LIONS IN ACTION
LIONS CLUB OF MONA PARTNERING with UWI MONA SOCIAL SERVICE
Lions Club Mona Celebrates 22 years of Service to the Community
A Brief History of Our Club
Twenty-two years ago, 30 young professionals full of vision and vigour chartered the Lions Club of Mona. The first members included graduates and members of the academic and administrative staﬀ of the University of the West Indies, as well as other outstanding members of the surrounding communities. The Club made its home at the University; firstly, at the Senior Common Room and later at the UWI Mona Lions Club Centre for Students with Special Needs.
The Lions Club of Mona has a proud record of service focussed on serving the needs of people within our surrounding communities and beyond. True to our Movement’s mission and in response to Helen Keller’s charge of “being knights for blind in the crusade against darkness.” The Club’s first project was reading for blind students on the Mona campus. This initiative awakened in the Lions the need for a facility to create a better learning environment for students with special needs. Thus, began our journey to construct a modern Resource Centre for Students with Special Needs. Other areas of service include: Youth & Education; Health Services: Environment and Climate Change and the Leo Programme.
Introducing Our President – Lion Valerie Buckle, MJF –‘leading from the front’
Lion Valerie is a charter member of the Club and has served in numerous positions including Chairman of Finance and Fundraising, Director, Treasurer and two-times President. Professionally Valerie has served the UWI for over 30 years in management and finance. It is through her leadership that this year the Club is cementing and expanding our relationship with the University through Mona Social Services (MSS).
Our Signature Projects
UWI Mona Lions Club Centre for Students with Special Needs
In 1998 the Club’s Board of Director decided that it wanted to do more for “challenged students” at the UWI Mona campus. Subsequently, the UWI Vice Chancellor, Sir Alister McIntyre and the UWI Management team gave full endorsement to the project.
On June 27, 2007 the UWI Mona Lions Club Centre for Students with Special Needs was officially opened by Sir Kenneth Hall, Governor General of Jamaica and Professor Elsa Leo Rhynie the then principal of UWI Mona. The project was valued at $34 million dollars and its construction was funded by several donors from civil society and the private and public sectors. Today the building is being utilised by over 40 students.
Lions Club of Mona Reforestation Project
In 2004 the Club embarked on a journey to make its contribution to preserving and conserving Jamaica’s environment. Why the LCM did choose a reforestation project? At that time, it was reported that Jamaica loses forest cover at a rate of 0.1% annually. Additionally, according to the National Environment Action Plan (NEAP), 19 of the country’s watersheds have been declared critical owing to the degree of degradation and in need of urgent remedial work to return to an acceptable state of health. In partnership with the Forestry Department and with the financial support of the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica (EFJ) and Forest Conservation Fund (FCF) the Club reforested 52 hectares of degraded forest reserve in the Wallenford Area of the Blue Mountain Forest Reserve. Continuing with its work in reforestation to Club turned its attention to the Yallahs Watershed and reforested 25 hectares in the Cinchona area is situated in the Premontane Wet Forest Zone.
In recognising the Club’s effort, the Forestry Department named the Club a ‘Forest Hero’ in its inaugural award in recognition of Forests Heroes for its sustained effort in reforesting over 125 acres of degraded forests.
Celebrating Forest Heroes
Lion Keith Archer, Past President poses with Marilyn Headley, Conservator of Forests
Lions Debra Rigg, Richard Bramwell, Keith Archer Past Presidents, Keith Porter Forestry Department, Milton Pinnock, Charter President and Denise Forrest, Past President join in the celebration.
LCM and MSS Partners in Worldwide Week of Service for Sight
October 17-21 was recognised as Worldwide Week of Service for Sight focussing on the prevention of blindness and visual impairments. During the week, the Lions from Mona in partnership with Mona Social Services conducted sight screening in schools and communities in the University Township. Sight screening was done at August Town Primary, Hope Valley Experimental School and Church of the Open Bible. Over 200 persons were seen during the week, a number of which were referred for further investigation.