Started in 1917, The International Association of Lions Clubs is now the world’s largest service organisation with over 1.4 million members in more than 43,300 clubs throughout the world.
Each club is independent, with its own constitution based on the international model, and is associated to the International Organisation.
Within each club, members agree their own set of rules (constitution) which is based broadly on the international organisation’s model. Each club is free to decide how funds are to be raised and to which worthy causes such funds are donated.
The primary aim of each club is to help their local community. However, small contributions from many thousands of clubs enable the wider organisation to run projects to alleviate suffering in different parts of the world. Examples are:
- Campaign Sight First, running for many years to help cure/prevent 40 million cases of blindness worldwide. In India alone, over 300,000 cataract operations have been funded and the number is growing rapidly.
- Sponsorship of water wells in Africa, to help local people live independently in a healthier environment.
- Medic Alert provides personal medical information to protect and save lives.
- Drug Awareness programmes in schools.
- Disaster relief such as earthquakes, floods and helping the “street children” of South America.
- Support for victims of conflict in former Yugoslavia by providing a childrens unit in Kosove Hospital, Sarajevo.
The objects of the organisation are:
- To create and foster a spirit of understanding among the peoples of the world.
- To promote the principles of good government and good citizenship.
- To take an active interest in the civic, cultural, social and moral welfare of the community.
- To unite the clubs in the bonds of friendship, good fellowship and mutual understanding.
- To provide a forum for the open discussion of all matters of public interest, provided, however that partisan politics and sectarian religion shall not be debated by club members.
- To encourage service minded people to serve their community without personal financial reward and to encourage efficiency and promote high ethical standards in commerce, industry, professions, public works and private endeavours.