LIONS – Stars of the Silkroad Festival

Dear LEO-Friends,

Lions of District 111-BN (LC Amorbach-Miltenberg) in Germany together with LC Bishkek/Rep. of Kyrgyzstan organise an international Arts Festival “Lions – Stars of the Silkroad” supported by the Lions Euro-Asia Committee and Lions Central and Eastern European Initiativ (CEEI).

The festival will take place from September 2nd to September 12th, 2017, in the Central Asian Republic of Kyrgyzstan, at the magnificent Silkroad-Route. Our objective is, to identify and sponsor young musicians or photographers who are interested in taking part at this event.

We will try to cover the travel costs for the participants by Lions Clubs of their region. We would try to form a world symphonic orchestra of young artists. Musicians will have 4 performances on stage, which are shown on state tv. Photographer will present their artwork in the National Museum of Bishkek. It is already the third time that our friends in Kyrgyzstan organise this festival together with Lions from District 111-BN in Germany. Both festivals in 2013 and 2015 were very successful. Art is a language understood by people all over the world. About 150 young artists from Kyrgyzstan, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Austria and Turkey completed by orchestral musicians from Kyrgyzstan, took part in the first two festivals on the Silkroad and elated the audience with virtuous music performances and impressive exhibitions. Several Lions Clubs enabled the young talents to participate by financing the travel expenses of the artists. “That was the best thing I could do so far.” “I’ve found friends for life.” “I’ve never experienced such hospitality before,” said three participants. The festival has left everlasting impressions. Under the patronage of Kyrgyz President Almasbek Atambaev, the events reached a broad public in the Central Asian country. The opening concert in the State Philharmonic Orchestra had over 1,200 visitors. Television, radio and newspapers reported extensively on all channels, thus spreading the lionistic idea throughout the country. Lions’ awareness is important for supporting social projects, such as the mothers of Uplift. These help to provide a life-long future to orphaned, handicapped and disadvantaged children. They will benefit from a profit of this event. The event “Lions – Stars of the Silkroad” is an exemplary achievement of the most important Lions International objectives. Especially nowadays we must maintain all efforts to spread understanding among people. This festival is a chance to meet people with different cultural backgrounds and to exchange experiences. Geographically, the country in the heart of Central Asia is predestined for a festival of encounters. Even before Christ, the ancient Silk Road brought people from the West and the East together on this old trade route. The two festivals in 2013 and 2015 are a good basis to continue the event in the 2017 Lions jubilee year and to become a lionistic highlight in Central Asia. Our goal is to bring together 100 young artists from Europe and 100 from Asia on the Silk Road to a world youth orchestra. Please help us to make this Centennial Project of Lions Club Bishkek and Lions from District 111- BN a memorable success. Identify young artists (musician, classical, folklore or jazz) in your district or promote the festival by contacting your universities and high-schools for music and make sure, that they will hang out a promotion poster. After we have received the application of a young artist, we will try to find a sponsor to cover the costs in Kyrgyzstan (1200 US-$ plus airfare). They will have 10 days of unforgettable moments and new career prospects, experience tolerance towards other cultures and at the same time help spreading and manifesting the values and objectives of Lions International in Central Asia.

Promote the stay of an artist from your region! More information at: and

We are very happy if you could arrange the display of poster at universities or high-schools for music/arts.

Please send an e-mail with the number of posters needed and your address to

Thank you very much!

Best regards

IPDG Josef Ahmann, District 111-BN

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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#LEPF 2015

On the last weekend of January 100 Leos from all over Europe came to Gelsenkirchen. Despite a small snow chaos (the Swiss Leos couldn´t even see the snow) everyone made it safe and sound to the Maritim hotel. After a 12 Hour day at the airport the shuttle team was relieved and happy to announce that they had made space for everyone on a shuttle and that no one got lost. At the hotel a joyful round of reunion took place. After many hugs and ´hellos` news of the past six months were exchanged and every Leo was equipped with a welcome package at the LID.

