The Adventure of Leo The Leo!

There once was a lonely fluffy toy lion who was often mistaken for a bear. He lived a sad life on a shelf in a shop in a city called Tallinn. There was not much happening in the life of the lion. Some kids came and gave him a hug from time to time just to place him back on the shelf.

This was until one glorious day when 4 lovely girls from Leo Club Tallinn noticed him. It was love at first sight and there was no way that they could have left that cute lion behind. So it was decided – he will become the newest member of their Leo club. And the lion was called Leo The Leo!

This was just the start for the magical adventures of Leo the Leo. He has already joined the Leo girls in a countryside weekend to wrap-up their stories of the summer and LEF 2017, participated in a club meeting to plan the new year as well as met his first international Leos.

Leo The Leo has a bright future ahead where he will join the Leos also at different service projects, their meetings and hopefully also will be taken along to the glorious adventures in foreign lands. If you want to follow the Adventure of Leo the Leo, find him on Instagram as @adventuresofleotheleo

LIONS CAMP E 2017

 

One of the most special things about the Danish LEO’s is that they since 2011 have hosted their own Lions Camp. As far as I know, most LEO’s “just” help with the planning and take part in a Lions Youth Exchange Camp, but we start our planning 10 months before the camp and do it all ourselves – from finding a location, making the program, taking care of logistics and transportation for the Youth Exchange Students (YES), handling the budget etc. We do get financial support from the Danish Lions though, but recently one of the Danish LEO Clubs actually had to “save” some money for the camp in case something went wrong.

Frøslev Boarding School near the German border was the location for Lions Denmark Camp E this summer. 20 young people of 14 different nationalities participated. The purpose of the camp was to give the YES’s the opportunity to make good relations and new friends across borders. Furthermore, we wanted to give the participants memories for life! 

The two weeks of the camp was spent on different day trips like: Visiting Ribe Viking Center to see how the Vikings lived, having a Sports Day, a trip to Sønderborg and Dybbøl Banke and looking for seals near Mandø. We also had a tradition day where the YES’s tried to celebrate both Fastelavn and a Danish Christmas Eve – and they even met Santa Claus!

To be a participant of a Youth Exchange Camp is an amazing experience but being a staff member on the camp is even more incredible. As part of the staff, you are so tired after the camp from all the hard work you have done the last two weeks. On the other hand, you are filled with so many good memories and have learnt so much about yourself, the other LEO’s, the YES’s and their countries and cultures. 

The Danish LEO organisation has really improved since we hosted our first camp in 2011. Instead of just spending a weekend together at a National Convention, we spent 10 months planning each camp and then spent two entire weeks together. The outcome of this is that the relationship between the Danish LEO’s has really been boosted. This is very useful when we do joint national projects and on our national LEO board and it also help us keeping our LEO spirit high! It has also really improved our relationship with the Danish Lions. We struggled to get our own camp in the first place and we have overcome a lot of obstacles over the years. The important part is that we can and will do this together as LEO’s. Sadly, our MD can’t afford to host our camp next summer but we as LEO’s have been offered to organise one of the three Danish district camps in 2018. That is such a big honour and it exemplifies how our relationship with the Danish Lions has grown over the last years.

 

– Sofie Schøler Bargisen, ILO of MD106, Denmark

The participants of the Lions Camp E 2017

 

Chien Guide – Blind Dog – Cane Guida – Blindenhunde

On the 15th of October was the world white cane day, so we’d like to highlight an activity launched in France by Leo Club Paris Rive Droite, in partnership with the Lions Clubs of France.

The service dog activity is based on a sticker, that sends a message of support for blind people.

Beeing blind is a huge burden in our society where we are so dependent on our eyesight. Blind people have a couple of options to help themself get through their daily life. One of those options are the well known guide dogs, which help their master find their way around the town. But having a dog with you 24/7 causes other problems, we as the non blind people, might not even think about.

