Supporting Lions. Serving humanity. Giving hope. Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) is turning 50 this year, and along with a golden anniversary, this year brings wonderful stories from beneficiaries around the world and exciting new changes on the horizon. In fact, every indication is that LCIF is in its prime. Gearing up for a new capital fundraising campaign, restructuring grant offerings to better serve the needs of Lions, and preparing to support the new gloabl causes for Lions Clubs International (LCI), LCIF has the right mix of experience and energy to help those most in need. LCIF has been supporting the service of Lions for 50 years, and that’s just the beginning. LCIF has helped Lions accomplish a lot in its 50 years. LCIF was incorporated as a foundation in 1968 to take the mission of LCI to new heights, tackling global problems and assisting Lions with large-scale humanitarian projects. LCIF distributed its first grant four years later, and hasn’t slowed down since. With more than US$1 billion in funding awarded through more than 13,000 grants, LCIF has restored sight to parents who had not been able to see their children. It has rebuilt communities devastated by earthquakes and wildfires. It has fed hungry children and empowered youth to become healthy, productive adults. With the support of LCIF, Lions built water wells and latrines that are helping to control the spread of blinding diseases. People who were once hidden from the world because of a disability, denied education and companionship, now attend school and contribute to their communities. This US$1 billion has shown the world that Lions care and LCIF helps. LCIF’S FIRST GRANT June 9, 1972. In Rapid City, South Dakota, a cold front moved across the eastern slope of the Black Hills. Dew points rose as the air became heavy with clouds. By 6 p.m. a continuous line of thunderstorms blanketed the eastern Black Hills. Steep canyons funneled the water toward the dry plains. Water levels of Rapid Creek, above Rapid City, rose 12 feet in just two hours. By 5 a.m. on June 10, Rapid Creek was again within its banks, but not without taking the lives of 238 people. Three thousand people were injured and 1,335 homes were destroyed. Lions were among the first on the scene to provide help to the devastated community. The foundation made its first grant to District 5-SW for US$5,000 to assist the South Dakota flood victims, beginning a legacy that continues today. TODAY Since that first grant, LCIF has provided funds to projects all over the world. Communities are supported around the globe and around the corner. LCIF focuses on four main areas—sight, youth, disaster, and humanitarian efforts—ensuring help goes where it is most critically needed. Sight The child of a farming family in Gujarat, India, Jyotsana Nisarta was only 2 years old when she contracted polio. Even with medical intervention, Jyotsana was left with considerable visual impairment. With limited opportunities for people with disabilities in India, Jyotsana remained dependent on her family. That’s when the Blind Welfare Council in Dahod changed her life. With support from a US$63,000 grant from LCIF, Lions of District 323-F1 helped to expand the council’s vocational training center. The council was able to take on more computer trainees and introduced several new programs that train about 100 people per year for respected and well-paying jobs. Within months Jyotsana had completed her training and was immediately hired as a computer operator. The skills she learned in her classes at the council enabled her to further her career, and Jyotsana soon was hired for a government job. She takes photos and thumbprints and issues identification cards to members of her community. Her monthly income has nearly doubled, which enables her to help her family as well as pay her own living expenses. Read more about what LCIF is doing to combat blindness at LCIF.org. DID YOU KNOW? In 2017 LCIF received its sixth consecutive 4-star rating from Charity Navigator for its effective fiscal management and its commitment to accountability and transparency. Youth At Grapevine Middle School in suburban Dallas-Fort Worth, students sit in a circle and take part in a directed dialogue. The Lions Quest exercise is intended to help build community. These students will eventually create their own code of conduct—a set of expectations that they use to hold each other accountable. “The students started correcting each other. It’s something they come up with, so they own it,” says Juneria Berges, former principal at Grapevine. As a result, attendance at the school rose and students demonstrated much-needed critical thinking skills. Studies have shown that students are more likely to achieve academically when their school environment is safe, warm and supportive—just the sort of environment being created at Grapevine. “Lions Quest teaches ethics, caring about others, and responsibility for oneself,” says Berges. “The kids learn they have choices in life, and you have to make the best choices for yourself.” Whether they are living in the suburbs, cities, or small villages, these life skills are universal. And nowhere can those lessons be better put to use than the South Sudan. Located in East-Central Africa, South Sudan gained independence in 2011, but 20 years of civil war left the country with essentially no infrastructure. Only a handful of areas have running water, electricity, clinics, schools, or paved roads. Half of the population lives below the international poverty line, which is less than US$2 per day. It is not surprising then that only one in three South Sudanese men and one in 10 South Sudanese women can read. Very few speak English, which is the official language of South Sudan. In an effort to bring life skills and hope to the country’s young people, 38 teachers from 14 schools and institutions were trained in Lions Quest Skills for Adolescence. At least 6,832 students ages 12 to 18 will benefit from the Lions Quest program. “As teachers, we have been equipped with the skills we needed to reset the mindset of young people to look at their situation differently and positively,” says Emmanuel Ladu, head teacher at Juba Model Secondary School. To read more about the Lions Quest program or to request materials for a