On Thursday, July 15, in response to a petition made by the Clube de Desbravadores in 2018, the Committee on Constitution and Justice (CCJ) of the Chamber of Deputies approved the bill 3936/19, which institutes September 20 as National Pathfinder Day.
In the House, the text was processed conclusively, which excludes the need for deliberation by the Plenary unless there is an appeal for such. Now, the request goes to the Senate for analysis. Later, if approved, it must be signed by the President of the Republic (understand more about the process here).
Every year, the Pathfinders celebrate their day on the third Sabbath of September in more than 160 countries where they are present. They also carry out specific actions on behalf of their communities. In Brazil alone, there are 243,237 active Pathfinders, divided into 9,522 clubs spread over 2,251 cities in the national territory.
In an interview with the South American Adventist News Agency (ASN), the author of the project, Deputy Tadeu Alencar (PSB-PE), emphasizes it is essential to have civil society initiatives that mobilize young people to make a difference in their communities. “[The Pathfinders] perform a great job of strengthening citizenship, of guiding young people so that they can embrace in their conduct the importance of participating in life—in society in a country that has so many challenges, and the biggest one is inequality. The Clube de Desbravadores fulfills this role in an exemplary manner”, he explains.
According to Alencar, establishing a national date draws attention to the importance of what is done by the association, such as actions aimed at physical, mental, and spiritual development, as well as guidance on health, family, public safety, citizenship, religion, and the fight against drugs. “The establishment of this day is not only to pay homage to those who are already doing this work, [but] also to expand their borders so that more people can get involved, and the benefit of the work of these clubs can be extended to the society as a whole”, he highlights.
“They expend energy on what is useful, develop good skills, and make effective contributions to people. In countless places, we already have the municipal and state day. Having a national day is recognition that this institution is a great contribution to Brazil”, emphasizes Pastor Udolcy Zukowski, director of the Pathfinders for eight countries in South America.
Although the new coronavirus pandemic has paralyzed face-to-face activities, the clubs continued to be active virtually. Over the past few months, staying at home in isolation has boosted rates of depression, including among young people.
One of the initiatives to minimize this impact was to carry out online activities, such as “camping inside”, camping at home, and camping in the bedroom, in which makeshift tents minimized the distance from nature and enhanced interactive contact with other people.
“In addition, we teach specialties against contagious diseases, epidemics. The club reinvents itself to meet the needs of them, their families, and society”, stresses Zukowski.
The Desbravadores Club is formed by boys and girls, ages 10–15. Regardless of social class, color, race, or religion, it has a continuous program for developing talents and skills in more than 465 options, in addition to strengthening their physical, mental, social, and spiritual growth.