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Lions Clubs International

Introduction
Lions Clubs International (LCI) is an American secular, non-political service
organization founded by Melvin Jones in 1917. As of April 2015, it had over
46,000 local clubs and more than 1.4 million members in over 200 countries
around the world. Headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois, United States, the
organization aims to meet the needs of communities on a local and global
scale.
Lions Clubs International, a service membership organization of over 1.4
million members worldwide (as of April 2015), was founded in the United
States on June 7, 1917, by Melvin Jones, a Chicago businessman. Jones
asked, with regard to his colleagues, "What if these men who are successful
because of their drive, intelligence and ambition, were to put their talents to
work improving their communities?" Jones' personal code, "You can't get
very far until you start doing something for somebody else," reminds many
Lions of the importance of community service.
The Lions motto is "We Serve." Local Lions Club programs include sight
conservation, hearing and speech conservation, diabetes awareness, youth
outreach, international relations, environmental issues, and many other
programs. The LIONS acronym also stands for Liberty, Intelligence, Our
Nations' Safety.
Membership is by "invitation only" as mandated by its constitution and bylaws. All member applicants need a sponsor who is an active member and of
good standing in the club they intend to join. And while sponsorship may be
obtained by an applicant in order to become a legitimate member, there is no
guarantee of this. Acceptance of membership are still subject to the approval

of the majority of the club's board of directors. Several clubs are even
difficult for applicants to join in. A Lions Club chooses its members
diligently as it requires time and financial commitments. Prospective
applicants must be a person of good moral character in his or her
community. Attendance at meetings is encouraged on a monthly or
fortnightly basis. Due to the hierarchical nature of Lions Clubs International,
members have the opportunity to advance from a local club to an office at
the zone, district, multiple district, and international levels.
In 1987 the constitution of Lions Clubs International was amended to allow
for women to become members.[17] Since then many clubs have admitted
women, but some all-male clubs still exist. In 2003, 8 out of 17 members at
the Lions Club in Worcester, England, resigned when a woman joined the
club.[18] Despite this setback the club is now flourishing with 19 members,
7 of whom are women. Women's membership numbers continue to grow
throughout the association.
Aim and Objectives / Purpose
The stated purposes of Lions Clubs International are:
To Organize, charter and supervise service clubs to be known as Lions
clubs.
To Coordinate the activities and standardize the administration of
Lions clubs.
To Create and foster a spirit of understanding among the peoples of
the world.
To Promote the principles of good government and good citizenship.

To Take an active interest in the civic, cultural, social and moral


welfare of the community.
To Unite the clubs in the bonds of friendship, good fellowship and
mutual understanding.
To Provide a forum for the open discussion of all matters of public
interest; provided, however, that partisan politics and sectarian
religion shall not be debated by club members.
To Encourage service-minded people to serve their community
without personal financial reward, and to encourage efficiency and
promote high ethical standards in commerce, industry, professions,
public works and private endeavors.
Methodology
Charitable work
Much of the focus of Lions Clubs International work as a service club
organization is to raise money for worthy causes. All funds raised by Lions
Clubs from the general public are used for charitable purposes, and
administrative costs are kept strictly separate and paid for by members.
Some of the money raised for a clubs charity account goes toward projects
that benefit the local community of an individual club.
Service projects
Lions Clubs plan and participate in a wide variety of service projects that
meet the international goals of Lions Clubs International as well as the needs
of their local communities. Examples include donations to hospices, or
community campaigns such as Message in a bottle, a United Kingdom and

Ireland initiative which places a plastic bottle with critical medical


information inside the refrigerators of vulnerable people. Money is also
raised for international purposes. Some of this is donated in reaction to
events such as the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and the 2013 Typhoon
Haiyan (Yolanda) where Lions and LCIF provided disaster relief locally and
from around the world, with donations and commitments surpassing US$1
million. Other money is used to support international campaigns,
coordinated by the Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF), such as
Sight First and Lions World Sight Day, which was launched in 1998 to draw
world media attention to the plight of sight loss in the third world. Lions
take on all sorts of various fundraisers to fund these projects. For example,
the Dublin, Virginia Lions Club host two flea markets a year, and sell their
famous Lion Dog, a fresh prepared variation of a corn dog.
Lions focus on work for the blind and visually impaired began when Helen
Keller addressed the international convention at Cedar Point, Ohio, on 30
June 1925 and charged Lions to be Knights of the Blind.
Lions also have a strong commitment to community hearing- and cancerscreening projects. In Perth, Western Australia, they have conducted hearing
screening for over 30 years and provided seed funding for the Lions Ear and
Hearing Institute established September 9, 2001, a center of excellence in
the diagnosis, management, and research of ear and hearing disorders. In
Perth, Lions have also been instrumental in the establishment of the Lions
Eye Institute. In Brisbane, Queensland, the Lions Medical Research
Foundation provides funding to a number of researchers. Ian Frazer's initial
work, leading to the development of a HPV vaccine for the human

papillomavirus which could lead to cervical cancer, was funded by the Lions
Medical Research Foundation.
Lions Clubs International has supported the work of the United Nations
since that organization's inception in 1945, when it was one of the nongovernmental organizations invited to assist in the drafting of the United
Nations Charter in San Francisco, California.
Projects Undertaken
Major initiatives of the foundation include the following:
SightFirst programs
Childhood Blindness Project
Lions Eye Health Program (LEHP, pronounced "leap")
River blindness/Trachoma
SightFirst China Action
Sight for Kids
Other sight programs
Core 4 Preschool
Vision Screening
Disability programs
Lions World Services for the Blind
Diabetes Prevention/Treatment
Habitat for Humanity Partnership
Lions Affordable Hearing Aid Project
Low Vision

