INTERVIEWING L. OLGA PAVLIDOU KOUTROUMPIS NEW VOICES
Chartered President of Lions of Athens Club Specialty New Voices
- What is the Lions organization and what is the main aim?
Lions Clubs International is a Leading Humanitarian Organization. Over 1,4 million Lions around the World, from 200 Countries, are united by a great spirit of giving, dedicated in serving human. Lions have five global causes of particular interest around the world, diabetes, environment, hunger, vision, childhood cancer.
- Why did you decide to become a lion and what inspires you in your current role?
The idea of serving those in need, of serving our community, the visible accomplishments, the outcome of giving to people made me to want join the Lions. Being a Lion is about building relationships, learn new skills, advance your career, improving the World through kindness. Volunteerism changes our lives; it is a way of living. Some of the Lion’s accomplishments:
Lions preventing serious vision loss for more than 30 million people. Engaging more than 13 million students and 600,00 educators in 90 Countries in the youth development program Lions Quest. Lions Building and expanding 615 eye hospitals /clinics/wards
In addition, LCIF support communities that are suffering from disasters through major catastrophes grants. LCIF supported financially D117A recently for the catastrophes in Mandra Attiki, in Mati and in the Island of Evia in Greece. During the Covid-19 lockdown period LCIF donate medical devices for equipping two hospitals in Athens.
- What club are you from and how long are you a member, tell us about your Lions profile?
I am the Chartered President and the LCIF’s Club Coordinator of the new formatted club The Lions Specialty Club Athens New Voices. I am serving as a Lion for almost 5 years. I served two Years as a President Lions Club Athens Roias and one year as a Secretary in the same Club. During my Presidency the Club awarded with numerous awards. I also awarded with Excellence Club President Award for my achievements by Lions Clubs International President. Also, during my Presidency two new Clubs and two branches created.
2019-2020 I was appointed Zone Chairperson during this period two more Clubs created in my zone area. In addition, I participated in numerous Lions seminars and webinars. I am an authorized Guiding Lion.
- What is the New Voices Initiative?
New Voices Initiative promotes gender parity, diversity and youth. It seeks to increase the number of women, young adults and underrepresented populations within our association. The program launched in 2018-2019 and expanded in 2019-2020 under International President Dr. Jung-Yui Choi. New Voices are Lions and Leos who demonstrate exceptional influence, in one of four areas: Leadership, Membership, Service and Marketing.
New Voices is a platform for sharing new ideas and learning from each other. It seeks to encourage clubs to be dynamic and innovative by trying something new. It encourages each Lion to reach out to potential Lions and share our association so we all have the opportunity to grow personally and professionally.
- Tell us the unique idea for which you were nominated for?
In 2019, the Women and Human Rights Committee of D117A organized the 1st Lions Women Symposium with 45 guest speakers, men and women and 10 moderators to discuss about Women issues and to propose actions and ideas that will empower women to participate in decision making positions in every aspect, in professional and social life so equality to be achieved between genders! The Symposium was very successful ,250 participants from many organizations and their representatives proposed actions, exchange ideas and meet lionism for first time. The whole event covered by media! This action was very important because it showed to non-Lions the variety of activities that Lions are offering in every aspect of our lives. This action was successfully impacted to our community, since it was held for first time. Afterall there is a trend towards Women’s issues and equality nowadays. We are going towards the 4th Industrial Revolution in which women should and can play an important role because of their biological profile.
This activity was awarded by the International President and I was listed as Nominee among the 24 Constitutional Area Nominees of 2019-2020. It is a great honor for me but also for Greece and Cyprus! I addressed by International Lions as MD117.
The Nominees are selected and should be selected according to their achievements and their impact to the community and to the society in general. They are the Ambassadors of the New Voices Initiative.
- What is your vision about the first New Voices Lions club that you created in Greece?
Our vision for our newly formatted Club, which created during the unstable period of lockdown because of Covid-19, is to serve in reducing discrimination by having activities that will help to change our attitude about life. In fact, I am referring to (E)Quality Campaign. We strongly believe that we cannot have Quality in our lives without having equality. (E)Quality Campaign is attempting to raise awareness about Human Rights and Inequalities and their importance for securing democracy, peace and prosperity. Human Rights help protect our private and family life and allows us to enjoy it. When these Rights are violated violates the right of life.
- How were your ideas and actions impacting your community over those in need?
As you serve on addressing such inequities, you are also thinking ways to prevent them. These activities will have a positive impact to our communities. We strongly believe, that this is the right time for a global re-start. We must create a new normal based on shared values like dignity, fairness, equality and respect, based on Human Rights. Human Rights offer us respect and they charge us to treat others with respect.
- How can any other Lion, Leo and potential Lion be affected by your idea?
We believe that all of the above will help people but mostly young people to work for a brighter future. Young people should reaffirm their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and determine to promote social progress and better standards of life.
- Is any other closing sentiment or advice you want to give to the Lions’ community?
I strongly believe that we Lions must be an example of kindness, justice, and respect. We serve our communities in a unique and innovative way based in shared values, based in human rights. We must be the example!!!
“We can’t do ugly things in our lives to people and expect to live a beautiful life after”!
“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” Article 1 Human Rights Declaration