LEPF2018 – An #HUNFORGETTABLE Weekend

Between January 26th and January 28th 2018 I, along with other 80 Leos from all over Europe, got to participate to LEPF2018.

It has been wonderful.

It is always nice to get the chance to meet friends and Visegraad offered a beautiful surrounding for this meeting. I was sad that I forgot my swimsuit, because the swimming pool looked quite inviting, but the hotel offered so many other entertainment choices that I was not sad for long (the bowling alley was quite unexpected, but very welcome).

We need also to talk about the Program: who did not love the ice breaking activities? They were hilarious and it was great to see how the Las Vegas Theme had been incorporated into them!

My favourite one was for sure the toilet paper game. It was hard to guess what it was for at the beginning, but it was a quick way to get to know someone else, that’s for sure! Dora, from the Orga-Team, did an awesome job in energetically hosting the night!

The Vegas party itself was a blast and there was more than one wedding that night: when Simone from my delegation married his beer (is that even allowed? Well, welcome to Vegas baby!) I could have died from how funny it was.

As an ILO, fun aside, the thing I was looking forward the most was also our face-to-face meeting. As some may know, as ILOs, we work for the most part of the year through monthly meetings online and we get to meet in person (officially) only twice a year at LEPF and LEF. Hungarian Leos and Lions made us feel extremely welcome, lending us a nice meeting room in the middle of Budapest to have our morning meeting on Saturday. We missed some truly amazing activities, but it was great to work together and we ended up having an extremely productive morning during which also our beautiful Leo4Green video was shoot (you can see it on our FB page European Leos or Leo4Green – European Activity).

Then there was lunch. Now, as an Italian I love tasty food and I was not disappointed! I cannot wait to be back to get some more galuska (also called nodekli). It was truly delicious (if anyone got the recipe, please send it to me!)

In the afternoon, I finally got the chance to roam around Budapest. Unlike many other participants, it was my first time in the city and the beautiful sights stunned me. The Parliament is definitely an impressive building and the Danube River is just beautiful. In addition, our guides (other members of an #HUNFORGETTABLE Orga-Team) had all kind of stories to tell us that made the trip all the more interesting! I think the most shocking one was the one of the artist that created the statues on one of the bridges of the city that bragged about having sculpted the perfect lions. He suicided after discovering he had made them with an open mouth and forgot to sculpt them the tongue (weird story all right, probably why it stuck in my brain!).

Then came the magic kingdom party that was, well, pure magic. We were sent back to the middle ages with all kind of characters coming out (Vikings and princesses, village fools and kings!) and a beautiful visit to the Royal palace present in Visegraad.

Just amazing.

Now, you might be wondering why I am here with an hour by hour telling (more or less) of a beautiful weekend. The answer is easy: because soon it will be possible to book LEF2018! So be ready on April 7th if you do not want to miss an incredible experience, such as the one above, in the week from August 25th to September 1st!

Once again a big thank you to the Orga-Team 2018 for having organized an amazing LEPF2018 and best of luck for LEF2018! See you in Visegraad!

 

– Eleonora Fresia, ILO MD 108 ITALY

LEO Clubs of Estonia – small but busy

This article is from the German Leo Life magazine.

The last few years have been busy for Estonian LEOs, there are only 5 Clubs of us but we still manage to do a lot and keep the people around us happy. Year 2016 was exceptionally exciting for us since for the first time we organized Leo Europa Forum which was held in a beautiful sea-side city called Pärnu, located in South-Estonia. The slogan of LEF2016 – “one country, many stories” served well its purpose since people often don’t know much about Estonia so it was our pleasure to introduce the beauty and tales of our country to other LEOs. During LEF we learned a lot about Estonian culture by visiting different cities, spending the night with traditional Estonian folk-dancers and helping the environment by cleaning the beach from trash. This event worked so well that the Lions of Estonia are now organizing the Lions Europa Forum 2019 in our capital city Tallinn and they have kindly asked us to help them by organizing workshops and city tours.

Last year Estonian LEOs in collaboration with Lions and an Estonian eyewear store we started a project called “Eyes are the window of the heart”. Within this activity we have an eye-doctor who helps us to visit schools around Estonia to check the eyes of young school kids who haven’t been or don’t have a chance to visit a doctor that often. So far, we have managed to check almost 400 eye pairs and keep on going.

Another bigger project which includes all LEO’s is our yearly district project, this time – a car orientation game. It is held in different locations all around Estonia and with the money we collect we help volunteer rescuers to buy expensive necessary equipment that they need in everyday bases.  There have been already four of those kinds of events and as long as we have people who are interested in doing good the car orientation is continuing throughout the year.

Next to the club-based projects, we have joined the European Activity –  Leo4Green with the whole district. All of our clubs signed the manifesto and are dedicated to organize green projects. Some examples include donating money received from recycled bottles to unprivileged children and helping elderly with gardening works. World Clean Up Day 2018 is also an Estonian initiative which we hope to join in Autumn together with our Lions clubs.

-Marta Suitslepp, Member of D-120, Estonia

Disabled Youth Camp 2017: the experience of the Leos of District 108Ia3

Every year, in the summer, Leo and Lions District 108Ia1, Ia2 and Ia3 come together to organize the Disabled Youth Camp.

«The Disabled Youth Camp is a unique experience, that opens your eyes with joy on a reality often characterized by invisibility, exclusion and indifference», says Veronica Rinaldi (Leo Club Mondovì Monregalese), «it makes you understand how little is needed to make someone smile» adds Barbara Provera (Leo Club Ventimiglia). In Daniele Armando opinion (Leo Club Busca e Valli) «to see the participants challenge themselves, try new experiences, smile, hug, change and open up leave an indelible mark» and, concludes Alessia Macrì (Bra) «it makes your heart explode».

