Lions Roarrr-Lions Club International Pilot Project Initiation

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 15, No. 16            April 21, 2005

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The Lionís Club of Belize is celebrating their 28th year of service in Belize with their annual national convention. On Tuesday, April 19, Deputy Mayor Severo Guerrero, Area Representative Manuel Heredia Jr, Bobby Lopez, Zone 59 Chairman, several Lionís members and Mike Bruscemi, Senior Consultant and Advisor for the International Lionís Foundation, were all present in San Pedro as they marked the opening of their pilot project initiation, the Lionís Quest program. In an interview with The San Pedro Sun, Mr.Bruscemi commented that ďit is wiser to build a child than to repair an adult.Ē His goal is to enlighten youth to the path of righteousness, making them aware of their surroundings, because as we know drugs are easy to obtain and it saddens him to see that youth choose to destroy themselves by using these drugs.

    message. Their focus and mission is to launch a pilot project, with the joint participation of the Ministry of Education, the National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC) and the Lions of Belize, working with schools, parents and students while providing materials and training in life skills/character education, drug and violence prevention and service learning. This one year pilot project will target young adolescents in eight schools and if successful, will gradually include all schools nationwide. They are scheduled to visit the San Pedro High School; two schools in Belize City, and one in Belmopan. Their primary school route includes Orange Walk, Belize, Belmopan and Caye Caulker. Teachers who have participated in this program have said that although it takes some time to implement the program, it saves time later with fewer discipline problems.

    A major factor for the Lionís Clubs is to educate children and parents of drug use and abuse. Presently, they believe that Belize fails to reflect the values of traditional Belize, however, it is faced with many challenges among which is the generation of young people in search of guidance and direction. This is a stark reality that all of us who call Belize Ďhomeí must face. The glaring statistics of teenage pregnancies, drug abuse/addiction as well as the daily reports of violent crimes being committed by young people paints a gloomy picture of the future unless we join in a united effort to address and arrest the problem. With the Lionís Quest program, they believe that they can make a positive change and stimulate the minds of our young Belizean nation.

    The Lionís Quest program is designed to assist young people in searching for and reviving those skills, which are vital to their very survival. Through its various steps, individuals will master key concepts and develop a positive attitude embodied in the service to community principle. They will begin to value themselves and others thereby making only those decisions that would enhance their goals. The Lionís Quest believes that an individual who values himself has no need for drugs and alcohol. For he/she that does not feel the need to engage in self-destructive behaviors because he recognizes the value of life. With help and support from all involved, these are the goals that the Lionís Club is aiming for, and these are the end products that they believe will enhance Belize as a nation.

    Many events have been scheduled that will take place in Belmopan from Friday, April 22nd to Sunday April 24th These events include a ďBelize Lionís Service DayĒ where residents of Belmopan will take advantage of a team of medical and dental services. Sporting events such as triathlons, childrenís games, a parade and a jump-up are activities on their agenda. Conventions are held annually to share experiences and exchange ideas about the work of Lionís. The Lionís of Belize invite the general public to join in this fun-filled and service-packed weekend.
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