Special Olympics Opening Eyes


Youth Programs
LEO Clubs
Lions Quest
Lion Cubs
Much of the focus of Lions Clubs International work as a service club
organization is to raise money for worthy causes. All funds raised by Lions
Clubs from the general public are used for charitable purposes, and
administrative costs are kept strictly separate and paid for by members.
Some of the money raised for a clubs charity account goes toward projects
that benefit the local community of an individual club.
Lions Clubs plan and participate in a wide variety of service projects that
meet the international goals of Lions Clubs International as well as the needs
of their local communities. Examples include donations to hospices, or
community campaigns such as Message in a bottle, a United Kingdom
initiative which places a plastic bottle with critical medical information
inside the refrigerators of vulnerable people. Money is also raised for
international purposes. Some of this is donated in reaction to events such as
the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.

Analysis of Data
Its true, with 1.35 million members helping local communities in more than
208 countries through 46,000 clubs, Lions Clubs International is the largest
service member organisation in the world.

As you can imagine, statistics showing the work done by these ordinary men
and women are pretty impressive. But perhaps the most memorable fact
about Lions Clubs is that every penny we collect through fund-raising goes
direct to support good causes. Our administration costs are paid for by
members subscriptions.
Another fact about Lions is that we are able to react quickly to support local
communities whenever natural disaster strikes. Our humanitarian help is
provided by local Lions who volunteer their support on the ground backed
by grants from the Lions Clubs International Foundation and fund-raising by
Lions Clubs across the world. For example, in 2014, Lions Clubs throughout
the British Isles and Ireland pledged 200,000 to provide vital water
filtration systems for local communities affected by the disaster caused by
Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
We also respond to local needs and changing circumstances. Helping to
support those experiencing financial hardship in recent years, Lions Clubs
have organised job fairs, set up food banks and managed charity shops and
stalls.
Conclusion
Nonprofit organizations play a vital role in strengthening democracy,
promoting civil liberties, and adding richness and diversity to community
life. Over the course of its history, Lions Clubs International has provided a
strong, collective voice to inform and influence public policy at the local,
state and national level. Lions Clubs International continuously works to

highlight issues affecting the community and align public policy initiatives
to address civic-social needs. Through advocacy, Lions can inform their
elected officials of specific social concerns and help policymakers find
specific solutions to persistent problems.
We look to our 1.4 million global Lion members to increase awareness
among policy-makers about humanitarian problems.

Lions Clubs

International is well-positioned to provide a conduit for Lions members to


voice an opinion and engage legislators through advocacy efforts. Some
examples include:
Opinion
Talk to people: Tell them of your idea, ask their opinion. Talk to friends,
relatives, colleagues, but also to the taxi driver, to the corner shopkeeper, to
the night watchman, and to the itinerant seller of vegetables. All of them
have a story to tell, an idea to share, a lead to provide. And keep talking to
them! When the NGO is actually up and running, they will be your 'eyesand-ears' network on the ground!
Visit Places: Take that weekend off and visit a nearby village. It is with the
objective of observing and learning first hand outside your sphere of
existence that will open your eyes to 'other' realities! Use a local festival as
an excuse to go to other places. Talk to the local shopkeeper, or a priest, or
that grandmother sitting quietly outside her home watching everyone.
Everyone you meet is a potential teacher, who can teach you something new
everyday.
Read up: Read magazines and newspapers, watch TV - but with a purpose!
Find what other people are doing. Read the jobs section to see what new
skills are needed, especially in the NGO/voluntary sector.

Go to meetings: NGOs and other entities regularly organize lectures and


presentations of their work. Go to such meetings to learn how they work.
Ask questions. Meet other people in the audience to expand your network.
Convince your local Rotary or Lions club to organize an 'NGO meeting' on a
particular theme to share lessons and experiences.
Continue learning: Universities and training institutions regularly provide
short courses and training sessions on a wide variety of issues related to
programme and financial management for NGOs. These are not only
opportunities to learn something new, but also to scout for potential partners
and staff members for your new NGO!
Browse online: More and more NGOs now have their own websites (so
should you!) that many use as a means to show what they are doing, and for
fund-raising. Check these out. Much can be learnt of the way an NGO works
by its website. But be aware that not everything an NGO does is put online!
Consult government agencies: Government agencies and departments,
including the mayor's or village head's office, usually have plans or ideas
that need implementation. Notwithstanding the testy relationships that
sometimes exist between government agencies and NGO - visit them all the
same. Talk to officials and build a good rapport - they can be a potential
source of official funds!
Visit other NGOs: Many NGOs are actually eager to talk to people, to
showcase their work, to expand their own network of friends and supports.
Talk to them, visit their offices, go through their display publications (buy
them, and support their work too!)
Bibliography
http://www.lionsclubs.org/EN/index.php
http://www.lionsclubs.org/EN/who-we-are/index.php

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lions_Clubs_InternationalMembership