102nd CONVENTION
July 13–16, 2017
Paris 2017

News

Brief overview of the France-Monaco District

Mar 17, 2017
Kiwanis_Evreux resized for web
In 2015–2016, the Kiwanis France-Monaco District raised €2,314,320 and pledged more than 148,963 hours of volunteer service to help children.

Number of Kiwanians: 4,400
Number of clubs: 250
Proportion of men and women: 76% men, 24% women
Average age: 59 years old
Occupations: Kiwanians from the France-Monaco District have diverse occupations. However, the highest percentages of Kiwanians work in the fields of insurance, medicine and education, as well as in the commercial sector.

Development of the district: A development manager in each of the 32 divisions supports a structured team with task officers. The goal is increased female participation, younger members and partnership with the JCE. This year, their work is getting results: 7 or 8 new club charters and growth of more than 100 members since October 2016.
Communication: Development of the use of social media in clubs and creation of a new and very functional website: kiwanis.fr
 
Key initiatives:

National initiative: Rare diseases
The district’s goal is to raise funds that support research and help families. By definition, a rare disease affects fewer than one person in 2,000. But there are at least 7,000 rare diseases, mostly genetic in origin, and the overall number of people suffering from these diseases is increasing: 3 million people in France alone, half of whom are children. In fact, these diseases account for 30% of infant mortality. In addition to their suffering, these children face many difficulties—including diagnosis, absence of treatment (treatment is only available for 200 rare diseases) and problems related to patient management by the appropriate health services.
 
The France-Monaco District of Kiwanis supports two types of initiatives: 1) aid to the Rare Diseases Foundation and research into diagnosis, and 2) aid to sick children. A Rare Diseases Week was organized in February 2017, so that clubs could help fund these two types of initiatives.

Margot’s story
At 6 years old, Margot suffered from spastic diplegia, an affliction of the lower limb muscles. Since birth, she had been unable to walk and used a wheelchair. There is no treatment, so Margot's only hope was a selective dorsal rhizotomy, a surgical operation that consisted of cutting nerve extensions at the spinal cord. In order to see their daughter walk one day, Margot's parents contacted Professor Park of the Saint Louis Children's Hospital (USA), a world leader in selective dorsal rhizotomy. But the cost of the operation and Margot’s rehabilitation was very high: 70,000 euros. The parents decided to seek the assistance of Kiwanis, which raised nearly 50,000 euros within a few months. Margot had her operation in December 2016.  She can now walk, with the help of a walker—and she’s getting stronger and healthier all the time.

The Kiwanis Youth Tour de France
Thanks to this 20-stop tour, young people from underprivileged backgrounds can pursue sports and enjoy a social adventure—all while discovering France. At each city, a local Kiwanis club welcomes the youngsters, offering them a meal and taking them to visit a site, monument or business. The Youth Tour de France take place in July, like a miniature version of the cycling Tour de France—sometimes even using a small part of its stages.
 
First Flights
First Flights offers children with disabilities and disadvantages the opportunity to fly in a plane and see the world from a different angle. The program was started in 2000, and more than 80 clubs and airfields in the country now participate—as do generous volunteer pilots. As a result, the program has provided more than 40,000 first flights in the last 15 years.

Greens of Hope
For the past seven years, Kiwanis has been an official partner of Greens of Hope, an event that organizes golf tournaments with the Overcoming Cystic Fibrosis Association. In 2014–2015, €121,401 was raised for this association. Each year, Kiwanis organizes an average of 29 competitions in 20 cities.

Literature Prize
The Literature Prize awarded by Kiwanis France-Monaco aims to promote Francophone literature through the recognition and discovery of new authors.

Partnership with Romania:
Since 2000, the France-Monaco District has helped to develop Kiwanis’ presence in Romania. With 24 current clubs and five clubs soon to be chartered, Romania will become a district-in-training (which requires at least 500 members and 25 clubs). The needs of Romanian children are great, and the cooperation between Franco-Romanian clubs has been exemplary—showing how effective collaboration can be.
 
Go to the district site to find out more.