I was just preparing to send my message to you when a devastating earthquake struck Nepal. Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) immediately granted a US$100,000 Major Catastrophe grant for relief and reconstruction efforts. This is a frightening reminder that disasters occur frequently and without warning. Please consider making a donation so the Lions of Nepal can continue their service to those most in need.
World Immunization Week, April 24-30 this year, is an opportunity for Lions to continue advocating for routine immunizations alongside the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Foundation and other Lions partners. Every year, this week presents an opportunity for us to raise awareness of measles and the importance of vaccinations. Lions around the world are hosting events all week to show their commitment to the One Shot, One Life: Lions Measles Initiative.
It saddens me to know that 400 people still die every day from measles, most of them children. Measles is highly contagious and can cause severe complications, including blindness. But there is a simple, cost-effective vaccine available. That is where Lions make a difference. With your help, millions of children have received this life-saving vaccine.
Keep your eye on our blog, Facebook page and Twitter account throughout the week for interesting statistics and information about immunization efforts around the world. Be sure to tag us in your own social media posts to let us know about your clubs’ activities, and search #vaccineswork to join the conversation.
Thank you for your dedication to our immunization efforts!
Barry J. Palmer
Chairperson, Lions Clubs International Foundation
Participating in the Reading Action Program, the Brazzaville Bokassi Lions Club from the Republic of Congo has collected 70 books that they circulate amongst different orphanages in the area. Their most recent activity was organizing a “day of reading” for the youth living at Nazareth Orphanage. The orphanage is home to 50 children of all ages. They spent the afternoon reading stories to the children and even provided them with a snack.
Being a volunteer reader is a great RAP activity and there are many other ways your club can Engage Our Youth while inspiring a love of reading. Some other project ideas include, tutor a child in reading, provide free books for children at a vision or hearing screening, supply new parents with books for young children, or hold a monthly reading challenge for children.
Be sure to report your activity to MyLCI and post photos of your club in action on social media sites. Use the hashtag #LIONS100 so that other clubs can see the impact you are making in your community!
How is your club participating in the Reading Action Program? Share your story!
Today’s guest post was written by Lion Alastair McKechnie from the Gillingham, Mere and Shaftesbury Lions Club in England. Read about a project in the United Kingdom known as SpecTreck and how the club has been an active participant for more than 25 years. Visit the GMS Lions Facebook page for more information on this event and other current projects.
The SpecTrek Project is run by the region’s Lions annually with collection in April. The Petersfield Lions Club travels around the region collecting every club’s donations at a number of designated pick-up points including a lunchtime stop-over with us in Gillingham.
To participate, GMS Lions collect used spectacles from lions-labelled boxes we have placed in local opticians and other stores throughout our area, in addition to those passed on to us by individual members of the public. Since last April, we have managed to collect a staggering 12,443 pairs of used glasses.
On Sunday, April 19th, we hosted nine other local clubsat Gillingham town hall for a buffet lunch and collectively presented 28,260 pairs of used glasses to the Petersfield Lions.
The glasses are sorted and any broken specs are discarded. Then they are packaged up and sent to another club to be graded and from there they are ready for the last leg of their journey.
In these days of green issues, the Lions spectacle collection project is more than recycling; it is reuse of a costly asset. We have collected over 2 million pairs of specs over the last 27 years for sight projects in Africa and Asia; a significant saving in today’s world. More importantly, the collection brings hope to many families in the developing world who have been blighted by loss of sight.
In October 2014, Tanzania carried out one of the largest public health interventions in the country’s history. In one short week, more than 20 million children were immunized in a measles and rubella vaccination campaign. Tanzanian Lions were active in the social mobilization planning process at the national and municipal level to ensure that high coverage would be achieved. During the campaign, Lions worked to educate parents on the dangers of measles and rubella and to encourage them to bring their children to vaccination camps to be immunized. Activities included the production and distribution of more than 20,000 posters and banners, road shows to raise awareness in urban areas, hosting mini-campaign launch events to raise awareness and engage communities at the municipal level, and using radio, television, and print media to amplify awareness of the campaign.
Having Lions members in countries around the world that care about protecting children from measles and rubella is one of Lions’ greatest strengths as an M&RI partner and Lions social mobilization activities in their countries have made a contribution to the success of numerous vaccination campaigns.
Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) is an official partner of the Measles & Rubella Initiative. This collaboration has successfully reduced the number of measles-related deaths throughout the world. LCIF and Lions provide technical, financial and grassroots support for measles vaccination campaigns. Through this partnership, over one billion children have been vaccinated in more than 80 countries, reducing measles deaths by 90 percent in nearly all countries.
Donate today to help LCIF vaccinate even more children against measles and rubella!
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