Safeguarding a Nation: Lions Address Measles in Botswana

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When Leganne Matlho’s eldest son fell sick at the age of 10 with a high temperature and “sores all over his body,” his mother did not at first realize how serious the situation could become.

She had heard of measles – children in her town in northern Botswana had died from it in the past. But for a day or two she waited before taking Titoga to a clinic, where doctors prescribed immediate treatment and told her that she had been lucky he had not deteriorated faster.

“I was so frightened that some illness he can catch without me knowing could have caused him to be blind, or even to die, very quickly,” Matlho says, sitting in the shade of her swept yard where tomatoes, kale and lettuce grow in neat lines in the sandy soil. “It was only after that I came to realize that there is a protection against this disease in the form of an injection, something Titoga did not get. Since that day that my son was sick, all of my children have been vaccinated.”

Leganne Matlho holds her 15-month-old daughter, Piwane

Leganne Matlho holds her 15-month-old daughter, Piwane

Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) has committed to raising US$30 million for vaccinations by 2017, a sum that partners will match. The LCIF partnership with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, focuses on support of routine immunization and strengthening health systems to help prevent serious outbreaks of disease. By 2020, more than 700 million children in 49 countries are expected to be immunized against measles and rubella thanks to Gavi and its partners, including Lions.

For this particular campaign in Botswana, LCIF helped fund 3,500 bright orange hats for campaign volunteers, 10,000 posters and 100,000 information flyers to be given out in schools and clinics, training workshops, and ID badges for those helping out on the actual vaccination days. Across the country, Lions helped to hire public address systems, truck trailers and even arrange motorcades of vehicles to take messages about the looming immunization drive directly to the people.

“Nowadays people do not know how dangerous the illness can be, because no one has seen it for so long,” she says. “I am one of the few, and I make sure that I tell everyone I see that they need to vaccinate their children. It is something easy to do, but it can mean the difference between life and death.”

Read the full article here.


Remember LCIF on #GivingTuesday

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Today is #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.

Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the USA), #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many people focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

Did you know that the vast majority of LCIF’s grant funding is made possible by donations from Lions clubs and individual members worldwide? LCIF does not receive any portion of Lions membership dues. Did you also know that there are multiple ways to donate to LCIF?

Donate when you shop!
amazonsmilelogoAmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support LCIF every time you shop online, at no cost to you. When you shop at AmazonSmile, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to LCIF.


Donate when you take photos!
For every photo you donate through Johnson & Johnson’s Donate a Photo app, Johnson & Johnson will donate US$1 to LCIF’s Sight for Kids program, up to US$40,000. Each photo you donate via the app (once every day through January 15, 2017) will help provide eye health education, vision screening and access to a professional eye exam to a child.


Donate when you exercise!
logo-charitymilesNow, you can walk or run to raise money for Sight for Kids wherever you are in the world. Simply download the Charity Miles app on your smartphone, select “Sight for Kids,” and take a walk! LCIF will receive a donation for every mile logged. Lions have been walking, running and cycling to raise money for Sight for Kids since our International Convention in June 2016.


Make your donation go further!
Maximize your impact through workplace giving. Many employers will match your donations to LCIF. Neighbor to Nation connects caring donors with trusted charities and Thrivent Financial helps citizens support meaningful service projects. Click here to see if your company will match your donation.

Making a difference has never been so easy.  Celebrate #GivingTuesday by making a fun and unique donation to LCIF!

Thank you for supporting LCIF. Together, we are making the world a brighter place.


Lions Take a Stand Against Measles

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There remains much work in the fight against measles, but Lions have the power to help eliminate the disease. By contributing to LCIF, Lions are helping children in all countries where measles remains a heavy public health burden. Lions’ donations are combined with all donations to the Measles Initiative in order to have a greater impact around the world. Watch this video to see how Lions are taking a stand against measles, then consider making a donation to support the cause.

Donate to LCIF


How to Manage a Successful Service Project [WEBINAR]

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As Lions, we SERVE – which means we spend a lot of time and energy organizing service projects or fundraising events.

Poorly managed service projects can lead to a negative public perception, frustrated members and the loss of new or potential members – all of which reduce our service impact.

Successful service projects, whether they involve cleaning up a river, feeding the hungry or building a school, require good project managers and a well-defined process.

If you ever hoped to learn a better way of managing your club events or service projects, Leadership Development’s Project Management webinar would be beneficial to you.

In this webinar, we’ll help you…

Discuss the skills necessary to be an effective project manager, and examine the phases of project management:

  • Initiating
  • Executing
  • Monitoring
  • Closing a scope of work to achieve specific goals

Register today!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 12:00 pm (12:00) Central Standard Time


Friday, December 9, 2016 7:00pm (19:00) Central Standard Time


Touchstone Story: Feeding the Hungry

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Lions have long been deeply involved in the global effort to relieve hunger.

It’s a big fight: poor nutrition contributes to the death of more than 3 million children every year, and close to a billion people go hungry each day. To ease such misery, Lions battle hunger daily in their own communities.

Some distribute holiday food baskets; others volunteer at local food pantries or organize soup kitchens for the homeless. Typically, the help comes not from a distance, but close-up and personal. In Baggao, Philippines, Lions bring food to Taytay Elementary School to ensure impoverished students get a hot meal. In India, members of the Howrah Greater Lions Club bring food to elderly people “who don’t have anyone to look after them,” explained club member Pawan Kumar Berry.

Many Lions know firsthand what it feels like to suffer from lack of food. “I think hunger is the number one catastrophe in the world,” said Past International President Eberhard J. Wirfs, who served in that post from 2009 to 2010. Born in Germany during the Second World War, Wirfs hasn’t forgotten the post-war years in a shattered country, when he and his family were “hungry and barely able to get by.”

Because hunger can stunt a child’s ability to learn and grow, Lions work particularly hard to help hungry youngsters. Although free school lunch programs help U.S. children during the week, the Hamilton Lions Club in Indiana, USA—worried that local children were going hungry on the weekends—threw its support behind the Boomerang Backpack program, which sends students, who might otherwise not have enough to eat, home on Friday nights with backpacks filled with food.

“It makes me feel really good and happy to know that they’re not going hungry” on non-school days, said Hamilton Lion Jean Griffin Howard.

Thousands of miles away, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gerard Mulimbi, a member of the Kinshasa Tshangu Mwinda Lions Club, echoed the same sentiment. Through his group’s efforts, he said, “We are helping children who are suffering from malnutrition.”

There are many fronts in the battle. Lions in Kenya are fighting famine in Africa with food packages. When war in Lebanon drove many people from their homes, Lions opened a “charity restaurant” that fed a thousand people a day.

In South Africa, Lions have been fighting to reduce hunger for more than 40 years by providing meals to impoverished and hungry people, many of whom either have HIV-AIDS or are children who have lost parents to the disease.

Although victory over hunger remains far in the future, Lions say the fight is worth waging.  With the backpack program, said Indiana teacher Randy Shoemaker, “We’re fighting childhood hunger. And if everybody comes together and we pool resources, then the children will win.”

Join us for the Worldwide Week of Service to Fight Hunger, January 9-15, 2017. Start planning your hunger project today, and invite your community to change the world with you!

Read the entire collection of Touchstone Stories at


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