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Clubs join international Tsunami relief effort

19 January 2005

New Zealand Lions Clubs join international Tsunami relief effort

The recent Tsunami has prompted substantial support from Lions Clubs around the world.

An initial donation of US$5 million has been committed by Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) to assist in the Tsunami relief effort and Lions Clubs New Zealand is joining LCIF in their appeal. A Lions Clubs New Zealand Tsunami Relief Fund has been established for donations from both the efforts of fundraising initiatives of Lions Clubs nationwide and individual contributions.

Immediately after the Tsunami, Lions in the affected countries quickly sprang into action to provide aid to survivors and have since worked with government officials on planning long-term reconstruction.

Ron Lawrence, Chief Executive Officer, Lions Clubs New Zealand says “The donated funds will enable Lions in South Asia to continue to assist in the rebuilding of homes, schools and child welfare centres for orphans and provision for psychological treatment and physical rehabilitation for children and emotional counseling for adults.”

As with other fundraising organisations, the Government have accredited Lions Clubs New Zealand with a dollar for dollar donation subsidy (up to NZ$100,000) through the New Zealand International Aid and Development Agency.

Mr Lawrence appreciates that New Zealanders have already donated generously following the Tsunami but urges kiwis to continue to dig into their pockets.

“The extent of the devastation is vast and every little bit counts,” says Mr Lawrence.

To donate to LCIF Tsunami relief efforts in Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Thailand please send cheques to:

Lions Clubs New Zealand Tsunami Relief Fund 2005 LMLCCT PO Box 1335 Palmerston North

Local Lions Clubs relief efforts have included: In Sri Lanka, Lions worked long days organising relief and are a key partner of the government’s relief agency. One district, for example, sent 60 truckloads of food and supplies to relocation camps and is organising the installation of tents at a new relocation camp in western Sri Lanka.

In Indonesia, Lions contributed greatly to relief efforts in some of the hardest hit areas. Thirty clubs near Medan provided logistical support for aid shipments to Bandh Acheh and sent out four trucks of materials daily. They also provided shelter, food, and clothing to refugees who entered Medan. Lion-doctors from Jakarta and Medan provided medical treatment. Lions also made preliminary plans to support the educational needs of orphans.

In India, 20 Lions’ ambulances and a team of 80 Lions volunteer medical doctors are providing first aid near Chennai. Nearly 70 clubs fanned out in the region from Parassalla to Haripad to distribute food and clothes at the relief camps. Lion-doctors conducted free treatment at relief centres. In Thailand, Lions in Bangkok have sent water tanks and trucks loaded with supplies to Phuket. Lions are working with government officials and relief agencies to provide for basic needs at relocation camps.

ENDS

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