Whenever a Lions Club gets together, problems get smaller and communities get better. Today the Lions evidenced this by announcing to embark on a comprehensive ushs1billion eye project in Acholi sub-region. This was revealed by the Lions International 2nd Vice President, Gudrun Bjort Yngvadottir during a meeting with the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga yesterday.
Gudrun, who is visiting Uganda for the first time and was accompanied by her spouse; Past International Director Dr. Jon Bjarni Thorsteinsson said that Lions’ work in Uganda supplements government efforts in the areas of health, education, emergency relief and environmental protection. “This is my first time in Uganda and I want to make it count, and because we give help where it is needed, I will be looking at our past interventions and even areas to where to lend a hand”.
The Speaker welcomed the delegation and promised to inform the Members of Parliament who are Lions about their delegation’s visit. She requested the Lions to revive the shelters that were erected on road sides as, they used to help people who could not easily access some medical services.
Kadaga further congratulated Gudrun upon her election as the first female Vice-President after 100 years, and said it is a great milestone towards achieving equality. She urged the Lions to venture into investments that will increase employment opportunities for youthS in Uganda.
“It is always great news when a woman breaks the ceiling. I am happy that the Lions club of Uganda has a 30% women membership, which is good gender balance”, she said.
The Lions Clubs International Foundation has been in Uganda for the last ten years and has spent over US$10million under the Sight First Programme. From being involved in hundreds of cataract operations, fight against river blindness and trachoma to the provision of eye glasses for the visually impaired. The Lions have also provided immunisation against measles and polio, developed and facilitated health facilities such as the Rugarama Health Centre in Kabale, Masaka and Kayunga.
In the area of education worldwide, the Lions Clubs invested over US$200,000 to train over 600 teachers from over 200 schools, and provided workbooks for over 12,000 students under the Lions Quest Skills for adolescence program. This life skills program helps parents, teachers and communities prepare young people to avoid negative influences and bad habits, and promote responsible decision making, good character, and service to the community. Lions Clubs in Uganda have also provided reading materials to different schools for disadvantaged children under the Lions’ Reading Action Program (RAP).
The International Association of Lions Clubs is celebrating 100 years of existence. The Association comprises of 46,000 clubs and 1.4+ million member club organizations in over 206 countries. Under the Association’s banner of “We Serve”, Lions all over the world have, over the years, served and supported their own communities and responded to major disasters, supported the youth, and participated in environmental protection activities with unmatched integrity and energy.
Source: Parliament of Uganda