History of Coins for Kids

 

guywolfHow it all began

Just like the magic year 2000, we witnessed another historical moment with the arrival of the euro, adopted by most European Union countries as new and single currency.

Obsolete coins

Some of us stashed away the odd coin for showing our (grand)children some day. But did we really want to keep all of those coins left over from vacations, cluttering up purses, wallets and a variety of other containers? Many of these coins became obsolete on 1 January 2002.

Hidden treasure

It was this that sparked off the idea of putting these (foreign and Luxembourgish) coins we had in our pockets or in some old drawer to good use and save them from becoming mere relics of the past.

Lions Club Luxembourg Erasmus used this memorable event in European history to launch what it hoped would become a continuing success: a large-scale collecting of coins as part of its Coins for Kids project.

Childrens’ organisations benefit from donations

The purpose of Coins for Kids is to donate the entire proceeds to well-chosen national and international charity organisations whose projects aim to help needy children.

Collection tins

In many places throughout the country, Coins for Kids tins have been prominently placed in shops and business for visitors to donate coins. Why not support children in need and provide tins for your organisation, business, shop or family? Visit our contact page!

Schools participated in campaign

In addition to the collection boxes, Lions Club Luxembourg Erasmus organised a nationwide contest for schools. The schools that collected the greatest weight in coins per pupil won valuable prizes. 70,000 euros were collected and donated to childrens’ projects.

Many helped make the Coins for Kids project a huge success. On behalf of all the kids who benefited and will benefit from this project: thank you for your coins!

We are still collecting

Coins for Kids ‘euro’ tins are still scattered across the country but are now for small (or big!) euro coins.

To date, over 138,000 euros have been collected and donations made to children’s organisations in Luxembourg and abroad. If you would like a collection tin, send us an email at

Chrëscht mam Sahel project in Burkino Faso

 

M. Mathieu and Mme Fisch visited the club to present Chrëscht mam Sahel (CmS), a Luxembourg ONG which has been working in Burkina Faso since the 1980s. It was here that a home was built in 1999 for unmarried mothers who are often homeless or have been thrown out by their families because they don’t want to marry.

A few have been abused or are orphans. There is theoretically space for 15 girls and their babies, but at the moment they have 18 girls and 16 babies. The home has dormitories, showers, meeting and classrooms, workrooms and an office. They are planning to build a water tower in 2009 because working a hand-pump to get water from the well can be a struggle for young, pregnant girls!

The girls get three meals a day, a secure environment and whatever medical or psychological care they need. They are taught how to take care of themselves (personal hygiene, washing clothes, healthy eating) and their babies. The babies are given necessary vaccinations and they make sure they are properly registered and have a birth certificate. In addition, the girls are given training so that they will be able to earn a living when they leave.

Classes include reading, writing and mathematics, childcare, family planning, AIDS prevention as well as cooking, making soap, sewing, knitting, weaving, gardening. Fruit and vegetables grown by the girls in the garden are cooked in the kitchen, and any surplus (as well as soap, cloth, knitted good, etc.) is sold in a little shop.

The other aim is to help the girls be accepted back into their families, so they have a more secure future. They help make contact and find the babies’ fathers and mediate with the families where necessary. So far seven girls have bone back to their families in 2008. If it is not possible for a girl to return to her family, at least the training she has received gives her a chance to have a decent life being independent, and not end up on the streets.

Despite its name, has no religious preference or policy, and have a mix of muslim and christian girls. The ONG collaborates with 15 other organisations working in the region, especially those trying to improve conditions for young girls. Some of their girls are directed to CmS by these organisations.

The home employs 12 people: teachers, occupational trainers, child minders, an administrator, maintenance/night guard, etc. It is run by Soeur Michelle who is experienced and very efficient, and is everyone’s surrogate mother.

One or two people from Luxembourg visit a couple of times per year to audit the activites and discuss plans, and there is also oversight from contacts based in Ouagadougou.

Since 2001, the home has looked after 188 girls who had 139 babies (12 sadly died) and 142 went back to their families. There are many more girls in this plight in Burkino Faso – the ones who find their way to the CmS home are the lucky few.

