Dr. Jitsuhiro Yamada 2015-10-14 19:18:23
Helping Children is Our Most Urgent Task Courage, strength and wisdom can come from the most unlikely sources. Malala Yousafzai stands five feet tall—tall enough to stand up to the Taliban. As a young girl in Pakistan, she demanded that girls receive an education. A Taliban gunman shot her in the head in 2012, but she survived and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for continuing to advocate for girls’ education. In accepting the Nobel, she knew she stood for so many others. “I am also Shazia. I am Kainat [two girls who also were shot],” she said in her powerful speech. “I am Mezon [a Syrian refugee]. I am Amina [threatened by Boko Haram in Nigeria]. I am those 66 million girls who are deprived of education. And today I am not raising my voice. It is the voice of those 66 million girls.” My presidential theme revolves around “dignity, harmony and humanity.” I believe that our essential mission as Lions is to perform service that enables people to live with dignity. We especially need to aid children, our future. We need to help children who are fighting disease, children who are in refugee camps, children who are suffering from hunger. We need to help children escape the vicious cycle of poverty. We need to provide children with education and literacy through the Reading Action Program. We need to do so much more. Now is the time for each Lion to take action to serve children in need around the world. Our future depends on it. Malala’s passionate call to action to help youths must ring true to Lions today in the same way as Helen Keller's plea to help the blind resonated with Lions 90 years ago. As Malala said, “We have already taken many steps. Now is the time to take a leap.… We must work, not wait. Not just the politicians and world leaders, we all need to contribute. Me. You. We. It is our duty.” Dr. Jitsuhiro Yamada Lions Clubs International President
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