The Sunshine Project Luxor
A Worthwhile Charity in Egypt
The highlight of a visit to Luxor is not the Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens, Karnack or the Luxor Temple. It’s not the Ramesseum, or the Tombs of the Nobles, nor is it a balloon ride over all of the above. No sir.
In my humble opinion the most rewarding way to pass a few hours in the city, is with a visit to the Sunshine Project Luxor.
Why? Because it’s fun!
The Sunshine Project is “a non-profit making charity in the UK established to provide funding and aid to the needy children of Luxor, Egypt” (The Sunshine Project Website, 2010).
This is largely done through the Sunshine Foundation in Luxor which serves as a “home, care, shelter, education, recreation and health facilities to abandoned, orphaned or needy children of Luxor”. Abandoned children, often conceived out of wedlock, are an all too common and sad reality in the country and one for which the government makes little or no provisions.
The project houses children from just a few weeks old into adulthood and uses education to help them integrate with society, and give them the confidence to overcome ignorance and discrimination.
On arrival at the home they are exposed to two languages, English and Arabic, at nine they start learning French and at ten German. At sixteen the children have the opportunity to continue their education in Cairo, and in some cases the UK.
Where is it?
The Sunshine Project Luxor is located on Movenpick Road at Owamea Village Luxor. It is on the left hand side heading out of Luxor directly across from the Co-op garage and easily reached by cab or kalesh from the centre of town.
You can visit the project any day except Fridays when it is closed. Visiting times are between 9am and 12pm and between 2pm and 5pm.
During these times the children have breaks from lessons and the time to meet visitors.
So Why Visit?
At first, a visit to an orphanage for disadvantaged children may sound a tad voyeuristic. But trust me, if you visit, the one thing you won’t be doing is spectating.
After an initial tour of the facilities and an introduction to the aims and ethos of the organisation, visitors are introduced to the children. That’s when the fun begins…
I spent almost two hours totally regressed, running around like a lunatic playing with about twenty energetic, friendly, and seemingly happy children. There’s no time to be shy, within seconds the kids were pulling us in different directions.
Five of us visited that day and we all left exhausted and elated. Aside from feeling good about myself for having made the visit, more than anything I had had a great time.
How to support the sunshine project?
If at point during your Egyptian vacation you have felt the urge to give something back to the country, why not support the foundation in one of the following ways:
Visit! (As described above)
Donate – one off or regular donation. The equivalent of just a few pounds, euros or dollars can go a long, long way in Egypt.
Sponsor a Child – from as little at £12 a month
Online Shopping (part of scheme which means that for every item you buy online a percentage make its way to the foundation)
Wish List – Donate badly needed items from the organisation’s wish list, or even deliver them to Egypt when you go on your vacation.