"I call on Lions to be Knights of the blind"
"Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much"
Helen Keller (1925)
Since Helen Keller spoke at the 1925 International Convention Lions Clubs have been carrying out sight projects. To save the sight or to improve sight is one of the greatest gifts that we can give to our fellow human beings. All those who have suffered from cataracts will know the relief that comes after a successful operation - the world becomes clearer and more colourful.
How can Lions help? We can support World Sight Day, Sight Savers, the Korle Bu project, Talking Newspapers and LEHP, Recycle unwanted specs, as well as helping any individuals known to clubs who have lost their sight.
Chichester Lions Club is sad to have to announce that with immediate effect it is suspending the Spectacles & Hearing Aids Project at the Apuldram Centre.
Most of our volunteers are in the "vulnerable" group who have been advised by the government to stay at home and not have any social contact so it will be too difficult to maintain any level of sorting under this condition.
Please do not send or deliver any spectacles to our centre for the foreseeable future and until we have released a statement that we are fully operational again. We will try to keep our website updated on www.chilions.org.uk
We also have to report that Parcel Force have terminated the contract that has enabled clubs to send spectacles to us for many years. This has nothing to do with the current situation with coronavirus. Over the years the use of this contract has grown exponentially and has to a certain extent been misused with e.g. call-outs just to pick up one small box and others asking for the "24-hour" service.
We will try to talk with the company to see if the contract can be reinstated and if not try to find another carrier who might be able to help.
Once we are in a position to reopen, clubs that are able to deliver directly to us can continue to do this.
We thank all clubs that have participated in our project over the years and hope that we will soon be able to continue our work.
We wish you all the best in the difficult times ahead.
See also the Spectrek page for more information.
Lions and sight savers
Lions and Sightsavers began working together in the 1970s. Lions Sight Savers is a registered charity which donates on average £80,000 a year to Sightsavers work in India. Clubs support the Comprehensive Eye Services (CES) Programme which provides integrated services of eye care, education and rehabilitation across various communities.
Comprehensive eye services (CES)
The CES programme is able to offer something to everyone with a sight related problem. A blind person is directed to rehabilitation or training, a blind child will be helped to be integrated into school and all other eye problems are dealt with appropriately through health education, treatment or surgery.
A Lions Club's donation now buys a share in integrated services of eye care, education and rehabilitation. Reports are issued to Clubs that donate £250 or more. The report identifies which CES project their money has gone to and gives an update on the previous twelve months activities. The report includes a map identifying the area of the country where the Comprehensive Eye Services are being provided.
For more information about Lions and Sightsavers contact email@example.com
Eye camp programme
This original programme grew out of the Lions Sight Savers Eye Camp programme, which started over 30 years ago. In that time a very large number of people have had their problems identified and their sight restored. Originally cataract operations were carried out in the back of Land Rovers or under canvas, but thankfully with time conditions have improved and now those requiring treatment are taken to hospitals (some of which were built with Campaign SightFirst funds) for improved treatment.
Unfortunately not all those arriving at an eye camp could be treated. Some were incurably blind, or might have a condition that a cataract operation would not help.
This is the Lions International Eye Centre that has been established by joint funding by Lions in MD105, LCIF and Moorfields Eye Hospital in Korle Bu, Ghana. It not only provides eye care in an area that currently has very poor resources in this area but will be a teaching hospital for all of West Africa.
Many Lions Clubs arrange for their local Newspapers to be recorded so that those who are visually impaired can keep informed of what is happening in their area. It is possible to receive LION in this format.
More information can be obtained from Lion Sandra Manktelow
Lions Eye Health Programme (LEHP)
The Lions Eye Health Programme, launched in 1998, is a community based awareness-raising project in partnership between the Lions Clubs of the British Isles and Ireland, the International Glaucoma Association, Diabetes UK and the Macular Disease Society. There are now about 500 Lions Clubs actively campaigning LEHP through their volunteer members.
Contact Officer Lion Sandra Manktelow