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.


 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


Want to do charity work on a international level? Make a difference for thousands of people with the European Activity.

For years, the ILO’s* of LEO, have arranged a European Activity – usually a new activity for every third year.

*ILO is a internal community with representatives from each country, organizing events, doing administrative work etc. accross the european continent for the benefit of every single LEO.

The European Activity is, as the name implicate, a activity arranged and performed through the clubs across Europe. The process is overall 3 steps:

  1. Idea and development
    1. The ILO team sets up requirments for the activity and starts gathering ideas. The ideas will be sorted out, and finally an idea will be chosen and developed.
  2. Integration
    1. The ILO team puts together a strategy combining marketing of the activity to make it popular and easy integration into the individual clubs.
  3. Execution
    1. The activity is beeing kicked-of and the clubs starts working. The activity is beeing evaluted ongoing.

Buy why is the project actually one of the most exciting within the LEO Charity Work?

Well, first of all, how many of us can say that we participated directly in making a difference for thousands of people across Europe?

Second of all, the activity is so major, that it’s running over three years. This means, that the requirments for making the perfect activity are rather challenging: The acitivty must be applicable to both alot of LEO Clubs and LEOs, but also to every single country in Europe, regardless of culture, location or other parameters. In my belief, to try and organize and execute a activity this big, only makes the challenge even more exciting.

So, with this said, we’re encouraging you to participate in this, what we think, great opportunity. Send us your ideas, thoughts etc., and get the chance to cooperate on a once-in-a-lifetime project, where you have the option to make a huge difference.

While we’re at it, why not learn more about ILO and the possibilities that comes with it?

Leo4Children: the Italian National Project


Parma, the 24th of February 2016

The 3-years last project named as “Leo4Children” has the objective to set up and improve the pediatric leisure-rooms in the major italian’s hospital. In order to do that, we realize and donate special kits, including different kind of products (toys, books, games, videogames, PC, laptops, medical instruments, and so on), and donate them – throughout our local Clubs – to the hospital that need this kind of support. The aim is to substain and encourage unlucky children, especially during a difficult moment as the admission in the hospitals.

To reach the amount of money necessary to realize all the kit that have been requested in these last 3 years (aproximately 130), we decided to realize different kinds of gadgets and give them the people in return for little donation of money. We set off two main kind of gadgets, one for the Christmas-time (“pandorini”) and one for the Easter-time (“colombine”). Both of them are little typical italian cakes.

We use to coordinate all the italian Clubs to realize, in the same days, little stands in the main square or streets of our cities.

In this way we were able to gather more than 300.000,00 € in three year (from 2013 to 2016), whith whom we will probably manage to realize and donate all the kits that the hospitals have asked to us.

For further information you can visit: www.leo4children.it, or contact us on Facebook and Instagram.


Giorgio De Lorenzi

National Coordinator T.O.N. Leo4Children

A stand in the main square of a city.

A stand in the main square of a city.

The moment we donate the kit in the hospital.

The moment we donate the kit in the hospital.

Two Christmas gadgets: the PandoLeo 7.5 and the classic PandoLeo

Two Christmas gadgets: the PandoLeo 7.5 and the classic PandoLeo

A plate with the name of the club and the hospital to put inside it.

A plate with the name of the club and the hospital to put inside it.

Leo Europa PreForum 2016

69 Leos from 13 countries gathered in Pärnu, Estonia for Leo Europa PreForum 2016 on January 22-24. The weekend was packed with various activities in and around Pärnu to give them a feel of what to expect from Leo Europa Forum 2016.

We were very happy to welcome so many people on Friday, January 22 in Pärnu. The weekend started with dinner and DLs, ILOs and everyone else interested got a tour of the hotel to see which rooms will be used at Leo Europa Forum 2016 in the summer. In the beginning of the get-together party Louis Zezeran from Comedy Estonia cheered up the crowd with his stand-up routine about Estonia and Estonians as well as other nationalities got their share. The evening continued with dancing, games and long chats.
On Saturday morning we had an early start to make our way to Maria Talu for the Estonian winter activity in winter wonderland. There were many things to do there. We hiked in the beautiful snowy forest with a hot wine stop in the middle to warm up next to fire, made gingerbread and learned how to do felting a soap from the wife of Santa clause, took a sleigh ride or just roasted marshmallows and sausages. Of course making multiple snow angels were included. The participants had a fun day outside in the Estonian countryside in the amazing winter weather.