Coins for Kids supports children in squatter camps

Children playing in Bonnievale youth club, South AfricaPhoto: Children playing at the afternoon youth club in Boonievale, South Africa

The Bonnievale Project (Bonnie People Project) is an NGO which provides early education and care for children aged 2-4, as well as an afternoon youth club for those children living in the squatter camps, and a community of makeshift homes for poorer people in the area, in Bonnievale, South Africa.

A personal account from a Luxembourg volunteer

I was a volunteer for the NGO in 2013 and spent 6 weeks in South Africa. Already then, I could see what excellent work they were doing and also where there was room for improvement in their facilities. Since then, I have received updates from various members of the Bonnievale Project, and have seen a wonderful change on site and in volunteer morale.

The money donated by Coins for Kids has been put towards a multitude of projects, along with other donations.

The main school building has been renovated, a new building has been constructed, a small garden has been established for the youth club, the netball field has been renewed and an electrical gate has been installed to provide day and night security. As well as construction work, the project has managed to organise more workshops for the youth club as well as provide educational materials for them.

There is a lot of work being done there, and I personally see this project continuing to be successful and providing continuous hope for the people of the squatter camps of Bonnievale.

 

India Brabbs

For more information please visit visit the Bonnievale Project website.

 

Lions Club Erasmus charity tin collections fund children’s playground

 

Generous donors helped to raise 6,500 euros for needy children in Luxembourg through the Coins for Kids tins.

The Lions Club Erasmus has been running the Coins for Kids campaign in Luxembourg since 2001. Its iconic tins, located in shops around the country, encouraged people to dig deep and raise a massive 6,500 euros for a children’s playground at the Foyer Paula Bové women’s refuge.

The money provided a third of the costs for renovating the play area, which is managed by the Fondation Maison de la Porte Ouverte. It also ensured that the facilities met the latest safety standards.

LC Erasmus president Petra Berndt threw the support of the club behind the shelter when she heard about the difficult conditions and work carried out there. ‘We immediately agreed: Here we want to help!’, she said, adding: ‘We are very happy to support the Foundation with this targeted donation to renovate the children’s playground.’

Since the Coins for Kids campaign launch 11 years ago, it has helped generate more than 140,000 euros in donations, which have been divided between local and overseas children’s projects.

€10,000 donated to the Institut pour Déficients Visuels

Check presentation Institute for the Visually Impaired 2016 20

Photo: Mr Groben (far right), director of the Institut pour Déficients Visuels, receives the cheque from Lions Club Erasmus members

In the context of its ‘Coin for Kids’ projects, the Lions Club Erasmus recently donated €10,000 to the Institut pour Déficients Visuels (Luxembourg’s Institute for the Visually Impaired) for the purchase of two enlargement systems to aid visually impaired young people.

This system will enable students to participate in a normal school environment and permit them to complete their education in Luxembourg. 

For more information visit the Institut pour Déficients Visuels website

Planning to have lunch at Boulangerie Paul? Coins for Kids says thank you!

Lions Club Erasmus fund-raising supported by Boulangerie Paul

Taking a lunch menu at Boulangerie Paul over the coming six weeks has an additional feature. ‘Coins for Kids’ is around and staff will ask you to make an additional but very small contribution. 50 cents will go to the Lions Club Erasmus fund-raising campaign which supports projects in favour of kids, be they in Luxembourg or elsewhere. 

Lions Club Erasmus started its fundraising campaign under the name ‘Coins for Kids’ during the time national currencies changed to the euro. Over the years many projects in Luxembourg and abroad received financial support for a total of 138,000 euros.

Accepting the mark-up for ‘Coins for Kids’ will allow Lions Club Erasmus together with Boulangerie Paul to create another success story for children in need. We invite you to be a contributor and we are very grateful to Boulangerie Paul for their active support.

The pilot scheme has now been completed. Look out for our new campaign coming in the new year. Many thanks for your continuing support.

 Paul logoBoulangerie Paul has branches at Place d’Armes, Kirchberg, Gare Luxembourg, Cloche d’Or and Foetz

Shoeboxes brighten up Christmas for children in need

Photo: An example shoebox filled with small presents for a child in need

Every year, La Femme Contemporaine Asbl (LFC) ensures that children in need in Luxembourg are not left out when it comes to Christmas. Through various charities and social services, small presents are distributed to those who need them most.

