Lions Club of Denver, USA, arrives in Ethiopia Jan. 25, to conduct an eyesight screening campaign. Seven Lions will make the journey to Africa and will be accompanied by another seven volunteers from the United States; four members of the group from the U.S. are of Ethiopian descent.
The campaign will focus its service mostly on schoolchildren in the towns of Ebinat, Arba Minch, Shashamane and Shone. The Lions will be bringing eyeglasses collected by its statewide Recycle for Sight program. The schoolchildren will be tested and then fitted on-site with eyeglasses, as needed. The group expects to see nearly 2,800 children in total.
The volunteers include:
Dr. Sue Benes, an ophthalmologist from Buena Vista, who spent much of her career in academia at Ohio State University and has done research and clinical work around the world in places like Kenya, Ecuador and the Middle East;
Lion Myrna Ann Adkins, past executive director of The Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning in Denver and a participant in screening campaigns in Ecuador and Mongolia;
Lions Steve and Susy Kinsky, who have conducted eyesight screening campaigns in Ecuador, Senegal, Rwanda, Nepal, Mongolia and Mexico; and
Lion Mel Tewahade of Ethiopia, who is the primary organizer, with help from his Ethiopian contacts Adu Worku in Ebinat and Pochi Seifu in Shone, among others.
Lions Clubs International (LCI) was founded in 1917 and has over 46,000 Clubs and 1.4 million members in 206 countries around the world. Lions Club of Denver was also founded in 1917 as one of the 23 charter Clubs of LCI. Lions has the motto “We Serve,” and Lions Club of Denver is motivated by the adage: “In life, you need to breathe to survive, but you need to see to thrive.” Lions sees this impending trip to Ethiopia as a way to demonstrate its capacity for bringing different cultures of the world together through humanitarian service.
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