YOUR GUIDE TO THE GREAT WORK WE’RE DOING AROUND THE WORLD Life’s a Beach for Japanese Club One of the most scenic places in Japan is Amano Hashidate. The sandy beach stretches for more than two miles, and 8,000 pine trees form a wall of green. Some 2.5 million outdoors lovers come here every year from Kyoto, Osaka and other crowded cities. The Miyazu Lions Club has kept the beach safe and attractive since 1967. Lions staff a first-aid tent. Two or three of the club’s 57 members are on duty every afternoon. Jellyfish stings are common. Lions expertly clean the wound with sea water (regular water may make the injury worse) and carefully apply ammonia. Looking anxious, injured children are quickly treated so they can get back to their fun. Lions patrol the beach periodically to pick up trash. Lions also serve as an informal “information desk” by providing visitors with train schedules and tourist packets. Lions even serve as volunteer lifeguards on busy weekends. Twice a year the club sponsors an extensive cleanup of the beach. In April, before the beach is packed, the club asks volunteers to be part of Clean Hashidate: One Person One Square Foot. In August, in conjunction with the club meeting, members gather at 6 a.m. on the sand as the sun rises to sweep the beach clean not only of empty cans and bottles but also stray twigs and wood. Keeping nature clean and inviting takes a lot of human intervention. A Bridge Not Too Far A favorite destination of seasoned travelers, Thonon sits at the foot of the Alps on Lake Geneva in France. Hikers, skiers and mountain climbers trod over the paths from the town to the peaks. Two years ago during a club outing Lions noticed that a pivotal bridge over a stream was falling apart. So the Thonon Lac et Montagne Lions assembled tools and timber and made the trek to the bridge. They dismantled and removed the rotten pieces and repaired the bridge. They left a simple reminder of their labor: a plaque on the planks with their club name and date of the bridge renovation. Amazing Race The 10K and marathon race in Perpignan draws 1,000 competitors: fast runners, slow runners, blind runners and twowheeled runners (paralyzed people using special bicycles). The winners are the underprivileged in Perpignan, a city of 300,000 in southern France. In three years, the race raised 43,000 Euros ($64,000) for audible signals at traffic lights, sign language translation for the deaf for audio portions of the city’s vast Internet site, computer-related materials for the hearing impaired and baby monitors for a hospital. Funds also were used for tandem bikes to allow blind cyclists to join the race. Raising Awareness of AIDS An estimated 2.3 million people in India live with HIV; only two nations have more. Yet educating people about the disease is problematic. The nation has many languages and hundreds of dialects. A stigma surrounds the disease. Many Indians do not understand what causes the disease and people living with HIV often are shunned and sometimes attacked. The Khopoli Lions Club reached out to the poorly educated by sponsoring a street play on AIDS. An acting troupe performed at a fair that draws 20,000 people. Said Prashant Sathe, club president, “The project was well appreciated by local people. Many came up to us and admitted they never knew about certain causes that could lead to the disease and the preventive measures that can be taken.” The project generated significant media coverage, he added. Breakfast and Dancing Members of the Maracaibo Cacique Mara Lions Club in Venezuela serve breakfast, make a generous donation and dance with seniors at a retirement complex in Maracaibo.
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