Lions Europa Forum 2016

Lions Europa Forum 2016
Sofia, Bulgaria – 27-30th of October

Lions Europa Forum, an annual event for all European Lions and LEOs, but also with participants from other parts of the world. Two years ago it was in Birmingham (UK), last year in Augsburg (GER) and this year it was in Sofia, Bulgaria. The ILO council was strongly represented together with several other LEOs, which made us a rather big group of 30 LEOs in total – COOL! The ILO council had planned the EF on beforehand, and especially Deborah Herlan, ILO from Germany, had made a big effort to keep all of the LEOs together, both program wise, but also for the accommodation. Most of us stayed at a hostel in the center of Sofia, close to the conference center where the Forum was held. Hostels are always charming and cozy, and this time was no different – we’ll get back to that!

Thursday – Arrival
I arrived at Thursday, where I met in the airport with Madalina and Deborah, both ILOs. We quickly went to the hostel and moved on to the conference center, as we had our first meeting to attend – the Refugee Steering Committee meeting. We had to give our opinion on how LEOs are participating in the effort for helping the refugees. This is also one of the reasons for LEOs and ILOs to participate in Lions events, as we’re able to show our presence in the global Lions Family. Afterwards, the opening ceremony was held. The ceremony is quite amazing, as it starts the whole event and brings everyone together for the first time – it’s a big event with speakers, shows and live music. In the evening, we had a LEO get-together dinner followed by a few beers.

Friday
On Friday, we got up early, as our program started a 9 in the morning.
Usually, hostels have a good ratio of bathrooms pr. person, perhaps like one bathroom for three or four persons. Here, we had two bathrooms in total, for over 30 people – and not only where they rather small, they also had a limited amount of hot water. I was lucky though, to be one of the firsts to use the shower in the morning – the worst thing I know is cold showers!
After our breakfast, our first meeting started.

The LEOs are also represented in the program with workshops, hence the Leos with Lions workshops, that lasted the whole day. One of the main topics across these workshops is to engage Lions to be enthusiastic about LEO – of course everybody is enthusiastic about us, it’s just that not everyone is aware of it!
The ILOs had the workshops planned in advance, and different ILOs had different responsibilities. I was lucky to present together with my fellow Italian ILO Eleonora Fresia, who I’m working together with on the European LEO Activity – LEO4Green.

This project is about promoting environmental awareness and activities, and was started in Italy. Eleonora is really passionate about this project, and it’s amazing to work together with such a dedicated person, which also reflects in her when she talks about the project. Our goal for the presentation was to create awareness of the project for the Lions, and to tell them about how LEOs and ILOs are working together, and how this can be used in collaboration between LEOs and Lions as well.

We were finished with our workshops late afternoon. Afterwards, we quickly went home to change for the host evening, but before that, we had been invited to a get-together at Othmar Fetz apartment. Othmar Fetz, LEO from Germany, is doing a really big project about documenting the different sides of being a LEO in different countries – the project is called The LEO Book, and is a quite amazing activity, while he’s also a cool guy to be around.

The host night is a chance for the organizing country to show their local culture, and this year was, as every other year, a great opportunity to experience a new country’s history, culture and traditions. We were served with traditional Bulgarian food, while there was different activities during the evening, such as traditional music, folks-dance and fashion show. And yes, we LEOs typically participate in as most dancing as possible! After the host night, we LEOs went out for socializing and had a great time. Now, we had to get back to the hostel, and here’s the story:

Hostels are always charming and cozy, and this time was no different – you really get the chance to get close to the rest of the group – the boys were especially lucky, as we had two rooms in extend of each other, totaling over 10 guys sleeping together – the only downside with big rooms like this is, if somebody is snoring. And by snoring I mean the Slovenian way, where you actually make people switch rooms because of the noise, even though they’ve tried to wake you up for half an hour! We had a lot of fun about it the next day though.

