Preston’s Blog: 2014 Children’s Symposium
What a week it’s been! One of the first major events I attended as Lions International President was the 2014 Children’s Symposium, held on July 11 in Toronto. Supporting children in need has always been a core mission for Lions everywhere. This year, I am challenging Lions to respond even more to the needs of under-served children — particularly those in low-income, developing countries.
The Children’s Symposium was a roaring success, with participating leaders from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, GAVI Alliance, Global FoodBanking Network, Lost Boys Rebuilding Southern Sudan, Special Olympics, Scholastic, UNICEF, USAID, World Wide Hearing (Audra Renyi, Executive Director from World Wide Hearing, pictured above) and many others. Together, we discussed crucial topics from childhood development (what are the critical unmet needs?) and literacy (what can be done to promote early childhood education?) to children’s health and disabilities (what’s working and what still needs to be done?).
These conversations are important to helping us identify the needs of children and build upon solutions. We need to increase access to books in under-served communities. Serve as mentors for positive youth development. Empower at-risk children. Implement global partnerships to combat preventable, treatable diseases. Provide clean water. Include children of all abilities.
We all play a significant role in improving the lives of children in our communities. Lions – how is your club addressing children’s needs?
Your International President,