Local lady takes the lead at Lions’ club

2018-07-17 06:01
Rehana Khan Parker (left), receiving her presidential plaque during an induction ceremony in Kirstenbosch last week.

Rehana Khan Parker (left), receiving her presidential plaque during an induction ceremony in Kirstenbosch last week.

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The Lions Club of Kirstenbosch inducted its 58th president, Rehana Khan Parker, last Saturday (7 July).

The Lions Club of Kirstenbosch is one of 46 000 clubs worldwide.

Parker, from Grassy Park, is also the chairperson of Treasured Gems, and served as an executive member of other community organisations before joining the Lions Club of Kirstenbosch.

According to the Lions Club of Kirstenbosch, Parker is not a newcomer in providing relief where needed and she brings with her a wide skill set to the club. The five key areas on which Lions Club International focuses are: outreach rests in blindness, paediatric cancer, the environment, hunger and diabetes.

“The position comes with great challenges. I am not a longstanding member of the Lions Club. However, what I have been doing in the past fits squarely in what Lionism seeks to achieve and that is to serve humanity. The value that I add to this club is that I come with a history of doing precisely what they are doing, but I have chosen Lionism simply because I can do it under a brand,” she says.

What persuaded Khan Parker to choose the Lions Club to begin with was the fact that all money raised in Lions Club initiatives goes directly to the beneficiaries the funds are intended for. She also feels there is a distinct need for women to take up more leadership roles within the organisation.

“The critical area is in leadership, how and what will I do to create a cadre of women successes. It does not have a fantastic history of women in leadership in Lionism. I am the fourth women president in its 58-year history (in Kirstenbosch). There are enough women on the Cape Flats who run ‘help mekaars’ and soup kitchens and have the notion of Ubuntu, but they do not get recognised for it.”

The Kirstenbosch club has 82 members, making it the largest of the Lions clubs in South Africa, and is committed to providing relief in keeping with its motto “where there is a need, there is a Lion”.

In addition, the club inducted 19 new members to the club on the evening.

While Parker advocates the prominence of women in leadership roles, the growth of the Lions Club in South Africa depends on tapping into the larger demographic­, she says.

“It (the Lions Club) does not reflect the demographics of South Africa. We will have to change from within at club level so that we reflect the demographics of South Africa otherwise we are going to remain accused of being elitist,” explains Khan Parker, who plans more initiatives which will create incentive platforms for them to join so that they can make a meaningful inroad in the communities and also make Lionism more attractive.

“While South Africa is dwindling in numbers in Lionism, in India they are galloping away in terms of the kind of projects they are doing; they are huge. They form hospitals and I would like to see that in South Africa.”

V For more information, contact kbl.­secretary­@gmail.com or 073 340 4595.

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