Lions know a few things about teamwork. Working together can produce beautiful results. “No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it,” someone once wisely said. When the goal is good and the means are selfless, the sky is the limit. “It’s amazing how much you can accomplish when it doesn’t matter who gets the credit,” a sage put it. Teamwork and uncredited accomplishment– that’s Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF). Since 1968, LCIF has awarded more than 10,000 grants totaling more than $730 million. Millions of people have been able to work and see their grandchildren for the first time, received life-saving vaccinations, learned skills that led to a better future and regained their footing after disaster struck. “When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another,” Helen Keller observed. Here are a few miracles wrought by Lions in the lives of others. Meeting Humanitarian Needs Punya Lakhe of Bhatapur, Nepal, will never know how or why her two-year-old son, Bipul, contracted measles. Life happens. He was very ill for weeks before treatment saved his life. Sometimes the bolt out of the blue is a knock on the door and it’s fortuitous and even life-saving. Community volunteers including Lions went door-to-door in Lakhe’s neighborhood in February to publicize a weeklong measles vaccination campaign. Other mothers were spared her ordeal. Started as a pilot program last year, the One Shot, One Life: Lions Measles Initiative is growing this year through a challenge grant from the Gates Foundation. For every $2 donated by Lions, the Gates Foundation will donate $1, up to $5 million. It is the largest single donation in Lions’ history. In Nepal, 10 million children will be vaccinated this year, thanks to Lions and partners. “Health and social services are neglected areas in my country and we are happy to have your help. I am very happy for your service and helping us to help our people,” says Nepal President Ram Baran Yadav. Measles vaccinations are one of the most inexpensive health interventions available today, costing less than $1 per vaccination. Yet measles outbreaks are on the rise worldwide, including recently in Indiana and other parts of the United States. Each day 450 children still die from measles. Lions are committed to eliminating the disease so that no mother will share Lakhe’s distress. Vision for All One family: two cases of vision impairment. Jelbert and his brother, Jericho, in the Philippines both grapple with loss of sight. But they are in school and learning. Jelbert benefits from a personalized educational program that promotes pre-speech and communication skills and emphasizes learning activities that improve his playing skills. LCIF and SightFirst partnered with the Perkins School for the Blind in Massachusetts (where Helen Keller was educated) to ensure children in the Philippines can attend school. Through expanding educational opportunities and empowering parents as advocates for their children, the SightFirst Philippines project will lay a foundation for broader social inclusion. Since Helen Keller’s challenge to Lions in 1925, Lions have been saving sight. Through the SightFirst program, Lions have committed more than $415 million and countless hours as Knights of the Blind. New programs made possible by Campaign SightFirst II include low vision services, rehabilitation and training, educational programs and research initiatives. This year LCIF awarded the first SightFirst grant in the United States for a statewide low vision program in Kansas. Funds will expand the Kansas State School for the Blind infant and children’s low vision program. “This grant will immediately benefit visually impaired students throughout Kansas. In a state with a largely scattered, rural population, providing quality low vision services using the outdated centralized approach was not effective in reaching the majority of visually impaired Kansas students,” says Dr. Kendall Krug, a participating optometrist in this program. In India, Lions in District 321-E and the All India Confederation of the Blind are providing vocational training to 500 blind people. Two-hundred-fifty blind entrepreneurs will receive small, interest-free loans to begin industries. Loan repayments will be deposited into a revolving fund that will make it possible for additional blind entrepreneurs to start their own businesses. Supporting Youth Forget about the arithmetic and grammar. Fifth-grade can be rough socially. The temptation is to isolate others and gain safety in a closed circle of peers. But that’s not right. And it’s not what Lions Quest teaches. More than 12 million students worldwide have learned social and emotional skills through Lions Quest. Says fifthgrader Elyse Mackenzie, who participated in Lions Quest in New Jersey, “I’ve learned from Lions Quest that you should always do the right thing, even if it means doing something you don’t like to do.” Lions Quest has a proven track record of improving academic and behavioral issues. The program unites the home, school and community to cultivate capable young people. Lions Quest continues to expand. LCIF is piloting the new Lions Quest Skills for the Adolescence Out-of-School- Time program in six community schools in the Chicago Public School system in partnership with the YMCA of Greater Chicago, Illinois. New Community Partnership grants are available from LCIF for Lions clubs to begin or expand Lions Quest. This grant allows Lions to fund teacher workshops, conduct promotional activities, create partnerships and translate curriculum and materials. One of the first Community Partnership grants was recently awarded to District 24-E in Virginia. Lions Quest expanded to Burkina Faso, Guatemala and Multiple District 300 Taiwan this year, bringing the total participation to 72 countries. Nearly 