History

LCIF Lions SightFirst Campaign

In 1990 Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) launched Lions SightFirst , a major international program to combat avoidable blindness. Since that time SightFirst has:







  • Prevented serious vision loss for 27 million
  • Provided 80.5 million treatments for River Blindness
  • Awarded US$202 million for 841 projects in 90 countries
  • Restored sight to 7.1 million with cataracts
  • Improved eye-care services for hundreds of millions
  • Built or expanded 213 eye hospitals, clinics and wards
  • Upgraded 325 eye centres with equipment
  • Trained 305,000 ophthalmologists, ophthalmic nurses, other professional eye-care workers and village health workers.
One of SightFirst’s major eye health education initiatives has been the Lions Eye Health Program (LEHP), established in the US in the early 1990s based on the National Eye Health Education Program .

LCIF Lions SightFirst II Campaign


Campaign SightFirst II successfully raised over US$200 million for LCIF’s SightFirst program. These funds will continue current SightFirst programs as well as expand and launch new SightFirst initiatives.
Lions launched Campaign SightFirst II in 2005. Experts predicted that the world’s blind population could double from 37 million to 74 million by 2020 if nothing was done, thus the urgent need to redouble SightFirst efforts. There are also a number of emerging eye diseases that are creating new threats to vision.

With a minimum goal of $150 million, Lions surpassed the goal, raising more than $200 million. These results were announced at the 2008 International Convention.

Distribution of funds raised:
  • $102 million will contain and possibly eliminate the leading causes of avoidable blindness.
  • $48 million will combat emerging threats to sight.
  • $50+ million will provide 'Vision for All' through research, rehabilitation and outreach to vulnerable populations.

 

Introducing the Lions Eye Health Program

The Lions Eye Health Program was launched in Australia as a pilot project in 2000. This initial trial, funded by LCIF as a SightFirst project was conducted in District 201V2 where it proved highly successful. More than two thirds of all clubs participated in the first twelve months. With further significant funding from SightFirst, the program was extended nationally in 2001. Since that time more than 60% of all Lions Clubs in Australia have undertaken some type of LEHP promotion . In May 2006 the MD National Convention endorsed a proposal for the Lions Eye Health Program - Australia to become a Multiple District Category B Project. This endorsement recognised the impact that LEHP has made in educating our community about avoidable vision loss and blindness. The program continues to operate as Category B Project and is funded by voluntary donations received from Lions and Lioness clubs across Australia.