Kenyan Lions Team Up with Special Olympics to Expand “Mission: Inclusion”

DSC_2493 Lions Clubs International First Vice President Jitsuhiro Yamada observes a vision screening at the signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding between Lions in Kenya and Special Olympics Kenya.

When we put our hearts into service, there’s nothing we can’t accomplish. Just ask Special Olympics athletes and their families in over 80 countries who have benefited from “Mission: Inclusion,” the global partnership between Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) and Special Olympics.

Since 2001, Special Olympics has partnered with Lions around the world to provide health education to families and caretakers of individuals with intellectual disabilities. Now you can add one more country to the list of countries participating in “Mission: Inclusion.”

On Saturday, September 6, Lions in Kenya met with Lions First Vice President Jitsuhiro Yamada and representatives from Special Olympics Kenya to sign a memorandum of understanding introducing the partnership to the people of Kenya.

By signing the MOU, Lions in Kenya pledge to support the growth of Opening Eyes, LCIF’s vision care partnership program with Special Olympics, and ensure high quality screening and follow-up care is provided to the families and caretakers of individuals with intellectual disabilities throughout Kenya.

This support includes engaging Leo youth volunteers throughout the country in the Special Olympics inclusive sports model, and supporting the creation of Special Olympics-focused Lions Clubs integrating athletes into local Lions Clubs through the “Invite an Athlete” campaign.

Lions in Kenya hope to provide increased service and support for individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families by engaging at least 100 Lions Clubs volunteers in Opening Eyes events and Family Health Forums throughout the year. In doing so, the expanded program will provide an estimated 500 athletes a year with quality vision screenings and follow-up care.

In addition, the global partnership seeks to build on previous successes by mobilizing local Leos and Lions Clubs volunteers to hold at least one Unified Sports match bringing together Leos and Special Olympics Kenya athletes. Because everyone, regardless of where they’re from or what they do, should be able to experience the transformative powers of sports and service.

For information about special interest clubs for Special Olympics, visit the Lions Clubs International website. Visit the Special Olympics website to learn more about the organization and its efforts

Webinar: Harmony in the PrideUnderstanding generational differences can assist with both member recruitment and retention. This presentation explores diverse motivations among Lions and how leaders and members can value varying perspectives to “strengthen the pride.”
The webinar includes:
a profile of today’s four working generations including cultural influences and internal motivations;
a consideration of the contributions each generation can make to clubs and Lionism,
a problem-solving discussion of three generational club conflict scenarios, and
best practices for leading and inspiring each group.
You will not want to miss this interactive and enlightening look at how to make your club more dynamic by making the most of Lions of all ages! Register today at: LCI Leadership Development Webinars.
Webinar: Harmony in the Pride

Understanding generational differences can assist with both member recruitment and retention. This presentation explores diverse motivations among Lions and how leaders and members can value varying perspectives to “strengthen the pride.”

The webinar includes:

  • a profile of today’s four working generations including cultural influences and internal motivations;
  • a consideration of the contributions each generation can make to clubs and Lionism,
  • a problem-solving discussion of three generational club conflict scenarios, and
  • best practices for leading and inspiring each group.

You will not want to miss this interactive and enlightening look at how to make your club more dynamic by making the most of Lions of all ages! Register today at: LCI Leadership Development Webinars.

Supplies for Students in the PhilippinesAt the beginning of August, the Dasmarinas Lions Club in the Philippines participated in an Adopt-a-School program. Students received books and other various school supplies, as well as bags to carry their new stuff. An example of a project for Engaging Our Youth.
As we come upon our centennial year, Lions all over the world are taking part in a challenge—the Centennial Service Challenge—where they strive to serve 100 million people by 2017. Make sure to record your club’s project on MyLCI so we know just how many people we are helping. Clubs are encouraged to post pictures of their activity on their Facebook page or other social media sites and use the hashtag #LIONS100, that way other clubs can see the impact you’re making in your community.
What type of project is your club doing to Engage Our Youth?
Supplies for Students in the Philippines

At the beginning of August, the Dasmarinas Lions Club in the Philippines participated in an Adopt-a-School program. Students received books and other various school supplies, as well as bags to carry their new stuff. An example of a project for Engaging Our Youth.

As we come upon our centennial year, Lions all over the world are taking part in a challenge—the Centennial Service Challenge—where they strive to serve 100 million people by 2017. Make sure to record your club’s project on MyLCI so we know just how many people we are helping. Clubs are encouraged to post pictures of their activity on their Facebook page or other social media sites and use the hashtag #LIONS100, that way other clubs can see the impact you’re making in your community.

