Gift for Living – “Lionheart” – where it all began…

It was back in the time when PID Phil Nathan was District Governor of EA in 1996 that an intrepid band of Lions and helpers set out on “Operation Lionheart” a massive convoy of lorries carrying 100,000 shoeboxes filled with necessities and some small luxuries to stricken communities in Croatia. The former Yugoslavia was a war torn area and the Lions needed to help in a small way to show that “someone cares”.

During the visit, eyes were opened as to seriousness of the devastation. As time moved on it was found that a vast number of children and babies were suffering through lack of medical facilities available. At about this time “Gift for Living” came into existence. Between the summers of 1996 and 1997 more than 40 critically ill children were evacuated from their shattered homeland in the former Yugoslavia for treatment here thanks to the support of the British and Irish Lions for Maternal & Childhealth Advocacy International, a charity devoted to helping the children of areas of conflict.

The charity progressed to sending sophisticated medical equipment – intensive care and high dependency beds for children – to hospitals in the ravaged former Yugoslavia, bringing in doctors for specialised paediatric training here, and sending out highly trained British and Irish doctors and nurses to work in hospitals and help the local medical professionals.

All these years on the British and Irish Lions, through their own charity, “Lions Clubs International – a Gift for Living” can truthfully say that they have saved countless lives and brought health and hope not only to the small suffering children of conflict, but also to their families.

The most recent part of the project to help in the former Yugoslavia is the “Management of Obstetric Emergencies and Trauma” (MOET) which is a training programme for doctors and other medical professionals to give help to maximise the health and survival of pregnant mothers and their babies.

Sadly, a few years of real hardship take decades to repair, and “Gift for Living” is still in need of funds to continue the ongoing campaign to help children babies and their families.

One of the ways we can help is by recycling old and foreign currency. Perhaps you have been on holiday and brought back some loose change which you don’t really want. Pass it on to “Gift for Living” where it can be converted into usable cash to help others. There is a suggested poster design on this website, click here to download..

Of course any donations, funds raised from events, bequests etc will also be welcomed and used in the course of the efforts to help those who have had many years of suffering.

Lion Jane Gardiner (Gift for Living 105EA)