Once we got back to the hotel and had lunch, the DLs and ILOs gathered for their meeting and everyone else got ready for a workshop of teambuilding exercises. These lasted until dinner after which we went for a city tour with a twist. A ghost tour. So we walked around in the streets of Pärnu in the dark while our guide told us multiple stories of ghosts or other paranormal activities.

In the evening it was time to heat up the summer capital of Estonia in the winter also known as beach party. The bathing suits and sunglasses came out and everyone had a fun time. Except for a pineapple, but that’s another story.

Sunday ended with a final meeting with presentations of the Austrian Summerball, location of LEF 2017 being revealed, the LEF 2016 pre-program in Stockholm and the LEF 2016 program.

Then it was time for hugs and sad goodbyes and a trip back to Tallinn through the snowstorm and tricky flights. Luckily all the participants did get home in the end!

Thank you to all the participants who gathered in Pärnu for the weekend and survived the tight schedule. We hoped you enjoyed the program we put together for you and we really appreciate all the support and positive encouragement that you have given us!

We hope to live up to the expectations and welcome you Pärnu on August 13-20 for Leo Europa Forum 2016 Destination Estonia with a great program! Let’s do it! Let’s go!

Karin Künnapas
Vice President LEF 2016


New Year in SloveNYa

Dear LEO and Lions friends,

this year couldn’t start better than celebrating it with LEO friends in Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia. LEOs gathered from all over Europe to spend the last days of 2015 and the first days of 2016 with their old and new international friends.

We had a really colorful program during these 4 days. The starter of the whole event was a wine tasting followed by a visit to the Christmas market. The Christmas market had a really nice atmosphere. I would like to highlight the special Christmas lightings on the street that made the whole experience unique. The first night’s favorite program was the pub-crawl during which we visited 5 pubs where we faced different teambuilding challenges like beer pong. What a challenge!:)
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During the second day we visited the old city and Ljubljana`s castle. We were divided into teams and had to deliver different tasks, like learning a Slovenian song with the help of local people and shooting a picture with the Dragon Bridge in the background. Taking a picture with a dragon is a must in Ljubljana because the dragon is the city’s symbol.

The place of our New Year’s Eve celebration was really special: the Skyscraper of Ljubljana. Imagine when James Bond is guiding his beautiful partner to a fabulous restaurant, an exclusive place with the best dishes and view over the city. That is what we felt like. We could enjoy all the fireworks from the front-row and had a perfect view of the fireworks at Ljubljana Castle as well. Of course, after greeting each other with a glass of champagne we had a nice party until the early hours of the next day 

During the last two days we did boat trip, a graffiti tour and had a real traditional Balkan dinner. We had the opportunity to taste many Slovenian specialties not only during this dinner, but also during the whole event in different restaurants the organizers showed us. During the last day it even started to snow, making these days even more unforgettable.

We had such a great time together; it was the best start to 2016 one could have wished for: beautiful city, delicious food, many friends, and nice parties. I can highly recommend everyone to experience it. Do not miss the next one New Years Celebration!
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Bettina Sasvári
ILO D119 Hungary

International twinning between Leo Club Giardini Naxos Valle dell’Alcantara – Italy and Montmorency Weert – The Netherlands.

The key? Sharing experience and fostering strong and durable International collaborations.

In January 2013 LEO Club Montmorency Weert received an email about Davide Garufi a Leo member who was going to Eindhoven for starting his Professional Doctorate in Engineering at the TU / e about Smart Energy Buildings & Cities. The content of these in the short mail included the following:

I am Davide Garufi and I am a member from the social year 2009/2010 of the “Leo Club Giardini Naxos Valle dell’Alcantara” which is part of 108Yb District Sicily (Italy). I would like to keep on serving our Association and through our association even in the Nederlands. I think it would be a wonderful opportunity for us to know each other and start a strong and durable International collaboration’’.

Since in Eindhoven does not exist a LEO club, the Lions Club Netherlands suggested him the adjacent LEO club Weert which is hosting and get input from Davide since then. After our first meeting, it appeared that there were many similarities but also that we could learn a lot from each other. Meeting after meeting, activity after activity increased the mutual bond and they perceived Davide increasingly part of the club. Being together and especially do it together inside and outside these clubs has shown us that the service does not only have borders but also transcends language barriers (yes Dutch can be hard for Italians and vice-versa).

On Friday, July 25th, a delegation of the LEO Club Weert traveled to Sicily to the annual charter of the LEO Club GiardiniNaxosValledell’Alcantara. The evening was fun and the clubs officially signed jointly of a letter of intent for a joint venture between LEO Club Weert Montmorency and LEO Club GiardiniNaxosValledell’Alcantara.