What type of project is your club doing to Engage Our Youth?

Preston’s Blog: World Sight Day in Iceland The right tools make all the difference.
I recently had the pleasure of attending the opening ceremony of Lions World Sight Day in Iceland alongside the President of Iceland, Ólafur Grímsson (pictured above). As a part of the ceremony, and with the help of a US$70,000 SightFirst grant from Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF), Lions presented two amazing new pieces of medical equipment to the Department of Ophthalmology at Landspítali, the National University Hospital of Iceland.
This vision equipment will make it possible for ophthalmologists at Landspítali to detect and treat vision disorders and diseases in children at a much earlier stage, and will save time and money and prevent many children from developing irreversible eye damage.

The opening ceremony was followed by an exhibition that was attended by more than 2,800 people, including 60% of all ophthalmologists in Iceland, and featured information on vision health and education. Lions from Iceland and around the world came out to showcase their clubs and share their service work with a special emphasis on SightFirst activities.
For decades, Lions Clubs International has championed the blind and visually impaired. Lions World Sight Day is an opportunity to reflect on our achievements as we continue to fight against preventable blindness. Only when working together can we hope to eliminate preventable blindness from our communities and around the world.
Join me in thanking the Lions of Iceland and LCIF for making this generous donation possible, and for making World Sight Day 2014 a huge success!
Preston’s Blog: World Sight Day in Iceland

The right tools make all the difference.

I recently had the pleasure of attending the opening ceremony of Lions World Sight Day in Iceland alongside the President of Iceland, Ólafur Grímsson (pictured above). As a part of the ceremony, and with the help of a US$70,000 SightFirst grant from Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF), Lions presented two amazing new pieces of medical equipment to the Department of Ophthalmology at Landspítali, the National University Hospital of Iceland.

This vision equipment will make it possible for ophthalmologists at Landspítali to detect and treat vision disorders and diseases in children at a much earlier stage, and will save time and money and prevent many children from developing irreversible eye damage.

Lions Clubs International

The opening ceremony was followed by an exhibition that was attended by more than 2,800 people, including 60% of all ophthalmologists in Iceland, and featured information on vision health and education. Lions from Iceland and around the world came out to showcase their clubs and share their service work with a special emphasis on SightFirst activities.

For decades, Lions Clubs International has championed the blind and visually impaired. Lions World Sight Day is an opportunity to reflect on our achievements as we continue to fight against preventable blindness. Only when working together can we hope to eliminate preventable blindness from our communities and around the world.

Join me in thanking the Lions of Iceland and LCIF for making this generous donation possible, and for making World Sight Day 2014 a huge success!

LCIF Provides Emergency Funds for Cyclone Hudhud in India

LCIF logoOn Sunday, October 12, a cyclone struck India in District 316-A causing severe damage in the Visakhapatnam district in Andhra Pradesh. It is reported that more than 400,000 people have been affected with 24 people are confirmed dead. Approximately 6,500 homes have been destroyed and 90,000 people have been relocated to temporary relief camps.

In response to this disaster, Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) has awarded a US$100,000 Major Catastrophe Grant (MCAT) to District 316-A for cyclone relief efforts in the wake of Cyclone Hudhud following heavy rains and excessive flooding. Lions will use these funds to meet immediate needs by providing food, water, medicine, blankets and clothing. The funds will also support long-term reconstruction and recovery.

“Thank you for the Major Catastrophe Grant awarded to District 316-A for Cyclone Hudhud which has caused so much damage,” said LCIF Steering Committee Vice Chairperson and Past District Governor Aruna Oswal in an email to LCIF. “This has given a boost to the Lions of the district to do their relief work. As we Lions always come forward to help whenever any calamity happens in any part of the world, I am proud to be associated with LCIF.”

There are extensive power outages limiting communication and the resulting flooding is further complicating local relief efforts. At present, there are 40 Lions Clubs working with local relief agencies to manage the most urgent needs among those displaced.

“Your noble and timely gesture to those most affected by Cyclone Hudhud is unforgettable. It proves our slogan: ‘where there is a need there is a Lion,’” said District Governor Dasari Thirumala Rao of District 316-A in an email to LCIF.

For information on how to make a donation for disaster relief, or to make a donation online please visit the LCIF website.

