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:


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


Leo club Helsinki/Itäväylä made a animal activity as part of Leo4Green

As part of European Leo activity Leo4Green our club Leo Club Helsinki/Itäväylä decided to do a one small activity for each team.

In autumn we did activity for water. Our club and some others from Leo club Espoo and Leo club Vantaa gathered up in to the center of Helsinki to collect trash from the shore of the Baltic sea. We collected various trash with in very good spirit. Also raised Leo awareness when people asked a lot of what we are doing and why. As a reward we got clean shore and had a lot of fun with each other’s.


Leo club Helsinki/Itäväylä made a animal activity as part of Leo4Green. We joined as volunteers into a cat house where a lot of an abandoned cats and other small animals are. For several hours we cleaned up homeless cats houses. We also got to play with the cats to get them used to the humans and get their muscles into a better shape. We plan to do this activity in the future as well. Maybe one day some of us will adopt one of them.
Annan luvat muokata tekstiä sekä vapaudet kuviin !

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: https://www.lions.de/web/lions.silkroadstars/start and https://www.facebook.com/lions.silkroadstars/

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 josef.ahmann13@gmail.com

Thank you very much!

Best regards

IPDG Josef Ahmann, District 111-BN

Lions Europa Forum 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Andreas Vejlstrup, ILO of MD-106 Denmark

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