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Little Stars - Luxor Children's Trust

UK Charity Commission Registration Number 1120536


Newsletter 7 - November 2007
Archived: Newsletter October 2007

November was another busy and exciting month for Little Stars as it reached its first six months of operation. At the end of the month donations to the charity reached £8,034 and we set a target of reaching £10,000 by the end of the year, a sum which at the beginning we would have thought impossible to reach. So much can be done with your donations. Interim accounts show an excess of income over expenditure for the six months in the region of £5,000 as we build our funds and save for larger items. A full set of audited accounts will be lodged with the Charity Commission at the end of May.

Our school fees programme has continued throughout the month and the fees of another seventy children have been paid in a local Junior School which serves one of the poorest villages. This programme is vital for health reasons as well as educational ones as children who have not paid their school fees are not deemed to be in school and therefore cannot benefit from free health care. Receipts are issued to every child and an overall receipt issued to Little Stars.

Mr. Hardman and volunteers at the west bank clinic.
Dr. Mohammed unpacking the new Hydrotherapy Unit.

The uphill task of renovating the west bank clinic also progressed this month with the purchase of wheelchairs and walking frames. Repairs are still not complete but the new hydrotherapy unit has been delivered much to the delight of Dr. Mohammed who is in charge of the centre. Dr. Mohammed is giving his advice on what needs to be done to improve the situation there. The clinic in Karnak Charity Hospital is now also totally supported by Little Stars and has much better equipment but we hope that soon both clinics will be of the same standard.

 

Dr Ahmed and Mr Hussein, the manager of Karnak Charity Society, have asked Little Stars to create a speech therapy clinic in a large empty room on their upper floor above the existing clinic. This would enhance the services offered which at present can only deal with children with walking difficulties. We are considering this and have asked for estimates of the cost to be prepared

   

.The main thrust of our efforts during November was the forging of links with local charitable associations. Co-operation between charities is vital if they are to work effectively and not cover the same ground. Excellent work is already being done in Luxor by many foreign organisations. Sunshine International runs a magnificent programme for the children in its care which now number more than sixty. Little Pyramid do a good job in assisting children who need surgery. ACE. AWOL and the Brook Clinic also do a magnificent job in caring for animals under difficult circumstances but assisting children is beyond their remit. Manacare has handed their Egyptian centres over to Little Stars for funding and management. From this there is an evident gap in foreign funding for assistance in general care, education and basic needs in the poorest of the villages. Local organisations do their best to cope with the demands upon them but are always short of funds. Little Stars is stepping in to fill some of that gap.


One of the largest local Muslim associations runs an extensive programme of distributing food parcels and offering other support to villages at the edge of the desert on both sides of the river. A day was spent touring the outer villages of the east bank with their representatives and Little Stars has arranged to buy 100 food parcels through them from the Egyptian Food Bank on a regular monthly basis for distribution in two east bank villages which at present receive little or no help from anyone. It is hoped that in the near future we can provide the same number of food parcels for the neglected villages on the west bank. Of course, this will be dependent on the continuation of donations to Little Stars.

   

The Food Bank is an excellent charitable organisation that provides food parcels at below cost for impoverished families. The parcels are available to other charitable organisation for distribution. You can find information about them on their website. www.EgyptianFoodBank.com

At the end of the day Mr. Hardman submitted the following report:

“Today, in the company of Aamer our interpreter, I visited the West Bank of Luxor for a tour of the people who are in desperate need of help, to even fend for the day. It was a valuable and traumatic experience.

I have travelled the world, seen poverty in Venezuela, Argentina, Tunisia, Morocco, USA the Yemen and the West Indies, but none as abject as I saw today. Perhaps it was because as an expatriate working in those countries I didn't have the time to see.

What did I see today? I saw a young widow with two children, one only 4 months old, whose husband died 7 months ago. Her one roomed accommodation was spotless but already the strain of existing on the equivalent of UK£5 per month, showed on her young face. An old couple living in two dirt floored rooms, one of them roofless, no running water, without toilet or electricity and, the most humbling of all, a smile of welcome on their faces. A man without legs from an accident, with a wife and 7 children to support. On and on…………………………..

Your continuing support is vital if we are to help these people”.


Luxor is seen as a place of heat and sun but the winter nights are exceptionally cold and houses are without heating. Children and the aged are the most vulnerable as temperatures plummet. Little Stars has to-date bought 150 large warm blankets for distribution to needy families. Fifty blankets have already been distributed and the remaining blankets will be distributed along with the food parcels. Warm clothes are desperately needed and donation of outgrown clothes that are in good condition would be gratefully received.

Applications for help are also coming into Little Stars on behalf of disabled children and we are doing our best to give help where we can. This has become easier now that we have a local supplier of medical equipment who can obtain the correct size crutches, frames and other items on our behalf.

   


Time was also spent assessing the needs of the Good Samaritan Home which has been close to our heart since we began. When we first visited the Home six months ago they were worried that they would lose their premises but the problem now seems to have been partially solved as they have acquired a new building but they are still retaining part of their old one which is in urgent need to renovation. Both sites are in need of financial assistance and meetings are being arranged with the Manager to see how Little Stars can be of assistance to them.

   

Our team of volunteers in Luxor has also grown as ex-pat and local residents freely offer their help. Local businesses have also been magnificent in offering assistance. We still cannot thank our UK fund raisers for their unstinting efforts to raise money for the needy children of Luxor. Without such help we could do very little. Without your continued help we can do nothing.

Back copies of all our Newsletters can be obtained by sending a large stamped addressed envelope to our registered office or they can be sent by e-mail from contact@LittleStars-Luxor.org


 


 

 

 

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