After a short rest a buffet of German specialties, such as Schnitzel and Mettigel was offered in the dining hall. This was when everyone wondered what the little film container might be for they had found in their welcome package. Was it for money? Or for a workshop on Saturday? With full stomachs and rising curiosity the tour of the hotel started. The Leos got to see the bar, the conference area, rooms and the spa. But the German orga team was prepared to impress more: everyone was invited to join a park rally with German games. In 5 teams they made their way around the lake of the hotel and it did not take long for everyone to understand the purpose of the modified film container: a shot glass necklace! The International Leos were introduced to German clichés, had to throw „Kamelle“(a dialect word for ‘caramel and the general term for sweets we throw and catch during the Carnival parades) carry full beer mugs without spilling and are now all able to sing along to the “Steiger”-song. That was not all the European Leos would learn that evening though. The motto for first party of the weekend was “mining”, as throughout history, Gelsenkirchen was famous for its mines. During a photo shoot everyone was invited to pimp his or her outfit with mining accessories.

Our first party ended in the wee hours of the morning at a time when the miners of yesteryear might have started their first shift. Despite the lack of sleep the orga-team called in Saturday with a morning meeting at breakfast. And the DLs and the ILOs also had an early start at 9 o´clock. Among other things the DLs were informed about LEF in the summer. The ILOs happily introduced two ILOs (from Romania and Luxembourg) into their round who had not been to LEF 2014 and discussed their past six months. All other Leos had the choice between three different workshops: One group learned the steps of the much-beloved “Knotentanz” a ballroom dance that involves swirling the partner around in a way that your arms end up looking like knots (Knoten). Others took part in the drumming workshop where teacher and students were equally impressed with one another. In order to receive some input for future activities in their home countries the third group learned some skills for activities with children, such as face-painting and balloon art.

After Spiderman, the Joker, Donald Duck, Pocahontas, the yellow smiley and the dog with the tongue had been washed off their faces, everyone had a nice lunch before we all went to Essen. Essen on Ice had something for everyone, from Ice-skating, Ice-Tubing and Ice-stock sports to Glühwein and hot chocolate. Even those wearing skates for the very first time learnt to remain upright and in the end many joined the LEO in the lion costume on the ice. In the end the participants proved to the orga-team that they had learned something about Germany already and excelled in “German Pünktlichkeit” by leaving the venue five minutes ahead of schedule. Back at the hotel dinner was served and afterwards everyone started dressing up for the Carnival party, the second party of the weekend.

Downstairs in the bar the party was heating up, when suddenly…a professional Carnival dance group entered the bar and performed for us. While the girls were thrown around and up in the air we watched and couldn’t close our mouth: what a performance! The cowboys, ice-princesses, zebras, bunnies, hedgehogs and clowns picked up their spirit and energy. We all partied together with an enthusiastic bar team until the early hours of the morning. As one of our participants had to make it to the airport straight after the party, the good-byes came sooner than expected.

For those of the breakfast club, Saturday ended where Sunday started for others: at breakfast. After this we gathered for a final meeting where we reviewed all the special moments of the past two days. The smiles and laughter were proof of a good time. While everyone was doing their rounds of good byes the shuttle team got their busses ready again and sent everybody off.

Now that LEPF is over the intense LEF time begins, six months of planning lie ahead of us and we will try to generate just as many smiles and as much laughter during LEF 2015 in August. We hope to welcome back all participants of LEPF and many more Leos from all over Europe.


The 10-12th of October something very special happened in a city called Uppsala in Sweden. During that weekend a few Swedish LEOs had organized an international event for LEO’s and LIONS’, they named the event Sweekend. There were people representing 11 countries throughout Europe that joined Sweekend, in total 62 people. The entire event was created in order to give international LEOs and LIONS presentation of Sweden and to show a bit of the Swedish culture.

The Friday, the 10th of October, was the day of the arrival and the orga-team was waiting for the arrivals at the hotel, there they had prepared name badges and maps so people would know how to get to the different locations throughout the weekend. Then it was spare-time until the evening program started. For the first evening the orga-team had prepared something really special. They had organized a finsittning. A finsittning is a Swedish student tradition. It’s a dinner where you dress up to your teeth in your nicest long dress and your fanciest suit, you then sits down for a three course meal together. During the dinner the guests each got a secret mission that they weren’t allowed to show any of the other guests and this mission had to be performed throughout the entire dinner. After the dinner there was a welcome party.

