Since its beginning, Lions Clubs International has been dedicated to benefiting the lives of the world’s most vulnerable populations. And there’s no more vulnerable group in our community than children. That’s why, this May 16-22, we’re kicking off the Lions Worldwide Week of Service to help positively impact the lives of youth in our communities and around the world.
This year, International President Joe Preston has made serving children in need one of our international service goals, so consider hosting a project benefiting youth in your community. From organizing a book drive to remodeling a playground, there are countless ways to get involved. It’s easy. Just visit the Lions Worldwide Week of Service webpage to download the club brochure and start planning your project today.
No matter how you choose to participate, you’ll qualify for a Centennial Service Challenge banner patch when you report your service project benefiting Youth, Vision, Hunger or the Environment on the MyLCI Service Activity Report! And remember to bring your cameras, because we’ll be sharing our favorite Worldwide Week of Service photos on the LCI Facebook page. Just use the hashtag #Lions100 when you share your images on social media.
Don’t miss your chance to be a part of the special Centennial moment. Start planning your projects today!
Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) proudly partners with corporations, foundations and many other organizations and governments that share our dedication to improving lives. Working with partners to leverage our shared resources allows LCIF and Lions to have a greater impact around the world.
In keeping with that humanitarian spirit, LCIF is now in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on a pilot project in Serbia. The UNODC has a global drug prevention program (known as GLO-K01) that includes creating and sharing drug prevention guidelines, as well as conducting family- and school-based prevention training. That’s where LCIF comes in! Lions Quest is the UNODC’s first school-based prevention partner.
As the first private/NGO funder of the project, LCIF awarded US$100,000 to begin the collaboration in Serbia, which is currently underway. To date, more than 75 teachers have been trained to implement the program with more than 1,300 students. The project is important not only to Lions Quest but also to the global drug prevention community. Lions know that Lions Quest curriculum builds pro-social skills to enhance drug prevention among youth. This project in Serbia is an opportunity to show the world the impact local volunteers can have when they team up with Lions Quest. The program has been so successful that, in January, the Lions Quest Advisory Committee approved $250,000 in additional funding to expand the program to neighboring countries.
Remember, the success of Lions Quest depends on the commitment of Lions to support their local programs. Click here to learn how all Lions can support Lions Quest locally, and look for updates on the UNODC project in coming months!
Over 50 Leo clubs in Sri Lanka have participated in the Leo Hunger Ride Challenge, organized by the Marawila Chilaw Marians Leo Club. As part of the challenge, Leo clubs distribute homemade lunches to victims of hunger in their communities and generate awareness by challenging other Leo clubs to participate. The goal of the project is to serve 100,000 people suffering from hunger around the world. So far, Leo clubs have served approximately 20,000 through the campaign.
Leos around the world can participate in the challenge. Be sure to use the name “Leo Hunger Ride Challenge” in your own campaigns and share your nomination videos on the Leo Hunger Ride Challenge Facebook page.
See the campaign in action with this nomination video from the University of Moratuwa Leos.
“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.
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.
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.”
From LCIF: Our Impact Story Archives
Lions and the United Nations share a partnership that goes back seventy years. Lions Clubs International continued this tradition by hosting its 37th annual Lions Day with the United Nations at the U.N. Headquarters in New York City on March 7th.
Nearly 500 Lions, including International President Joe Preston, traveled from over 30 countries to New York to meet with U.N. leaders for the day-long summit. This year’s theme of Children in Need focused Lions and U.N. leaders on issues affecting youth around the world.
“Lions have worked alongside the United Nations to promote the health, safety and well-being of people around the world,” said Lions Clubs International President Joe Preston. “I’m happy that we can come together once again to discuss solutions to the challenges we’ll face as we work toward a brighter future.
Lions were also joined by more than 20 U.N. ambassadors, including the Honorable Macharia Kamau of Kenya. “I have worked with UNICEF around the world, and everywhere and every time we work, there are Lions,” said Ambassador Kamau. “The work Lions do, the effort that comes together to transform the lives of people around the world, particularly the most vulnerable, is wonderful.”
Highlights from the Lions Day with the United Nations included:
Lions’ collaboration with the United Nations dates back to 1945 when Lion leaders were asked to help develop the non-governmental charter for the U.N. Since then, Lions have collaborated on many successful humanitarian ventures, including the Sight First program, which has helped restore sight, prevent blindness and provide vision services to millions of people worldwide.
The Message in a Bottle program organized by Lions in Ireland helps people receive the special care they need during an emergency. Community members participating in the program…
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