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Little Stars - Luxor Children's Trust

UK Charity Commission Registration Number 1120536

 

Newsletter 17- October 2008

Archived Newsletter - September 2008

Each month that passes seems to be busier than the one before and October has been no exception as work progresses to finish the new West Bank clinic in time for its proposed opening at the beginning of November. 

The highlight of the month was a surprise official visit, at their request, from the British Ambassador Sir Dominic Asquith, the British Consul Richard Fielding and the Honorary Consul Mr. Ehab Gaddis.   Although they were on a flying visit to Luxor, and therefore on a very tight schedule, they spent a lot of time in the clinic and showed great interest in all aspects of the Little Stars’ programme.  We are very grateful to them for the interest in us and for their praise of what we have achieved with your help in such a short space of time.  They were introduced to all the staff, the local volunteers who are essential to the food distribution programme and to Mr. Charles Woods who is a Luxor resident and supporter of Little Stars.

Work has progressed quickly on the new clinic and it will open on time.  All the new equipment is in place and the clinic has been brightly decorated to make it an interesting and stimulating place for children to get the treatment they need.  The old clinic at Seul closed as planned on the 22nd October and what equipment was still usable was moved to the new clinic the next day.  Work on the proposed Hadana (Nursery School) should start early in the new year when plans have been finalised.

 
finished roomin the beginningthe finished room
The above photos show the before and after of the original unfinished area which is now a bright double reception room
finished roomfinished room
The double reception room has an area where children can play.
The new clinic, in addition to the reception area and the massage room, has another surgery room where mothers can consult a doctor about their own problems and those of any other children in the family. In the future the clinic will offer a dentistry service and have a visiting optician: space has been allowed for this.  Quotes are already being sought for the cost of a dentist’s chair and the basic equipment.  High-Tech equipment might offer a better service but we are concerned that it would be impossible to have mended if anything went wrong, so only simple equipment is being sought.  We have also incorporated a play room that will have a soft area and a storage room which will hold essential food items, wheelchairs and clothing for distribution where needed. 
 
massage roomgeneral surgeryfinished room
The massage room ....................................................... The general Surgery .................................................Items for the soft area

In mid-October, all the food stock held in the east bank Distribution Centre was moved over to the new clinic and into the room that had been prepared for it so that the Distribution Centre can be redecorated and that Little Stars’ own food distribution programme could get underway immediately.

A list had been prepared, by volunteers from the community and the mosque, of all the families in extreme poverty in the local area. Unfortunately, there were far more families than we can possibly financially cater for at this time.  As a one-off operation 200 food parcels were delivered in the space of three days and each family was visited to ensure that the need was genuine.  (Report given below).  In all cases the degree of poverty was not only genuine it was heart-breaking.  Although we would like to help everyone we cannot and so a filtering process has now been put into operation that will allow us to deal with only the most pressing cases.  Food parcels can then be delivered, or collected from the clinic, on a monthly basis.  This does not solve a family’s problems but it does go some way to alleviating them.  If more funds become available then we shall extend the criteria used to include more families.

 
food parcel programmefood parcel programmefood parcel programme
The food bags were prepared by the staff then loaded into a service car. ready for distribution to families by the manager and volunteers

Chairman's Report on October distribution of Food Parcels

"Once the first lot of bags, approximately seventy-five, were loaded on the service car, we set off around the villages accompanied by the clinic's Manager and a volunteer who had already prepared a list of families in need.  I have lived in Egypt for eleven years, more than four of which had been spent living in an Egyptian village but even with this experience I was shaken by the level of poverty that I saw and humbled by the gratitude shown for the receipt of the small amount of aid that Little Stars could offer. 

The picture shown below of a tunnel with a light at the end is actually a Pharaonic tomb dating back several thousand years.  As the light you can see is in the only illumination in the tomb I ventured into the darkness only as far as I felt I could safely go without injury but it extended far beyond where I stood.  The walls were only visible in the flash of the camera. It has a burial chamber with columns, pits to catch robbers and a raised dais which would have held a sarcophagus.   It is not decorated in any way, is not lit and is very damp.  It is also home to a family with six children who live in the dark, damp atmosphere as there is nowhere else for them to go.  The do not live in a house constructed above the tomb, they live in the tomb itself.

The photo of the apparent junk yard is home to a family with seven children.  Their roof fell in and no funds are available to repair it so they have moved into what little area remains.  The lack of a roof poses few problems in the summer but causes great distress in the winter when it does actually rain on occasion.

tomb dwellersfood programmefood distribution programme
Housing conditions can be really bad but the children keep smiling

Over the space of three days, Little Stars distributed 200 food parcels.  It was backbreaking and harrowing work but meeting the families, being offered endless cups of tea, being hugged almost to the rib-breaking point and being besieged by smiling children was sheer delight.  Next time we go out we shall take blankets and bags of clothes and shoes with us.

As we do not have sufficient funds to distribute 200 food parcels every month it is unlikely that I will see all of these families again but I shall not forget them and with your help we can hopefully extend the programme to cover all those who are in desperate need of our help." - Connie Tindale - October 2008

 

Can you remember the little girl that had been abandoned by her family who went off one day and never came back for her? She has been bought school clothing and a school bag by Little Stars and will now attend school for the first time.  The little boy with the unclosed fontanel on his skull who was abandoned in the care of the Good Samaritan Home has been receiving his medication and is progressing well.  Despite having lost his mother in a car crash and having his father still in hospital, he appears happy and is certainly well cared for as are all the children in thei home.  We are investigating the possibility of buying a second-hand bus for the Home so that their children can be taken to and from their school and out on vacational trips.  We hope to be able to raise sufficient funds for this by Easter 2009.  With Little Stars' help their school has been able to extend its provision from a three-day to a five-day week.

During October we received an unprecedented amount of clothing and supplies for the children.  We are extremely grateful to the couple who brought out stationery, plasters and wound dressings and left them at Mr.Col’s Coffee Shop.  Unfortunately we do not have their name to thank them personally but we can offer thanks to the website of Trip Advisor which has a link to our website as it was through that link that they initially found information about us.

We would like to thank Kit Claxton on finishing his half marathon around Greenwich especially as he ran the whole way in pouring rain.  He did it in good time and raised a magnificent £488 for Little Stars.  His efforts have inspired others and we now have another supporter who is competing in the Great North Run next year and will seek sponsors for Little Stars projects.

 

 


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 your 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

contact@LittleStars-Luxor-org


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

 

 


 

 

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