Bright Sight Project
Following the groundbreaking speech of Nobel Prize winner Helen Keller at an International Lions Convention testing the eyesight of learners and caring for them afterwards is the other core project of the Swakopmund Lions Club. We are proud of our tradition to annually doing eyesight tests of all first graders in Swakopmund. This is done under the leadership of 3 local optometrists.
These eye tests take place in all schools of our community in September every year amounting to a massive figure of around 1,500 tests. Those with sight problems are referred to one of the optometrists for further tests. If necessary they supply spectacles at a very low price, which is either covered by the parents of the learner or by the Lions Club Activity Fund for families in need of support.
Our friends from Henties Bay Lions Club started to make use of our expertise and so another 150 tests are done there annually. We regard this project as very important, because only those who have the capacity to read clearly are able to learn properly preparing them for a career in their lives.
The Lions Senior Centre
The Lions Senior Center comprises the Lions Old-Age Home, the Lions Frail Care Center and the Lions Retirement Village. This is our most important core project. It is run by the Swakopmund Lions Welfare Organization 13 under the leadership of a Board of Trustees, exclusively formed out of members of our club.
Lions Old Age Home
The idea of building an Old Age Home dates back to 1961. A 7 000m2 plot was acquired in 1965 and the first construction phase was finalized in 1967. At that time the following structures were completed:
10 individual bungalows,
1 bathing facility,
1 caretaker's dwelling,
1 garage and 2 housing units for employees.
In the course of time the Lions extended the old-age home in 15 stages. Today it comprises (on an area of 22 000m2): 100 individual bungalows of between 40m2 and 85m2 , 33 garages, dining hall, kitchen, laundry, library, and a lounge.
Each unit is equipped with a kitchen, a living room, a bedroom and bathroom. Residents are free to take their meals in the dining room. There are 6 meals a week.
Swakopmund Lions strive to keep the residents independent as long as possible. Costs for the seniors are kept to a minimum, whilst a lot of voluntary work and fundraising by Lion Members goes into the running of the complex.
Lions Frail Care
In 1995 it became apparent that there was a need for 24 hour care for some seniors, and a Frail Care Centre was envisaged. After several extensions, the Frail Care Centre today comprises of 31 beds in single and double rooms. No less than 18 staff members are employed to provide round the clock compassionate care. The financing of the first phase with 10 beds was made possible by the international support from the Lions Organization. The International Foundation of Lions Clubs and the German Lions Club of Wittingen gladly assisted us with the additional funds needed to complete this very necessary project.
Lions Retirement Village
In 1999 Swakopmund Lions Club erected the Lions Retirement Village with 28 luxury dwellings on a 10600m2 erf. Residents can make full use of all other facilities of the Lions Senior Center like meals in the dining hall, light frail care service, transport to town etc. The two bedroom houses stand in a security complex, where two workers keep the outside of the houses and the beautiful gardens in shape.
The complex is managed by a committee formed by residents and representatives of the Lions Club. Financially they are independent from the other sectors of the Lions Senior Center. In contrast to the procedure of finding a place in the Lions Old-Age Home the residents of the Retirement Village have to buy a life-time's lease of one of the houses whenever the Lions Club is asking for offers in local and national newspapers. When the property has to be sold again the former residents or their heirs will receive the selling price minus a commission for the Lions Club.