LQ: Lions Down Syndrome Center

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The Lions Club of Kota Bharu in Malaysia saw a need in their community — children with certain disabilities were not receiving the special attention and early intervention they needed. In 1997, the Lions established a Down Syndrome Center, where teachers taught language, reading, writing, numbers, fine motor skills and basic life skills to children with Down Syndrome.

Watch the Lions Quarterly segment above to learn more about the center, including parents’ reactions and how it has grown thanks to help from LCIF. You can also view the entire July Lions Quarterly on the Lions News Network.

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Lions Quest and SightFirst Grants Awarded August 2014

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Lions QuestDuring the August 2014 Lions Quest Advisory Committee meeting, 22 grants were awarded totaling US$1,216,054. Through these grants, Lions Quest programs will provide students with positive life skills in countries like India, Japan, Madagascar, the United States, Turkey and more.

The SightFirst Advisory Committee also met earlier this month and awarded 26 grants totaling US$8,063,304. As part of the grants awarded, SightFirst will continue working with The Carter Center to control trachoma and river blindness in Ethiopia, Mali, Niger and northern Uganda; provide cataract surgeries in Nepal and Sri Lanka; conduct further blindness prevention research; support a diabetic retinopathy program in the United States and more.

These grants would not be possible without the generosity and compassion of Lions around the world. Thank you for your support! When available, you can view the list of grants awarded online.

Grant application deadlines for the next round of grants are as follows:

  • October 17, 2014: SightFirst grant applications for review by the SightFirst Advisory Committee (SAC) in January 2015
  • November 21, 2014: Lions Quest grant applications for review by the Lions Quest Advisory Committee (LAC) in January 2015
  • February 12, 2015: Standard, Core 4 and IAG grant applications for review at the April 2015 Board meeting

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Lions Clubs International

Lions and Special Olympics in Uganda

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Special Olympics and the Lions Clubs of Uganda recently collaborated to implement a health project as a part of the Special Olympics “Mission: Inclusion” platform. The activity took place in a town called Hoima.

Lions leaders drove about three hours to Hoima, joining the local Special Olympics Program to conduct a Family Health Forum. The forum brought together over 100 families from throughout the area to learn about the services offered by Special Olympics Uganda, the Lions Clubs of Uganda and local government. As a sensitization strategy to generate increased public awareness around intellectual disabilities, the local SO Program implemented a march through the town, highlighting the energy that comes from programming and service of this kind.

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Lions Clubs International

Who are the Lions?

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Today’s post is by Lion Jerome Thompson of the Moulton Lions Club in Alabama, USA. Read his blog at If you are interested in submitting your story to the Lions Blog, download our Contributor Guidelines.

If asked to describe the Lions club in your town, how would the citizen on the street respond?

Who are the LIONS?  If this is the response, we have failed to communicate the valuable service that we render to our community.

A Men’s Club. If this is the response, we have failed to update our image in the last 20 plus years.  Today, women are a vital part of our association.  In fact, women have provided leadership at every level, from club officer to International Director.

Hopefully, the response would be:

  • They provide eye care to those in need.
  • They work with families of children with diabetes.
  • They have partnered with the library to address literacy needs of children and the sight impaired.
  • They are a lively, young, vibrant group of community minded citizens that have improved the quality of life for everyone in our town.

Go ahead and ask the question to your friends, family and neighbors, “Who are the Lions?”  Listen carefully to the response. Then take the necessary action to improve the image of your club.

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Delivering Merck River Blindness Medicine

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“George W. Merck believed that medicine should be for the people, not for the profits. As a company, Merck continually strives to live up to this challenge. This is why we are proud to partner with Lions Clubs International Foundation through the MECTIZAN Donation Program, fighting river blindness in Africa and Latin America. LCIF is a trusted partner in this groundbreaking program, and their commitment ensures that patients in even the most remote areas are able to receive the best available treatment.” –Kenneth M. Gustavsen, Manager, Global Product Donations, Merck & Co., Inc.

Providing the medicine that will stop river blindness

Onchocerciasis, or “river blindness,” is one of the leading causes of preventable blindness worldwide. It is transmitted by a fly that infects people with a parasite that spreads throughout the body, eventually causing blindness. A total of 120 million people are at risk for the disease and half a million are already blind from it, primarily in Africa and rural Central and South America.

For more than 20 years Merck & Co., Inc., one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, has been helping to eradicate river blindness through the donation of Mectizan®—the only well-tolerated drug known to halt the development of the disease. Merck has worked with numerous partners to reach the people who need treatment, including involving the World Health Organization, the World Bank, UNICEF, The Carter Center, various ministries of health, non-governmental development organizations and local communities.

153 million treatments so far, with many more to come

One of Merck’s strongest allies has been Lions and Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF). To date, Merck has donated just over 153 million treatments of Mectizan® to LCIF, making the program the longest-running medicine donation commitment in history. Not only have so many people been spared from this debilitating disease, but river blindness is on its way to being an affliction of the past; two Latin American countries—Colombia and Ecuador—have announced its complete eradication, and more countries are to follow. Merck and LCIF remain committed to this goal until it is achieved.

“Colombia’s successful effort in halting onchocerciasis transmission is a landmark achievement in public health,” said Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Founder of The Carter Center. “This remarkable progress would not be possible without the dedicated health workers and volunteers working at the community level and the invaluable public-private partnership with Merck and the Mectizan® Donation Program.”

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Lions Club Shopping Spree

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Coupeville (Washington) Lions Club held its annual shopping spree last month. The Lions sold raffle tickets during October and November, and the winner of the raffle won…

Lions Delivered 1,500 Pounds of Food

Monday, December 10, 2012

Lions continue to provide disaster relief services to victims of Superstorm Sandy. Lions clubs in Montville, Connecticut, worked with Tri-Town Foods to donate 1,500 pounds of food to…

Lions Toy Makers Workshop

Friday, December 7, 2012

In this video segment from the latest Lions Quarterly, Lions in New Zealand provide community services for children during the holiday season by hand crafting toys for those…

Lions Relieving the Hunger Campaign

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Every day, close to one billion people worldwide go hungry. During December and January, Lions around the world are encouraged to participate in the Relieving the Hunger Global…