In an ongoing blog series, we’re highlighting Lions Clubs International Foundation’s support of worldwide efforts to help youth navigate challenges in school and develop life skills through the Foundation’s Lions Quest program, a global leader in social and emotional learning.
Like nearly 20 million students and teachers worldwide, 12,000 children and educators in Bangladesh have been able to take advantage of Lions Quest, the signature youth development program of Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF), though the opportunity nearly eluded them.
Children must be helped to become confident members of society.
Familiar with LCIF’s world-renowned social and emotional learning (SEL) program, researchers from Australian and German universities were eager to implement Lions Quest in four rural, impoverished Bangladesh areas and evaluate its impact on early childhood development. However, they lacked funds to translate to Bengali Lions Quests’ Skills for Growing lessons, which address developmental needs of youngsters in Grades 5 and below; conduct teacher workshops; and deliver the program to students.
With the children’s welfare in mind, and knowing that developing socially, emotionally, and intellectually can overwhelm students, as can challenges at home, in school, and from peers, LCIF provided US$85,000+ in grant funding for a 12-month pilot implementation. Researchers are now analyzing the Bangladeshi students’ enhanced ability to manage emotions, achieve goals, and build positive relationships.
With heightened government interest, Lions – committed to helping children be confident, productive members of society – hope to expand LCIF’s Lions Quest initiatives in Bangladesh to include Skills for Adolescence programming.
Children’s welfare at stake
One in three students globally reports being cyberbullied; 20 percent report skipping school because of it or violence. Like others around the world, many children in India, South Asia, and the Middle East face challenges related to school climate, relationship development, and forging their way to more promising futures. There is both heartache and hope.
- More than 1 in 10 public school children has experienced physical violence, in Jordan.
- 35 million 6-14-year-olds are out-of-school in India.
- Lebanese addiction center Skoun reports 91% of 4th and 5th graders in Lebanon are more accepting of others after completing Lions Quest*.
- Students in SEL programs increase academic performance up to 11%.
- Positive school climate practices like Lions Quest often reduce absenteeism and bullying.
- World renowned Harvard University found students participating in Lions Quest reported improved perceptions of school climate, and physical and emotional safety.
- Every US$1 spent on SEL initiatives yields US$11 return on investment.
LCIF and Lions: funding service, delivering solutions
Youth worldwide benefit from SEL programs like Lions Quest. To date, more than 19 million students and 760,000 educators in more than 100 countries and geographic areas have taken advantage of Lions Quest developmentally appropriate lessons plans. LCIF proudly continues its more than 35-year commitment to our world’s youth through:
- Lions Quest Program grants: Develop/expand the program; up to US$150,000
- Lions Quest Community Partnership grants: Launch/reactivate the program; up to US$150,000
- Lions Quest Promotional grants: Introduce the program to a community; up to US$1,500
- District and Club Community Impact grants: Apply to local district and club projects; grant amount varies
Creating better outcomes
LCIF is the grant-making body empowering Lions to create greater impact in their communities and around the world. One hundred percent of every donation supports Lions service through LCIF grants and programs.
Youth is just one cause area supported by LCIF and Campaign 100: LCIF Empowering Service. With financial support from Lions, Lions clubs, and friends of LCIF worldwide, Campaign 100 is empowering Lions to increase their service impact in vision, youth, disaster relief, and humanitarian efforts; fight the global epidemic of diabetes; and make important progress in expanded cause areas of childhood cancer, hunger, and the environment.
Ready to give children the future they deserve? Support LCIF. Support Lions.
* Skoun (2017): Lions Quest Life Skills Program in schools in Beirut: Program implemented by Skoun in partnership with World Vision Lebanon
Caryn Lerner is senior communications specialist for Lions Clubs International Foundation.
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