More than a century, when caring people join together, roll up their sleeves and take action to make their community better, it’s a beautiful thing-and an incredible feeling for everyone involved, that’s Lions.
During his period of being a Zone Chairman, Lion Igor Protasov, many activities has been contributed locally and internationally to support our society by helping the underprivileged and people who’s in need under the motto “We Serve”.
Tell me about yourself and your responsibility
Hi, my name is Lion Igor Protasov, the Zone Chairman for Zone Number 5 of the Lions Clubs in Phuket province. My responsibility is to internally coordinate all six Lions Clubs in our province with our district governors, to make our services more functional, also to lead our club members for our activities.
Telling your charity of Lion plans of this year
Our main plan comes from our headquarters in Chicago. For this year, we have 5 main topics which are Hunger, Diabetes, Youth Cancer, Environment and Regions which is similar to every year, just slightly difference according to the request of the people’s needs. We have local special activities, especially for Thailand. For this year in our district 310B, which is southern Thailand, we have “Peace Poster Contest” which is international, also we have “Saranukrom Competition” (Thai Junior Royal Encyclopedia contest) for local schools which is still in process. We take care about the youth, especially for education. We support children from underprivileged families, also local people, so they have an opportunity to be educated, this is very important.
What motivates you? What are your personal goals?
I am proud to be a member of Lions Club International, for the last 5 years. I’ve been motivated with what Lions Club International is doing. This is the big community which contains more than 1.4 million Lions around the world, in almost every country. This club was started by Melvin Jones who was the insurance broker in Chicago for over 100 years ago and now spread all around the world in different countries, different regions. Lions Club International made such a great thing, our motto is “We Serve” and we have tried our best during the past century. The best motivation is our activities, when we help children with cancer, when we help people with diabetes, when we fund scholarships to schools or distribute free glasses, to upgrade their education on necessary level and many other things which we made for our society and I am proud to be a part of it. My goal is to continue doing what our club does for our district, with my soul, together with Lions club International.
What have you been doing to keep up to date?
We have International and Local projects which I mentioned already. During this fiscal year which started in July, we did 2 activities. One is the local “Thai Royal Encyclopedia Project” for Thailand, we invited local schools and distributed encyclopedias, then children can prepare for the contest, this to encourage children and pupils to read more and do their own exploring and research. This project has been established by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej who initially allowed Lions Club to Thailand. Also his secretary, Dr. Sumet, has joined us every year and led our club in Thailand. The 2nd Project is “Peace Poster Contest (Journey of Peace)” which is international, the winner’s work is to be sent to Chicago and will be presented in an annual International Convention which will be held in Singapore this year, and we hope that Thai Children can be the winner, which would be nice. However, it doesn’t matter what nationality or religion you are, we are all together – we try to save the world and people should believe in humanity and help each other.
How is the charity’s work communicated to the public?
Most of our activities are about coordinating with local government. For example, we join to “Disable’s Day” with Phuket Disabled People’s Association at Rajabhat University. We support “Children’s Day” which is held every year in January by distribution toys, candies or cakes for children which make them happy. We also communicate with local municipality to be aware on their needs. Last year, Lions with Health Department and Municipality, donated 2 AED machines which help to restart the heart in case of emergency – one for local emergency car, another for local small hospital. Keeping in touch with government can give us the ideas on who’s in need and if we are able to help, we try to do.
What is the long-term strategy of the charity?
Long term strategy is what I said, we try to serve the community and we will continue doing what Melvin John started. The most important for us is to keep the quality of services and quantity of members. Our members have to be kind and right, that’s why we keep open for new members. If you are interested, you can contact local Lions Club and if you passed the necessary requirements, one day you can join our family.
What challenges are you looking for in this charity?
The global challenge is serve and we try to do our best. Every year we have our fundraising by having a Charity Dinner and we did quite well for the past 2 years. We appreciate all the sponsors and people who joined, with these people we are able to collect some funds and use them for the right place, in the right time and for the right people. We try to continue doing the fundraising and find the people who really need help. In Lions Club, we try to do everything to serve people and for the benefit of our organization.
What do you expect to be earning in 3 years?
I am very proud to get this position this year, so thanks to our district governor for selecting me and hope we can moving forward together. Actually, we have informal discussion about the Region Chairman position and if the governor is willing to trust to me, I would be ready and happy to help them. Anyway, each Lions is so equal – doesn’t matter what position you hold, president, governor or simple members, all of them have the same goal.
For further details, please see our global website www.lionsclubs.org. Here will explain our goal, strategy and what we are doing. Maybe, one day you will be interested to be a part of us. The most important thing is to think about the humanity, don’t leave the people who is in need nearby you – if you can help, then try to help as much as you can. Another thing is do not forget our family, they are the first priority, if you can help them – please do it.