Supporting our International Neighbours
Our goal is to provide overseas aid equipment aid for vital health and education services. We aim to:
- enhance the quality and condition existing equipment
- restore equipment following the damages of natural disasters
Our Lions Aid & Relief Centre (LARC) is a non-profit initiative run under the guidance of the Apple-MAQ Lions Club. It was established to provide quality education and health equipment and supplies to those in need. Primarily, LARC has aided communities in developing nations within the Indo-Pacific region. In addition, Queensland communities have received aid following natural disasters.
We have learned that often the equipment that Australian hospitals, retirement, health care centres and schools are finished with can have a valuable second life in a developing nation. Once refurbished by our Brisbane based volunteers, this equipment may be used to replace items that were destroyed in a natural disaster, or to enhance an existing hospital or school’s equipment. Often the current overseas equipment is worn, out of date, and potentially unsafe or unsanitary.
Whether it is recovery after a natural disaster, or working to enhance current facilities. Our Club endeavors to provide the basic, critical equipment (hospital beds, walkers, tables, chairs) required for clean and safe day-to-day basic health and education needs.
We are grateful to receive donated equipment and furniture from schools and hospitals throughout Queensland and New South Wales. Our volunteers refurbish, clean, repair and prepare the items for reuse overseas. We then pack and load items into shipping containers for transport.
When shipments are being planned for a specific overseas location there may be opportunities to include items from our other aid programs. The container can provide a way to deliver eyeglasses from the Lions Recycle for Sight Australia program. Also, when there is an identified need or request, we can include PET wheelchairs (if there are sponsors available to fund them).
Once shipped overseas, containers are received by local Lions Clubs or other partner organizations to ensure the shipment is cleared through relevant customs authorities and distributed to the intended recipients.
Every year, we average 10 to 15 containers full of supplies for dispatch to communities in need. To date a total of 195 twenty-foot shipping containers have been coordinated, loaded and shipped to overseas and Australian locations.
In Australia, relief locations include northern Queensland communities affected by Cyclones Larry and Yasi; and the local distribution of personal and household goods during the Brisbane floods of 2011.
Overseas locations include places as Uganda, Ghana, Samoa, East Timor, Sri Lanka, Philippines, PNG, West Papua, Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu, Tuvalu, and Bougainville.