Since 1925 Lions have been responding to the challenge of Helen Keller to become “knights of the blind” and as a result Lions Clubs worldwide are in the forefront of an international campaign to eradicate curable and preventable blindness.
Today, in South Africa, we are one of only two community based organizations continuously committed to reducing the indigent cataract surgery backlog which is well over 15000 patients in the Western Cape alone. In Namibia there are an estimated 12000 sufferers.
District Sight activities include bursaries for qualifying blind and partially sighted students at all education levels / assistance with school fees, books and clothing and clubs are involved in collecting used spectacles from the public as well as providing eye testing and low cost spectacles to indigents.
Clubs generate their own income which is used to fund their community service projects as well as supporting core district projects like Cataract Surgery in the Lions Eye Health Program.
Campaign SightFirst 2 is the international funding arm for worldwide involvement in raising US$200 million to fight preventable blindness caused by cataracts, Vitamin A deficiency, River Blindness etc. Since the success of the first phase the program has trained many eye specialists, established clinics and eye hospitals and provided services resulting in:
- Restoring the sight of over 4,6 million through cataract surgery.
- Improving eye care facilities for hundreds of millions world wide.
- Preventing serious vision loss for another 20 million.
Lions District Food Project (LDFP)
“We Serve feeding the Hungry” is an apt slogan for what is arguably the oldest and biggest food project of its kind in South Africa having operated since 1970 and now feeding more than 60000 needy people a day, 363 days of the year, through the collection of foodstuff from supermarkets and other sources.
Baker products, fruit and vegetables which have reached their sell by date are collected daily, mainly from Pick n Pay stores, sorted and distributed to over 179 organisations. Those supported by the LDFP include schools, churches, orphanages, senior’s homes, clinics for both tuberculosis and HIV / AIDS sufferers, soup kitchens for the orphaned children of AIDS sufferers and families and groups who would otherwise starve without this daily support.