In the March LION Magazine, LCIF improved the lives of millions in 2014-15, Japanese Lions are helping young people in surprising ways and a man in Alaska relearned how to live after a blinding grizzly bear attack.
Also in this issue:
In the Digital LION, watch a message from Bill Gates to Lions, see how Lions clubs are using video on social media and read the LCIF 2014-15 Annual Report.
Like the LION on Facebook.
Read the Lions Day with the United Nations recap below, with social media posts from Lions, Leos, United Nations representatives and LCI partners. For best viewing results, use Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome as your Internet browser.
You can also read the story here.
More than 1 billion people lack proper access to clean drinking water—that’s one in every nine people around the world. Two-thirds of those people live in Africa and Asia. The United Nations has recognized water as not only a fundamental human right, but a “prerequisite to the realization of all other human rights.”
Pumpuar Dasim, a resident of Monggis, a mountain village in Borneo, Malaysia, once walked two kilometers round trip, three times a day, to collect water for her family from a nearby stream. If the local oxen were bathing in it when she arrived, she had to leave and return later.
This stream was the only source of water for a village of 1,000. Local government officials promised running water in their homes, but said it would take up to 16 years to complete the project.
But then the Lions came.
In 2014, Malaysian and Korean Lions teamed up to build a 21-kilometer filtered pipe system from the stream to Monggis’s village center and install high-pressure spigots in individual homes. With help from a matching LCIF International Assistance Grant of US$20,000, the Lions brought clean drinking water to Monggis within four months.
“It has changed my life,” said Dasim, whose family now has clean water with the turn of a tap instead of a two-kilometer hike. “Many, many thanks to the Lions.”
This is just one success in the Lions’ ongoing clean water projects. In 1961, M.S. Chockalingam, vice president of the Salem Lions Club in India, presented a new well pump and motor to a local high school and an entirely new pipeline to a local elementary school, ensuring clean and filtered water for the students. In 2010, Dr. Yanaoussou Dolo, a member of the Bamako Sokala Lions Club of Mali, helped to drill the bore hole for a brand new well in the village of Morodjambougou.
“Water is life,” Dr. Dolo said. “When you provide water to where there is no water, you are serving those in need.”
Lions continue to install water purification systems in India; new latrines and education initiatives in Ethiopia; and new clean water systems from pipes or new bore wells on the African and Asian continents. The growing water crisis is a big challenge, and it requires expansive resources to take it on—but also the willingness to fix problems locally.
Adil Najam, the dean of the Fredrick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, refers to battling the global water crisis as “the type of global action that an organization like the Lions Club can pull together. It is this sort of network that can pull in ideas from all over the world, and bring small change to each community.”
Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) sight programs range from developing and improving eye care systems to providing sight-restoring surgeries and treatments to distributing medications to those most at-risk for eye diseases.
The Lions of District 2-S2 in Texas, USA, received a SightFirst grant of US$164,645 to expand low vision services in the Houston area. That grant has been used to establish group occupational therapy and patient education services, like those at the Low Vision Clinic at Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital in Houston.
Patients are evaluated and paired up with high-powered lenses like magnifying glasses, telescopes or electronic magnifiers. An occupational therapist trains patients to use the equipment and maximize their vision levels. Now, patients also have access to a new support group where like-diagnosed patients can share and learn from each other.
David French, a low-vision patient, participates in hobbies like painting a mug or building a bird house thanks to the aid of an electronic magnifier closed circuit monitor. Occupational Therapist Regina Budet heads the support group at Lyndon B. Johnson hospital. (Photo courtesy of Harris Health System)
We’re excited to announce the speakers and Round table discussion participants for this year’s Lions Day with the United Nations (LDUN), held in New York City on March 12, 2016. This group of volunteers, human rights activists, writers, youth and U.N. representatives will be speaking about their views on the 2016 LDUN theme “Gender Equality and Peace,” and how Lions, Leos and the United Nations can work together to empower young girls and boys.
Singer/Songwriter, Philanthropist, Actor
Cofounder, E.P.I.C. (Everyday People Initiating Change)
Tennille Amor is a talented creative writer on varying platforms, a public speaker, and a recognized and respected leader. She is working directly with UN Women to promote Gender Equality through the United Nations, she is the co-founder of E.P.I.C. (Everyday People Initiating Change), drilling clean water wells and contributing to community growth and development in Tanzania, Africa, and was a global brand ambassador for Quiksilver Women for five years. Her debut album, “EVOLVE through LOVE,” will be released in the Spring of 2016, and includes the songs “Lion” and “I am a Girl.”
Lions Clubs Past International Director
Sawaan Valley Lions Club
In 1999, PID Nilofar Bakhtiar was elected as Lions Clubs International’s first female international director. A senator in Pakistan, she has worked tirelessly to improve the social status of women as well as health and education in her country.
Executive Director Emeritus and Co-Founder, Man Up Campaign
Over the past two decades, Jimmie Briggs has earned a reputation as a respected human rights advocate in the field of journalism, lecturer and educator.
For his work with Man Up Campaign and the issue of violence against women, Briggs was selected as the winner of the 2010 GQ Magazine “Better Men Better World” Search, as well as one of Women’s eNews’ 21 Leaders for the 21st Century in 2011.
Lebanon Host Lions Club
White House Champion of Change
Debbie Cantrell is a member of the Lebanon Host Lions Club and has been a Lion for more than 10 years. Since becoming a Lion, she has been trained to lead, be confident and take pride in the organization. She was extensively involved with relief and rebuilding efforts in Joplin, Mo., following the devastating F-5 tornado in May of 2011.
Lions Quest Senior Trainer
Ratna Choudhry is a Senior Trainer for Lions Quest, a Lions Clubs International Foundation youth education program built on the foundation of Social and Emotional Learning. She believes that young girls can be what they want to be and not try to fit into the stereotype that has been created for them by parents and society. She is based in Delhi, India.
President, Sundre High Leo Club
Katie Jackson is a senior at Sundre High School in Sundre, Alberta, Canada, and the president of the Sundre High School Leo Club. As a charter member, she has been involved with Leos for four years. Last year, the club focused mainly on projects dealing with gender equality.
Senior Adviser Strategic Partnership & Advocacy to the Assistant Secretary-General; Deputy Executive Director of UN-Women
Ravi Karkara is a trained social worker with commitment to advance human rights, participation, inclusion and gender equality, accountability and social justice. He has worked with several organizations on gender mainstreaming with a specific focus on children, youth and women.
Global Youth and Human Rights Activist
Syed Mahmood Kazmi is a Global Youth and Human Rights Activist advocating for the Women Rights, Gender Equality, Education and Peace & Security.
He is also a writer/blogger on topics including Youth Issues, Women Empowerment, Human Rights, Child Labor and Peace Initiatives.
Executive Director, United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA)
Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin is a physician and public health expert, and holds the rank of Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations. Prior positions include Nigeria’s Minister of Health and Director-General of Nigeria’s National Agency for the Control of AIDS.
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