Microloans Boost Business for Women in India

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Humanitarian efforts are one of the causes Campaign 100: LCIF Empowering Service will support. Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) wants to serve 200+ million people each year while increasing service impact, fighting diabetes, and expanding our global causes . This is one example of how Lions can create large impact through the assistance of a grant from LCIF.

The LCIF Microenterprise Development Program

What would the world look like if those most in need were empowered to achieve their dreams? The Lions of MD 322 in India and Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) partnered to find out. The LCIF Microenterprise Development Program is an example of how Lions and LCIF together can improve the lives of those in need. Five thousand women took the opportunity in hopes they could give their children a better life and a brighter future.

The Microenterprise Program is a project that uses grants from LCIF, money raised by local Lions, and a micro-lending organization local to the area to provide loans to small-business entrepreneurs. Women and disabled citizens in poor areas of the world are given the opportunity to use a loan to give their business a boost. The boost helps their business to grow so they can properly provide for their families. Many types of businesses are eligible for the program, including farming, small shops, tailoring, and cleaning services.

The two-year pilot project involved Eastern India Lions Leadership Academy and a micro-lending bank, ASA International India Microfinance, Ltd. When the project neared completion, Past International President (PIP) Barry Palmer took a trip to India to visit groups in Kolkata and Siliguri.

Eager to Talk About Future Plans

The women who received loans were eager to answer PIP Palmer’s questions and talk about future plans. As their businesses began to do well, their first priority was to provide their children with an education. Some of the women had a secondary priority to build another room in their home that they could rent out for additional income. By the end of the program, 100% of the microloans had been paid back.

The program had a positive impact on an estimated 20,000 people, assuming each of the 5,000 women who received a loan has, on average, a husband and two children.

Lions really drove the success of this program.

Women leaders in the microenterprise program gather weekly to discuss business.

The women in the program gather once per week to discuss business and make their loan payments.

“I can’t speak highly enough of the Lions who are involved in driving the program at a local level,” said PIP Palmer. “Because of their commitment in gaining their share of the funding and working with ASA International, this program is becoming a great success for the people in the lower social-economic area.”

This is a wonderful example of the empowerment Lions Clubs International Foundation provides. LCIF empowered Lions who then empowered impoverished women to build successful businesses. These women are now able to give their children enough to eat and can afford to send them to school. They will continue to build their businesses with confidence, knowing they are bright, successful entrepreneurs.

Watch this video to meet some of the women who received loans through the program, like Rabia Bibi and Murshida Biba. Through the empowerment of our foundation, and the partnership with ASA International India Microfinance, Ltd., Lions really had an immeasurable impact on these women, their families, and their communities.

This story was originally published in the July/August 2018 issue of LION Magazine.

Visit LCIF.org/BE100 to learn how Campaign 100 will sponsor and deliver programs addressing the distinct needs of at-risk and vulnerable populations such as the elderly, the disabled, females, orphans and others disproportionately impacted by social and economic factors and requiring special services.

Donate to LCIF


Western Japan Still Struggling in the Wake of Recent Floods

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In early July 2018, western Japan was struck by paralyzing floods. More than two hundred people have died and tens of thousands have been evacuated. Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) awarded US$300,000 to help local Lions address both immediate, pressing needs of victims and long-term rebuilding efforts.

Now, with relief efforts underway, the region is battling a crippling heat wave. Temperatures are as high as 102 degrees Fahrenheit and are not expected to drop for at least another week. Over 100,000 households still do not have running water, and access to water is proving difficult throughout the region.

Local Lions are hard at work filling sandbags and distributing food and drinks to individual families, but the staggering heat makes it even more difficult. Many roads are still impassable, buildings and vehicles are submerged, and telecommunications lines are down. But Lions and LCIF remain committed and will continue their efforts for as long as it takes for the region to recover.

Please consider making a donation to LCIF’s disaster relief fund to enable Lions to continue responding to catastrophes all over the world.