One problem for example is entering shops with a guide dog: usually dogs are forbidden in shops. Even though guide dogs are allowed everywhere since 1987, most owners are not sure if they are really welcome in that particular shop they are about to enter. Especially supermarkets and other food stores don’t like our four legged friends between all their groceries. This can be a huge factor of insecurity for guide dog owners.

On the other side shop owners usually have no problem with well behaved guide dogs showing their masters the way around their store.
To allow shop owners to show their sympathy for guide dog owners, the French Leos of Leo Club Paris Rive Droite created this sticker that can be stuck at the shop door or window.
This will allow the family and friends of the blind dog owners, to identify guide dog friendly stores and recommend these shops to them.

The stickers are at the moment available in four languages: French, English, Italian and German.
More Infos at: http://lionsclubhelenkeller.fr/chien-guide-et-son-maitre/
If you want to take part in this activity then fill out the form:
http://lionsclubhelenkeller.fr/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Chien_guide_commande.pdf
and write an E-Mail to chienguidebienvenueici@gmail.com

If the sticker ist not available in your language yet, then contact them as well and be sure to bring this activity to your country!

Xavier Maechler – ILO MD 103 France
Alexander Kölpien – ILO MD 111 Germany

LEO Activity at central of Finland

Leo Club Jyväskylä/Lohikoski has arranged activity to Jyväskyläs elderly people sheltered home. Young club members had fun with elderlies during whole time and everybody enjoyed staying. Actually so much that LEOs already promised to start cooperating in the future.

LEOs helped elderlies at planting violet seeds to little pots which were given to all participants to take their own home or leave to the people sheltered. Violets grow fast and they are easy to take care. Reward of little care comes with lovely blossoms which are joy for eyes.

After planting violets, LEOs arranged bingo game with small prices. Everyone had much fun and nobody wanted to stop playing bingo, even coffee was ready. At this point I want you to know that elderly people at Finland love coffee and coffee table talks above anything. After many rounds of bingo we enjoyed coffee and thanked the people and opportunity arranges activity. Experience did unite older and younger participants and many realize that we are quite the same and age is just the number when it comes for having fun.

by Kati Jaatinen

President of Leo Club Jyväskylä/Lohikoski, MD 107 Finland.

The Biggest discovery: Me and myself by The LEO Book

It all started when I was 14 and attending grammar school. I had a friend who was obsessed by what he was doing and spent all his time riding his bike. 15 years later he’s one of the best trial bike riders in the world. Thomas Öhler was my idol to that time and I was starting the process to find out, what makes me unique, what could be the discipline I am the best in. Well: time went by and I had to struggle with my life (a-levels, civil service, university and later my own company). Somehow I felt, that I am this “ordinary” guy with no special skills

.

*Self portrait during my university in 2004*

When I had a life changing experience in 2010 I decided to change something in my life but I was not really sure what I should do. An almost 2 year lasting process started in which I was thinking about where could I be “the best”. I actually did not really have a hobby to that time but my passion for graphic design and my dream of my little company. When thinking about me and myself I found out that photography was part of my life since 20 or so years to that time. So it was clear for me, that it should have to do with photography. But what should I photograph which nobody else photographed so far? I was very much involved in LEOnism to that time and I started to find out the greatness of this association in all it’s ways. By chance I found an article on the internet which told me, that in 2017 the Lions Clubs International will celebrate their 100th anniversary.

From this moment on, the idea of traveling the world and documenting the passion of LEOs and Lions worldwide followed me every day until I decided to start this project. I had no idea how to make this endeavor come true, but I started to talk to everybody I met, that I’ll be traveling the world until 2017 and will be visiting at least 50 LEO Clubs worldwide. It took me around 1,5 years to get in contact with LEOs around the world and start to my first trip to Italy  in 2014.

*The day I started with my first The LEO Book-related trip to Massafra, Italy in autumn 2014*

I changed a lot since I started the project. Every single trip is connected with fears, prejudices, questions, new people, giving up something known and for sure lots of new impressions. Also I do not want to disappoint my friends and readers of the Blog and facebook page. The whole process I’m going through makes me stronger and more self confident, which I actually like very much and never thought it would be possible.

