I welcome you all the new Lions Year 2016-2017.
As you may be aware, the Lions Clubs International is the largest service club organisation in the world with about 1.4 million members in more than 47,000 clubs in 210 countries and geographic areas around the globe. Since 1917, Lions Club have aided the blind and visually impaired, championed youth initiatives and strengthened local through service and humanitarian projects.
Today, in MD 404, Nigeria we have about 6000 members in 266 clubs divided into four Districts for administrative purposes and our District is 404B-2 with a membership of about 1500 Lions in 67 Clubs.
It is on record today that we run the biggest Motherless Babies Home in Nigeria (LIONS VILLAGE MOTHERLESS BABIES HOME) in Lekki ably managed by the Lions in partnership with the Lagos State Government. Also, the Lions Club in Nigeria have built and donated Hospices to various Hospitals, Classrooms and Libraries to Schools, Eye Center with Equipment to Hospitals (Ota and Isolo General Hospitals), Cancer Screening and Treatment Center in Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH Ikeja), Diabetes Screening & Treatment Center (Ede General Hospital), building and equipping of the Emergency Accident Clinic at the Sagamu interchange of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. Clubs and District in the past have sunk boreholes for portable drinking water in their communities, built Primary Health Centers, carried out thousands of eye screening and cataract surgeries, provided reading glasses to the needy, corneal transplant for the visually blind to see amongst several other projects and activities. In collaboration with Lions Clubs International Foundation LCIF) and other donor agencies, we have in addition built Roll Back Malaria House in Ibadan, Mercy Home for cancer patients in Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH, Idi Araba) and mass advocacy in the eradication of Measles. In summary, we have lived up to our motto "WE SERVE" and we are still “Loving Individuals Offering Needed Service". We beat our chest to say “WHERE THERE'S A NEED, THERE'S A LION".
Lions Club started in 1917 and our Centennial Celebrations in 2017 brings Lions together all over the world to celebrate 100 years of life changing humanitarian service. The centennial campaign kicked off since July 2014 and will run through to June 2018. Lions around the world within this period with impact 100 million lives in the areas of youths, vision, relieving hunger and the environment. I am happy to inform you that as at June 30, 2016 we have already touched the lives of 93 million people across the globe. We have therefore increased our target to 200 million lives. A single act of service can change a life. But when 1.4 million members come together to serve, we can change the world.
The new lions year begins July 1, 2016 and will run through June 30, 2017 when the 100th International Convention will start in Chicago, USA for the Centennial celebration. In our district during the period, we shall focus on the four centennial service challenge as follows:
1. ENGAGING THE YOUTHS
For nearly 100 years, Lions have served their communities with dedication and contribution to the development and wellbeing of millions of young persons including children. From August 8-14, 2016 we shall observe the Worldwide Week of Service for Youths and this will involve Lectures/Seminars on entrepreneurship for young graduates and training on bead making, cake baking, decoration, tailoring and barbing for unemployed youths. We will also visit and donate textbooks/notebooks to some selected schools within our coverage area.
2. SHARING THE VISION
Lions are dedicated to the fight against blindness. We are planning to hold Worldwide Week of Service in Sight from October 10-16, 2016. We shall screen and sponsor cataract surgeries for thousands of Nigerians. Donation of white cane and brail to blind schools and free eye glasses to those in need. The week will be rounded up with 'Dinner in the dark' in Ado Ekiti.
3. RELIEVING THE HUNGER
Lions Clubs within the district will be encouraged to mobilise their members to make a difference in their communities. At the District level from Janauary 9-15, 2017 we shall observe Worldwide Week of Service to Fight Hunger which majorly will focus of feeding the poor and de-worming exercise.
4. PROTECTING OUR ENVIRONMENT
We plan to mobilise lions club members to make a positive impact in protecting and preserving the environment. April 17-23, 2017 has been set aside as Worldwide Week of Service to Protect our Planet. Activities for the week include but not limited to planting of over 10000 trees, clean up activity of roads and gardens/playgrounds.
Finally, we shall make a lasting gift to our community enhancing our visual presence in Nigeria. We are already in talk with the Lagos State Park and Gardens (LASPARK) for the development of a Centennial Lions Park project in Ilupeju. This will serve as our Legacy Project.
It is in light of the above that we humbly seek your personal and corporate intervention/support towards the success of these centennial campaign activities as well as our various programmes lined up for the 2016-2017 Lions service Year.
We are set to climb new mountains of service to humanity and sustain our legacy of service which has made up the global leader in humanitarian services.
Together, we shall connect and impact millions of people's lives in communities across our district.
LION (ESV) TAIWO ADEWUNMI (PMJF,NLCF)
Centennial District Governor 2016-2017
District 404B-2, Nigeria
Lions Clubs International is the world's largest service club organization with more than 1.4 million members in approximately 46,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas around the world.