During dinner and closing party have LEOs of both clubs made closer acquaintance with each other and talked about each other’s activities, motivations and charities. As expected the drives and inspirational values at the international level are almost identical to each other and that there are considerable differences in the interpretation that give both teams to their activities. These differences therefore also form the basis for mutual learning and the starting point for further cooperation.

Saturday November 8, a delegation of LEO Club Giardini NaxosValle dell’Alcantara came to the Netherlands. After a nice dinner the twinning was officially sealed with the signing of the twinning documents by the presidents of both clubs Nard and Livia. In addition to signing the documents, LEO Club Weert expressed its appreciation for the wonderful and inspiring efforts of Davide in the last year.

The cooperation is going further! In the next months a joint activity will take place and in the weekend of May the 6th and May the 9th in Sicily to bring further our personal and association relationships. A lot of work for Giovanni d’Amato and Charlotte van Gorp (guess who is president of which Club!).

A big part of this wonderful cooperation is due to the commitment of both clubs and specially of Youri Kurvers who facilitated the process from the Leo Club Weert side.

We believe that this is the essence of Leo Club cooperation: serving together locally, sharing experience and fostering strong and durable International collaborations.

seconda immagine prima immagine del gemellaggio

“Waiter for Charity” Project

The “Waiter for Charity” project is part of a national program that aims to help the Romanian Association of Hemophilia. The LEO District 124 Romania started this action back in 2012.

During the past 3 years, LEO Bucharest Sunshine raised more than 16000 RON by organising different charity events and 6 editions of the “Waiter for Charity” project. The good relationship between LEO Bucharest Sunshine and the Presedident of the Romanian Association of Hemophilia motivated the LEOs to aim for more every year.

What does the club do for this project?
The LEOs work as waiters for one day, having LEO t-shirts to look different than the normal waiters. They clean the restaurant, prepare the table arrangement, take the orders from the clients and serve them. When the working day is over, they donate all the tips to the Romanian Association of Hemophilia.

What else do we do?
LEOs promote the event, they invite their friends and the LIONS to the café or restaurant where they organize the activity, they share love and show how beautiful voluntary work can be.

Madalina Vlasie,
ILO ​LEO D124 Romania

Waiters for Charity Waiters for Charity Waiters for Charity Waiters for Charity Waiters for Charity

Random Tallinn Weekend

It was the Presentation of Countries night at the Leo Europa Forum in Germany when I and Nicolas Vogt realized that it has been almost 3 years since we’ve had a random weekend with Leos in Tallinn. Obviously, LEF 2016 Destination Estonia is coming up shortly and hopefully everyone will come here then, but that doesn’t mean that Estonia cannot be visited more often. So the masterplan was born and the dates set for November 5-7.

A few weeks after LEF, a Facebook event was set up and a few people invited who invited a few people who invited a few people. Let’s say it snowballed a bit. In the best sense of the word ☺ It was great to see how people got excited about visiting Estonia and booked their trips. In the end we had people coming over from Finland, Poland, Sweden (even if not Swedish), Germany and Switzerland. And obviously a number of Estonians also popped by.

The plan was easy – to have no plan! It didn’t completely go that way. The weekend did involve quite a few great food places, a lot of just hanging out together and obviously long nights of fun in the city. A bit longer for some than for others ☺

On Saturday, we decided that it’s also time to see the city in the daylight. So after a long breakfast, we walked through the Old Town square and to the seeing platforms to take a look at the city from up high. Visited the hipster region of Tallinn for lunch at Lendav Taldrik and went for a tour in most probably the creepiest place – the Patarei prison. As the winter is coming, the days are shorter so we made it to the prison just as it was getting dark and finished the tour in pitch-black. We got a tour from a former inmate who told us old prison stories, how the both legal and inside systems used to work and showed us around in the rather eerie halls. We learned that the correct answer to questions asked in prison is always ice cream ☺ Anyway, if the tour sounds interesting, everyone will get to chance to go there at one of the day trips at LEF 2016.

After another night on the town, the weekend was over too soon. Sunday let us to our usual long brunch place – the Dubliner – until people had to leave for boats and planes.

I want to say thank you to everyone who came to Tallinn! Especially to Nicolas for co-masterminding this plan. This weekend reminded us again about the main thing about Leos – the awesome long-lasting friendships! And we can’t wait to have you in Estonia again for Pre-LEF on January 22-24!

By Karin Künnapas
Leo Club Tallinn
Leo Europa Forum 2016 Destination Estonia Vice President

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