Buy Bottled Water, Save a Life 1 EUROPE SWITZERLAND The Swiss enjoy clean, tasty water from the Alps. Thanks to Lions, they now better understand that many people in developing nations get sick from unclean water and they contributed $2 million in a single day to help Lions provide safe water in Africa and Latin America. Swiss Lions held a first-ever “Lions Day” to publicize the clean water problem and to gather funds. Lions sold bottles of sparking Swiss water to raise money. The event was hugely successful. “Lions were visible in almost every Swiss village with a large media coverage,” said Régine Pasche, editor of the LION in Switzerland. Raising funds by selling bottled water was apt: Swiss Lions promote Solar Water Disinfection (SODIS), using sunlight and transparent bottles to purify water. SODIS is a practical alternative to boiling, filtrating or chlorinating water because these traditional purification methods are either too costly or produce bad-tasting water. Microbiologically contaminated water exposed to sunlight for just six hours will eliminate diarrhea-causing pathogens, according to the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Research. Swiss Lions used most of the funds collected for 14 projects in 11 African nations and 13 projects in five Latin American nations educating people about clean water and SODIS. As a result, about 850,000 people now use SODIS to treat their drinking water. More than 230 Lions clubs in Switzerland and Liechtenstein participated in the Lions Day. At least one third of people in developing nations lack access to safe drinking water. More than 1.8 million people die each year because of contaminated drinking water and thousands of children die each day because of dehydration due to diarrhea. Polish Lions Celebrate Anniversary 2 EUROPE POLAND If civic engagement is a hallmark of democracy, then Poland is a case in point. Lions clubs took root in that nation in 1989, the year communism ended and Solidarity triumphed in the elections. The first Lions club was chartered in Poznan 20 years ago. Today the 1,123 Lions in 55 clubs in Poland perform a wide variety of community service. In May Polish Lions celebrated their 20th anniversary in conjunction with their district convention (District 121) in Gdansk. Attending were then International First Vice President Eberhard Wirfs, Past International Director Nesim Levi of Turkey and several district governors and past district governors from Germany, Italy and Great Britain. Party in the Park 3 AUSTRALIA SYDNEY The Lugarno Lions in Australia know how to throw a party. Their 29th annual Spring Festival, the largest of its kind in Sydney’s south suburbs, drew 30,000 people to a local park and raised US$26,000 for the club’s service projects. The festival featured more than 150 market stalls, 450 classic cars, dancing and entertainment. Many of the stalls were run by local charities, allowing the Lions to indirectly benefit the community in myriad ways. Cyclone Devastates Bangladesh Cyclone Aila roared up the coast of southwestern Bangladesh on May 25 and the effects were heartbreaking. More than 700,000 homes were damaged. Some 400,000 acres of crops were devastated. More than 2,000 people were dead or missing. Lions in District 315-B4 put together boxes to tide families over for a month. The relief supplies for thousands of families included rice, masur dal (red lentils), soybean oil, clothing for men, women and children, a mosquito net, soap, saline tablets and matches. Lions in three other districts in Bangladesh also provided relief items, and LCIF contributed three $10,000 emergency grants. The cyclone ripped apart the homes and lives of many people with little means. But Lions and others helped them survive and begin to rebuild their lives.
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://digital.lionmagazine.org/article/LIONS+ON+LOCATION/208649/21134/article.html.