Saturday
On the Saturday, while some LEOs went around Sofia to see the beautiful architecture on historical buildings, the ILOs had planned to do some promotion for our European activity LEO 4 Green, which goal is to improve environmental awareness by promoting environmental friendly services. We spend most of the day filming for our activity, before the closing ceremony, which, as always, was a beautiful event and a nice way to end some inspirational and rewarding days with a lot of great people from all around the world.

The last event is the gala, which is a great tradition – everybody dresses up, and the frame is set for a spectacular evening. This year was no different – all of the LEOs got ready at the hostel, and afterwards we met at the conference center. The atmosphere is always incredible, because everyone makes an extra effort is in general excited for what the night brings. The ingredients for a great gala is a beautiful venue, good food, great music and of course, the most important, great people.

This year, we, as always, had a ton of fun. The incredible thing about LEOs is, that no matter what we’re served with, we’ll manage to get the best out of it. We danced, laughed, shared some great dishes, had a lot of fun photos taken and made some great memories – that’s the most important thing. I won’t go into too much details, as I think it’s hard to how amazing these evenings actually are.

Sunday
Tears and goodbyes is usually what the last day is filled with, and of course we guys doesn’t cry, but it’s still a bit sad to leave all of your friends which you’ve spend time with. Some people leave early (directly?), some people get a few hours of sleep and some people doesn’t have to leave before the evening.
I left at noon, which were fine as it wasn’t too early, neither too late. The last thing I remember, is the plane taking of, before I woke up in Copenhagen again, with a lot of great memories, inspiration and renewed passion for doing a difference for others.

By Andreas Vejlstrup, ILO of MD-106 Denmark

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1st LEO ISAAME Forum

The LIONS club World is divided in areas. The most important one is ISAAME area. ISAAME stand for India, South Asia,Africa and Middle East.

November, 30th – December 5th
Colombo, Sri Lanka

For the first time ever, LEOs decided to organize the LEO ISAAME  Forum, which is a separate ISAAME  Forum for LEOs, also in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Many LEOs from the Area went to this first event, dealing with “Excellence through Innovation”. This event that was a separate one from the Lions Club ,but also offered many meeting time with Lions. Several LIONS Official, panelist, past, present and future international President also took part to this event. The opening ceremony has been made with LIONS member at Prime Minister Official Residence, Temple Tree, with more than 2300 Lions. The traditional parade have also been a moment of exchange between LIONS and LEO.

This first Leo ISAAME  Forum has been a world top class event. We have been invited to intend many conference about leadership, excellence and innovation with top class speakers. Oak Brook team member also informed us about new innovation, gave us a panorama of Leos activities, and answered to many questions.

More than a seminar, it also have been a moment of discovery and exchange. Discovery of Sri Lanka, that is one of the most exciting destination in South Asia, offering traditions, modernity, wild life and stunning landscape. We visited Colombo, Kandy with the tooth Relic and Kandy Royal Botanic Garden during VIP tours.

But it was also a moment of exchange, with Sri Lankan inhabitants that were really friendly and spoke with us on the street to teach us many things and story, with a big smile that is a Sri Lankan signature. And also an exchange with Leos from ISAAME  Area that hosted us like king, and showed their deep friendship to European Leos.

I would like to thank everyone for this Event that is a benchmark and great success. It has been a pleasure to intend such an amazing meeting, full of discovery, new skills, fun, sharing, and humanity.

I invite all the LEOs, and also LIONS, to intend the second LEO ISAAME  forum 2017 that will be held in Kolkata, India, 17-20 December 2017. This event will be a lifetime opportunity to meet Leo From ISAAME forum and come back in Europe with lovely memories, new friends and new skills, but also a better understanding of world new challenge and cultural heritage.

