UK Charity Commission Registration Number 1120536
August was a wonderful month for Little Stars and September was even better. Little Stars is now four months old and is firmly on its feet with donations at a level that can really make a difference and a website that is brilliantly run by Paul our new webmaster. Paul copied and uploaded the new site in record time and we thank him for his dedication, patience and integrity.
Thanks are also due by the bucket full to a wonderful group of fundraisers led by Pat and Kathleen without whom many of Luxor’s children would now be without the help and treatment that they urgently need. With their hard work, donations to Little Stars broke the £2,000 sterling mark during the month and are growing. This shows not only Pat and Kathleen’s tenacity in fund raising but their faith in what we are trying to achieve. Their efforts are appreciated more than they will ever realise. This does not mean that we do not need your help too because we do. The more money we can raise the more we can accomplish in helping those who need it most.
In addition to Pat and Kathleen, we must welcome Carol Sharples to our volunteer group. Carol is spending a lot of time visiting projects who want support from Little Stars. The applications come from a wide range of schemes and without her help it would have been impossible to prioritise them. In future our fund raisers will also be involved in this process as without them we would not be able to help so many different people.
Our priority this month has been the complete renovation and re-equipping of a clinic for handicapped children on the west bank. This clinic achieves great results with severely disabled children but was struggling not through lack of enthusiasm but through lack of resources. When assessing projects like this it is imperative that local experts are drawn into the consultation process over what should be done. First the manager of the clinic was asked what needed doing to the fabric of the building to bring it up to standard and then the doctors were asked what equipment they would most desire for the children. Khaled, our new Needs Assessor, then costs the project fully before any work can start. In this way we can be sure that not one penny of the funds that have been raised is wasted or goes astray.
For next month, should donations be as predicted, we hope to assist those children who are in the most need of help with their education. Education in Egypt is mandatory but costs money. It might not be a lot of money to working families but it is a huge amount for those who are living below subsistence level. Khaled is visiting schools to collect the names of those children whose fees have not yet been paid because there is no money to pay them. Unfortunately these children are humiliated on a regular basis as they are shown up in front of their peers and told not to come back to school without the required fees even though the fees are impossible to find. Education is the way out of the poverty trap for these children. With a good education they can get decent jobs and perhaps not end up as prey on the Corniche as many others do.
Winter is approaching and although a thin gellabya is all that is needed in summer when temperatures soar, desert nights are cold in winter and warmer clothing is needed. When a family lives on £5.00 per month, there is nothing left over after food has been bought. Pat and Kathleen have twenty bags of clothing ready to be brought out to Luxor, but in the meantime we will buy warm clothes and shoes and provide blankets for the children that need them most.
We would like to share one request that we are very happy to comply with. We were asked by our fund raisers if we would start a Little Stars - UK Children’s Trust Fund to help buy essential equipment for handicapped children in the United Kingdom. This will take a while to arrange but the relevant papers will soon be sent to the Charity Commission for consideration. The two charities will support each other in terms of administration but the finances of the two charities will be kept entirely separate.
We apologise to everyone for the lack of photos this month’s newsletter but assure you that next month there will be loads of them as we show you the work that is in progress and the new projects that are seeking support.
In Luxor, collecting boxes are now in the Lantern Restaurant, Dean’s Bistro, Magic Galaxy Toy Shop, Pal’s Restaurant and Biba’s Bazaar. We thank everyone for their good will and their generosity. What we need now is your good wishes and continued support.
you next month.