Lions Clubs in Sweden, MD101, have been partnering with the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) since 2004. Today, the European Union Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC), is also a part of this project. Lions in Sweden purchase tents that are stored in the MSB warehouse in Kristinehamn. MSB delivers the tents on behalf of ERCC whenever a request is submitted from the United Nations or European Union, to provide shelter for people in need. Representatives from Lions Clubs in Sweden have the opportunity to participate in delivering the tents. These representatives are recruited by the tent team and approved and trained by MSB, please see more information below. The tent project is the most internationally recognized project operated by Lions Clubs in Sweden.
In consultation with MSB, we established an appropriate tent design, which is delivered along with 5 blankets. Initially, we were utilizing different tents for different climates, however, it was difficult to maintain enough tents in stock.
Since 2005, over 5500 tents, totaling SEK 35 million, have been shipped to various disaster areas around the world. The first opportunity was in Pakistan, in the fall of 2005. Lions partnered with the former Swedish Rescue Services and were among the first on the scene. Local Lions Clubs in Pakistan were also assisting the relief efforts. One of Lions Clubs International’s strengths is the global presence in over 200 countries which enables us to provide local service.
2005: 225 winter tents to Pakistan, earthquake
2006: 40 summer tents to Serbia, flooding
2006: 140 desert tents, 150 summer tents, 1 civil defense medical 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, earthquake
2013: 30 tents for the Philippines, typhoon
2014: 1025 tents to Iraq, refugees
2016: 7 tents to Sri Lanka, medical team
2016: 150 tents for Greece
2019: 498 tents to Albania, earthquake
2020: 250 tents to Lesbos, Greece, fire disaster
2021: 200 tents to Haiti, earthquake
The tent team consists of
Reino Wikström, Lions Club Mölndal, Chairman.
Björn Åström, Lions Club Kristinehamn, Packing and Loading
Finn Bangsgaard, Lions Club Svansjö, Government Liaison
Lina Eiserman Ålund, Lions Club Mölndal, Recruitment Manager, PR
Annette Eiserman-Wikström, Lions Club Mölndal, Customs, VAT and Shipping
Lion Representative Application:
On December 26, 2003, the province of Kerman in Iran was hit by a powerful earthquake with the epicenter near the city of Bam. One of the urgent needs for the people in the area was temporary shelters. The Swedish Lions’ Disaster Preparedness Program decided to donate SEK 500,000 to purchase tents for the people in Bam.
The next challenge was to ship the tents to Ban in Iran. With the help of another service organization, MD101 managed deliver the tents. However, the other service organization charged an administration fee of 5 %. This was frustrating to the Chairman of the Disaster Preparedness Program, Finn Bangsgaard. He began research other options, and the Swedish Rescue Services, today called MSB, came to mind. This is a government agency that the Swedish government and the EU utilizes to implement disaster relief efforts from Sweden, in connection to disasters.
In January of 2004, Finn Bangsgaard, LC Svansjö, and Reino Wikström, LC Råda-Mölnlycke, carpooled to NSR in Norway. While driving, they started talking about the cost of disaster relief and ways to improve their efforts. Could 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 replied that there was indeed a need, and that they could provide storage. At the 2004 MD Convention in Gävle, the first Lions tent was presented, and Lions made their first major purchase of tents. This is how an idea of two Lions became a reality within the course of 5 months, with the assistance from the government agency, Swedish Rescue Services.
In February 2005, the first Lion member, Lina Eiserman Ålund, LC Råda-Mölnlycke, attended the Swedish Rescue Services’ training for international missions. In October, the first tents were sent to Pakistan after being hit by a devastating 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, MSB has trained and approved Sema Panboon LC Skellefteå, Olow Nyman Hagfoss LC Mölndal, Annette Sjöberg, LC Halmstad, Sven-Erik Hansson LC Sollefteå, Josefin Östh LC Stockholm, Lars Åhsberg, LC Ystad and Sonny Månsson. Lina, Sema and Olow have participated in missions abroad.
Lions’ tent in Pakistan after an earthquake.