Since 2004, Lions in Sweden, MD101, is collaborating with the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, MSB (formerly known as the Swedish Rescue Services). Lions buy tents that are stored the MSB depot in Kristinehamn. When Sweden receives requests from the UN or EU, to assist in disaster or emergency situations, the tents are used by MSB to provide shelter for people in need. A Lion representative is welcome to participate when the tents are delivered. Lions’ representatives are recruited by the Tent Committee, then approved and trained by MSB, please see further details below. MD 101’s tent project is the most internationally recognized project operated by Lions of Sweden. The Swedish Lions Clubs are recommended to contribute at least SEK 40 (USD 4) per member and year towards this project.
In consultation with MSB and UNHCR, a double canvas tent solution with an air gap was designed. It is not enough for harsh winters, but carpets and blankets are usually found locally to increase insulation. The measurements of the tents are 15m² (160 sq. ft.), 3.25 x 4.65 m (10ft x 15ft). According to UNHCR standards, each person must have 2.5m² (10 sq. ft.) of personal space. The tents come with 6 blankets per tent. Initially, Lions provided tents for different climates, but it was difficult to keep sufficient quantities in stock.
Since 2005, over 5000 tents for SEK 30 million (USD 3 million) have been shipped to various disaster areas around the world. The first shipment went to Pakistan in the fall of 2005, Lions and the former Rescue Services were quickly on the scene. Lions in Pakistan were also participating in these efforts. The power of Lions Clubs is their presence in over 200 countries and their capacity to provide local assistance.
2005: 225 winter tents to Pakistan, earthquake
2006: 40 summer tents to Serbia, flooding
2006: 140 desert tents, 150 summer tents, 1 civil defense tent to Lebanon, refugees
2007: 140 tropical tents to Sri Lanka, tsunami victims
2007: 93 winter tents to Peru, earthquake
2008: 90 winter tents, 900 blankets to Kyrgyzstan, earthquake
2008: 144 tropical tents to Burma, typhoon
2008: 1079 summer tents, 149 desert tents, 56 tropical tents to China, earthquake
2010: 395 summer tents to Haiti, earthquake
2011: 300 summer tents to Tunisia, refugees Libya
2011: 470 tents to Turkey
2013: 30 tents to the Philippines
2014: 1025 tents to Iraq
2016: 7 tents to Sri Lanka
2016: 150 tents to Greece
2019: 482 tents to Albania
The Tent Committee members are
Reino Wikström, Lions Club Mölndal, Chairperson.
Per Blomstrand, Lions Club Uddevalla, PR
Björn Åström, Lions Club Kristinehamn, Packing, Loading
Finn Bangsgaard, Lions Club Svansjö, Agency Liaison
Lina Eiserman Ålund, Lions Club Mölndal, Recruitment Manager, PR
Julia Tivander, Lions Club Mölndal, PR, Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/bringquality/ and its Messenger feature
Apply to become a Lion Representative:
You must be a member of Lions Clubs International. Your application must be submitted to the Tent Committee via your club president who will forward the application to firstname.lastname@example.org. MSB would like to see healthy representatives between 30-55 years old, preferably women. If you are in need of medication, you have to be able to go at least 10 days without your medication.
How it began:
On December 26, 2003, a powerful earthquake with an epicenter near the city of Bam hit the province of Kerman in Iran. People were in need of temporary shelter. Lions Disaster Preparedness Program in Sweden decided to donate SEK 500,000 (USD 50 000) to purchase tents for the people in Bam.
The challenge was to ship the tents to Bam in Iran, but with the assistance from another aid organization, MD101 managed to deliver the tents. However, the organization charged a 5% administration fee. This frustrated the program chairperson, Finn Bangsgaard. Finn began to research other options and came to think of the Swedish Rescue Services, today called MSB, which is the agency that implements aid from Sweden in connection to disasters, on the request of the Swedish government.
Finn Bangsgaard, LC Svansjö, and Reino Wikström, LC Råda-Mölnlycke, carpooled to NSR in Norway in January 2004, in the car, they began to talk about disaster relief, costs and efficiency. Could the Lions buy the tents themselves? Could they be stored somewhere? Reino Wikström, who had connections within the former Swedish Rescue Services, decided to ask if they were interested in tents. The Swedish Rescue Services answered that there was a need and that they would be able to provide storage. In 2004, the first tent was presented at the Multiple District Convention in Gävle and the Lions of Sweden made their first major tent purchase. This is how an idea of two Lions became a reality within the course of 5 months, with the assistance from a government agency.
In February 2005, Lina Eiserman Ålund, LC Råda-Mölnlycke, was the first Lion to participate in the Swedish Rescue Services’ training for international missions. In October, the first tents were sent to Pakistan after a major earthquake. The Rescue Services, along Lina Eiserman Ålund, arrived three days after the earthquake, and within the next 3 days, the first tent camp accommodating approximately 1350 people, was established in Muzaffarabad, northern Pakistan.
Since then, the agency, now called MSB has trained Sema Panboon, LC Skellefteå, Olow Nyman Leo Club Göteborg, Annette Sjöberg, LC Harplinge, Sven-Erik Hansson, LC Sollefteå and Josefin Östh, LC Stockholm. Lion Sema and Lion Olow have participated in missions abroad.