NEW ZEALAND Terminally Ill Mom Finds Friends While painting a house that had been illegally stripped bare and left in ramshackle condition, Pam Macdonald turned toward her young daughter. That got the attention of Emma Morris, 6. “Is that your Mum? I am not going to have a Mum,” said Emma. “She is going to die.” That’s precisely why Macdonald and other Lions, as well as two dozen tradesmen and craftsmen, held a “worker bee” to repair the recently purchased home of Susan Morris, whose liver cancer was expected to take her life in months. The mother of three young girls discovered she was fatally ill just about the time she learned the house she bought at a mortgage auction had been gutted by its occupants, who had finally left after a legal battle. They removed bathroom fixtures, wiring, even door handles and floor boards. “I was absolutely gob-smacked. It’s unbelievable what was done to these houses,” says Macdonald. “I am a mum and a grandmother, and it tears my heart out at what she is going through.” The volunteers actually fixed up two homes. Morris’ sister, Larissa, bought a damaged home too, just 75 feet from Morris’ home. Larissa, who has two young boys, lost her husband to a brain aneurysm three years ago. In one weekend the volunteers installed two kitchens, reconnected the plumbing, fixed the toilets and did other repairs. Six Lions clubs took part: Toko & Districts, Kaponga, Normanby, Stratford, Rahotu and Patea. Donors contributed fixtures and other items, and the families had to pay only for a few things for the homes. “Susan’s attitude is incredible. She is a beautiful, smiley woman who is working so hard at being positive,” says Macdonald, a Toko Lion. When a nurse asked Morris how she finds time to relax, she said, “When I am hooked up for chemo treatment— they won’t let me move around then.” AUSTRALIA Cancer Test Saves Lion A Lion who helped organize skin cancer screenings did the test himself and discovered he had melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer. Graeme Pascoe, a Golden Grover Lion since 1994 and a member of the health committee of District 201 C1, was treated by his doctor after the discovery. Lions screened nearly 1,200 people in five rural towns, and 185 people had melanoma. The incidence of skin cancer in Australia is two or three times the rates in the United States and Canada. Skin cancers account for about 80 percent of all newly diagnosed cancers there. INDIA Club Adopts a Village The Narangi Lions Club has adopted a small village to preserve its heritage and improve the health of its 99 families. Tiny, isolated Burha Mayong is home to Tiwas, Hindu Assamese and Bengali Hindu refugees. Narangi Lions have held health camps, literacy programs and classes on female empowerment for the families. They also constructed a hall and bathrooms and donated many goods including a computer, sewing machine and handlooms. The 68-member club is working with the Social Welfare Department on the village improvement, according to the Assam Tribune. LEBANON Lions One-Up Elvis, Sting and Marley The Lions’ CD gives new meaning to “world music.” It contains songs that were hits for Elvis, Sting and Bob Marley as well as other tunes made popular by French singers. The songs were performed by Lions from Lebanon, remastered in Los Angeles and pressed on CDs in Dubai. “Lions We Sing We Serve” is being sold at Virgin Megastore shops across Lebanon as well as at duty-free shops at the Beirut Airport. The CD is a mix of pop, rock, jazz and reggae. Among the 14 tracks, and original artists, are “It’s Now or Never” by Elvis, “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor, “The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers and “Ma Liberte de Penser” by Pascal Obispo. The Beirut Lions showcasing their karaoke talents on the CD are amateurs, but they pulled out all the stops in ensuring the quality of the CD and getting it noticed. The songs were recorded in a state-of-the art studio; its owner, Walid Al Massih, is a well-known singer. Lions paid copyright fees for the songs. Rock star Moe Hamzeh, a Lebanon Lion, served as executive producer for the recording sessions. Lion Lina Ezzedine, a graphic designer, developed the CD cover, and Lions took to social media as well as radio and TV stations to publicize the album. But it’s the quality of the recordings that set it apart, say Lions. “Once you hear the songs you will see it is very professional since they were remixed and mastered by professionals,” says Lion Marie-Christine Boulos, cabinet secretary. The innovative project by the Beirut New Vision and Beirut Berytus Lions clubs is raising funds for 13 Lebanese charitable groups. The CD is expected to generate US$26,000 for a children’s cancer center, a nonprofit that supports pediatric wards, a program to feed the homeless and 10 other concerns. Digital LION Listen to the Lions’ version of “Redemption Song” by Bob Marley at lionmagazine.org. FINLAND Horses Make Sense for Camp Dogs, as in guide dogs, are most commonly associated with Lions, but a Finnish club used horses to help children with special needs learn, react appropriately and follow instructions. The Siilinjärvi/Kassarat Lions Club used equine therapy at a weeklong camp. The children not only rode horses but also took lessons on horse care, horse grooming, saddling and basic equestrian. Horses are considered suitable for therapy because they respond predictably to people, and their behavior in many ways corresponds to how people react. The club co-sponsored the camp with a church. About 20 Lions and their spouses volunteered at the camp for a total of 150 hours. The camp focused on single-parent families and blended families. Parents attended. They spent time together sharing stories and learning from one another while their children were busy with their therapy. Besides the therapy, the children enjoyed typical camp activities such as swimming, fishing, hikes, treasure hunts and an adventure course set in the woods. The club has run a camp for a decade, focusing on a different target population each year.
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://digital.lionmagazine.org/article/Service+Abroad/2391600/290053/article.html.