A Message from the Chairperson Lions, you never cease to amaze me. When I became chairperson of Lions Clubs International Foundation, I expected to spend the year encouraging you to follow your dreams. Instead, you spent the year inspiring me with your selfless service and generous hearts. Thank you to all who supported LCIF this past year. I have seen firsthand the impact you have made, and I know now just how much Lions and LCIF can accomplish together. Without your kindness and generosity, there would be more children at risk for drug use, fewer children would have access to life-saving vaccines, the fear of blinding disease would be a reality for more people and there would be less support for people in need following disasters. Every day, you live up to our “We Serve” motto. You continue to prove that love and compassion can overcome fear and isolation. Every day, you make our world a better place and give people everywhere the tools they need to realize their dreams. Together with our partners, we are making significant strides and impacting more lives than we could alone. Alongside Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the Measles & Rubella Initiative, we have prevented millions of measles deaths. Working with the World Health Organization, we are getting closer to eliminating preventable causes of blindness. Our partnerships with Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Companies and VSP Global are bringing eye health to more children than ever before. In collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Lions Quest is expanding in Europe, bringing positive life skills to youths in even more countries. These partnerships are incredibly valuable, but LCIF could not accomplish any of these feats without the commitment of Lions around the world. This report will give you a glimpse at the dreams that we have turned into realities this year. As you read this report, look back on the projects and programs that have given you such pride and give careful consideration to how you and your club will continue to make dreams come true in the future. Barry J. Palmer LCIF Chairperson, 2014-2015 As chairperson of Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF), I am honored to present to you some of my favorite stories from the 2014-2015 Annual Report. These stories highlight the personal impact our Foundation made last year. Congratulations to Past International President Barry Palmer on a fantastic year of service and to you, Lions, for your unwavering support of our Foundation! Joe Preston LCIF Chairperson 2015-2016 Immediate Past International President Improving Local Communities Through its Humanitarian grants, LCIF provides matching funds to support Lions’ efforts to improve vital public service institutions and programs in their local communities. In Guatemala, Rio Blanco’s elementary school was struggling to accommodate its 100 students, and offered only one toilet for students and staff to share. The Lions of District 114-M in Austria secured a US$51,000 Standard grant from LCIF to construct a new school building with four classrooms, a sports area, functioning restrooms and a storage room. Situated on land donated to the municipality of Joyabaj, the school is owned by the people of Rio Blanco. The Austrian Lions ran a successful fundraising campaign, raising more than US$110,000. Funds raised by the Lions that weren’t used for construction were put into a scholarship fund to help the school’s top graduates attend secondary school in the provincial capital. “I appreciate the generosity of Lions for financing that primary school for our students here in Rio Blanco,” says Florencio Carrascosa, the mayor of Joyabaj. “The Lions make education possible, and education means hope for a future. We are very proud and thankful.” Supporting Youth LCIF’s Lions Quest program teaches character education, bullying prevention, drug awareness and service-learning for students through grade 12. Cooper Village in Omaha, Nebraska, is a juvenile residential psychiatric treatment facility for students with severe behavior disorders such as attention deficit hyperactive disorder, bipolar disorder, severe depression, conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder. It uses the Lions Quest Skills for Adolescents curriculum for its Personal Development class, which is required each day in each classroom. “ We love the curriculum because it is much more than drug prevention education,” says Ruth Woll, a Lions Quest teacher formerly at Cooper Village. “It starts with lessons on how to communicate effectively if students want to be heard in a positive way, which so many of our kids need. They get to know each other and learn how to talk respectfully to each other. Then it moves on to showing kids the importance of self-confidence with lessons designed to show them how special they are and help them build self-confidence. “So many of our students come to us having had little success in schools, their homes and the community. I love the way the curriculum helps the students build their emotional and social skills. Each unit has great lessons designed to teach students about emotions and how to positively deal with them, all designed to help kids have better lives. “I smile each time I think of Andy, a known gang member. When one student picked on another, Andy reminded him that he didn’t ‘have to blow out John’s candle to make his burn brighter.’ “The service-learning unit concerned me because our students live behind locked doors and are placed with us because they are not ready to be released into the community. They were excited, and I was pleasantly surprised by their talents and sense of responsibility when they tried to teach each other how to check and change the transmission fluid in a staff member’s car. “The lessons are vital and too often absent from these kids’ lives. The lessons not only teach the dangers of drugs but also teach and help them practice daily the skills needed to make positive choices in their lives. Making learning fun and hands-on is how we reach our difficult population, so this curriculum is perfect for us.” *Names changed to protect privacy. Combating Measles LCIF provides financial and volunteer support to reduce measles deaths worldwide by increasing access to measles immunization where it is needed most. The Lions of Zambia participated in African Vaccination Week for the second time, in close partnership with the local Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health. Lions printed and distributed 20,000 fliers all across the country. The Lions used the week as a platform to educate parents about vaccines and to discuss with families the importance of routine immunization. They visited homes, markets and bus stops, interacting with community members one-on-one and also using megaphones to relate the importance of immunization. Lions also worked with the Ministry as it carried out a number of public health interventions in conjunction with African Vaccination Week including vaccination clinics. By the end of the week, 141 Lions had assisted Ministry medical teams in vaccinating more than 7,850 children. “Lions were foot soldiers, spearheading publicity, distributing fliers and displaying banners, and helped with crowd control,” says Past District Governor Christine Kasonde of Zambia. “Where there is a need, there is a Lion!” Digital LION Bill Gates has an encouraging video message for Lions. Watch it at lionmagazine.org. Saving Sight Lions save sight in many ways. LCIF supports their sight-saving efforts through programs like SightFirst, which helps Lions build comprehensive eye care systems in underserved communities to prevent blindness and vision loss and care for those who are blind or visually impaired. Ensight is a nationally accredited, low-vision clinic in Colorado, which the Fort Collins Lions Club has supported since the clinic was established in 2001. In 2013, LCIF awarded a US$200,050 grant to fund a three-year Sight-First project to expand low-vision mobile services throughout Colorado. The “Onsite” van travels around rural Colorado providing low-vision rehabilitation services. More than 290 low-vision patients have received services, and 100 Lions have volunteered. “Before, I walked around hunched down, not wanting to do anything for fear of being hurt,” says Maurine Sanford, a grant beneficiary. “But thanks to Ensight and the Lions of Colorado, I am able to stand up straight and move forward to the next phase of my life.” Providing Disaster Relief The LCIF Emergency grant program provides financial support to Lions and other partners engaged in disaster response and recovery efforts. Major Catastrophe Grants provide significant funds for catastrophes with major international impact. Shambhu Bahadur Bhandari, 76, had watched helicopters fly over his village in Nepal after the devastating earthquake last April, but none came to help. The local Lions club was the first to offer any assistance to his village. He approached the Lions with tears in his eyes, a bag of food in one hand and blanket and tent in the other. He hugged the Lions and expressed his gratitude that now his two young grandchildren could eat while he continued searching for food and shelter. “With his words, we Lions were quiet and could not talk,” says Past Council Chairperson Pankaj Pradhan of Multiple District 325. “We watched each other. It was so painful time for us, but it was also a heartwarming moment for us. We are so fortunate that we got that opportunity to serve those people at that time in that place. We are always proud to be Lions and know that we really can make difference in society.” Digital LION Read the complete LCIF Annual Report at lionmagazine.org. Mariam In Their Own Words “Thank you, Lions clubs of Brazil. Thank you for believing in us as athletes. Thank you for giving us opportunities to shine. You may be surprised, but you will not be disappointed!” —Leticia Elias, Special Olympics athlete, Brazil “The solutions to cure diseases lay not only in medicine, but also in the attitude towards the community. LCIF, thank you very much for your support of our community.” —Dr. Juan Carlos Terán, Quito los Olivos Medical Center, Ecuador “When I was told that a surgery camp would be organized, I was pregnant. Two days after the delivery, I decided to get operated and my husband brought me to the health center on our donkey. Now my eye doesn’t make me suffer and I can take care of my baby.” —Mariam, trichiasis surgery beneficiary, Chad
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