Samy SAHLI , Delegation Leader , France

 MD-103 France

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Charter LEO club Leiden, the Netherlands

Officially a member of the Leo family

Dear Leos,

People who know me from the LEF events in Germany or Estonia maybe know that at that time I was not a “real” Leo attending these Forums. This has changed! Finally, at the 17th of September 2016 we had our charter night in Leiden (The Netherlands), where Danny van der Helm and I (Joost Meijer) became official Leos. After this charter night, our Leo club Leiden Viribus Unitas, is now part of the worldwide Leo community.

During a period of two years – in which we did different Leo activities; like raising money or doing charity work, we had a lot of fun nationally in The Netherlands and internationally at LEF – we grew as a club and as individuals. For me that is the core meaning of being a Leo: growing as individuals and as a club while giving back to your community at the same time.

On Saturday, September 17th, we organised a benefit charter night for the VTV Foundation. This foundation organises leisure and educational activities for people with a mental or physical disability, while at the same time focusing on integrating people with disabilities into society. Both the VTV Foundation and us as Leos have a similar aim in our work, which is why we chose to donate to them.
We started the evening with the official parts of a charter night. There where speeches from the presidents of our club, our sponsor club and the president of the Dutch Leo board. Furthermore, we signed the Leo charter document and finally we received our Leo pin! (I bet you that we are going to wear it with pride at LEF2017)
After the official part, we held an auction, played bingo and did a lottery to raise money for VTV Foundation. Together with our guests we raised € 2.750 for the foundation. They will use this money for their summer projects in 2017.

We really appreciated the presence of many Lions, our families, friends and (inter-)national Leos at our Charter. As special thank you to Madalina Vlasie (Romania) and Sille Sarap (Estonia) for your joining us at our charter!
Now that we officially are Leos we are proud to say that we started our club in Leiden in order to give back to our community and are now standing here with a motivated growing club, ready to help the people and nature in need.
Sincerely,

Joost Meijer, Leo Club Leiden Viribus Unitas

Service weekend within twinned Leo Clubs

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Saturday May the 7th 2016 in Giardini Naxos (Italy), the Leo Club Giardini Naxos Valle dell’Alcantara (part of Sicilan Leo District 108YB) together with Leo Club Weert Montmorency ( from The Dutch District 110CO) organised a food dive in the supermarket named Sidis. The Goal of the event was to collect food for the needy families of the Sicilian town.

“ It has been a wonderful chance to ‘’serve’’ the Giardini Naxos community and, at the same time to strenghten our 2-year-old  frendship with the guys of Leo Club Weert Montmorency with which we are very proud to be twinned with!’’ states Giovanni D’Amato, President of Leo Club Giardini Naxos VdA for the social year 2015/2016.

 

No language barrier could stop the Dutch Leo’s, who tried hard  (and succeded) to explain the goal of the food drive to the clients of the supermarket who supported with great generosity our initiative.

That’s the proof that the proactivity and commitment to our Leo principles goes beyond the cultural differences.

 

This activity has been followed by a second one within the same weekend. On Sunday the 8th of May both Clubs took part and contributed to the charity marathon “Corri Catania” , combining service and a loto of fun.

Alessandra Garufi

Member of Leo Club Giardini Naxos Valle dell’Alcantara –  MD 108YB (Italy)

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FEEDING AROUND 40,000 FAMILIES WITH RAMADAN 2 GO PROJECT

LEO ALEXANDRIA APOLLO – district 352 Egypt. Our Mega project had came to an end “RAMADAN2GO 2016” this project aims to distribute meals and food bags to poor and needy people during the holy month.

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AND YES! We did exceed our goal of reaching above 30,000 families to feed for the 16th year in a row, 34,950 meals and 3650 food bags were successfully distributed. The aim of our project is to deliver more than 1000 meal each day to Muslim people who fast during the holy month of Ramadan. We managed to collect donations, finding a kitchen to cook the meals on a daily basis along with a store to prepare the food bags and at the end deliver them to the poor and needy to their doorsteps hot and fresh.

