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There's been a lot said and written about how the economic decline will impact the poorest of the poor, but much of it considers only how people already on the breadline will be affected - not that there will be far more of them. Conventional wisdom is that because there's less money in the economy and fewer jobs that it's the most vulnerable people - the aged, the young and the homeless - who will suffer most. They will, but not necessarily because they have less or no money.
The harsh reality is that these are people who don't tighten their belts because they are already uncomfortably taut. To survive they often depend on begging enough to buy food, scavenging what they can, either to eat or sell, and depending on social welfare organisations for help when they can't beg or scavenge.
Lions Clubs International Fund (LCIF) partners with Lions clubs and districts worldwide in carrying out humanitarian projects, ranging from preventing river blindness in Nigeria and remedying cataract in China to renovating camps for the disabled in the United States and meeting basic needs of victims of earthquakes and floods around the world.
LCIF's main focus is blindness prevention. Often partnering with other organizations, LCIF and its SightFirst program has made remarkable progress in the fight against blindness:
- We Lions have restored sight to 4.6 million people through cataract surgeries.
- We’ve prevented serious vision loss for 20 million people.
- We’ve built or expanded 207 eye hospitals/clinics/wards, upgraded 314 eye centres with equipment and provided management training for 92 facilities.
Most of SightFirst’s work is done in developing nations where the threat of vision loss is much higher and eye healthcare is sorely lacking. But SightFirst also battles blindness in developed nations. The Lions Eye Health Programme (LEHP), a SightFirst-funded initiative, is preventing blindness and vision loss in the United States and several other developed nations. LEHP is a community-based public awareness initiative that encourages the early detection and timely treatment of glaucoma and diabetic eye disease and the appropriate treatment for low vision.
Besides blindness prevention, LCIF also supports a wide variety of projects, including providing disaster relief, combating disability, promoting health and serving youth. LCIF helps develop children's hospices, care centres for the elderly, camps for special needs children and vocational programmes for people with disabilities.
Potchefstroom Lions Club currently runs the following projects and is also involved in the following charity projects:
- New Life DayCare Centre: The centre cares for 170 children. The classrooms are shacks (tin houses) and are extremely hot in summer and extremely cold in winter. The centre needs new classrooms.
- I Believe Projects: We will join the Lions Clubs International President's Project to plant 1 000 000 trees over the world in 2011/2012.
- Emmanuel Hospice: The Hospice takes care of 69 children of long-term ill patients and 170 long-term ill patients. They are treated on a home based care system and are not in-patients.
- Operation BrightSight: 10 people who are visually impaired received glasses through Lions International. Spectacles and glasses are also recycled and through LI, these glasses are made available to people who can’t afford it.
- Ikutseng School Feeding Scheme: It came to our attention that the school was promised computers by the Educational Department, but due to the unsafe classrooms, the request was turned down. We secured the place, installed burglar bars and the school is now ready to receive their computers. A need of 10 computers still exist.
- Foodbank for the NW Province and Potchefstroom: The project aims at providing a facility to act as a food bank to collect, store and re-distribute food to charities, schools, soup-kitchens and old age homes.
- Love Boxes Project: Through this project, ‘Love Boxes’ are handed out to traumatised children. This is one of our focus areas. These boxes are handed out to charity organisations that care for these children.
- Guide dogs: Money to train two guide dogs was recently donated to the Guide-Dog Association. The price of one guide dog is R10 000.00.
- Care for the care-givers: This project has the aim to care for those who care for the little ones. No-one ever focuses on these members. They are the welfare officers at the different facilities, the child-line operators, the members of the safe-house and members of the child protection units. Money is needed to train these members as councillors and to assist them financially, because most of them do this on a voluntary basis.
Your kind consideration and support to these projects is appreciated.
Operates in: Potchefstroom, North West
Established in: June 2006
Non-Profit Organisation Number: 074-393
Public Benefit Organisation Number: 930030756
Section 21 Company Number:
Contact person: Phillip van Dyk
Phone: 082 907 8599
Fax: 018 294 7480
Physical address: 16 Silwer Street, Potchefstroom, 2531
Postal address: P O Box 20463, Noordbrug, 2522
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