school in your district, visit LCIF.org. Disaster Relief When Hurricane Matthew hit the Caribbean in October 2016, it quickly became the strongest storm to hit Haiti since 1964 and the third strongest for the nation on record. Bridges washed away. Many of the main roads became impassible. Food and drinking water were in short supply. Five hundred and forty-six people died, though reports of unconfirmed deaths rose as high as 1,600. Two hundred thousand homes were completely or near-completely destroyed and 1.4 million people were left in need of humanitarian aid. The Lions of Haiti—victims themselves—quickly went into service mode. They requested assistance from LCIF and were awarded an initial US$10,000 Emergency grant to address the immediate needs of the victims. Twenty Lions and 10 Leos from Port-au-Prince traveled to Petit-Goâve to work with clubs there. Together, they distributed 550 relief kits to residents and later packed 1,500 kits of food and medicine that were distributed in Les Cayes. As a nation that was still rebuilding after the devastating earthquake in 2010, the Haitian government lacked the resources to adequately respond to the new disaster. Emergency grants from LCIF are specifically designed to help provide basic immediate needs including food, water, clothing and medicine to victims. After immediate needs are met, victims of disasters are not forgotten. LCIF remains committed to the important work of rebuilding homes and lives, often long after a disaster occurs. Through Major Catastrophe grants, LCIF supports long-term reconstruction projects to help victims return to their lives and regain their independence. LCIF provided a US$200,000 Major Catastrophe grant for relief in the wake of devastating floods that struck Paraguay in December 2015 and January 2016. Now, two years later, relief work is ongoing. Lions and LCIF are still there, supporting communities as they rebuild. Local Lions recently finished repairs on five primary schools that were destroyed by flood waters. Because of this important work, 1,725 students have been able to return to school. For information on how your club can apply for Disaster Preparedness, Community Recovery, or Emergency grants, visit LCIF.org. Humanitarian SK Talantang is an elementary school located in rural Sabah, Malaysia, amongst tall rubber trees and marshy rice fields. Until recently, more than half of the children who attend the school had to walk up to four hours to school and four hours back home, often barefoot to preserve their shoes. Others used their parents’ motorcycles or packed into rickety vans. During the rainy season, many students missed school due to the treacherous conditions. Because of this commute, some parents did not enroll their children in school at all. Thanks to the efforts of Lions clubs in Korea, the Lions Club of Kota Kinabalu Host, and LCIF, a dormitory was built to house 100 of these children. The dormitory is just a short walk from the school building and includes beds, bathrooms, a dining area, and a kitchen that serves meals five times per day. Many of the amenities are not available in their private homes. The children of SK Talantang are now able to live and study in a place suitable for learning. They are also able to stay after school to participate in extracurricular activities. Of course, attending school is only beneficial when children have the nutrition needed to focus and concentrate. But around the globe nearly 800 million people do not have enough food to eat. The situation is most dire in developing countries, where one in six children is underweight. The Venezia Host and Venezia Angelo Partecipazio Lions clubs in Italy teamed up with the Koudougou Baobab Lions Club in Burkina Faso and LCIF to address food insecurity in several villages in the West African nation. The Italian Lions received an LCIF International Assistance grant (IAG) for US$54,267 to support the project. The Lions had two main objectives. The first was to form a field school to train women in rural areas to use a drip irrigation system. Second, they would use that drip irrigation system to create a village vegetable garden. Women from nearby areas would be taught how to cultivate crops using the new system, as well how to use those crops to feed healthy meals to their families. Water storage towers, compost pits, a storage shed, and fences played important roles in helping the project reach its goals. Drip irrigation is a low-water, low-pressure system that keeps plant roots moist. By applying water directly to plant roots rather than the surrounding soil, drip irrigation systems use less water than some traditional systems. Drip irrigation is particularly beneficial where water sources are scarce. Lions got to work. They secured and cleared nearly 2.5 acres of land. They dug a well with a solar pump and a storage tank and planted onions, other vegetables, and fast-growing Moringa trees. Once the crops were planted, Lions from both countries trained local women on using the drip irrigation system and tending to their gardens. The field school pilot program trained seven women from the Kyon District. It is expected that up to 60 women will be trained annually. The Lions hope that these women will grow enough excess food that they may start their own village market and sell their produce for a profit, leading to economic stability and independence. “We Lions are fighting poverty and securing food for women and children in rural Burkina Faso because malnutrition is widespread,” says Lion Giovanni Spaliviero of the Italian Lions Association, MK Onlus. “We hope these vegetable gardens will help to significantly improve the health and the living conditions of children and their families.” For more information on LCIF’s newly restructured grants and how Lions can apply, visit LCIF.org. THE FUTURE Lions should be proud of the work they’ve set in motion through LCIF over the past 50 years. Through their hard work and generous donations, LCIF’s two previous capital fundraising campaigns, Campaign SightFirst and Campaign SightFirst II, have raised US$143 million in 1994 and US$205 million in 2008. Those campaigns led to considerable progress in the global fight against blindness A new capital fundraising campaign, officially launching in July, will be LCIF’s most ambitious