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The Leo club and the Alpha club work together during Ramadan2go. We work as one team and we distribute ourselves into shifts between the kitchen and the store. We even offer volunteers (non members) who wish to help an opportunity to work in this mega project, so more than 300 worked this year to bring out such a success.

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Along with hard work we could never forget to entertain ourselves and keep the bond strong by preparing outings were we have Iftar together.

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We have a motto for this project which is WE ARE ONE so as you are all one of us too we thought of sharing with you this success.

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Thank you for reading,
We serve
Author: Lina hossam
D-352 EGYPT, Alexandria

Turkish National Activity “Leo Market”!

MD118 Leos choose a National Activity each year. All members of six districts carry out it at the same time of the year – mostly on National Leo Day.

This year, our National Activity was “Leo Market”. We aimed to perform it on the National Leo Day – even for the whole weekend.

Leo Market is a national activity operated by Leo Clubs to provide provision help to families in need. Our goal is providing benefit to people in need, people with incomes below or on the starvation line, by collecting provision help from volunteered people. 

Leo Market can be summarized in three steps:

Step 1: Convincing the shoppers to buy some additional stuff for the Leo Market packages.

Step 2: Collecting products bought by the shoppers and divide all into packages according to our list and wrap them up.

Step 3: Distributing the packages according to the lists of people in need with the help of local governments.

This activity is being performed by Cemenzar Leo Club every year for a long time. Therefore, former president of the club, Merve Koseoglu, was appointed as the National Activity Coordinator of MD118. Each district chose National Activity Coordinator. Those coordinators had many online meetings until the activity day. District National Activity Coordinators organized regular meetings with Leo Clubs and Leo Market staff in their districts. They organized almost everything related to the activity: logo, materials, supply lists, supermarkets and all other.

Almost all materials for the activity, such as t-shirts, caps, pens, supply boxes, stands, banners, etc. are received by sponsorships. Most of the sponsorship was given by our beloved Lions family.

On the activity day, all staff was ready in their mission point very early in the morning. Activity was held in six different cities at the same time (Istanbul-Ankara-Izmir-Canakkale-Antalya-Bursa). Since we had almost 250 staff in the country, they worked in the markets by shifts. Some staff tried to speak with people and tell about the activity and asked for support, and explained Lions in general. Meanwhile, some other Leo Market staff did the counting and packing the supply boxes.

A weekend after, the staff got together once more to deliver the Leo supply packages. We delivered Leo Market packages to headman offices and communicated with people in need.

The results of Leo Market Turkey in numbers are :

  • 2161 supply packages
  • 2161 household
  • Almost 8644 people in need
  • Donation amount to €36.000

Anybody feels interested about the activity details may check our social media accounts!

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The activity was a success story for Turkish Leos. We feel glad and thankful after all, as it reminded us who we are, why we are here and what we are aiming to do. When we, Leos, band together and be of one heart, there is almost nothing impossible. As we always said, “Together, we are stronger!”

On behalf of MD 118 Turkey

Duygu Eymirlioglu

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The NASOC

12583731_10153206897536097_1388156537_nThe last 8th May 2016, it was THE BIG DAY of the annual national social day of Belgium’s LEO, the NASOC.

This year, the organization of this day was entrusted to members of the Leo district C & D . Thus once a month since September  they met. 2 or 3 representatives from French club were supported by our LEO advisor of District D, Gaetan Claeys. We prepared all day for our leos clubs and associations that they support throughout the year.

We offered the possibility to discover the citadel within different activities : discover the space of Terra Nova and it visitor’s center whom explain the Namur’s history. Children and adults took the little train or discover the underground. The participants make a round on carriage ride. Other had the occasion to learn golf or circus. The children had fun at the Attractif Parc Rein Fabiola during others discover the citadel with a treasure hunt. There were activities for children and adults. For the lunch, a BBQ were organised for our participants and it was the occasion to host, receive the visit of Lions.

The NASOC committee would like to thanks all Lions club whom help us financially, materially or by giving a hand during this day.

