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9 minute video

Gift for Living

Lions Clubs International ‘A Gift for Living Trust’ has been working successfully in the countries of the Balkans for over 25 years, following the series of violent conflicts that took place between 1991 and 2001. Thanks to the support given from Lions Clubs across the British Isles and Ireland, well-trained doctors and nurses are now successfully treating up to 500 babies and 400 children each year.

The Support Given

In November 2018, A Gift for Living helped to co-ordinate a vision screening project in Albania. The target agreed with the Albanian Government was for 6,000 screenings. A total of 7,200 people, both old and young were screened. Two young girls were identified as being in need of surgical procedures and A Gift for Living enabled these to be successfully carried out in Novi Sad, Serbia one year later, in November 2019. Life-changing results for these two young girls. Lions and Leos from several countries played an important part in the success of these surgeries. Fundraising for this treatment took almost a year and came from many donations, as mentioned, the results of the treatment were life-changing and consequently rewarding to all donors.

A Gift for Living, Lions Clubs International Foundation and the Lions Clubs UK Charity Foundation have assisted the countries of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia during COVID-19. Support has been provided through funding to allow the Lions members within the countries to disseminate personal protective equipment and sanitising equipment, during what can only be described as dire circumstances.

What is Currently Needed

A school in Sarajevo for some 300 children with a range of intellectual disabilities needs members’ help to refurbish and repair the kitchen that has been condemned as being unfit for purpose, there is currently no hot food. There is no dental care or oral hygiene. Dentaid (our UK dental charity) are working with us but they have also been in a lockdown situation.

Women in the university hospital in Tuzla are relying on Lions members to help to finalise the surgical bed project that will give dignity and hope to those in need of modern gynaecological procedures.

Refugee Crisis. There are an estimated 23,000 displaced individuals in Bosnia and Herzegovina fleeing someone or something, all desperate for a chance of a better life in Western Europe. Local lions clubs have limited resources but are supporting where they can. COVID-19 has been incredibly difficult to handle within these areas.