The first humanitarian activities of LCI were oriented in helping soldiers from to the First World War front and after the war the Lions helped war casualties. In 1919 the Lions focused their help on the outburst of the deadly influenza epidemics.
In 1926 the help programme for the blind and partially sighted, later called Sight First, became the guideline for the LCI activities on the initiative of the well known author Helen Keller. Beside the help in education of the blind and partially sighted for various jobs, the Lions invented two important aids for the blind: the white stick and the pocket size Braille. In 1939 the Lions from Michigan founded the first guide dog training school.
After the Second World War the aspiration for peace and the struggle to remedy the consequences of war was included in the mission of LCI. In the year 1945 LCI received a consultative status at the UN for the field of non governmental activities. In the range of activities of the UN the LCI supervised the yearly event Poster of peace, which involved 11 to13 year old children from all around the world. The main purpose of the project was the spreading of friendship, coexistence, tolerance and the acceptance of diversity among children, their parents and the education system.
The first LCI club was founded in 1948 in Stockholm, Sweden. 42 years later, on April 1990, Mr. Borut Miklavčič established the first Slovenian, back then also the first Yugoslavian LIONS CLUB LJUBLJANA under the patronage of LC Klagenfurt Carinthia. The founding of other Lions Clubs all around Slovenia followed shortly.
Today the idea of lionism lives in 45.000 clubs all around the world (North, Middle and South America, Europe, China, Russia, Japan…) and incorporates 1.3 million members.
LCI advises their clubs to perform the following philanthropic activities:
- help for the blind and poor sighted,
- help to prevent and treat all forms of addictions,
- help for children and youth in distress,
- help to fight the social problems of elders,
- cooperation in the efforts to solve social problems in the operational area of the Lions Clubs.