Thursday, 12 February 2009

10/02/09: Pedal joe at the Lions' All Africa Forum

The Brazilian José Geraldo de Souza Castro (Pedal Joe), 51, member of the Lions Club of Viçosa, DLC12, APLIONS and CIRCLE, is in Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso, where he attended, between the 5th and the 7th of February, the 14th All Africa Congress, which had as its central subject: 'WORK: A MIRACLE AGAINST POVERTY', organized for the African Districts and counted with the presence of representatives of all African countries as well as delegates from other continents (Asia, Europe, Americas).

The objective of this conference was to continue to establish bonds, to consolidate the brotherhood and to strengthen the friendship between the African peoples and also to strengthen the paper of the civil society in development.

During the event, there were training workshops for the regional leaderships aiming at preparing the members of the diverse Lions Districts of Africa for managemental functions of the club and in its communities, pursuing the development of knowledge in communications, motivation, group dynamics and team management.

The workshops were directed by the former-president of the Lions Club International, Mahendra Amarasuyia.

The next All Africa conference, will be carried out between the 3rd and the 6th of February, 2010, in the Moroccan city of Marraquech (

Pedal Joe returns today to Senegal to continue his trip to South Africa.

Lions are known in the whole world for the services they provide for the blind and the partially-sighted. This service was created when Helen Keller challenged Lions to become the knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness, during the International Convention of the association in 1925.

Since then, Lions Clubs, in the whole world, embarked on many fields related to sight in order to, help the blind and to prevent curable blindness. It is being quoted for memory that: the white cane which was designed by Lions Clubs in 1930 to help the blind to move, schools to train dogs guides for the blind are also supported by Lions Clubs.

Through the SightFirst campaign, the Lions:

• Are now recognized as world leaders with regard to the control of sight-related diseases:
• Played a significant role in the removal of cataract as a serious problem of public health in several countries ;
• Raised the awareness of Governments on the importance to support blindness control, and further sensitized the WHO on the importance of ocular corners by doing their best so that this question be recognized as a real threat to public health.

Acting locally but thinking globally, one of the great objectives of the Lions Club it is to eradicate Oncorcescose (river blindness) in South America by the year 2010 and in Africa by 2020. Another goal is to eradicate Tracoma by 2020.