Cutting and gluing

For the fourth year running, we have supported this action by collecting and decorating empty shoeboxes, provided by individuals or shoe shops who are more than happy to get rid of their waste cardboard. It takes about 20 minutes to decorate each one by hand – as well as nimble fingers to neatly cut, glue and wrap the festive paper. Once the boxes have had their make-over, they are filled by the LFC members with age-appropriate presents.

Appropriate presents

So what type of presents can a child expect to receive? The age range is approximately from 3 to 12. The presents are all brand new and the boxes contain at least one item from the following four categories: toys, educational, hygiene and clothing. Shockingly in a rich country, some children are so poor in Luxembourg they do not even have their own tooth brush or soap…

Donations to fill the shoeboxes

Over the years, the Lions Club Erasmus has also donated a total of 5,500 euros to help to buy the contents for the boxes produced.

For more information about the LFC, visit La Femme Contemporaine website

Lions Erasmus teams up with Paul to support Coins for Kids

Pierre Celerier (Director of Paul Luxembourg), Annette Feldmann-Hennes (member of Lions Erasmus) and Jochen Richter (Vice-President Lions Erasmus) / © Peter Verdnik

Lions Club Erasmus has joined forces with Boulangerie Paul to launch a new fundraising initiative for their Coins for Kids campaign.

The Paul bakery is offering a special menu for clients who can buy a sandwich, drink and dessert for €8.90 and €1 of which will be donated to the campaign.

For more information read the RTL Today news article by clicking here.

Meeting with La Femme Contemporaine

Members of La Femme Contemporaine and LC Erasmus on 13 June.

On June 13 several members of Lions Erasmus met with representatives of Femme Contemporaine. This organisation has regularly benefitted from our help wrapping and filling shoeboxes for children who otherwise would not receive any Christmas presents.

This evening encounter conveyed to us how necessary and valuable this umbrella organisation is. They represent a number of organisations that support families in need as well as single women and children who have been victims of violence.

The exchanges during this meeting confronted us with numerous sad and moving stories but also showed us the women’s commitment to offer assistance to those in desperate need. That night was eye-opening for us and encourages us to continue our support.

LC Erasmus president visits Lions Club in Somerville USA

Lions Club members in Somerville, USA  meet LC Erasmus Club President Jochen Rochter.

During a professional stay in Boston (USA) in August this summer, I was invited and took the opportunity to attend a local Lions Club meeting in Somerville. This afforded me the chance to compare their situation with our experience in Luxembourg.

Their welcoming manner to guests reflected a similar openness found in Luxembourg. However the lead-in to the evening highlighted some marked differences. The club flag was mounted in the dining room provided by the local restaurant for regular meetings. Both the club song and the national anthem, of course, were sung and the president of the club spoke a prayer before dinner began.

Our exchange of ideas focussed on club structures and activities as well as fund-raising ideas. These aspects revealed we are in the same boat. As in our club, decreasing membership numbers and attracting new members are an on-going challenge. However, the group present of mostly long-serving members was very committed. Fund-raising ideas that attract public support are also a regular point for reflection. Their idea to organise a kind of special event each month is rather similar to our approach.

Of course, it was obvious we could not avoid exchanging views on current US and EU policies and politics.

This will remain a memorable evening for me and I hope to experience more such contacts when travelling.

Though I was mistakenly represented as President of Lions Luxembourg, it remained an honour to be mentioned in the local newspaper.

Click here to read the newspaper article

Fundraiser for Fondation Kriibskrank Kanner

The acoustic duo Manuela Rufolo (vocals) and Antonio Bellomo (guitar), were especially invited by LC Erasmus to perform at the Cercle Munster on Wednesday 26 September. The recital showcased a wide selection of the most beautiful Italian texts and melodies, past and present, with arrangements varying between pop-rock-folk-jazz and bossa-nova.

The proceeds of this fund-raising event were donated to the ‘Fondation Kriibskrank Kanner’.