The environmentalist and Brazilian photographer, José Geraldo de Souza Castro, Pedal Joe, 51, member of the Lions Clube of Viçosa (DLC12) visited this weekend the Moroccan city of Casablanca where he met with the president of the International Lions Clube, Al Brandel, and his wife Maureen Murphy, who are on an official visit to several Districts of the Lions in Africa.
During the meeting, Pedal Joe offered the president a copy of his project "Extreme Worlds" and talked about the importance, principally for the least developed countries, of the program "SightFirst" of the International Lions Club. "The Program SightFirst is a great light at the end of the tunnel. It is the tangible hope of millions of persons, most of them children, who dreamt of one day to be able to see again. And the program SightFirst is managing to realize that dream", said Joe.
After the meeting, Pedal Joe participated, after being invited by the Governor of District 416, Abdelkader Masnauni and by the ex-governor Aicha Detsulli, in the seminar "For a Responsible Leonine Ethic" and the launch of the plan of action of that Moroccan District, at the Faculty of Medicine of Casablanca. During the seminar, the difficulty of creating a proper Cornea Bank in the country was stressed, mainly for cultural reasons.
In her intervention, Maureen Murphy spoke about the experience that the couple had in Kenia, where they visited an Ophthalmology Hospital (built and equipped with allowances from the Program SightFirst) and they asked a patient who recently had had a cornea operation, a mother of 2, what were her feelings after being able to see again. And she answered: "To know my children and to be able to see their smiles".
Al Brandel also talked about the great social commitment of the Lions. He showed figures relating to the investments of the Program SightFirst in the region and of the efforts that the Club is making in combating "river blindness" in Africa, where it is expected to be eradicated during the next few years.
Tomorrow, Pedal Joe takes to the road again... he will face the great Sahara Desert!