Like millions of children around the world, Handapangodage Don Rusiru Harita Perera, a fourth-grader at St. Johns School in Panadura, Sri Lanka, did not realize his vision was poor. His father, A.D. Prasad Ranjan Perera, was also unaware of the visual impairment his son was facing. Childhood vision problems are a serious concern, not only because they are frustrating and interfere with learning and development, but because some conditions can lead to serious vision loss or blindness if not corrected early.
Fortunately, Perera took part in a Sight for Kids vision screening at his school. Sight for Kids, a program of Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) and Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, has screened over 20 million children in Asia since it began in 2002. The program screens children for refractive error and other vision problems, including myopia (nearsightedness), which causes significant vision loss in more than 15 percent of children under the age of 15 in many Asian countries.
“We are very grateful to the Lion’s program,” said Perera’s father. “The specialist told my son that he would have gone blind in one eye, if not for the timely medical attention provided by the Lions.” After multiple screenings, Perera was transferred to a hospital where an eye specialist for children patched his good eye. His vision was soon restored, almost matching his healthy eye. Lions also provided him with free glasses.
“This has made our lives happy, especially for all the service we received from the Lions hospital free of cost. We could not have afforded the specialist treatment, medicines and glasses,” said Perera’s father. “We wish all success to the Lions who are saviors of children’s sight.”
From LCIF: Our Impact Story Archives
Today’s guest post comes from the Lions Clubs of Sydney and Norfolk Island, District 201-N5, about their Skills Sharing Expo that they hosted earlier in September. For more information on this event, check out their website.
On Saturday, September 6th, a Skills Sharing Expo of N5 Lions nicknamed Lions Got Skills was held at the Castle Hill RSL Club, Sydney. The Expo was a new initiative that DG Anthony of N5 introduced.
If done properly, this could benefit the District at two key levels:
Participants could choose from one of two strands: skills sharing and health awareness. Over 100 Lions attended the sessions throughout the day, including IP Joe.
The proceedings continued with a Gala Dinner in the evening in honor of the Prestons. Some 200 Lions, Lionesses and Leos attended the Dinner.
Lions in N5 were extremely grateful for the opportunity to play hosts to IP Joe and Lion Joni. Their visit has helped to reinvigorate ourselves and renew our resolve to serve the less fortunate.
I was proud when our Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) partner, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Companies (JJVCC), announced the expansion of Sight for Kids from Asia to Kenya and Turkey during our International Convention in Toronto. Through this special partnership between LCIF and JJVCC, Sight for Kids provides vision screenings to schoolchildren who might not otherwise receive one. And if a child needs glasses or a visit to an ophthalmologist, the partnership provides for that too.
When Joni and I had a chance to visit Kenya in July, we knew we had to see the program in action. The Lions clubs of Kenya brought us to the Westlands Primary School in Nairobi where the Sight for Kids screening was being held. Through the combined efforts of LCIF and JJVCC, members of the Lions SightFirst Eye Hospital and Kenyan Lions, more than 300 children received vision screenings!It turned out that eight children needed eyeglasses, which we were able to provide for them. Joni and I even had the opportunity to give the children their new glasses. Their smiles really lit up the room. Thanks to Sight for Kids, their eyesight has been improved, along with their ability to read and learn in school.As we celebrate Lions World Sight Day around the world today, I can say firsthand just how valuable vision initiatives like the Sight for Kids program is. Be sure to watch the new Sight for Kids video to learn even more about the program and how it’s helping children around the world!
Be sure to follow me on Facebook to see more activities, projects and pictures from my trips around the world.
All over the globe, Lions are working towards addressing issues affecting children. In this segment of the October Lions Quarterly, we see how Lions are focusing on the health and education of children by providing clean water, sanitation and vaccines, as well as getting more children into school and expanding early literacy. Not only are they helping out the child, but the mother as well by providing safe places for childbirth, nutritional counseling for pregnant women and supporting maternal milk banks.
Check out the video above to see how Lions all over are doing their part to help their local children. You can watch the entire October Lions Quarterly on the Lions News Network.
October is a New Membership Growth Month. It’s a great time to grow your club and earn special recognition when you do. Here’s what you can earn:
Start planning today to get on track for your Membership Growth Award, and be sure to give your recruiting a boost with Ask One!
Lions, we are encouraging you to invite new members to join your club through Ask One! With 1.35 million members, just think of how many more people we could serve if every member asked just one person to join. You can send your success stories and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. Who knows, you might see your photo displayed on our Facebook page.
Together we can Strengthen the Pride!
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