Today is World Diabetes Day, a day created by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization to promote diabetes awareness and advocacy around the world. This year’s theme is “healthy living and diabetes.”
Diabetes is a chronic disease, which occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 357 million people worldwide have diabetes. Over time, diabetes can damage the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves, and the overall risk of dying among people with diabetes is at least double the risk of their peers without diabetes, according to the WHO. Education, prevention and treatment programs are important tools to help people with this disease.
Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) has several grant programs that enable Lions to prevent and reduce the impact of diabetes around the world. The main way that LCIF helps Lions fight diabetes is through the Core 4 Diabetes grant program. To date, LCIF has awarded 27 Core 4 Diabetes grants totaling more than US$2.1 million. These programs support Lions’ efforts to expand and enhance diabetes education, prevention and treatment programs.
LCIF is committed to helping Lions address this global health issue in their communities. During the recent October 2014 meeting, LCIF’s International Board of Directors approved a Core 4 grant for Sri Lanka, District 306-B1 to expand a diabetes screening program. They also approved a Standard grant for MD 300 Taiwan, District 300-G2 to support local diabetes wellness programs and services. A SightFirst Research grant was also recently awarded to Semmelweis University in Hungary for a Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness (RAAB) with a diabetic retinopathy module, the results of which will inform future development of diabetes eye care services.
Led by the International Diabetes Federation, the World Diabetes Day campaign engages millions of people worldwide in raising awareness for diabetes. Held on November 14th every year, the theme for the 2014-16 campaign is healthy living and diabetes. This year’s activities will focus on promoting a healthy lifestyle to help avoid serious complications, such as diabetic retinopathy, and prevent most cases of type 2 diabetes.
During November and all throughout the year, Lions have been participating in diabetes advocacy activities such as organizing Strides events, and diabetes screenings, supporting diabetes camps and more. Diabetes Chairpersons help to promote and support LCI’s diabetes programs; and they may be appointed on the club, district and multiple district levels. Lions are committed to the control and treatment of diabetes and its complications through education and prevention. To learn more, visit our Diabetes Awareness and Action page.
How will your club celebrate World Diabetes Day?
Last week, Joni and I spent a few days in Spain to celebrate 50 years of service with the Lions Clubs of Spain. While we were there, we visited a Community Center in Tenerife with the Campus Lions Club. They offer multiple services for disadvantaged youth, such as reading, growing food and dancing. They even offer training for parents. We had such a great time meeting with some of the children.
I had the pleasure of inducting a new member, Fabiola Socas, who just got back from Leader Dog School with her new dog. She was excited to have her new dog and even more excited to become a Lion.
We were warmly welcomed by the Lions of Spain. Congratulations on your 50 years! #WeServe!
Be sure to follow me on Facebook to see more activities, projects and pictures from my trips around the world.
“Before I had glasses, I had so much trouble seeing,” said Khun Pichudom, a Cambodian child who could have faced a lifetime of limitations due to correctable vision problems. “Now I can see everything. I use my glasses at school, to play football, to read and write, and especially when I watch TV and play games.”
Fortunately, the right glasses made all the difference for Pichudom’s vision, but other children require surgery or preventative medication. Vision problems in children that are not caught and corrected early can lead to blindness or vision impairment later in life. One child goes blind each minute and half a million will lose their sight by the end of this year alone. An estimated 1.4 million children around the world are blind, yet the vision of 75 percent of these children could have been saved if they only had access to eye care.
Pichudom was screened at the Preah Ang Duong Hospital in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, one of 34 need-based pediatric Lions eye care centers aimed at eliminating avoidable blindness in children. Pichudom is just one of the 121 million children worldwide who have benefited from a Lions eye care center, thanks to a SightFirst and World Health Organization joint initiative. SightFirst has given close to US$7 million in funding for the centers in countries around the world that provide preventive, therapeutic and rehabilitative eye care services for children. This funding will help us reach many more children; starting in 2011, 16 new Lions eye care centers will be supported.
“I would like to give my deepest appreciation to Lions for helping my grandson,” said Nget Hay, Pichudom’s grandfather. “I hope that Lions continue to support this center and future research to help all children of Cambodia.”
From LCIF: Our Impact Story Archives
Experience the impact of Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) at this year’s OSEAL Forum from November 13 through November 16 in Incheon, Republic of Korea. This year’s forum seeks to “foster and imprint the spirit of ‘Tolerance.’”
LCIF will have staff present who can answer questions regarding grant programs, the application process, and donations, as well as provide informational materials. Be sure to ask about the Lions Measles Initiative!
This year, there are several LCIF informational sessions:
→ On Saturday, November 15, learn about Lions Clubs International Foundation at the LCIF seminar from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. in Convensia 2F Premier Ballroom C.
→ Also on Saturday, November 15, LCIF Chairperson Barry Palmer will thank and recognize donors who are present at the forum during a congratulatory speech at the Thailand Reception from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Grand Ballroom 3 in the headquarters hotel. The Chairperson will also share updates on the many different programs of the Foundation.
The OSEAL region has always been very generous in donations towards LCIF, including to the One Shot, One Life: Lions Measles Initiative. This occasion gives the Foundation an extra opportunity to say a big thank you for supporting LCIF.
Forums provide for an exchange of information and ideas surrounding service activities and Lions’ projects while promoting the principles and objectives of Lions Clubs International and LCIF. All Lions in the constitutional area in which the forum is held are invited to participate.
You can read about LCIF’s activities at the ISAAME Forum in the upcoming weeks.
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