Lions Clubs International
Jul
16

Preston’s Blog: 2014 Children’s Symposium

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What a week it’s been! One of the first major events I attended as Lions International President was the 2014 Children’s Symposium, held on July 11 in Toronto. Supporting children in need has always been a core mission for Lions everywhere. This year, I am challenging Lions to respond even more to the needs of under-served children — particularly those in low-income, developing countries.

The Children’s Symposium was a roaring success, with participating leaders from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, GAVI Alliance, Global FoodBanking Network, Lost Boys Rebuilding Southern Sudan, Special Olympics, Scholastic, UNICEF, USAID, World Wide Hearing (Audra Renyi, Executive Director from World Wide Hearing, pictured above) and many others. Together, we discussed crucial topics from childhood development (what are the critical unmet needs?) and literacy (what can be done to promote early childhood education?) to children’s health and disabilities (what’s working and what still needs to be done?).

These conversations are important to helping us identify the needs of children and build upon solutions. We need to increase access to books in under-served communities. Serve as mentors for positive youth development. Empower at-risk children. Implement global partnerships to combat preventable, treatable diseases. Provide clean water. Include children of all abilities.

We all play a significant role in improving the lives of children in our communities. Lions – how is your club addressing children’s needs?

 

Your International President,

Joe Preston

Be sure to follow me on Facebook to see more activities, projects and pictures from my trips around the world.

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Vietnam_bausch_lomb_large
Jul
15

Helping Children See a Brighter Future

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“At Bausch + Lomb, our mission is to help people see better, to live better. When we look back at this first year, all that we’ve learned and all that we’ve accomplished—we’re confident that together with Lions Clubs and LCIF, our efforts will help eye care institutions positively impact children, parents and the communities they serve,” said Rick Heinick, Corporate Vice President, Global Human Resources and Transformation at Bausch + Lomb.

A powerful partnership to prevent and treat pediatric cataract

Every year, hundreds of thousands of babies around the world are born with a cataract in one or both eyes. This condition is known as pediatric cataract, and can lead to severe vision loss—or even blindness. But not only is pediatric cataract treatable, it is often preventable. Bausch + Lomb and Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) are partnering on the Pediatric Cataract Initiative to identify, fund and promote innovative methods of overcoming pediatric cataract for the long-term benefit of children, their families and their communities.

Launched in June 2010, the Pediatric Cataract Initiative (PCI) is the first dedicated global effort aimed at preventing and treating cataract in children. Bausch + Lomb has awarded LCIF with a US$350,000 grant to launch this partnership program. The pilot year’s capacity-building grant will select a partner institution in China, where at least 40,000 children are estimated to suffer from pediatric cataract. When babies and children are identified and successfully treated with the proper follow-up care, many, if not all, will grow into fully sighted adults requiring minimal additional vision correction.

Working to help tomorrow’s children

PCI is also funding basic research initiatives aimed at better understanding the causes of pediatric cataract and/or its treatment. The first two research grants of US$50,000 each are focusing on this issue in Nepal (and nearby states in India) and Nigeria. An estimated 1.4 million children are blind worldwide, 1 million of whom live in Asia and 300,000 in Africa. The prevalence of pediatric cataract in developing countries can be 10 times more common than in developed nations.

After a busy pilot year, LCIF and Bausch + Lomb will be helping people see, by continuing the important work of the Pediatric Cataract Initiative into 2012.

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Jul
15

Video: LCIF and Lions Support Students with Low Vision in Kansas

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In rural Kansas (USA), children with low vision can have a difficult time accessing needed eye care. In the video below, learn how LCIF’s SightFirst program provided Lions with a grant to support low vision services through the Kansas State School for the Blind (KSSB).

With the help of Lions, the KSSB and the right devices, there’s no limit to what students can accomplish. Just ask Joshua Harsch – with the help of the KSSB, he received specialized software that allows him to attend Kansas City Kansas Community College.

“Before I came here, I was basically just struggling along, hoping to get through the day,” said Harsch. “As soon as I came here, I was shocked literally, because there was so much opportunity. And I was actually very happy for once.”

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Jul
14

LQ Global Impact: Feeding Children

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The Global Impact segment in this month’s new Lions Quarterly video magazine focuses on how Lions are fighting childhood hunger around the world. In Canada, Lions deliver fruits and vegetable platters to schools so that students can enjoy a healthy snack and have the fuel needed to learn better. Lions in the Philippines also work with local schools to provide lunches to children in need, as well as teaching parents and students about the importance of nutrition. And in the U.S., Lions organized a backpack program that sent healthy foods home with kids over the weekend.

Watch the video above to learn more about how Lions are feeding children everywhere. The entire July Lions Quarterly is available for download on the Lions News Network. Share the video at your next Lions club meeting or event!

How does your Lions club feed children in your community?

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Lions Clubs International
Jul
11

The Centennial Service Challenge Kicks Off

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The Centennial Service Challenge was announced at the 2014 Lions International Convention in Toronto — presenting Lions with the goal of serving 100 million people by December 2017. Is your club up to the challenge? Start planning your Global Service Action Campaign service activities, beginning in August with Engaging Our Youth.

Engaging Our Youth Project Ideas

Recognize the power of youth involvement! Serve children in need! Project ideas include:

  • Sponsor a Leo club in your community.
  • Invite local Leos and young people to join your club in an environmental service project, such as a beach cleanup or recycling activity.
  • Work with the local school district to organize a back-to-school health fair.
  • Collect school supplies and books for children in need.
  • Supply Braille or large print books for children who are visually impaired.
  • Sponsor a child to attend a recreational camp for kids with disabilities, or assist the camp as a volunteer.

Learn More about the Centennial Service Challenge

For more information on the Centennial Service Challenge, such as how to report your service activities and track the number of people served, visit the Centennial Service Challenge page and read our FAQs.

 

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Videos

Lions in Japan Rally Community Support to Keep a River Clean and Beautiful

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Lions around the world work on projects aimed at protecting our environment. Our film crew visited Nagoya, Japan, to see how Lions there lead the way in keeping…

Lions in Morocco Help Children in Need Build a Brighter Future, One Smile at a Time

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Around the world, many of our clubs focus on projects that meet the needs of youth. We sent a video crew to Morocco to see how Lions there…

Story of the Week: Lions Video Takes Flight

Friday, November 4, 2011

We’re always looking for new ways to extend our reach and share what we are doing around the world to meet community needs.  Beginning in October, passengers on…

Story of the Week: Lions Release New Safari Public Service Announcements

Friday, October 28, 2011

Our clubs do so much more than collect used eyeglasses. We feed the hungry, we help identify vision problems through screenings and we improve the communities we live…