In a few numbers, this big event let us host

14 Belgium LEO Clubs with 179 adults, 83 children, 63 teenagers

46 french leos in the organisation

30 workers for the activities

12 lions were coming to visit us

LEO MD 112 Belgium

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LEO INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR – ISRAEL

Paris, 29th April of 2016

foto israeleDear LEO and Lions friends,

Lion District D-128 organized their first Leo International Seminar in Beit Berl, Israel, from April 16th to 21st. The purpose was “A bridge to peace and brotherhood among nations”, shortly named “The Other”.

A small group of 16 people from 9 different countries all over Europe came to Israel, where local Leos reached us.

As everyone arrived at various hours, some of us had the luck to be greeted and hosted the first night by a Lion family. It was a perfect introduction to discover another culture based on sharing.

We had a wonderful program during 5 days, including sightseeing.

The opening of the seminar was at the International Institute of Leadership in the evening. We got to know our hopes and expectations for the seminar and discussed them with local Lions and Leos as part of this project such as Leo Israel representative Julian-Charben JURBAN.

On Sunday, we made a trip to Nazareth and met the Lions Israel District Governor Marwan ZEIBAK and all Lions for a celebration. They organized the designation of a square, and then we discovered Nazareth’s religious places with local Leos and our guide. This city tour brought solidarity and understanding among religions by showing us coexistence in the Galil area. We had a traditional lunch with pita, falafel and then sweet delicacies at the place where Leos of Nazareth meet. On the way back to Beit Berl, we passed by Haifa and had a look over the beautiful Bahai’s gardens and an astonishing panorama from the top of the hill. In the evening, Leos from Nazareth came to our accommodation to share a “get-together night”.

Monday was the official opening of the seminar. After greetings and a detailed overview on the program, we had a session on “Strengthening the ability to accept the other” by Lion Israel District Governor Marwan ZEIBAK and then a lecture about coexistence by the International Institute of Leadership, the place where we were hosted. We spend the afternoon at the Rabin center – Israeli museum. We learned about the history of Israel since 1922. We had to understand where they came from in order to know where they want to go and which goals they want to achieve. In the evening, weattended a cultural musical event.

Tuesday was another day of reflexion, with the Peres center for peace and some discussions around tolerance and patience. They explained us how they can use basic tools to create fascinating projects with youth from Israel and Palestine to encourage tolerance and sympathy between young kids from different cultures. After a short free time in order to recover, Ganit HODOROV gave us a really sensitive workshop based on leadership communication, with some emotional moments. In the evening, we had another traditional dinner with many different local specialities followed by a tour to old Jaffa and the Tel Aviv promenade.

Wednesday was our last whole day together. We took the road to Jerusalem and first visited the Magen David Adom center. This medical center provide daily help to citizens with a huge operating system: from 1.800 medical vehicles to smartphone applications to involve the population with 14.000 volunteers. All the equipment they use is financed with donations from all over the world. We continued our tour at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where we had a discussion on foreign policies, how hard it is to negotiate a peace solution everyone is happy with and hot local topics such as Israel’s borders with Palestine. Our guide brought us around the city and to the Knesset, which is the parliament of Israel. In front, there was the Knesset menorah, the symbol of Israel.

After a city trip with temperatures up to 35 degrees and a short lunch, we were all tired on the way back. It was time to sum-up all we learnt during those days, to conclude this seminar and receiving our certificate of attendance.

For most of us it was the first time in Israel and this seminar was a really good opportunity to visit this country getting a different perspective compared to normal tourists. This seminar has strengthened our Leo commitment and also brought us tips, advises and another way of thinking in order to create peace among cultures.

No country would be a better place to deal with this topic and I kindly recommend everyone who wants an alternative view of this country to attend the second seminar next year.