Donate to LCIF

Lions Clubs International Foundation -- Campaign 100: LCIF Empowering Service

Introducing a Capital Fundraising Campaign to Empower Your Service

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Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF), your global foundation, officially launched Campaign 100, LCIF: Empowering Service at Lions Clubs International Convention July 3. The significance behind the campaign name began 100 years ago, with the vision of Lions Clubs International Founder Melvin Jones.

Today, Lions still work toward Jones’ vision – to serve. Restoring sight and preventing blindness. Mobilizing disaster relief. Creating positive learning environments for kids. Serving the disabled,the elderly, the most vulnerable among us. No one Lion, club, or district can do these alone. But together, we can all #BE100.

As Lions reflect on a century of service and accomplishments, we also look to the future, to the next 100 years. We see that the needs of the world have never been greater. We see new challenges.

Campaign 100 International Chairperson Dr. Jitsuhiro Yamada

Above: Like 16+ million youth worldwide, these children, visited by Past International President and Campaign 100 International Chairperson Dr. Jitsuhiro Yamada, are benefitting from LCIF’s Lions Quest youth development programs.

Journey to #BE100

In 2015, as many may recall, Lions Clubs International conducted a Global Service Assessment. That assessment identified five priority focus areas: diabetes, the environment, hunger, vision, and childhood cancer.

Lions Clubs International Foundation focus areas diabetes, the environment, hunger, vision, and childhood cancer.

With these expanding global causes, LCIF recognized something extraordinary was needed to empower Lions’ service.

The most ambitious fundraising effort in LCIF history, Campaign 100 spans three years and seeks to raise US$300 million by June 30, 2021. Campaign 100 will empower Lions to #BE100, serve 200+ million people each year, and ensure Lions have resources to:

  • Increase service impact in our focus areas of vision, youth, disaster relief, and humanitarian causes.
  • Fight diabetes and improve the quality of life for those diagnosed.
  • Expand our global causes by identifying areas of greatest need and opportunity within the broad causes of hunger, childhood cancer, and the environment.

Take a look at the launch of Lions Clubs International Foundation’s most ambitious fundraising campaign in our history — Campaign 100.

Call for Support

Campaign 100

Over the past 100 years, we’ve proven that Lions united in service can transform millions of lives. As Lions, we serve proudly, empowered by our global foundation. Please #BE100 and support Campaign 100.

Donate to LCIF


Historic Rains Cause Massive Flooding In Japan

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Dear Lions,

As many of us were returning from the 101st annual Lions Clubs International Convention, Lions from Japan were welcomed home by historic rains in the southwestern part of their country. The massive amount of rain – 14 inches in only two hours – caused immense flooding. Many people lost their lives, others lost their homes, and millions of people have been evacuated.

We know Lions everywhere join us in sending their thoughts and prayers to residents in the flooded area.

As rain continues to fall, Lions in Japan are providing relief in the way of much-needed supplies to people who have been evacuated.

Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) has approved US$300,000 in designated disaster funding to assist local Lions in their quick response to this disaster.

The generous support of Lions allows LCIF to provide disaster relief funding at a moment’s notice. That is why it is important for you to support LCIF by donating to our newest and most ambitious fundraising initiative, Campaign 100: Empowering Service.

Donate to LCIF

The most ambitious fundraising effort in LCIF’s history, the goal of Campaign 100 is to raise US$300 million to bolster our service impact and fund the needs of an ever-changing world.

Please consider making a donation to Campaign 100 so we may continue to answer the call when and where we are most needed.


Dr. Naresh Aggarwal
Chairman, Lions Clubs International Foundation

Gudrun Yngvadottir
International President, Lions Clubs International


Omega Leo Survey – The Results are In!

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In February 2018, LCI conducted a survey of Omega Leos (age 18 – 30) to assess their attitudes, behaviors, and perceptions. The survey collected feedback on current satisfaction as well as Omega Leo needs and preferences.


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