‘We are here to serve’
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New President of the Lions Club of Bel Air, Lisa Thakurdin (Adrian Narine photo)
New President of the Lions Club of Bel Air, Lisa Thakurdin (Adrian Narine photo)

—new Lions Club President pledges support to flood-affected regions

WITH losses climbing because of recent heavy rainfall and severe flooding, newly installed President of the Lions Club of Bel Air, Lisa Thakurdin, has given her word that the non-profit organisation will do as much as possible to help families rebuild during this difficult time.
The plan is in keeping with the club’s five key focuses, which comprise Hunger, Environment, Diabetes, Vision, and Childhood Cancer. However, the activities of the club are not limited to these five causes. “What we do is, we try to have our projects focused around those areas, and any other club would also focus on other areas that need attention, such as education and youth development, disaster relief and humanitarian efforts,” Thakurdin explained.
During an interview with the Guyana Chronicle at the Club’s 48th installation ceremony held at their Enachu Street, Section K Campbellville location on Saturday, the young woman noted that while the club had contributed to flood- relief efforts in the past, there is definitely more assistance to come.
“Previously, we would have [sic] donated some items; some hampers for Kwakwani, and also a cash donation, I believe. But [future projects with regards [sic] to flood relief] is something that myself and the incoming board would also have to discuss,” she said.

However, she assured, there is no question as to whether the club will assist in flood-relief efforts.
“The rainy season is expected to last until July/August. So we may see the flooding worsen, and whenever it recedes, in our recovery efforts we plan to be there to support flooded areas generally, not only Kwakwani. We have seen flooding in areas such as Mazaruni and Mahaicony, as well,” Thakurdin stated.
She added that the club would be carrying out a comprehensive assessment to determine all the areas that require assistance.
“So whether it is through hampers, whether it’s through cleaning supplies, whether it’s through community work; whatever it is that we can provide, and support the community, we will. Whether it’s clothing, whether it’s rebuilding homes lost in the flood—because many things were damaged— or providing supplies for the home, like mattresses, bed sheets, and all those items that will be needed in the recovery efforts. So yes, we are here, and we are here to serve,” Thakurdin concluded.
Thakurdin, during her ‘Acceptance of Office’ speech also expressed the need for emphasis on education, youth development, humanitarianism and disaster relief. She highlighted that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is now a greater digital divide and unequal access to education across Guyana. As such, she aims, in her duties as President, to work collaboratively with the public and private sectors to provide school supplies needed, especially in areas where there is a large deficiency in access to education.

One of the first ventures that the club under new management intends to kick-start is a football project, which is the first of many youth projects yet to come as the Lions Club continues to support community sports groups, sponsorships of athletes, provision of sports gear, and counselling on social issues, among others.
“This is our part of nourishing future leaders in society. We will support other humanitarian and disaster-relief efforts, especially now in areas that are affected by flooding, and of course any other area we can support whilst upholding our motto, ‘We serve’,” Thakurdin shared.
She assured that all projects undertaken during her period of leadership (2021-2022) would be executed safely, and will adhere to all COVID-19 guidelines, as the club works to strengthen partnerships with the public and private sectors and other civil society groups; and foster stronger relationships with other Lions Clubs and similar organisations in order to achieve their goals.
“Fellow Lions, it is my determination to work in close cooperation and collaboration with all the members by respecting your ideas through accepting diversity. I wish to work on retaining members than recruiting, training and capacity building for the membership. It is my hope that we work together in harmony as we strive to be agents of change. Your help, loyalty, and genuine commitment are of great importance to me, especially your attendance [and] punctuality at the meetings and projects,” Thakurdin voiced.

She added, “As I stand before each and every one of you here today, I am prepared to work assiduously towards the global causes of Lions International, which are: Environment, Hunger, Childhood cancer, Vision and Diabetes. I plan to continue with our existing projects, honouring these causes as to implement, develop new and improved projects, as we adapt to the growing needs of society in these areas.” Thakurdin also enforced her intention to continue the Lions Club’s environmental projects such as a coastal clean-up, tree-planting exercises, and other ventures that help foster environmental sustainability, as Guyana moves forward with the Low Carbon Development Strategy.
The club, under her management, will also continue their feeding programmes to vulnerable groups in society, and work in collaboration with the private and public health sectors to support and assist children suffering from childhood cancer.

Over the years, the Lions Club has completed many successful vision projects, targeting the youths and the elderly, and the new period of leadership will see increased emphasis on eye care, with the growing need for this service in Guyana.
Diabetes projects such as free testing, donation of diabetes testing kits, and the support of other healthcare needs related to the disease will also be rolled out as part of Thakurdin’s mandate.
The Lions Club of Bel Air also has the distinction of being rated among the best in the Commonwealth Caribbean, British and U.S, Virgin Islands. The International Association of Lions Clubs, with Bel Air as one of its Chartered Clubs, is operating within its Centenary of 100 years in over 218 countries, and spending billions of dollars on alleviating the suffering of mankind. Its junior arm, the Leos Club of Bel Air, is also serving in the same fields with similarly distinguished youths.

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