International White Cane Safety DayIn honor of today being International White Cane Safety Day, we are encouraging Lions to help raise awareness about the white cane. The white cane is a symbol of independence —it shows confidence and skills of the person using it. It also signifies that a person using a white cane is blind or visually impaired. This alerts drivers to give white cane users the right of way. Some project ideas that your club can do to help raise awareness include:
Contact your local traffic department to learn about local White Cane Safety laws. Use social media, local radio, television or news media to share the information with your community.
Work with a rehabilitation specialist to provide a white cane and appropriate training for a person in your community who is in need.
Organize a braille trail or sensory garden outing for adults who use a white cane.
Arrange for a person who uses a white cane to be a guest presenter at a community or club event.
The Hadley School for the Blind is conducting a live seminar about the White Cane at 10:00 CDT today (October 15). If you are able to participate at that time, be sure to register for the audio seminar. If unable to listen to this seminar live, you can access the recording of this and other interesting Hadley podcasts.
How is your club raising awareness for white cane safety?
International White Cane Safety Day

In honor of today being International White Cane Safety Day, we are encouraging Lions to help raise awareness about the white cane. The white cane is a symbol of independence —it shows confidence and skills of the person using it. It also signifies that a person using a white cane is blind or visually impaired. This alerts drivers to give white cane users the right of way. Some project ideas that your club can do to help raise awareness include:

  • Contact your local traffic department to learn about local White Cane Safety laws. Use social media, local radio, television or news media to share the information with your community.
  • Work with a rehabilitation specialist to provide a white cane and appropriate training for a person in your community who is in need.
  • Organize a braille trail or sensory garden outing for adults who use a white cane.
  • Arrange for a person who uses a white cane to be a guest presenter at a community or club event.

The Hadley School for the Blind is conducting a live seminar about the White Cane at 10:00 CDT today (October 15). If you are able to participate at that time, be sure to register for the audio seminar. If unable to listen to this seminar live, you can access the recording of this and other interesting Hadley podcasts.

How is your club raising awareness for white cane safety?

Sight for KidsSeeing Life More Clearly
Like millions of children around the world, Handapangodage Don Rusiru Harita Perera, a fourth-grader at St. Johns School in Panadura, Sri Lanka, did not realize his vision was poor. His father, A.D. Prasad Ranjan Perera, was also unaware of the visual impairment his son was facing. Childhood vision problems are a serious concern, not only because they are frustrating and interfere with learning and development, but because some conditions can lead to serious vision loss or blindness if not corrected early.
A powerful partnership
Fortunately, Perera took part in a Sight for Kids vision screening at his school. Sight for Kids, a program of Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) and Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, has screened over 19 million children in Asia since it began in 2002. The program screens children for refractive error and other vision problems, including myopia (nearsightedness), which causes significant vision loss in more than 15 percent of children under the age of 15 in many Asian countries.
A close call, but a crisis averted
“We are very grateful to the Lion’s program,” said Perera’s father. “The specialist told my son that he would have gone blind in one eye, if not for the timely medical attention provided by the Lions.” After multiple screenings, Perera was transferred to a hospital where an eye specialist for children patched his good eye. His vision was soon restored, almost matching his healthy eye. Lions also provided him with free glasses.
“This has made our lives happy, especially for all the service we received from the Lions hospital free of cost. We could not have afforded the specialist treatment, medicines and glasses,” said Perera’s father. “We wish all success to the Lions who are saviors of children’s sight.”
From LCIF: Our Impact Story Archives
Sight for Kids

Seeing Life More Clearly

Like millions of children around the world, Handapangodage Don Rusiru Harita Perera, a fourth-grader at St. Johns School in Panadura, Sri Lanka, did not realize his vision was poor. His father, A.D. Prasad Ranjan Perera, was also unaware of the visual impairment his son was facing. Childhood vision problems are a serious concern, not only because they are frustrating and interfere with learning and development, but because some conditions can lead to serious vision loss or blindness if not corrected early.

A powerful partnership

Fortunately, Perera took part in a Sight for Kids vision screening at his school. Sight for Kids, a program of Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) and Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, has screened over 19 million children in Asia since it began in 2002. The program screens children for refractive error and other vision problems, including myopia (nearsightedness), which causes significant vision loss in more than 15 percent of children under the age of 15 in many Asian countries.

A close call, but a crisis averted

“We are very grateful to the Lion’s program,” said Perera’s father. “The specialist told my son that he would have gone blind in one eye, if not for the timely medical attention provided by the Lions.” After multiple screenings, Perera was transferred to a hospital where an eye specialist for children patched his good eye. His vision was soon restored, almost matching his healthy eye. Lions also provided him with free glasses.

