In my 32 years as a Lion, I have long been involved with efforts to save sight around the world. It is important work. Did you know that globally, 80 percent of all visual impairment can be prevented or cured? We have already helped millions of people through our sight-saving efforts and Foundation, and I know we can reach millions more.
I recently attended the 13th International Congress of Ophthalmology and Optometry in China. There, I had the honor of speaking about our Lions and our work. Our efforts to provide vision care for all, including vulnerable populations like children, people in developing countries and people with intellectual disabilities, are making a lasting impact. We are able to accomplish so much with our partners and with our clubs around the world.
According to the World Health Organization, visual impairment has decreased in the last twenty years. This is largely a result of combating infectious diseases, such as river blindness and trachoma. LCIF’s SightFirst program addresses these diseases, and also screens vision, provides cataract surgeries, researches ways to make our efforts more efficient, and so much more, helping us realize our dream of vision for all.
Melvin Jones once said that “dreams are the simple ideas of yesterday that become the important miracles of today.” Through our work to save sight and prevent blindness, we are helping the dream of vision for all to become an important miracle, every day, everywhere. Thank you, Lions. We would not be able to save sight around the world without your service and contributions.
Chairperson, Lions Clubs International Foundation