280 teachers will become trained facilitators. “The things that the Lions Quest program offered were awesome,” says Rosalind Blackwood of the Sunnyside Lions Club in Canada. “To be a good citizen you have to be able to make good choices … and be able to get along with others. That’s what Lions Quest is all about.” Mitigating Disasters No one in Joplin, Missouri, will ever forget the deadly tornado that tore through the city last May and left 50,000 people homeless. But many, like Lion Debbie Whittlesey, will also remember the Lions on the ground providing immediate aid with LCIF support. “We knew we had emergency help within hours of the tornado. It is great to know in the midst of a tragedy like this, you are not alone,” says Whittlesey, 2010-11 District 26 M6 Governor. Lions in Joplin cleared 45 home sites, kept a shelter’s groceries stocked and provided school supplies to children so school could begin on time. A year later, LCIF and Lions remain committed to rebuilding Joplin. “I am so very proud to say that LCIF has been with us every step of the way! With the additional funding from Lions and LCIF we have been doing some amazing things in Joplin,” says Whittlesey. LCIF recently provided aid to districts in the United States affected by the March storms. For more than two years LCIF has been aiding Haitians after the earthquake. The aid gives people a new resolve. Says Yves Pheterson Georges of Haiti, “After the quake, I was completely discouraged. I thought all was lost. Today, I have new hope, and I am ready to fight for the future.” Culture & Convention: Adventure Awaits in Busan Busan, Korea, is indeed a busy, bustling place, but that just might be because there’s so much to do and see in this intriguing city by the sea. When nearly 50,000 Lions and their families arrive to attend the 2012 International Convention from June 22-26, they’ll find a jampacked schedule of events and exciting activities in which to participate. Awaiting registrants is also a bevy of tourist attractions, from beaches to shopping to ancient temples. With 85,000 Lions in Korea, this promises to be one of the biggest and most spectacular international conventions ever held. Located about 40 minutes away from the city’s business district and the Busan Lotte, LCI’s headquarters hotel, is the Busan Exhibition & Convention Center (BEXCO). The majority of convention events and activities will be held at this site in Haeundae, and visitors to BEXCO will enjoy a modern convention facility located near subways for convenient transportation, beaches, restaurants, shopping and plenty of hotels to host registrants. Both the exhibit hall and auditorium are new and designed with amenities sure to please convention- goers. This year, an expanded section will be open to registrants to meet staff members from each division of Headquarters. Have questions? Friendly and knowledgeable staff members are there to help. If you’d like to see local attractions and sights, Lee Convention will have a desk at BEXCO to book area day tours. Goway Travel Ltd. is again partnering with LCI as a preferred North American travel operator for those attending the international convention. Pre-and post-travel can be arranged to discover Korea’s greatest sights. To learn more, contact Special Events by Goway Travel through their dedicated “Lions only” telephone and e-mail: 877-469-2914; firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit www.goway.com/specialevents/lions-club. Convention Highlights As part of International President Wing-Kun Tam’s 2011-12 Presidential Program, a Leo Lion Summit will be held Friday, June 22 in lieu of the annual Global Leo Conference. This special event will bring Leos and Lions together from around the world for an interactive day. The International Parade of Nations kicks off at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 23 in Busan with an estimated 10,000 marchers from more than 120 countries. Later that evening, the International Show at BEXCO stars a number of entertainers who will mesmerize and amaze the audience with an array of talented performances. There will be three plenary sessions and events held during convention week: • Sunday, June 24, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.—The opening plenary session features an address by International President Wing Kum-Tam, flag ceremony and International Parade results. • Monday, June 25, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.—The second plenary session includes the Memorial Service, nominations for second vice president and international directors and the keynote address by Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). • Tuesday, June 26, 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.—The final plenary session features election results, installation of 2012-13 International President Wayne A. Madden of Auburn, Indiana, installation of new district governors and presentation of the Lions Humanitarian Award. BEXCO exhibition hours are Friday through Monday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Tuesday, when voting takes place, from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The hall includes a complimentary Internet café and is the site of the Environmental Photo Contest competition where all photos can be purchased through a silent auction. Funds will benefit LCIF. Or purchase a 2013 photo calendar featuring many of the contest entries. Certification and voting are also at BEXCO, as are many other seminars and activities. An up-to-date listing of seminars, activities and events scheduled during the International Convention will be posted at www.lions clubs.org. Check it out to discover what’s in store throughout this action-packed week.
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
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