YOUR GUIDE TO THE GREAT WORK WE’RE DOING AROUND THE WORLD 1. EUROPE: SWITZERLAND Huffing and Puffing for Others Swiss Lions and Leos in Baden pedaled so troubled girls could start new lives. For a day several Lions and Leos transported more than 100 passengers in five bike taxis around Baden, a picturesque town of 18,000 near Zurich known for its mineral hot springs. Proceeds went toward a home in Zurich for girls and young women from abusive homes and for a project in Nepal to lift girls out of poverty. Members of the Baden Heitersberg Lions Club, including a 69-year-old, and the Baden Leo Club took turns in the taxis, which had weak electric motors that need to be supplemented by pedal power. Among the passengers was a newly married couple. The rides generated 6,000 francs (US$6,300), which the Lions matched. 2. ASIA: JAPAN Lions Ease Radiation Fears Fidgeting with apprehension, hundreds of people come daily to the public health department in Koriyama, Japan, to test their exposure to radiation. Three nuclear reactors in the Fukushima district suffered a full meltdown after the devastating earthquake/ tsunami in March 2011. Lions of District 332-D partnered with Lions Clubs International Foundation to donate two whole-body radiation counters to government authorities. Lions and LCIF also donated the machines to the towns of Kawabata and Ono, as well as four thyroid gland ultrasound imaging units. “People in Fukushima are on thorns worrying about radiation. We hope these projects will relieve their anxiety even a little so they can live with peace of mind,” says Past District Governor Zenkuro Kubota. Kubota credits Past International Director Jitsuhiro Yamada, then a Lions Clubs International board appointee, for spearheading the donations. A former executive director of the Japan Hospital Association, Yamada worked as a liaison between the hospital association and the Great East Japan Earthquake Recovery Support headquarters. Expectant mothers and children were tested first, and the adults from areas with the highest levels of radiation were tested next. The lifetime risk of contracting cancer rose slightly for a small group of people exposed to radiation in Japan, according to a report in May by the World Health Organization. But the trauma was worse, WHO warned. Disasters like this cause fear, anxiety, depression, and, in some instances, more severe psychiatric disorders. 3. EUROPE: IRELAND Lions’ Irish Eyes Are Smiling A Lion for two years, Sean Olohan does more than tell people about Lions and their importance. The Irish musician sings about his favorite service group. Two years ago he wrote and now often performs “The Lions—We Have the Community in Our Hearts,” a soft, lilting ballad with a catchy melody. Olohan has fronted the Cantons, a four-piece band that plays rock, pop and traditional Irish music, since he was a school lad. Performing now mostly as AVOCA, the band has toured Europe and the United States, appeared on TV multiple times and recorded a couple hit songs. Lions clubs in Ireland don’t sing at meetings. But Olohan and his mates from the Wicklow and District Lions Club make up for it. They join together on his song while visiting hospitals and nursing homes. He plays it at his band’s concerts, too. “It’s good to have a captive audience to raise awareness of Lions,” he says with a chuckle. “Generally speaking, the response is fantastic.” Olohan also will bring out his guitar and strum the song while at a pub kicking back pints of Guinness with Lions. He wrote the song for his club’s 25th anniversary. It’s a simple but effective declaration of Lions’ motives: “As Lions we don’t hunt/we don’t roar/we never, ever ask for more/what we give is right from the heart.” Olohan, who owns a music store, uses his talents to promote good causes. He wrote “Saving Lives,” his most popular song, for the Lifeboat Rescue Service. He recently penned a tune about a hospice his town is building with support of Lions and others. That song, as well as the Lions song, will be on a new album of his with proceeds for the hospice. Digital LION Watch Olohan perform his Lions’ song at www.lionmagazine.org. 4. CARIBBEAN: U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS Clubs Counter Diabetes Getting diagnosed with diabetes 15 years ago led Hugh Sanchez to alter his lifestyle. It also changed his experience as a Lion: as president of the St. Croix Lions Club in the U.S. Virgin Islands he talks about the disease in interviews with newspapers and radio and television stations and helps lead club projects such as a diabetes fair and the Strides walk to raise awareness of the affliction. He knows diabetes is a stealth disease that flies under the radar. “I always tell my story when I meet people. They say to me, ‘You are not diabetic. You look too good,’” says Sanchez, 66. After his diagnosis, Sanchez stopped drinking alcohol and started exercising. He also learns as much as he can about diabetes and shares what he knows with participants in his club’s blood sugar screenings and other diabetes-related projects. Digital LION The joy of sight: watch the reaction of a blind man who can see again thanks to Lions at www.lionmagazine.org. IN COLOMBIA, 57 PATIENTS RECEIVED FREE EYE EXAMS DURING A ONE-DAY EYE CLINIC CO-SPONSORED BY THE PUERTO COLOMBIA EL VIEJO MUELL LIONS. THE BOX HILL LIONS IN AUSTRALIA HELD AN INTERNATIONAL NIGHT DINNER EVENT FOR A DELEGATION OF VISITORS FROM CHINA. IN SOUTH AFRICA, THE VEREENIGING LIONS DONATED SOLAR-POWERED LIGHTS TO PEOPLE IN NEED. THE VIRUDHUNAGAR LIONS IN INDIA HELD A BLOOD DONATION CAMP AND DONATED SEWING MACHINES TO THOSE IN NEED.
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://digital.lionmagazine.org/article/Lions+on+Location/1449642/166553/article.html.