Across borders, in tiny hamlets and noisy cities, Lions speak different languages, practice different customs and worship in diverse ways, but our service is recognizable and irreplaceable and life-altering. Multiple District 300 Taiwan The days can drag on forever and be drained of human contact and warmth for seniors who are alone and relegated to small, sparse rooms in big institutions. Lions in Multiple District 300 Taiwan set aside precious hours each week to deliver smiles and small talk and a pure, unblemished message of heartfelt care for elderly people at a home. At the end of the visit it’s hard to tell whose hearts–the Lions or the seniors– have expanded the most. India Cataracts in developed nations are mostly a nuisance. Outpatient surgery quickly restores vision. But distance, money and lack of facilities can be insurmountable barriers in poor nations, and cataract is the world’s leading cause of blindness. So Lions, often backed by SightFirst grants, conduct eye screenings, as at this Lion eye camp in District 322 E in India, and support cataract surgeries, done inexpensively but with precision and success. The Knights of the Blind march in with passion and commitment and march out leaving behind the gift of sight. Switzerland The majesty of the mountains and the glories of untamed, unstructured wilderness are typically closed off to those with physical disabilities, precisely the people who can benefit from an excursion outdoors. Lions in District 102-W donated two Joellettes, specially designed off-road wheelchairs, to the Just for Smiles Foundation. The rugged “mountain wheelbarrows” allow the disabled to venture off the beaten path and forge their own paths to happiness and self-satisfaction. Mexico Ghastly river blindness begins with the bite of small flies that insert parasitic worms whose offspring swarm the body. All it takes to ward off the disease are annual or bi-annual doses of ivermectin. That’s where Lions come in. Among other roles, they publicize the treatment, as these Lions in Mexico are, and reassure people of its efficacy and necessity. The free medication, donated by Merck, prevents untold suffering and allows parents to work, children to stay in school and villages to remain functional. That’s something to shout about. Korea Small acts of kindness can lift the heart and spark the inner glow of dignity and self-worth. Sometimes all it takes to salvage a day and set off on the path of fulfillment is a new coat or a haircut. Members of the Cheongju Moklyeon Lions Club provide a beautyshop experience for elderly at the Joong-Pyung Sambo Elderly Welfare Center. Hair today, face the world on stronger terms tomorrow. Australia Keeping children prone to trouble busy with their hands can keep them on the straight and narrow. Even better, an adult mentoring them one-on-one lends more stability and guidance. Duncan MacLennan, president of the Coolangatta- Tweed Heads Lions Club, does some woodworking as part of club’s volunteering at the Shed, which also offers boys and girls planting, worm farming and cooking. Building lives can be as simple as building shelves. Photo courtesy of the Daily News Thailand The tsunami in 2004 in Asia shattered livelihoods as well as lives. How can you put your life back together when the tools of your trade or your workplace have been obliterated? Lions helped revive local industries by replacing fishing boats and nets, giving people job skills by establishing vocational centers, and, as pictured in Thailand, enabling villagers to work as seamstresses at a facility built by Lions. Putting people back to work was all in a day’s work for Lions. Germany A severe drought and crop failure in Tanzania in 2011 brought death, disease and suffering. German Lions dispatched 41 PAUL water filters, medical supplies and box after box of aid packages for seven hospitals and clinics. Helping to unload the supplies in Africa was (left) Past Council Chair Dr. Jörg-Michael Kimming. The German Lions provided aid quickly by slashing through red tape, and made sure some of the aid reached remote regions, where otherwise people would have been left on their own and many undoubtedly would have died. France Wildfires often threaten beautiful wooded lands near Paysde- la-Sainte-Baume Lions. So the club raised funds to place a large cistern in a remote area accessible by emergency helicopters. When fires erupt, the choppers take flight in an aerial ballet to contain the conflagration. Japan Walk in the shoes of another to learn what it’s like for him or, if the case may be, ride in his wheelchair. Students at Toshima Ward Konan Elementary School played wheelchair basketball after athletes from the Tokyo Wheelchair Basketball Association displayed their prowess. The Tokyo Toshima Nishi Lions Club sponsored the event at the school and also support the wheelchair association. The nimble play of the wheelchair athletes humbled the students, who struggled to make baskets. “Normally, you feel sorry or pity for disabled people,” says Makota Stukahara, school president. “This was true learning for our children.”
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