New Possibilities for a Better Future
Brainer Parejo Benitas faces many issues every day in his home of Barranquilla, Colombia that a nine-year-old should not have to confront. However, drugs, gangs and other societal problems are a reality in his community. Along with many other children in Columbia and countless places worldwide, Benitas is at risk of making destructive decisions, without the hope or tools for an alternative path.
Discovering the alternatives—before it’s too late
Benitas has been given the chance to make positive choices as he grows up, thanks to the Lions Quest program at his school. As Lions Clubs International Foundation’s positive youth development program for students from kindergarten through grade 12, Lions Quest helps foster important life skills, healthy attitudes, strong character, positive relationships and active citizenship.
“I have learned many things in Leones Educando (Lions Quest). I have learned that drugs are very bad for the body, for the brain and for breathing. The program has changed my life. I now know how to work in groups and how to share things,” Benitas said proudly.
A community sees the change
Because it is such an effective program at addressing issues of today’s youth, Lions Quest creates visible results—sometimes quite quickly. “In one year of working with this program, I have seen changes. At the end of the school year, I have noticed that my students are a lot more receptive, cooperative and they are able to use skills in their own lives,” explained 5th grade teacher Lus Angelica.
Benitas’s mother, Evellis Benitas, has also recognized the value of Lions Quest for her son, community and family. “Lions Quest has taught Brainer how to fight problems in our community. We’ve learned so much as a family too. We’ve learned to share more and get along better in the family and to be better parents. The program is very good.”