On the Saturday, the day program was packed with interesting things for the LEO’s to do together. First the orga-team had arranged a charity event with LIONS student club in Uppsala and the event was to make bracelets for a project the LIONS student club had started, called Bus4Africa. These bracelets were going to be sold at a market to raise money for an ICT centre in Makunduchi, Zanzibar Africa. The LEO’s made around 135 bracelets. After the activity the LIONS of Uppsala had prepared a nice lunch for the participants of Sweekend. Straight after the lunch, sightseeing was on the menu. The orga-team had organized two sightseeing options, one was going and explore Uppsala the other was a day trip to visit the capital of Sweden, Stockholm. The group that explored Uppsala got a private tour in Uppsala cathedral, in the treasure chamber. Then they had a guided tour showing parts of Uppsala University. The Stockholm-group went first visiting the Drottningholm Palace. It’s the most well-preserved royal castle in Sweden from the 17th century and on the UNESCO World Heritage list. After visiting the castle the group went to ‘Gamla Stan’, the Old Town, in the city center of Stockholm. For the evening the orga-team had prepared another nice dinner and after they had a themed party, the theme was: Come As A Swede.

Sunday was time for departure and so nothing official was planned, many decided to wander around Uppsala on their own. The event was quite successful and with only 4 people on the orga-team this was quite impressive and very well planned.


by Maria Södermark

Estonian Leo National Convention 2014

Estonian Leo National Convention took place on the 17th-19th of October in Tallinn, Estonia. This is already the 9th time that the Estonian Leos get together and this time the convention was organized by Leo Club Tallinn.

The weekend started with a nice dinner followed by get-together games. We explained words without talking, told lies about ourselves and drew our self-portraits among others. It was very fun and a great way to get to know the Leos you didn’t know before and find out even more about your friends.

The next morning began with showing and testing our sporty sides. The strong survivors were thrown outside for a football battle and basketball sharp shooting. Then things got serious with our general meeting. We discussed our district projects and club activities, foreign guest Satu and Louis told about the Leo movement in their countries, both previous and upcoming LEFs were introduced as well as the plan and team for LEF2016. Also our Lions’ district governor Mare Kolsar visited us to give a few encouraging words.

After all the seriousness, it was time to have some fun and get to know the Old Town of Tallinn. Participants were divided into teams and given various assignments across the old part of Tallinn to find and take specific pictures at particular locations. Hilarity ensured. For example, on one of the steps two friends were spending their Saturday evening and instead of a calm night they got to pose with all the teams.

Then it was time to wrap up the day with some good food and a few drinks.

We finished off the weekend by gathering all the Leos interested in LEF2016 to get their input and suggestions for the Estonian forum and get the interested parties involved in the organizing.

Overall, although it was one of the smallest Estonian Leo National Conventions throughout the years, it was still a fun weekend with great friends. Until the third weekend of October in 2015 for the 10th Estonian Leo NC! 🙂

District board meeting during a weekend in Istria

Members of LEO D-126 Croatia gathered on Friday 17 October in Višnjan (the west of Croatia), where they celebrated one of the members birthday with a barbecue, domestic  wine and lots of fun.

1st LEO D-126 Croatia conference was held at 10:30 the next day.


President Damir Sila-Zih greeted the assembly and briefly reflected on the current state of affairs within the District, in order to familiarize everyone on this year’s planned activities. He pointed out that we have many actions, educations and get-togethers ahead of us and that it is time we made a joint effort to ensure a successful functioning of our organization.

PDP LEO D-126 Davor Dujmić, PDG Jusuf Šehanović and Lions District secretary Zlatko Janković-Miloš also addressed LEO members in order to further familiarize us with the goals and activities of Lions while the secretary specifically addressed the new Act on organizations that the clubs have to stick to if they wish to avoid certain penalties.

The 2014/2015 Cabinet was introduced. Cabinet members are: Damir Sila-Zih (president), Nevena Jurić (vice-president), Mihaela Carović (secretary),Filip Stipančić (ILO).

Regional presidents were also introduced (LEO D-126 currently has three). There are also comities that will lead certain projects and help ease the functioning of the District.

The agenda for the upcoming LEO year was presented:

  • opening of three new clubs (Pula, Karlovac and Kutina),
  • reactivation of clubs Dubrovnik and Varaždin,
  • a summit during the Rijeka Carnival,
  • participation in the Lions regattas,
  • club applications for GEW (17 – 23 11, presentation of the organization and encouraging young people to join),
  • “Be Better” project and LEO lecture “I Volunteer, I Appreciate, I Am Worth” (we want all LEO and Lions members to read about the project here:,
  • humanitarian aid for the socially endangered (“Happy Basket” 20 – 29 03 2015),
  • international Networking.


The conference ended at 11:50 a.m. after which a lecture by Patrizia Milani (Lions club Pula) and Zlatko Šehanović (topics about marketing) followed.