Xavier MAECHLER

 ILO 2016-18

MD-103 France

Helsinki Leo Leadership Weekend

After a six-years break the Helsinki Leo Leadership Weekend took finally again place. The weekend, organised by the Finnish Leos, was full of interesting workshops and the opportunity to exchange each other’s Leo experiences. It all began on Friday, when 30 Leos from Finland, Estonia, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland and France arrived in Helsinki and were heartily welcomed by the Organisation team. Thus the “Leo Brand Workshop”, by Ida Forsell, started. The workshop demonstrated the process of defining what Leo mean to each of us and how the brand promise of Leo Clubs correlates with our perception and expectations. Later we had the chance to continue to get to know new friends and exchange with old faces at dinner. Later that night there was of course the “poika saunoo” dance with all participants. The next day we started early with the morning workshops, for which we could choose between “Surviving through a big activity” and “Leo 2.0-need for an update”. After a short coffee break we continued with the second workshop turn. Besides the workshop “Club Wellbeing-how to get members and keep them”, The ILOs of Denmark, Andreas Veijlstrup, and Switzerland, Christopher Guntli, showed us new ways of Leadership in the “ILO Council workshop”. During these workshops which has been pointed on Leo work, we expanded our Leo and Leadership knowledge. During the afternoon we worked on our own presentations at the “Strategy workshop”, where we planned how to create a strategy for our own ideas. All groups presented the ideas and showed the many different ideas they had, from a flavoured- tasting lipstick to the “association to rescue unicorns”, creativity was unlimited. The highlight of the weekend took place right after the workshop. Keynote speaker, Klaus Härö, a Finnish movie director whose film “The Fencer”, which was recently nominated for a Golden Globe, closed the Leoful Saturday by giving a different perspective about leadership and teamwork. Later the Finnish Leos took us to a restaurant in the centre of Helsinki to experience Finnish cuisine, such as reindeer meat and a pub crawl. The last day of this unique experience continued with the “Leo Brand Workshop”, in which we presented our results and a sad farewell of our Leo friend Kaisa Sarkkinen, who turned 30 years that very day, and will now leave Leo Clubs. We still had some hours together at a farm, where we could pet baby lamps and pigs and also organised an egg hunt activity for children. Overall we had an incredible experience during these days in Helsinki, where we learned so much about Leo and Leadership!

Deborah Herlan

The presentation of the "Association for rescuing unicorns"

The presentation of the “Association for rescuing unicorns”

Experiences at the farm

Experiences at the farm

Fun workshops made by Leos for Leos

Fun workshops made by Leos for Leos

Children enjoying the egg hunt organised by Leos

Children enjoying the egg hunt organised by Leos

Introduction to District 126 Croatia

Leo District D-126 has 200 members in 14 clubs. Throughout past year (2015.), Leo D-126 had a lot of interesting activities, two of which stand out the most. The activity of the Leo Club Zagorje – construction of “Park street workout“ and activities of the Leo Club Rijeka “Lanterns of good wishes”. The activity of the Leo Club Zagorje – construction of “Park street workout“ lasted 5 months. Value of the first phase of the project was 40 000,00 kn (around 5400 euros). The project was designed by members of the Leo club Zagorje. They did, in cooperation with the local community, come to the final product. The official opening of Park Street workout in Krapina, was held on 8 October 2015., in the framework of the project “Exercise Start Up City”.

The activity of the Leo club Rijeka ”Lanterns of good wishes” was held on 16 December 2015. The activity was visited by a large number of people. From the collected amount, which was 13 517 kn (about 1800 euros), Leo club Rijeka purchased didactic toys for group of children without proper parental care, and a laptop for residents of one nursing home. Didactic toys were handed over to the department of ”Children’s home at Potok” in Rijeka, while the laptop was delivered to residents of a nursing home in Lovran. Members of Leo club Rijeka spent a pleasant afternoon with employees at Children’s home and had played with the children. Children demonstrated how to use the delivered toys.

Sara Bermanec

ILO D 126 Croatia

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