National activity lead by LEOs and LIONS from Belguim

Only after the last tree has died 

The last river been poisoned

The last fish been caught

Will we realize we cannot eat money

#ProtectTheEnvironment #Lions100 #Centennial

#LetsPlantSomeTrees #Volunteering


On March 26th, all Belgian lion and LEO clubs combined forces to plant trees and remove garbage all over the country. And thanks to the lovely weather and the lovely people, it was a day to remember.

In Flanders, almost 4000 people joined the “Big Spring Event” to plant approximately 50000 trees on 19 different locations! Friends and families accompanied the Belgian Lions and Leo’s on this mission.

In order to successfully plant those trees, we were professionally guided by two non-profit organizations:  

  • Flemish Forest Group (Vlaamse Bosgroep)
  • Agency for Nature and Forest (Agentschap voor Natuur&Bos)

In Brussels, Lions and Leo’s gathered to remove as many litter as possible in the Sonian. This beautiful forest is now saved from tons of cans, plastic, …

In Wallony they organized a Eco Nettoyage Citoyen. 100 years, 100 clubs, 100 tons. That was their motto and so they did remove 100 tons of litter!

As you can see, the Belgians have shown that they care for nature. We understood that one day won’t be enough to save our planet’s most valuable assets, but perhaps this one day can be the start of a global awareness. And who knows it might prevent people from harming nature any further.

One step at a time.

By Jeroen De Muynck

MD 112 Belgium

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 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

Twitter :


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



The Leos-Rock-Vienna Weekend surrounding the LEO Summerball

Vienna is calling for all international Leos to enjoy a lovely weekend in Austria’s capital.

Over the last years, the Leos-Rock-Vienna Weekend surrounding the LEO Summerball has become a tradition. This weekend is the perfect opportunity to get to know Vienna from a local’s perspective. Not only will you experience a traditional Viennese Ball, but we, your LEO tour guides will also show you the best sights of Vienna.

On Friday, you will first enjoy a welcome dinner with traditional Austrian food and then we will take you on a tram party. And of course there is an Afterparty as well (would it be a true LEO party without one?). On Saturday you will see one of Vienna’s most well known sights and take part in a special scavenger hunt. In the early evening it is time to depart to the castle for the Summerball. In order to cure your possible hangover, we have set up a farewell brunch for you on Sunday.

Last but definitely not least, we want to give you some information about the ball. You will be able to enjoy an exhilarating night in a fantastic atmosphere: promenade through the park, try your luck at the tombola, celebrate at the bar or dance in the ballroom and in the disco. In true LEO spirit, the ball is of course a charity ball: the net profit of the evening is donated to regional projects.

We, the LEO Clubs St. Stephan and Opera, are looking forward to welcoming you in Vienna.

Further information and tickets are available on
Registration closes soon, so make sure to get your tickets today!

Alexander Gonzalez-Hernandez
2. Vize-Präsident
LEO Clubs Österreich – Gesamtdistrikt 114



The biggest LEO/LIONS Party in the World: Chicago LCIC 2017

Have you ever been to a birthday party with over 20.000 participants? Would you like to?

From June 30th to July 4th, 2017, Lions and Leos from all over the world will gather at the Lions Club International Convention in Chicago to celebrate together 100 years of Lionism and 60 years of Leonism.

If, though, taking part to the biggest and most amazing Leo/Lions party in the world is not appealing enough for you, let me give you a few more reasons as of why to take part to an LCIC is going to blow your mind.

My name is Eleonora Fresia and, in my life, I’ve been lucky enough to be able to take part to six International Conventions already.

During the first one, Indianapolis 2001, I was a sort of mascot for the Italian delegation: daughter of an Italian DG and at the tender age of 6, there was nothing else I could be. I can’t say I remember much of that experience, other than trading pins, receiving gifts and playing around the tables during the French Reception. But it was already pretty awesome.

It’s my second one however, Busan 2012, that made me a loyal International Conventioneer.

It was my third year as a LEO and my first time being able to meet international Leos and connect with the whole Lions Community. I remember sitting in the audience during the first plenary session, having a hard time coming to terms with how many people were attending the event: the room was huge and the number of seats was uncountable. The going out President of that year, PIP Wing-Kun Tam, was on stage talking about the service activity he had actively promoted during that year: planting one million trees. I can still see the screen in front of my eyes reaching that fated number and then climbing up at a vertiginous speed, going past the number of 12 million.

