FRANCE President Embarks on a Journey to Guide Dog School Vive dog guides! International President Joe Preston recently toured the Lions-supported Guide Dog School in Eze, France. “The staff at the school are warm and friendly. It was obvious they loved training the dogs and working with the visually impaired people who receive the dogs,” says Preston. The school is located on the top of a mountain overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Preston attended a Lions dinner also attended by a person who had just received a dog. “It was a wonderful experience for all, as we could see the full circle of Lions, puppy raising, training by the school and issuing the dog,” he says. Wearing a blindfold, Preston let a guide dog lead him through an intense course, up and down stairs and around obstacles. “The dog did great. I did, too, once I relaxed and gave control over to the dog,” he says. “It really brought home how important the trust factor is between the dog and the visually impaired recipient.” He also watched the dogs when not working. “It was good to see them allowed to run and have fun. These dogs know when it’s time to work and when they can let loose,” he says. NIGERIA Lions Rescue A School Without Any Water Abuja Metropolitan Lions reviewed the needs of seven schools and decided to upgrade Lea Primary School in Lugbe. Its 589 students didn’t get a new school, but it’s definitely a new and better era at Lea. Incredible as it may sound, the school had no access to water. Lions were especially concerned about students’ health because of an Ebola outbreak. So Lions drilled a borehole, with water pumped by electricity or solar energy, provided two 250-liter water tanks and set up nine water taps. The club also added a new spacious school building and painted and renovated classrooms. Students honored Lions at a reception. “One of them told us their school is beautiful, and it compares to any school in the area. The teachers are very pleased and say they pray for us,” says Owulo Stanely Ochi, club president. ARGENTINA Dilapidated Medical Center Resuscitated Located in a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of Cipolletti, the Community Health Center is a lifeline for residents. Each day about 60 children and adults use its services. Health care professionals provide immunizations, treat minor illnesses and offer workshops and guidance on hypertension, smoking and obesity. The 31-member Cipolletti Lions Club, chartered in 1966 in the bustling city of 75,000, made sure the center could continue its mission. Lions fully renovated the aging facility. Members improved the masonry, replaced the roof, upgraded its electrical and water systems, painted the exterior and interior and completed a host of other jobs. The work, valued at US$25,000, took four months. NEW ZEALAND Fifty-Year Club Hits Benchmark in Style Hikers who climb the 5,200-foot Mt. Fyffe are rewarded with a spectacular panoramic view of the Kaikoura peninsula. Thanks to Lions, now they also can relax and get a load off their feet. Kaikoura Lions erected a long bench at the summit. It was the 50th seat in the region built by the club over the past 10 years to mark its 50th anniversary in 2014. Hikers in good shape can reach the summit in under four hours. Six Lions made it to the top to build the seat. Charter members Dr. Lloyd Johnston and Bryan Seddon and Lion Kevin Smith flew up in a helicopter. Three other members, Tony Davis, Digby Parkin and Past District Governor Melville Syme, adventurously rode up halfway on quad bikes and then hopped in the chopper. The seat on Mt. Fyffe was donated by Smith, whose late father owned 6,300 acres on the mountain. Using a good pair of binoculars, Smith, who lives nearby, has seen hikers resting on the bench. The 28-member club delivers firewood and meals to the elderly, holds a fishing contest, and, in keeping with its promotion of the great outdoors, creates boardwalks on picturesque routes used by walkers and cyclists. Club members didn’t forgo fun while serving. When the club improved a picnic area, Johnston left behind some goldfish in the fountain. “They didn’t last long,” he recalls with a smile. PERU Recycling With a Twist Lions recycle glass bottles—not an unusual activity. But what sets apart this club is that it turns the bottles into drinking glasses with the Lions logo. Members of the San Borja Papa Juan XXII Lions Club also refurbish and affix a Lions logo to vases, lamps and other decorative items. The objects are donated to the needy to spruce up their homes. The items are donated to the club from treasurer Cesar Luis Sevillano Palacios, who owns a sanitation company. Palocios’ expertise comes in handy for the clubs’ main project: recycling. The club recycles paper, cardboard and plastic, and the funds generated pay for food and milk for soup kitchens and nursing homes.
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