Today’s guest post is by Lion Vimla Ramkumar, Club Treasurer of the Lions Club of Lobatse in Botswana. Sight projects such as the one he shares below count toward the #LIONS100 Centennial Service Challenge goal of serving 100 million people by December 2017. Learn more about how to participate in the challenge at lionsclubs.org/servicechallenge, and be sure to follow the Lions Club of Lobatse on Facebook!
We the members of the Lions Club of Lobatse continuously carry out sight screenings in and around the schools in Lobatse and even further — to a distance of about 40 kms. Last November, Lions did visual acuity tests for approximately 380 students at Chichi Community Junior Secondary School in Molapowabojang village. About 34 students needed prescription eyeglasses. The club has earmarked funds from the activity account for procuring eyeglasses for the students in schools.
We work in conjunction with Operation Brightsight, a Lions eyeglass recycling center in South Africa. We send them scripts and they prepare the glasses as per the script. One of the members makes the 500 km trip to Johannesburg, South Africa when the glasses are ready, and they are then distributed to the beneficiaries. Not an easy task, as sometimes Customs authorities at the borders cannot believe what we do!
This distribution of eyeglasses to students was SPECIAL. Children generally are not aware that there is a problem with eyesight and therefore may perform poorly in class. With this in mind and wanting to make a difference in the lives of these students, a right moment came by when we heard the Minister was going to address the people in the very same village. With a little pressure and pleas put on the Personal Secretary we were granted 20 minutes of the Minister’s time.
Aha but that was not to be…… Given a chance, Lions will promote Lionism at any cost, and the distribution took all of 60 minutes of the time. Was the Minister unhappy? No. Not only was he telling the pupils how special spectacles are and how they must take care of the glasses, but was now praising the Lions Club of Lobatse for this noble gesture.
In the end, the Minister and his entourage were happy, and most of all the children were now seen trying to read the car registration numbers in the distance……. What a satisfying project it has been!!! We served children in need and also helped with sight. Killed two birds with one stone….
Lions out there…. wasn’t that a wonderful idea of International President Joe Preston take note of clubs in Africa who are trying hard to fulfill the “WE SERVE” mandate and the Centennial Service Challenge.
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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.
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.
Today’s post is by Lion Jerome Thompson of the Moulton Lions Club in Alabama, USA. Read his blog at LionsAreHandsOn.com. 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:
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.
At the International Convention in Toronto this past July, we asked Lions from all over the world a simple question: Why did you become a Lion?
The response was huge — filled with stories of meeting Lions for the first time, the desire to serve local and global communities, and dreams of making a difference. Watch the video above to hear real answers from real Lions, and share your own story of why you became a Lion in the comments below!
For more videos of Lions sharing their stories, view the LCICon Videobooth Playlist.
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