Message from the Chairperson: Preventing Blindness through LCIF

by LCIF

Palmer official [640x480]Dear Lions,

With World Sight Day taking place earlier this month, I was thinking about the amazing accomplishments that Lions and Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) have been able to achieve together. The theme of World Sight Day this year was “No More Preventable Blindness,” which is something we have been working towards for years by fighting diseases through SightFirst and working with partners to make a difference.

Our Sight for Kids partnership with Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Companies (JJVCC) is a great example of what can be achieved. The Sight for Kids program has screened the vision of more than 20 million schoolchildren in Asia Pacific who might not have received a vision screening otherwise. And, the partnership program provides glasses and follow-up care as needed, all for free to students in need.

I am proud to share with you that we have expanded Sight for Kids beyond Asia Pacific into Kenya and Turkey. You can watch a new video online to learn more about Sight for Kids and about our expansion into these two new countries. Our partnership program really works, and I am very happy about this expansion.

I want to encourage you to continue sight-saving efforts through your club, your district, and beyond. Every project helps reduce preventable blindness and save sight, just like every donation to LCIF can help make a difference.

Sincerely,

Barry J. Palmer
Chairperson, Lions Clubs International Foundation

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

by LCIF
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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

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LCIF Provides Emergency Funds for Cyclone Hudhud in India

by LCIF

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.

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LCIF Provides Emergency Grants in September 2014

by LCIF

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.

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New Video: Sight for Kids Expands to Kenya and Turkey to Help Even More Children

by LCIF

Originally focused on serving Asia, the Sight for Kids partnership program between Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) and Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Companies (JJVCC) has screened more than 20 million children since 2002 for refractive error and other vision problems. Now, the partnership program is expanding to two new countries: Kenya and Turkey. Together, LCIF and JJVCC will help even more schoolchildren through identifying and addressing threats to vision.

The announcement comes as part of World Sight Day (October 9), an international awareness and advocacy event launched by Lions in 1998 to encourage community service projects fighting preventable visual impairments and blindness.

“We are extremely proud of our Sight for Kids program accomplishments and longtime partnership with Johnson & Johnson Vision Care,” said LCIF Chairperson Barry Palmer. “It’s incredibly meaningful to launch these new project sites together during World Sight Day and to know that Sight for Kids will aim to serve an additional 260,000 children combined this year alone.”

Learn more about the partnership expansion in the official press release, or in the above video.

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