Over 12 million trees were planted during that single year, by a little less than one million and a half Lions Club members. That number shocked me: I hadn’t planted a single tree and yet number was so much greater than what seemed feasibly achievable: that instant, is the first time I realized exactly that we – as Leos and Lions – can change the world.

My third Convention, Hamburg 2013, showed me how fun a convention can be. I have not seen a more amazing wave than the one done in a loop by the audience while waiting for the International Show to start and I can’t remember laughing harder than when watching our International Executive Board dancing on the notes of YMCA.

During Toronto 2014 and Honolulu 2015, instead, I got shown the strength of Leos and how amazing it is to be part of the “Leos of the World” Delegation during the parade. The feeling of joy I felt in that moment, giving out flags, high-fives and hugs to total strangers – some Lions and some simple spectators – receiving so much love in return and sharing it with my fellow Leos was simply indescribable. The severe lack of voice due to becoming head chanter during the parade is quite hard to describe as well!

Fukuoka 2016, finally, was the time where I realized that there is nothing more special than finding yourself in the same place as more than 20.000 other people that believe in your same values and are as passionate about them as you are.  Conventions become the place where to make good friends: a special meeting point where to get to see them all, even if you are all from different sides of the world.

Conventions are all about sharing, learning and friendship. Sharing the happiness and joy of reuniting with friends and meeting new ones, of results achieved and of new objectives discovered. It’s a time of learning differences across countries, similarities in values, new service ideas and personal discoveries. It’s about connecting with the world, improving mutual understanding and creating friendships that will last a lifetime.

Every Convention is a unique opportunity, but this one, Chicago 2017, I can’t wait to take part to: A Centennial is something not many get to see and I’m happy I’ll be able to share it with many fellow European Leos. As a matter of fact, the more the merrier is a statement that well fits Conventions: if you want to join us for this incredible event, please know that you are still in time to register and we can’t wait to see you there!






Website link:

By Eleonora Fresia – International Liaison Officer MD 108 ITALY



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:

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:

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:

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



We need your opinion for the LEO Survey

We need your opinion! In order to get the best overview of the LEO movement in Europe and the Mediterranean area, all Leos are invited to fill in the second LEO Survey. It is very important to hear your thoughts about the LEO movement in your country. It only takes 5 minutes! Please answer the questions in English and do not forget to share it with other LEOs!

The LEO survey is an analysis of the situation of European and Mediterranean Leo clubs. The ILO Council wants to gather data about the LEO clubs in order to increase the general knowledge about the LEO movement. LEOs are invited to share their thoughts on the following subjects: their LEO club, their Leo life experience, Leo – Lions relationship, the ILOs and the future of LEOs. All the information gathered will be summarized into a report that will be made available for all LEOs, LIONS and the general public interested in the movement. By having this survey we hope that we can develop the LEO movement as we will know better what are our strengths and what we need to improve.

The first LEO survey was launched on 16 October 2011 by the ILO Council 2011/12 and later analysed by the ILO Council 2012/13. The survey included five main parts: General questions; Questions about your LEO club; Questions about personal LEO life and experience; Questions about Leo-Lions situation and Questions about international LEO situation.

When the survey was concluded on 2 July 2012, there were more than 500 responses, but only around 300 were completed either due to the survey being too long, technical problems or simply unawareness that the survey continued onto more pages! (hopefully we managed to fix all of that this time) The survey was completed by LEOs from 26 different countries nearly equally representing both genders. Based on the survey, the average LEO was 23.8 years old and had been a member for 4.4 years.

We recommend that you check out the whole analysis of the survey, but to give you a little taste, here’s the ideas some of you wrote in the last survey regarding increasing the LEO spirit and enhancing the member’s motivation:
– Successful activities are the key to member motivation;
– Members should try to get to know each other outside of the formal setting;
– Members should try to engage themselves in the district, multi-district and international movements;
– Organising team-building trainings;
– Attract new members by organising workshops useful also outside of LEO;
– Give new members responsibilities and the freedom to bring forward new ideas;
– More advertising, sharing success stories.

We hope that you will take the 5 minutes and share your valuable views with us because only with your input are we able to build the big picture! Don’t forget to share it!

Madalina Vlasie on behalf of the Lessons Learned team of the ILO Council

Fill in the LEO Survey


See the results of the previous LEO Survey 

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