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Little Stars - Luxor Children's Trust

UK Charity Commission Registration Number 1120536
 

 

Newsletter 22 - March 2009

Archived Newsletter - February 2009

March was a month of hard work and of reflection while looking at ‘before’ and ‘after’ photographs of the homes of some of the families that we care for.  After several weeks of building work spread across a number of different villages to the north and south of Luxor, Little Stars is beginning to provide basic facilities for as many families as it can. 

This does not mean luxuries; it simply involves providing locally made beds to get children off the floor, cotton mattresses to provide warmth and comfort from below and installing basic squatter type toilets for hygiene and dignity.  In all cases, recycled materials were used to reduce cost and all work was completed by local tradesmen.  It has been exciting to see the difference that small changes can make to peoples’ lives.

New toilet cubicleNew toiletThe family

Three generation of women had been using an old paint tin as a toilet – now they have a cubicle with a toilet and a door

 

One of the most noticeable differences was in the village of Nage Birka where a family with three generations of women had no toilet facility within reasonable walking distance and had been using an old paint tin for basic functions.  Now they have a toilet cubicle in their yard (shown above) which has plumbing into a tank, a recycled toilet basin and a closable door.  They were delighted and thank their sponsors for the help and concern.

BeforeA local tradesman shows off his workToilet

Before work started the toilet here had a mud floor, no door and no water. Now a local builder shows off his repair work.

In the same village a home of five children had a toilet with a mud floor and no door (shown above).   For a small cost the floor was tiled, a door was added and water was brought through from outside.  In another house with three children including a small baby, there was an open toilet area which was swarming with flies.  Cooking was done, and all food items were stored, in a small bedroom where the mother and all her children slept.  Now there is a kitchen and toilet as yet incomplete, but taking shape.  The walls are already up and the toilet is about to be installed.  (Shown below).

BeforeProud of her new toiletnew toilet and kitchen area

Before the toilet had no water, no door and was swarming with flies..  Now a mother is proud of the new toilet and kitchen areas.

After hygiene Little Stars looked at safety.  Few houses have electricity installed and many simply have a cable that has been draped through the window from an outside source.  This leaves many children vulnerable to shocks.  The smallest child in the family shown below, had received a bad shock from their system but now there are simple sockets in all rooms.  Similar improvements are being made in several homes of our sponsored families.

Before repairsThe repaired socketsThe family

       Before and after in this home where the electricity system was unsafe and the youngest child had received a bad shock.

The third area of attention was the provision of beds and mattresses.  Last month we reported on the families that had been added to our list and explained that many homes were without any furniture at all.  More than thirty locally made beds were purchased during March and gratefully received.

New bedNew bedsNew beds
Families are delighted with their new beds which get the children off the dirt floors but there is still so much to be done.

March was also a month of celebration for Little Stars.  Because of your extreme generosity, a contract was signed and the rent paid, on a property that will become the new Little Stars Hadana.   This Hadana (Nursery School) will provide a basic education in the early years for children from very poor families and for those who because of disabilities are outside the school system.
   
We should have vacant possession of the property on the 1st June and work will start then on converting the property for educational use.  Hopefully the school will be ready in September for the start of the new school year. The property has a large working space, a small office/store room, a toilet and basin and some shelving.  It also has the use of three other toilets.  It is well decorated but may need the addition of extra power points and will need protective railings to be added outside to ensure that children are safe.  The work required to turn into a school is minimal and we consider ourselves fortunate to have the opportunity to use the premises.

All children will be provided with everything they need for school, including full uniform, shoes, school bag and stationery.  You have already donated a large stock of pens and pencils ready for the children to use. 
   
As this property is rented, just as the clinic is rented, planning will still go ahead for a multi-use children's centre to be built, funds permitting, in two years time.  The new centre would hold a clinic for disabled children and a general health centre for children from poor families.  In addition there would be an educational facility and possible workshops where people could learn a skill to make them more self-sufficient so that they do not have to rely on 'hand-outs' from Little Stars or anyone else.   If the workshops proved successful work could be provided for widowed mothers to make items for the Fair Trade Centres, the possibilities are endless.

The new officeMoving DayFood parcels
The new premises offers better facilities for a similar rent.

On top of all this activity, we have moved our East Bank Distribution Centre.  The old centre served us well for a year but was without the basic facilities of a toilet or somewhere to wash.  There was also no area that could be made secure to store items that were considered vulnerable and consequently we decided not to renew the lease. The new centre has four rooms of varying sizes, three of which are lockable, plus a bathroom.  One of the rooms will become the official Little Stars office, another will be used to store clothes and shoes, the third will be used to store toys and medical aids, while the fourth and largest will be used to store the items necessary for the food parcels.  Both premises had a similar rent.

The distribution of food parcels is still a major aspect of Little Stars’ work and more than one hundred parcels are being distributed each month of your behalf along with donated clothing.  Small gift parcels can be taken to Luxor and given to your family on your behalf so long as they are light and the contents are appropriate for the family. There are still many families in desperate need of help.  Please consider becoming a sponsor and adopting an Egyptian family.

Installation of new computer systemOpening a parcelVideo camera for Good Samaritans

Installation of donated computer system.  ..................Opening a Gift Parcel.  ..................Video CAmera for Good Samaritans.

 

One of Little Stars original aims was to offer assistance to The Good Samaritan Home for Disabled Children.  We are still donating funds to the home to cover the cost of their medical bills, transport and three extra teachers.  Plans to buy a mini-bus for them had to be delayed because of the fall in the value of the pound and Little Stars’ own need of transport to and from its centres.  However, we were able to provide then with the Sony DV video camera that they had asked for and they will now be able to keep good records of the development of the children in their care.

We are sad to report that one of our main supporters Mr. Charles Woods died in Luxor on Friday 13th March and he has been greatly missed.  Charles supported Little Stars in all its projects and firmly believed in the work we are doing.  He was present at the British Ambassador’s visit to the west bank clinic in October and the clinic’s official opening by Mr. Ehab Gaddis in January.  His daughter Mae has donated his computer system to the west bank clinic where it will be used for record keeping and as an aid to children to speech problems. We are grateful for her generosity.

Ensuring that all the paperwork for the proposed Foundation is in order, and that all the relevant licenses are obtained, is a lengthy process but we are delighted to report that many of the checks have now been completed and that the clinic has already undergone an official inspection and past it with flying colours.

 

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@Little Stars-Luxor.org


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

 


 

 

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