100 projects, 60 Clubs and 25 countries later

Unfortunately I could not travel full time, but I am very proud of what I was able to do within the last three years. I met so many different people and could be part of an amazing movement in many different cultures.

I learnt a lot about LEO and LIONism so I better understand the power and impact of this worldwide community, which I am very proud of being a member in.

People often ask me: “What was your most memorable experience?”. To be honest, I can not answer this question, because every single experience is unique. Every time a person can experience help it’s a heartbreaking and touching moment.

*Feeding project in Manila (Philippines), 2016*

*Fashion show in an airport in Poznan (Poland) organized by LEOs in 2015*

*Organizing a charity paint nite in Kleinburg (Canada) in 2015*

*Donating time and serving as waiter in Bucharest (Romania) in 2015*

Overall I can say that there are so many people out there who are willing to help, who are donating their time without wanting something back. They just want to make other people happier or support their lives.

I would really love to visit and experience more! I would love to meet more LEOs and work even harder in spreading the magic of community service worldwide. Who knows, maybe I’m going for a second issue of the book – there are enough stories to fill dozens more books.

 Your name in the book

Yet you have the chance to get your name into the first issue of The LEO Book and save 10€ by pre-ordering it via my website http://www.theleobook.info until June 1, 2017.

The book will be printed in June and revealed during the Lions Clubs International Convention in Chicago in July.

 More Projects and Images

You can find more images and articles about projects around the world on my blog at http://blog.theleobook.info/

Twitter : https://twitter.com/theleobook

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theleobook

By Othmar Fetz, MJF

Lions Med Conference 2017 in Alexandria Egypt *Sea of Life*

 

Knowing that Egypt was chosen for the first time as the guesting country of this conference, due to its important status among the Mediterranean countries, using the motto “Sea of Life” referring to Alexandria’s charming sea, the conference Chairperson Dr. Mahmoud El-Maghraby, and organizers, planned to impress the guests through expert organizing, elegance of sessions, comfort of guests, generosity in hospitality, full press and media coverage, tourism rounds of Alexandria touristic places, and many other factors all of which contributed in success of the conference

Moreover, there are very important symbolic signs in the convening and success of this conference, most important of which is that the conference was based on many useful workshops and general discussion sessions among a great number of participants from over 26 Mediterranean countries, in the presence of Honorary guests and studies from former international director Harry Olgan, former international director Luis Dominguez, former governors Sami Berbari, Salim Mousan and Carlo Panucci

International President of the Lions Chancellor Bob Corlew and his Deputy, Ms. Gudrón Ingvadottir visited Egypt for the second time within 2 months, Corlew in his public speech with the press and media confessed that he was impressed by seeing all this expertise in conference organizing details, which in his opinion exceeded superiority of European countries in conferences arrangements, publishing that this conference was almost ideal in all aspects.

Success of achieving the goals of the conference was remarkable in strengthening friendship ties and love among the Mediterranean countries such as France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, North Africa, Slovenia, Palestine and others, which included a number of researches on the topics of environment, economy and community service projects aiming at exchanging experiences and supporting joint action and cooperation between the Mediterranean countries.

The conference succeeded in creating teamwork spirit of LEO Members and acknowledged their important part in the organization team, who learnt and gained the ability to organize future international conferences confidently.

Conference Magazine:

https://onedrive.live.com/view.aspx?cid=d6ea9f7e3265cfeb&id=documents&resid=D6EA9F7E3265CFEB%21125&app=WordPdf&authkey=AKEg4ZkQB5blLqE

By LION Fatina Hamdoun

Lions Egypt District 352

The Leo4Green Manifesto: Becoming a Drop in the Rain of Change

From the Oxford dictionary, we read that a “Manifesto” is a “public declaration of policy and aims” and that the origin of the term comes from the Latin “manifestus” that means “to make public”.

