Read Benigno's story

My name is Benigno, I’m 24 years old. When I was a child, I went to school and one day I followed a friend out of curiosity, and he went online. I ended up addicted to the internet. I collected money to go to internet cafés, and I did not go back home. I slept at a petrol station, and then when I was about 7 years old they sent me to a children’s home in Santa Cruz. One day I went out with a friend and I got lost. Since I was 7 years old, I have lived on the streets of Santa Cruz. 

When I was 11 years old went to a dining room for street kids where some of the kids introduced me to clefa (glue). It made me feel drunk. I really liked it. After clefa, I started using alcohol and marijuana for 10 years.

I wanted to study but I wasn’t in school. I got sick with Tuberculosis and did not pay attention to it, letting it progress. The Doctor said there was no cure because my disease was advanced. That’s why I say, it is thanks to God that I am here. 

Since coming to Novō, I’ve learned about God and how to read the Bible. I’ve learned to help others. I’ve learned how to be responsible. Before I had no duties, like cleaning the house and organising my clothes. Here they have taught me that it is better to avoid talking about drugs and returning to dangerous places. I’ve learned to control my anger, and I no longer think about drugs. 

God for me is my creator, he sent his son to save me, and he died for me on the cross. I am grateful to God, if it were not for him, I would be dead. He saved me from many accidents and he is healing me from my illness. 

I saw my family after 10 years. I was praying that this would happen when I entered another rehab centre before I came to Novō, and my family visited me and brought me gifts.

I want to finish my treatment for Tuberculosis. I want to study and go back to work. I just don’t want to leave Novō! 

I don’t want to fall again. I want to move forward, see my mom, help her – as I always should have – and dedicate myself more to friends. But, as the Bible says, if you have good friends, you will go a good way. 

Watch Benigno tell his story

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