yet. With a goal of raising US$300 million, LCIF will support Lions’ efforts to triple their humanitarian impact and serve 200 million people per year by 2021. In order to reach this goal, LCIF will expand its areas of focus. Moving forward, in addition to its current core competencies, LCIF will focus on projects addressing diabetes, the environment, childhood cancer, and hunger, all under the humanitarian umbrella. These are issues that LCIF grants have addressed in the past, but this new focus will bring additional solutions and service to the world’s most pressing global problems. As our world continues to change, LCIF will be there, growing and evolving to meet new challenges. To address new concerns and best serve communities and future generations, LCIF is looking to the next 50 years to make its greatest impact yet. LCIF relies on the generosity of Lions. When you make a donation to LCIF, you can make a difference both locally and globally. Talk to your club’s LCIF Coordinator for information on how you can support LCIF, then spread the word on the important work LCIF is doing. With continued support from Lions, LCIF can continue to be the shelter in the storm, the light in the darkness, the hand reaching out to make our communities safer, brighter, more humane. WHAT LCIF DOES We expand the reach of your service by awarding grants in four key areas. We give sight by combating eye diseases, creating infrastructure to improve eye care delivery, increasing the number of trained eye care professionals, and making vision care more equitable and sustainable through programs like KidSight USA. We support youth by helping children learn to work together, make positive decisions, and serve their communities through Lions Quest, and by constructing schools, youth centers, and vocational training centers. We provide disaster relief by helping devastated communities survive after disasters and by bringing hope through assistance in long-term efforts to rebuild homes and lives. We address humanitarian needs from global health issues such as measles, diabetes, hunger, and childhood cancer to empowering those with disabilities to lead more independent and fulfilling lives. CHANGES TO GRANTS Grants from LCIF allow Lions to amplify their service work and reach more people. If you believe your project could benefit from a grant, be sure to contact your district governor. New Grants • LEO SERVICE GRANTS: Leos can now assess, plan and implement their own service projects. • DISTRICT AND CLUB COMMUNITY IMPACT GRANTS: a percentage of contributions to LCIF are transformed into grants that fund local projects in alignment with the foundation’s areas of focus. New Structure Core 4 grants and International Assistance grants are now rebranded under the category of Humanitarian grants, which encompasses: • MATCHING GRANTS (previously called Standard grants) • LIONS QUEST GRANTS (previously called Core 4 Lions Quest) • DIABETES GRANTS (previously called Core 4 Diabetes) All of the criteria for these grants will remain the same, as well as the application deadlines. Remaining deadlines for the 2017-2018 fiscal year: • MAY 12: Application deadline for SightFirst grants to be reviewed at the August 2018 SightFirst Advisory Committee meeting • MAY 14: Application deadline for matching grants, diabetes grants, and Lions Quest grants to be reviewed at the August 2018 board meeting WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Cross Burchett was only 3 years old when he went to a Colorado Lions KidSight vision screening. It was there that his parents discovered he was farsighted, and so much so that his brain had started to shut down the vision in one of his eyes. Cross was at risk of permanently losing his vision. About 10 percent of preschoolers have eye or vision problems, and at that age, they do not voice complaints about it. Cross’ parents, Kerri and Don, immediately got Cross fitted with glasses that corrected his vision. Early detection and treatment saved Cross’ sight. Today, Cross is 14 years old and enjoys reading, playing video games, and soccer. “To say thank you to [Lions and LCIF] just isn’t enough. And I hope they understand how they changed his life and hopefully [the lives of] many other children with what they’ve done,” says Don Burchett. Cross joined Dr. Yamada on stage at LCIF’s Plenary during the Centennial Convention in Chicago and was presented with the chairperson’s plaque. Cross thanked Lions and LCIF once again for his life-changing vision screening. ONE SHOT, ONE LIFE Lions work with LCIF to stop measles What Is Measles? • Found in every part of the world • A contagious viral infection that first attacks the respiratory system, then creates a rash • Ninety percent of those without immunity will contract the virus when exposed • Immunity can be easily acquired through a vaccine • Six times more infectious than the flu How Measles Impacts the World • The cause of death for 89,780 people per year; around 245 people every day • The world’s leading cause of vaccine-preventable deaths among children • Thirty percent of survivors experience complications, which can include permanent hearing loss, blindness, and death LCIF Impact LCIF financial support along with GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance matching funds has enabled: • A projected 87.7 million children to be immunized • 97.8 million doses of measles or MR vaccine procured • 61,000 future deaths averted • By the end of 2017, it is estimated Lions and LCIF mobilized more than US$85 million toward the global fight against measles Lions are proud to be a contributing partner in bringing the annual measles death rate below 100,000 for the first time in history. How Lions Can Help As a Club • Organize fundraisers such as concerts, dinners, galas, sport events, and donate money raised to LCIF • Ask your Club LCIF Coordinator to give a presentation on measles Individual Lions • Spread the word through social media, word of mouth, or publications like the local newspaper • Volunteer at vaccination centers • Donate Today! One dollar could save a life Extra Digital Content A Future Turned to Rubble, March 1973 LION Humanitarian Services: LIF's Multi-Purpose Objective, April 1973 LION LIF Sight Conversation
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