“This has made our lives happy, especially for all the service we received from the Lions hospital free of cost. We could not have afforded the specialist treatment, medicines and glasses,” said Perera’s father. “We wish all success to the Lions who are saviors of children’s sight.”

From LCIF: Our Impact Story Archives

LCIF Provides Emergency Grants in September 2014

LCIF logoWhen natural disasters strike, Lions are there to offer help and support. In times of need, Lions are able to rely on disaster relief grants and funds from Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF).

In September 2014, LCIF provided 14 emergency grants totaling US$110,000.

These grants are helping meet immediate needs in:

Republic of Korea, District 355-C
$10,000 for flood relief

Republic of Korea, District 356-C
$10,000 for flood relief

Japan, District 336-C
$10,000 for flood relief

Japan, District 336-A
$10,000 for flood relief

India, District 321-D
$10,000 for flood relief

India, District 323-F1
$5,000 for flood relief

India, District 316-A
$5,000 for flood relief

India, District 316-G
$10,000 for flood relief

United States, California, District 4-C1
$10,000 for wildfire relief

United States, California, District 4-C5
$10,000 for wildfire relief

Philippines, District 301-D2
$5,000 for typhoon relief

Mexico, District B-9
$10,000 for hurricane relief

Brazil, District LD-4
$5,000 for hailstorm relief

Philippines, District 301-C
$5,000 for typhoon relief

* Emergency grants listed by date approved.

At the heart of LCIF’s disaster relief programs are the individuals and families your donations reach. Learn more about grants recently awarded and the LCIF emergency grant program on the LCIF website. Or, you can learn about making a donation to assist with global disaster relief efforts.

Strengthening the 201-N5 Lions PrideToday’s guest post comes from the Lions Clubs of Sydney and Norfolk Island, District 201-N5, about their Skills Sharing Expo that they hosted earlier in September. For more information on this event, check out their website. 
On Saturday, September 6th, a Skills Sharing Expo of N5 Lions nicknamed Lions Got Skills was held at the Castle Hill RSL Club, Sydney. The Expo was a new initiative that DG Anthony of N5 introduced.
If done properly, this could benefit the District at two key levels:
Leadership – New Lions would be encouraged to come out from the wood work and be identified as future leaders.
Membership – Lions who get involved in the Expo may feel they have ownership of the event, thereby increasing their interest in Lions and a sense of belonging may be instilled in them.
Participants could choose from one of two strands: skills sharing and health awareness. Over 100 Lions attended the sessions throughout the day, including IP Joe.
The proceedings continued with a Gala Dinner in the evening in honor of the Prestons. Some 200 Lions, Lionesses and Leos attended the Dinner.
Lions in N5 were extremely grateful for the opportunity to play hosts to IP Joe and Lion Joni. Their visit has helped to reinvigorate ourselves and renew our resolve to serve the less fortunate.
Strengthening the 201-N5 Lions Pride

Today’s guest post comes from the Lions Clubs of Sydney and Norfolk Island, District 201-N5, about their Skills Sharing Expo that they hosted earlier in September. For more information on this event, check out their website.

On Saturday, September 6th, a Skills Sharing Expo of N5 Lions nicknamed Lions Got Skills was held at the Castle Hill RSL Club, Sydney. The Expo was a new initiative that DG Anthony of N5 introduced.

If done properly, this could benefit the District at two key levels:

  • Leadership – New Lions would be encouraged to come out from the wood work and be identified as future leaders.
  • Membership – Lions who get involved in the Expo may feel they have ownership of the event, thereby increasing their interest in Lions and a sense of belonging may be instilled in them.Photo 13

Participants could choose from one of two strands: skills sharing and health awareness. Over 100 Lions attended the sessions throughout the day, including IP Joe.Photo 16

The proceedings continued with a Gala Dinner in the evening in honor of the Prestons. Some 200 Lions, Lionesses and Leos attended the Dinner.

Lions in N5 were extremely grateful for the opportunity to play hosts to IP Joe and Lion Joni. Their visit has helped to reinvigorate ourselves and renew our resolve to serve the less fortunate.

LQ: Children in Need

All over the globe, Lions are working towards addressing issues affecting children. In this segment of the October Lions Quarterly, we see how Lions are focusing on the health and education of children by providing clean water, sanitation and vaccines, as well as getting more children into school and expanding early literacy. Not only are they helping out the child, but the mother as well by providing safe places for childbirth, nutritional counseling for pregnant women and supporting maternal milk banks.

Check out the video above to see how Lions all over are doing their part to help their local children. You can watch the entire October Lions Quarterly on the Lions News Network.