Lions Club of 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 (UWI), as well as other outstanding members of the surrounding communities. The club made its home at the university; first, 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 focused on serving the needs of people within our surrounding communities and beyond. We are 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 Lions Evadney Crooks (third left) and Cynthia Ross (second right) conducting sight screening at the Hope Valley Experimental School during the Worldwide Week of Service for Sight in October 2016.
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.
Lion Valerie is a charter member of the club and has served in numerous positions, including chairman of finance and fundraising, director, treasurer and twotime 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 Directors 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 Valerie Buckle
Hall, Governor General of Jamaica, and Professor Elsa Leo-Rhynie, the then principal of UWI Mona. The project was valued at $34 million 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 (LCM) Reforestation Project
In 2004, the club embarked on a journey to make its contribution
to preserving and conserving Jamaica’s environment. Why did the LCM choose a reforestation project? At that time, it was reported that Jamaica loses forest cover at a rate of 0.1 per cent annually. Additionally, according to the National Environment Action Plan, 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 From left: Past Presidents Lions Debra Rigg, Richard Bramwell, Keith Archer; Keith Porter, Forestry Department; Charter President Milton Pinnock and Past President Denise Forrest join in the celebration on receipt of the Forest Heroes Award.
Foundation of Jamaica and Forest Conservation Fund, 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, the club turned its attention to the Yallahs Watershed and reforested 25 hectares in the Cinchona area, 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. LCM and MSS Partner in Worldwide Week of Service for Sight
October 17-21 was recognised as Worldwide Week of Service for Sight, focusing on the prevention of blindness and visual impairments. During the week, the Lions from Mona, in partnership with Chairman of the Health Services Committee, Lion Melissa Taylor (right), checks the blood pressure of a resident at one of the several health fairs conducted by the Lions Club of Mona.
MSS, conducted sight screening in schools and communities in the university township. Sight screening was done at August Town Primary, Hope Valley
Experimental and Church of the Open Bible. More than 200 persons were seen during the week, a number of whom were referred for further investigation.
INTRODUCING OUR PRESIDENT – LION VALERIE BUCKLE – LEADING FROM THE FRONT