Following the conference and educational segment, members went out to an authentic Istrian lunch, after which they visited the Všnjan Observatory, which is one of the top twelve observatories in the world of all time when it comes to the number of asteroids they discovered.


LEO members spent Saturday night tasting prosciutto, fine wine and popular Croation musicians at the International Prosciutto Fair.

On Sunday, the last day of the conference, the family of two members of LEO club Poreč provided homemade pie and other fine delicacies and served as hosts to the other members. After a little sightseeing in Poreč, members went their separate ways.


This weekend was, like all of our other gatherings, extremely fun and filled interesting educational workshops and field trips. We look forward to our next gathering.


by Filip Stipancic

French National Convention: Bollywood CNL 2014

There are two NC each year in France, one in October named the LEO’s National Convention and another one in March named Spring days. This year the NC of October took place in LILLE, organized by the Northern District.

Friday 10th October 2014

All participants arrived from 2pm until 10pm and were expected at the Bollywood Party.  Time for French LEO to enjoy together and meet again after 6 months, less for LEFers 😉

Saturday 11th October 2014

  • 8 am: National Board members Meeting
  • 9 am: Being a LEO training
  • 10 am: Serious Workshops
    • How to communicate ?
      • Within your local club but also inside your district and with the national board, tools, media and new ideas
    • Quid international Level?
      • LEF feedback ILO/ DL role explanation
      • Next LEFs Presentation
      • LEF in FRANCE?
  • 12 pm: POC
  • 2 pm: Social Activity
    • Meeting with high-level athlete from the Handisport Association “Foot- fauteuil” (wheelchair-foot), French Champions and European Champions 2014
  • 7:30 pm: Gala Night
    • With our special guest from Belgium and Netherlands, again thanks guys for coming :

Sunday 12th October

  • 9 am: General Assembly
  • 11:30 am: kisses, cries and trying to be patient til march

French NC 2014


by Olfa Benkaddour

NC Netherlands 2014 Maastricht


Friday 9th of May,
We had a Get-together party at the Mouton Blanc. During this get-together Leos could catch up or get to know each other while enjoying a small beer tasting.


Saturday 10th of May,

  1. The convention took place at Centre Ceramique (the biggest library in Maastricht). Leos were checked in and guided to their places by the stewards and stewardesses of Leo Airlines. The convention included a LEF 2014 presentation by Duygu Coskun.
  2. Sightseeing through Maastricht based on a GPS-questionnaire. Groups were divided per country according to their passport to solidarity.
  3. A 3 course dinner at the restaurant Kiwi.
  4. End party at Ipanema, a location at the museum of Maastricht.  Entertainment by a Leo DJ  (Michiel Piefer).

Leo Europa Pre Forum, Istanbul

On last weekend of January different leo-cultures met in Istanbul. The feelings were the same as always – joy of meeting old friends, excitement of meeting new people and gratitude for orga team for organazing a great event.

Program started on Firday with a hotel tour in order to get familiar with it’s facilities and basic locations. After that everybody had some time to relax in spa center to be fresh and full of energy for the get-together party where everybody had to be dressed in Rubic’s Cube colors.

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Saturday started with meetings for ILOs and DLs and with treasure hunt for other participants. On DL meeting LEF2013 budget and outcome was presented by LEF2013 President Vili Urpilainen. Then LEF2014 President Zümrüt Pakoy took over to prove that Turkish leos have been working hard and presented the program and participation fee of LEF2014. Afterwards also LEF2015 Germany and Leo Weekend in Aarhus were presented. LEF2016 Estonia will be officially presented during LEF in August and The Netherlands officially announced it’s candidacy for LEF2017.


ILO meeting took longer time and continued even in the evening after dinner. Topics of ILO quiz, Leo Survey, Leo Stand at Lions EF, future of LeoMED, Country Reports, European Leo website and European Common Activity were discussed. Also different upcoming leo-events were presented.

On the afternoon program continued with Glass Furnance Tour where leos got experienced in glass forming. Before dinner and party-time ILO quiz and serious workshop on topic “To be or not to be a Lion” took place.  The day ended with another concept party – When I’m 64!

When Leos are 64!

When Leos are 64!


Glass Furnance Tour

Glass Furnance Tour

As every other leo event LEPF was over way too quickly and Sunday was left for check-outs and good-byes.

Author of text: Marite Promvalds
ILO of D-120 Estonia

Author of pictures: Neslin Gürol,
LEF2014 orga team