Over the course of history, many different Manifestos have been signed to publicly state causes deemed important: new arts movements (e.g. the Futurist Manifesto or the Surrealist Manifesto), political ideologies (e.g. the Anarchist Manifesto or the October Manifesto) and even related to technologies (e.g. the Manifesto for Agile Software Development). It was a simple way to get together and state, loud and clear: “This is something we believe in”.

In the world of increasing pollution levels, disappearing glaciers and endangered animal species we live in today, the Leo4Green Manifesto wants to be – first and foremost – the Leo way of declaring our intention to make our planet a better place.

The Manifesto is articulated in four key areas of actions: Water, Plants, Animal and Air. Each section indicates some possible service activities through which the signing club can take an active part to the activity, like planting trees or collecting food for animal shelters, but the possibilities are endless.

There is not one way to make the world better and, as also true in our European context, what can be the best service activity for one Country or a specific area, might not be the best for another. Leo4Green motivates each Club to go out in their communities and respond to the local needs as best as they can.

It is said that the world, out there, is thirsty for help and most get discouraged saying that a small single drop will never satisfy that thirst. But droughts are solved by rain and rain is nothing but an ensemble of small little drops.

Leo4Green embodies this spirit: each single green activity might appear small by itself, but adding them up – one by one – gives us that desperately needed rain. It unites European Leos against Environmental Issues.

How to join our green storm? Talk with your Club and agree to join the activity: then download the Manifesto from the European Leos website and follow the instructions and start being green in your own way! We are waiting for you!

By Eleonora Fresia – International Liaison Officer MD 108 ITALY

 

LCI Oakbrook NEWS: YEAHC (youth engagement ad-hoc committee)

According to the United Nations, more than half of the world’s population is under the age of 30. In fact, there are more young people in the world today than ever before. Yet our organization continues to struggle to engage youth in meaningful ways and attract young members. Membership data reveals that the average Lion is 66 years old and a small minority is under age 40.

In response to this global population trend as well as challenges related to diversifying LCI’s membership demographic, the Lions Clubs International Board of Directors approved the formation of an ad hoc committee on youth and young adult engagement. This committee has been tasked with developing strategies to engage more young people in our association and improve overall organizational appeal among a younger demographic. The committee will work toward these objectives through two key approaches:

  1. Improve current youth engagement models
  2. Explore the introduction and addition of youth and young adult leadership roles within the current Lions Clubs International structure
  3. Assess the age ranges and role of the Alpha and Omega clubs to promote Leo inclusion in the association
  4. Examine the role of LCIF in youth and young adult engagement
  5. Repurpose and integrate LCI/LCIF youth program support
  6. Explore alternative engagement models
  7. Brainstorm innovative engagement approaches and membership models to offer alternatives to the traditional service club for young people outside of the organization
  8. Develop interactive learning and training tools

The international Board of Directors recognize the value of Leo input and as a result with the development of this ad hoc committee, this is the first time that an LCI committee of the International Board is composed of both Leos and Lions. LCI recognizes that a crucial component of engaging young people, is inviting them to have a seat at the table, including them as stakeholders, and encouraging their input and ideas. We are pleased to have a European Leo representative, on the committee to voice the concerns and ideas that are unique to your area.

Your input as Leos of Europe is very important to the work of the committee. In particular, feedback on the Leo experience and how it can be improved, as well as how LCI can appeal to young people who are not Leos/Lions yet.

