YOUR GUIDE TO THE GREAT WORK WE’RE DOING AROUND THE WORLD Hearing Dogs: Best Friends, Indeed When the timer for the tea on the stove sounds or the phone rings, Shep dutifully trots over to Daniel Rawding and nuzzles him on the back of the leg. He’d do the same if the smoke alarm buzzed, perhaps saving the life of Rawding, who is deaf. Rawding lives with his wife, Inga, in New South Wales, north of Sydney, Australia. He’s had his Lions hearing dog for eight years. Shep has made his life a lot easier and safer. “I can’t hear anything. He’s my ears,” says Rawding, who has done bricklaying and landscaping and now does odd jobs. Lions Hearing Dogs in Australia began in 1980. Last year its Hearing Dog Centre in Verdun trained its 500th dog. The dogs typically are mixed breeds obtained from rescue shelters. The six to nine months of training costs nearly US$30,000. The investment pays off: the dogs have saved lives and “give their owners the confidence to participate more fully in their communities,” says Bill Holmes, the center’s manager. Like the other dogs, Shep knows sign language. When Rawding is outside on his 40-acre spread and needs his wife, he signs the command for Shep to go get her. Shep also gives him the sense of security to be home alone without Inga. “When my wife would go out I would feel a little worried. I feel much safer in our house now,” he says. Hearing dogs are not routinely recognized like guide dogs for the blind, and the Rawdings have endured countless tussles with shop owners and others over access. Shep wears a special covering to identify his role, but the Rawdings often still must produce a document they carry on the legal rights of guide dog owners. “People’s minds are closed sometimes. If they are not willing to listen, we just go on with our lives,” says Rawding. But most of the time being with Shep is pure fun. He never tires of retrieving sticks or chasing balls. When Rawding fishes, Shep stands regally on the bow wearing a special life jacket. Says Rawding, “When I catch a fish he thinks it’s his. No way.” Yesterday’s News Turned Into Profit Malaysians assiduously recycle newspapers, plastics, cans and even clothes. Nonprofits and businesses post banners near markets to draw patrons. So to get a leg up on the competition, Petaling Jaya Metro Lions distribute leaflets to homes in advance of the club’s recycling drive. The club fills a lorry with discarded newspapers, magazines and catalogs. It’s done the recycling six times annually for five years. SMK Batu Lapan Puchong Leos help out. Proceeds are given to the National Kidney Foundation. The club gets something out of it, too. “The house-to-house collection has created awareness of Lions,” says Lion Shirley Koh. Norwegian Lions Paint a Masterpiece A talented, hardworking artist who supported a household of six with his paintings, Nawa Subulwa of Zambia noticed his vision worsening a few years ago. A doctor gave him the bad news: only in his late 30s, he had a rare form of cataract. In two years he was blind. “I couldn’t afford the cost of surgery. I couldn’t even afford transportation to Lusaka [the capital, where the hospital was],” says Sibulwa through a translator. His income plummeted to zero. He and his wife could not pay their rent or the school fees for their two children and two nieces. He tossed and turned in bed at night, fearful of the fate of his family. Lions came to his rescue. Through Lions Aid Norway (LAN), he received free cataract surgeries to restore his sight. He’s painting again and has put in a foundation for a new home. LAN has helped thousands see better in Zambia, Malawi and Uganda. Norwegian Lions support the building of clinics, training of doctors and nurses, and educating the public on health matters. Service Takes Many Forms Worldwide Around the world, Lions assess needs in their communities and serve in a variety of ways. (Clockwise from upper right) Pleasant Point Lions in New Zealand hold a pumpkin growing competition. Used in soups and roasts and for cattle feed, pumpkins are harvested there in March. Dortmund Phoenix Lions in Germany provided a mare so children with disabilities can take part in therapeutic horseback riding. Los Angeles Lions in Chile sponsor a music festival for the blind. Not overlooking the smallest details in good grooming, Jodhpur Marudhara Lions in India organize a nail cutting and health education event for orphans.
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