These are the words of some of the members of our District that have tried, for the first time, the experience of the Disabled Youth Camp 2017, that took place from July 8th to July 16th in Domodossola and has been organized by the three Lions and Leo Districts  Ia1, Ia2 e Ia3: they left anxious, excited and unaware of what they would have found. They have come back deeply enriched. Yes, because Daniele, Alessia, Francesca, Barbara, Veronica e Virginia have  lived the Camp each one in their own way, but all conscious that they have been changed by it. To tell our District or anyone else what we have experienced is impossible: the joy of who, limited by their disability in their everyday life, can enjoy a thermal bath, dance at the disco-pub, play the siren of the Vigezzina, sing with the musician of a restaurant on a terrace looking out on the lake, petting a horse, fly in a helicopter, let their face be wet by the waters of the Toce waterfalls…it’s not possible to express it in words.

These boys and girls have shownus their happiness and their joy with dozens, hundreds, thousands of hugs to which we have become dependent in just a few days: with misty eyes at the time of departure, we tried to demonstrate to them how grateful we were. Thank you for having taught us to give the stress and angers of everyday the little importance they deserve, to appreciate more our lucks and to look with admiration the courage of those that face, always with a smile, a Iife that is difficult but still full and wonderful.

Our District President and Camp Leader Emilia Fresia commented: «I’ve been really proud to see so many Leos of the District face this challenge as the disabled youth did: I’m very happy to have helped realize this small miracle for these people and their families».

Written by: Macrì Alessia – Leo Club Bra

Christmas Activities in LEO Club Aarhus

On the 14th of December LEO Club Aarhus organised two Christmas activities for children and young people in the area around Aarhus. One of them was at the orphanage Dalgaarden and the other one in The Greenlandic House where Foreningen Grønlandske Børn (an organisation that helps Greenlandic children and their families) had a Christmas party. Before these two activities LEO Club Aarhus had received the children’s wish lists and went Christmas shopping. This meant that every child got exactly what they wished for.

After our Christmas shopping we went to the two institutions. At Dalgaarden we sang traditional Christmas songs (we really know Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer by heart now) and had traditional Danish doughnuts and handed out the personalised gifts to the children. At The Greenlandic House we made some Christmas decorations and sang Christmas songs in both Danish and Greenlandic. We had gifts for both the children and their families. The children got a personalised gift and their family got a Christmas basket filled with food and Christmas candy. We even were so lucky that Santa paid a visit. He is from Greenland anyway so it makes perfect sense that he wanted to go to their Christmas party 😉

Our Christmas activities are definitely one of the highlights every year. Almost since our chartring in 1989 we have handed out Christmas presents to an orphanage. Our former collaborator Himmelbjerggården closed two years ago so we set up a new collaboration with Dalgaarden. Actually, a few of the children from Himmelbjerggården were moved to Dalgaarden and they actually remembered us visiting them with Christmas presents. That is cool!
To actually buy a personalised present and not just buy in bulk makes the experience even better – especially because we are involved in every step of the activity. The absolute highlight is of course when the children open their presents and we see how happy they become. We actually often get hugs from the children because they are so grateful for the presents. That truly makes being a LEO the best thing ever!

-Sofie Schøler Bargisen, ILO of MD106 Denmark

 

“ABRAÇAR PORTUGAL” (EMBRACING PORTUGAL)

It was on the 8th and 9th of December that the portuguese Leos returned to embrace Portugal.

This activity, that took place in Porto, Covilhã, Coimbra and Lisbon, was attended by dozens of Leos who crossed the streets of these cities, giving (free) hugs to those who passed by and also transmitting messages of joy and unity.

Apart from spreading happiness in some of the main cities of the country, this activity also aimed to celebrate the International Leo Day (this time the 60th anniversary of the movement) in the best way that Leos know – with originality and small gestures, providing a moment of tenderness to those who pass us by.

– Mafalda Infante ILO of MD115, Portugal

The LEO Club Wels (Austria) challenges LEOs from all over Europe!

Every year in spring, the members of LEO Club Wels (MD 114-M) challenge themselves and their friends with a bowling tournament. They try to play as many points as possible within three hours time. Each point equals a certain amount of money – let’s say 0,30€. The more points they reach, the more money they’ll use for a local charity project. For the last couple years the LEO Club was able to help dozens of people and children in their hometown with that project.
2018 the LEO Club Wels is celebrating it’s 20th anniversary. For that reason they would like to challenge LEOs from all over Europe as well and invite them to come to Wels for an exciting weekend. Therefore they organized the so called International Leo-Charity-Bowling-Weekend  from March 16 to March 18. Three days full of culinary, friendship, cultural-exchange, local food, parties and for sure the annually „Charity Bowling“-Activity.
The costs for the whole weekend will be just 60€ including two multi-course dinners, snacks, lunch-packs and a fabulous brunch. There will be also a night-watchman hike through our ancient town and an excursion to a steel factory. For those who love to party: you’ll be having a big St. Patricks-Day Party on Saturday with your own live band (the singer was in the final rounds of The Voice of Germany).
Interested? Great – get in contact with us via facebook or E-Mail.
Link to the event on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/174899153112368/
Link for registration: https://goo.gl/DhDhfS
–  Othmar FetzLEO Club Advisor

Young Leaders Ignite the Power of Action

The Youth Ad Hoc Committee is dedicated to promoting young leaders as the key to the success of Lions Clubs International’s future. LEOs bring fresh ideas, have a passion for serving and represent the next generation of leaders.

Watch this video to see what youths are doing in their communities!

atch this video to see what youths are doing in their communities!

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