By LION Emily Burnett

Leo Club Program Manager

 

 

Lions Day at the United Nations

Lions Day at the United Nations

Lions Club International has the honour to be the only service organization who has a permanent seat at the United Nations. Due to this fact, Lions Club organize each year a day at the United Nations in New York and Geneva where Lions from all over the world are invited to discuss specific topics concerning the united nations goals, such as health, environment, equal rights or education. Here you can have a look at the United Nations sustainable development Goals: http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/

This year the 39th Lions Day at the United Nation was all about health and inclusion and was so far the biggest Lions Day held in the United Nations with over 850 participants, therefore we had the honour for the first time to be at the grand assembly hall in the United Nations in new York. And this year it was special that the panelist for the panel discussion about inclusion and refugees were mostly representatives from Europe. But before coming to the serious part, we also had some fun. The Leo Club program organized a pizza party one night before the United Nations Day to welcome all Leos. In total 150 Leos participated, most of the from the United States but we had the pleasure to have Leo Advisory Panelist Oona Stahle from Finland, International Liaison Officer from the Netherlands Guido Martens and Anna Jacobs and International Liaison Officer Deborah Herlan from Germany onboard. The next day started quite early in the United Nations. After the peace poster winning announcement and an inspiring speech of Special Olympics Chairperson Timothy Shriver, we had the opportunity to listen to the discussion concerning refugees and inclusion. The discussion was moderated by International Director Helmut Marhauer from Germany, on the panel there was the UN representative and Lion from Turkey Tulin Tanrikut, Special Olympic Athlete Mina Emad Fernan Bahgat and his brother Michael and International Liaison Officer Deborah Herlan from Germany.

During the panel discussion we heard the incredible story of Mina who has come in 2009 with his brother and mother as refugees from Egypt to the Netherlands and who has found a purpose in life thanks to Special Olympics. He is doing now ice skating and he won the national Special Olympics in the Netherlands and participated in the world Winter game lately in Austria. See his story here: http://www.espn.com/video/clip?id=18862032

Additionally International Liaison Officer Deborah Herlan talked about the different activities European Leos are doing for refugees and mostly about the project to include refugees in Leo Clubs and make them feel welcome. Giving refugees the opportunity to be a part of the Leo Club makes it much easier for them to integrate in the community and helps them to understand and learn each countries’ mentalities. The perfect example sets Javad Ahmadi who came as a refugee from Iran and joined the Leo Club in Nürnberg. He is going to be Club president of his Leo Club next year. Here you can find more information about what Leos are doing for refugees and how amazing the European Leo work is: http://lionsclubs.org/blog/2017/01/31/ldun-spotlight-leo-deborah-herlan/

It was a pleasure to have so many Leos participated in the Lions Day at United Nations this year and we sincerely hope to continue this way!

Deborah Herlan
International Liaison Officer 2016/17
Multi- Distrikt- Vorstand 2016/2017
Deputy Chairperson of International Liaison Officer Board 2016/17

 

 

LEO Club Crema and LEO Club Nice Comté de Nice twinning during the National Convention of MD 103 France

The 25th of march was a special day for the Leo Club Crema of the District 108 Ib3 Italy and for the Leo Club Nice Comté de Nice in the District R04 Z43 Cote d’Azur Corse.

In fact, they officially signed their international twinning during the event of the Leo National Convention of France.

In this special year, in which occurs the 60th anniversary of Leo Club International, the desire of starting an experience together, even outside the Country borders, gets an even greater importance.

The relationship between the two clubs started last summer when Letizia Vanelli,President of the Leo Club Crema, came to Nice for taking part in one of the local Leos meetings.

Letizia together with the president on Nice, Maya Ketfi, signed their twinning in the special and historical location of the Palais de la Mediterranee, a masterpiece of the architecture of the beginning of the ‘30s, located in the heart of Nice facing the Promenade des Anglais.

The night was enriched by the presence of the Multidistrict French President, Amandine Landeler,with the District President RamziKetfi.

It was also the occasion of exchanging flags, and for getting to know each other through games and dances.

 

One of the most emotional moment was listening to the Italian and french anthem together:a symbol of the international character of the JDP of this year.

On that special night the members of each clubs-ticked, on their jackets and dresses, the official sticker of the twinning, drawn by the Leo Club Crema’s President.

This special moment for the two Clubs is only the start of a long term relationship that will lead to a sharing of ideas and collaborative services.

By Letizia Vanelli, President of LEO Club Crema