans, sugar, oil, etc. Half of these stocks will be moved to the west bank clinic when the premises are fully secure and the builders have finished their work.
The Trustees met in the middle of July and approved a new Little Stars Scholarship Award scheme so that disadvantaged children can continue their education through Senior School and possibly enrol in the Universities of Cairo, Sohag or Assuit. This is an exciting innovation and will be administered by Jane Nash who will fund-raise for this specific purpose as well as for the charity’s general funding.
Applications for the Award will have to be made through the schools and will require a Headmaster’s report on ability and attendance. The Awards will be means tested and vigorous checks will be made to ensure that the Awards are given to the most deserving cases. £1,000 sterling was transferred from the Little Stars’ current account into a new Education Fund deposit account to set the scheme in motion. Additional donations have already been received.
Literature regarding the Awards will be given to every school in Luxor by Easter of next year so that Awards can be made ready for enrolment the following September. School fees will still be paid for those in primary education who otherwise would not be able to go to school but this will be based on need rather than academic ability and the cost will be borne by the general fund and not the Scholarship fund.
We wish to thank Ms Kelly Peake of London who sent us a cheque for £50 in thanks for the Claxton family finding her cat. This was a wonderful gesture both of Ms. Peake and of the Claxton family. We would also like to thank our supporters who have recently had a holiday in Luxor and have brough our clothing and school materials for the children.
The official posts of Little Stars were discussed at the last meeting and were allocated for 2008-2009 as follows:- Connie Tindale to continue as Chairman, Jane Nash to become the charity’s Honorary Secretary and Michael Tindale to become Little Stars’ Honorary Treasurer. Brian Hardman will act as our consultant in Luxor. It was also decided that the charity’s accounts would be submitted to the Charity Commission via their online submission process. We wish to thank Mrs. Alison Shaw for giving up her time to inspect and approve the Little Stars accounts ready for submission.
Back copies of all our newsletters are available by post if you send a large stamped addressed envelope to our registered office. Back copies can be emailed to you, and any queries answered, through