12 September saw the NSL officers from 11 Districts from 4 countries gathering in Solihull for their annual Board Meeting. Our District is part of this international inter Lions co-operation organ and it was 105M’s turn to organise the event. Not only is it an honour to do such, but this time NSL celebrated its 35th birthday. And hearing the officer’s talk about the work of NSL, it feels like we are just at the beginning.
At the board meeting besides the Officers also a number of guests were participating, amongst them our DG, Heather Jeavons. Several subjects were discussed, mainly the status of the projects in hand and the new project which will get the funds in 2017.
It was delightful to hear that the project supported by our sister district 105E in Kenya, for extra classrooms at the ChinK (Children in Kenya) academy was successfully completed. The Kicukiro project in Rwanda supported by Dutch district 110BN was progressing steadily, albeit slowly.
Of the projects suggested last year, the Creative centre at a Bucharest Hospital had to be dropped as a result of, let’s call it, bureaucracy. The other project, building a kitchen and class rooms at an orphanage in Mfuleni township, South Africa, supported by 111NW (Germany) was completed and the presentation with pictures and film was a pleasure to watch.
This year we decided to support again 2 projects. The dropping of the Bucharest project meant that €48.000 could be spent on a project proposed by 106C (Denmark). This project is building a solar energy field that will supply energy to a hospital in Tanzania. The new project, selected in 2015 with the funds becoming available in 2016 is a project supported by 111MB (Germany). It is an orphanage in Lithuania that is in an extremely dilapidated state and need urgent refurbishment. The total cost is almost €300,000, of which NSL will supply €60,000. The other monies will come from German clubs, LCIF and the municipality. It is important to remember that all these projects are managed with a local sister Lions club, insuring proper management of the project and no money falling by the wayside. Every penny/cent is accounted for!
After the serious part, partners returned from their morning in Birmingham and after lunch everybody went to Cadbury’s world. In the evening we had a festive dinner. We were all excited to have our DG Heather and 105’s Council Chair Simon Moss with us. We listened to inspiring speeches and we are all convinced that 35 year young is what we are and NSL is an organisation that will make more noise as it grows older.